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A summary of @Mr Eko's faith-based method for quitting PMO and other vices

For Fapstronauts of the Catholic Christian Faith

  1. Note: @Mr Eko made corrections and clarifications for this summary in the first post of this thread.

    A summary of Mr Eko's method
    Prerequisites
    • Genuine desire for a change of heart, for God's sake (repentance), and a resolution to depend solely on Him. This is the most fundamental prerequisite, without this we can't do anything.
    • Mass attendance (at least) on sundays (Sunday Mass is mandatory by the Church). We have to be serious about it, be totally present and take Communion if we're in grace, practice Eucaristic Adoration, etc.
    • Integration in the Church's community. Ask for groups associated to your parish, like prayer or study groups, and go to their meetings.
    • Be interested and make the effort of educating yourself on what the Church teaches; read, pray and study the Bible, the lives of the saints and their writtings, etc. Think of practical ways to apply the things you learn in your life.
    The method
    1. After every relapse we have to pray and confess our sins as soon as possible. Ideally, we should confess one relapse per confession. Don't let them accumulate.
    2. Everytime we are sad, depressed, bored, or in any vice-triggering state, we have to pray to God.
    3. Everytime we are in temptation we have to pray to God for it to end and remove ourselves physically from temptation if necessary, until the temptation disipates. It can take minutes, but we can only stop praying if we're no longer tempted. If we get repeatedly tempted, we have to repeatedly pray until all temptations stop. We can pray the Jesus Prayer, for example.
    4. We have to make temporary promises to God. Promise Him that for a limited amount of time you're not going to watch tempting images, put yourselve in tempting situations, or indulge in PMO. Write it in a journal of promises. After we satisfy one promise, we could choose to relapse or make another promise for a longer amount of time. Our purpose is to increase the time limit of the promises. From hours to days, months, years, etc. Be cautious, we don't want to offend God and make a habit of breaking our promises to Him. if we want to relapse, we can do it, but only if the promise is finished.
    5. We have to pray to God when we're not tempted. Pray to Him to give you the strength for not breaking your promise, read the Bible everyday and pray with it (pray some Psalms each day, for example). Build a daily prayer routine, start as small as it is necessary for you, but start creating the habit of praying everyday, ideally, at the same time(s) of the day.
    6. We have to thank God often for His help in keeping our promise and for each day we live free of PMO.
    About me and my commitments with this method
    I was an atheist since 13, but at the beginning of this year, by the grace of God, I returned to our Faith.

    I'm 26 years old now, and I have carried my vices with me, I also have not made a confession since my First Communion which happened not long before I decided to become an atheist.

    Recently, after seeing that I can't quit PMO on my own, I returned to this site for help, and made a new Reboot Journal last friday. The official secularist philosophy of NoFap doesn't satisfy me, so I searched and found this Catholic subforum and then found @Mr Eko's posts.

    After reading Mr Eko's posts I now realize that we need God's help more than anything else, in practice, not just in theory which has been my general atittude since comming to God. I see that this method can't fail, because God won't let us down if we actually ask and beg Him to be his friends, since that is His purpose for us, to be united with Him in perfect harmony.
    ...​
    I will post about my progress (or regress) and my experience with this method in this thread. Other people are welcome to do the same or add their own analysis or comments on the method. God bless you in your journey.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  2. Mr Eko

    Mr Eko Fapstronaut

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    Hi,
    I'm very glad you read so many messages and posts of mine.

    I would add such comments:
    But if you are not in grace then go to confession as soon as possible because when you are in grave sins you won't have strong determination to pray and fight pmo. You will be too weak to do a stronger effort.
    rather during reading the Bible pray sometimes having the inspiration what to say to God from the read text - so you can ask for forgiveness, or something else, you can thank God for something, you can say to God whatever you feel in that moment being inspired by the text - so it's a combination reading and praying.
    better what the saints write than what somebody else writes about the saint. The saints are especially close to God and their own words have special power and clarity.
    The trap is thinking - I pmo-ed now and tomorrow I can go to confession so I have 12 hours to pmo and I will prayer before confession. No, you must pray after pmo with the intention not to repeat pmo before comming confession because it's very harmful to repeat pmo.
    It's prevention - we often fall into temptation and pmo because we want to 'medicate' our pain, trouble, fears - we must learn to medicate them by God. He will be doing it but when we are in prayer mode.
    In such prayers we are healed too from our fears, depression, bad thoughts etc. And beside prayer we must do or not do something in temptation - for example - we can't watch a fashion show for example or pictures of girls in bikini, if we feel that computer or mobile can be a danger we must turn it off, if the temptation is really big it's better to go out even at night...etc. pray and do (or not do) something (it's a combination).

    First promises mustn't be for too long, the best would be for an hour, then 2 hours etc. we MUST learn keeping such promises and breaking a promise is NOT AN OPTION because if you break your promise even once then what will stop you to not break it the second , the third ... time? And you must confess breaking a promise - it's a big sin. Better not to promise than promise and not to keep it. With promises you MUST be very careful. If you hesitate that you don't know if you keep the promise or not then you can't promise anything. The promise is something holy and must be treated so - you have no choice - you must keep it to the end, to the last second. Do all possible to keep it - the first must be prayer. Without prayer you won't keep the promise in temptation. And you won't keep it (even praying) when you won't do something in temptation. For example you can pray like a madman in temptation but when you allowed to watch some erotic photos (even for some seconds ) then the prayer and a promise maybe won't save you because it will be burning a fire of lust in you after watching some even 'innocent' (for example fashion show) pictures.

    If you have any hesitation how to use a point of my method practically then ask any questions. It seems you understood my system very good. Now it's implementation time!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  3. Thanks for your very valuable comments, @Mr Eko. Yes! It's implementation time. First thing, I have to go to confession this month. I'll give weekly reports on my progress, hopefully I'll have some good questions for you and others. God bless.
     
  4. Mr Eko

    Mr Eko Fapstronaut

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    You don't need to wait for the confession - you can confess now all your sins to God and you can regret all your sins now and you can decide to try to do all things so that you can live without grave sins from now on. You can do such a 'private' confession before God in a prayer. And God will forgive you your sins after such an honest confession and you can get His graces now. It doesn't mean that you won't have to go to confession in church. You must go to a sacramental confession and confess all your sins once again before the priest (and Christ in him) - this sacramental confession will give you reunion with whole church and will deepen your 'private' confession. So such a 'private' confession is not instead of sacramental confession - it's only a way to confess to God as soon as possible (the sooner the better) to break the enslavement from sin and satan and to get God's forgiveness and graces even before the sacramental confession. Another plus of such a practice is that not always we have the possibility to confess in church ( maybe there is no priest who confesses at this hour of day or you have to work untill late hours or a priest confesses only on Saturdays or Sundays and you sinned gravely on Tuesday and must wait 3 days etc.). Ask your priest if you can do so - I mean such 'private ' confessions before a right confession in church ( not instead but only before). A very known priest in Poland fr. Blachnicki (already dead, a candidate for a saint) encouraged believers to such 'private' confessions.
     
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  5. Wholeheartedly agree. This is in keeping with the sound advise of the saints throughout the ages. I would only add, once you recognize your sin before God and ask for His Mercy, FORGET ABOUT IT! Get busy with your duties, exercise, live as it didn't happen, then bring it up next when you go to Confession. You can also of course "check it in" with accountability partner(s), but not so as to dwell on it - just to "cast it" away. The Devil loves to kick us when we are feeling low, and adding accusation unto accusation is a favorite devise of things.

    Sin may deform us but never define us. It is God's Love that has the last word.

    Onward unto God!
    Pax
     
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  6. Mr Eko

    Mr Eko Fapstronaut

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    yes, it's a very valuable addition. Dwelling in guilt in selfpity leads to 'pain medication' in pmo.
    Could you give some info. which saints said so - what books , maybe some excerpts? I'd like to broaden this knowledge.
     
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  7. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

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    I fully endorse this method. It has been working for me - a sinner who committed this sin for fully 50 years. In my case, I am also learning that I benefit greatly from daily praying "The Litany of Humility". Learning not to seek to put myself first and to promote the rise of others above me seems to be an important step in eliminating self-pity and a desire for self-comfort.
     
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  8. I think this would be a good endeavor. However, I have most of my books in boxes, at the moment, and searching for this online hasn't been easy. Some of the sources are written by the Saints themselves, others are books that have been trusted by them, or that are highly regarded by theologians. It does come up in The Spiritual Combat for sure, where the advised is also joined to gratitude after a fall (i.e., "thank you from preventing me from going further down this dark path!" "thank you for letting this be an opportunity to teach me how much I need You," "thank you for not letting sin have the last word," etc.). I believe St. Francis de Sales touched on it in "Introduction to the Devout Life." St. Therese and St. Louis de Monfort also seem to come to mind.

    If I should find any of these examples are gladly post them. The Spiritual Combat deals explicitly with it in its "What we should do when we are wounded" chapter. This manual was highly favored by St. Francis de Sales. For the sake of ease, here is the chapter in its entirety, with the specific part I was referring to highlighted by being underlined:

    "WHEN YOU REALIZE that you have been wounded by sin, whether through weakness or malice, do not lose your courage or become panic-stricken. Turn to God with a great and humble confidence saying: "See, O Master, what I am able to do. When I rely on my own strength, I commit nothing but sins."

    Meditating on this, recognize the extent of your humiliation and express to our Lord your sorrow for the offense committed. With an unperturbed heart, indict your vicious passions, especially the one that has occasioned your fall, and confess: "O Lord, I would not have stopped at this had not Your goodness restrained me."

    Give thanks to God, and more than ever give to Him the complete love of your heart. What generosity on His part! You have offended Him and, despite this, He extends His hand to prevent another fall.

    With your heart full of confidence in His infinite mercy, say to Him:. "O Master, show forth Thy Divinity and pardon me! Never permit me to be separated from Thee, deprived of Thy help; never permit me to offend Thee again!"

    After you have done this, do not upset yourself by examining whether God has forgiven you or not. This is a complete loss of time, an outcropping of pride, a spiritual sickness, an illusion of the devil who seeks to harm you under cover of an apparently good act. Place yourself in the merciful arms of God, and plunge into your usual duties, as though nothing had happened.

    The number of times during the day that you fall cannot shake the basis of a true confidence in Him. Return after your second, your third, your last defeat, with the same confidence. Each lapse will teach you greater contempt for your own strength, greater hatred for sin, and, at the same time, will give you greater prudence.

    This will dismay your enemy because it is pleasing to God. The devil will be thrown into confusion, baffled by one he has so often overcome. As a result, he will bend every effort to induce you to change your tactics. He frequently succeeds when a strict watch is not kept over the tendencies of the heart.

    The efforts expended in conquering yourself must correspond to the difficulties encountered. A single performance of this exercise is not sufficient. It should be frequently repeated though but one fault has been committed.

    Consequently, if you have fallen, if you are greatly perturbed and your confidence is shaken, you must first recover your peace of mind and confidence in God. Raise your heart to Heaven. Be convinced that the trouble that sometimes follows the commission of a fault is not so much a sorrow for having offended God, but is a fear of punishment. The way to recover this peace is to forget, for the moment, your fault and to concentrate on the ineffable goodness of God and His burning desire to pardon the gravest sinners. He uses every possible means to call the sinners back, to unite them entirely to Himself, to sanctify them in this life, and make them eternally happy in the next.

    This consideration, or others of its kind, will bring peace back to your soul. Then you may reconsider the malice of your error in the light of what has been said above. Finally, when you approach the Sacrament of Penance-----I advise you to do this frequently-----recall all of your sins and sincerely confess them. Reawaken your sorrow for having committed them, and renew your resolutions to amend your life in the future.
    Onward unto God!
    Pax
     
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  9. Having been reminded of the connection between the Spiritual Combat and St. Francis de Sales, I found this in his Introduction. While it does not speak of the feigned forgetfulness I mentioned earlier, he adds to it the concept of "gentleness" towards ourselves after we have a fall into sin. I think it is a beautiful compliment to the quote above, and a nice echo of its sentiments:

    Believe me, my daughter, as a parent’s tender affectionate remonstrance has far more weight with his child than anger and sternness, so, when we judge our own heart guilty, if we treat it gently, rather in a spirit of pity than anger, encouraging it to amendment, its repentance will be much deeper and more lasting than if stirred up in vehemence and wrath.

    For instance:—Let me suppose that I am specially seeking to conquer vanity, and yet that I have fallen conspicuously into that sin;—instead of taking myself to task as abominable and wretched, for breaking so many resolutions, calling myself unfit to lift up my eyes to Heaven, as disloyal, faithless, and the like, I would deal pitifully and quietly with myself. “Poor heart! so soon fallen again into the snare! Well now, rise up again bravely and fall no more. Seek God’s Mercy, hope in Him, ask Him to keep you from falling again, and begin to tread the pathway of humility afresh. We must be more on our guard henceforth.” Such a course will be the surest way to making a stedfast substantial resolution against the special fault, to which should be added any external means suitable, and the advice of one’s director. If any one does not find this gentle dealing sufficient, let him use sterner self-rebuke and admonition, provided only, that whatever indignation he may rouse against himself, he finally works it all up to a tender loving trust in God, treading in the footsteps of that great penitent who cried out to his troubled soul: “Why art thou so vexed, O my soul, and why art thou so disquieted within me? O put thy trust in God, for I will yet thank Him, Which is the help of my countenance, and my God.”

    So then, when you have fallen, lift up your heart in quietness, humbling yourself deeply before God by reason of your frailty, without marvelling that you fell;—there is no cause to marvel because weakness is weak, or infirmity infirm. Heartily lament that you should have offended God, and begin anew to cultivate the lacking grace, with a very deep trust in His Mercy, and with a bold, brave heart.​
     
  10. Here are a couple of screenshots on the matter taken from another great manual which is hard to come by: The Virtue of Trust by Paul de Jaegher. I had to create an account with archives.org to access it. As I was not able to copy the text, please look at the following attachments. That book is so good! If anyone wants to look more closely at how to behave after a fall into a fault, the following come from Chapter XVIII (a summary of the chapter is included in one of the files as well)
     

    Attached Files:

  11. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

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    THANK YOU! This post is very inspiring and enlightening to me. Please continue to provide your help here. May God's blessings pour over you and everyone here who is seeking freedom.
     
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  12. Mr Eko

    Mr Eko Fapstronaut

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    Thank you,
    It reminded me that I have this book in Polish and had read it over 20 years ago ( and almost nothing remember now). So I'll read some chapters of this book again and compare this to the method I use. Some chapters deal with pmo (of course not porn on the screen - they didn't have this technology) - let's look at the titles of a few chapters:

    XIII. Of the way to resist the Sensual Impulses, and of the Acts to be performed by the Will, in order to acquire Habits of Virtue
    XIV. What ought to be done when the higher Will seems to be wholly overcome and stifled by the lower Will, and by its Enemies
    XVIII. Of the way to overcome Sudden Risings of the Passions
    XIX. How to resist the Lusts of the Flesh
    XXI. Of the Guard of the Outward Senses, and how from these we may pass to the Contemplation of the Divinity
    XXII. How the same things may offer us opportunities of regulating our Senses by passing on to Meditation on the Incarnate Word, in the Mysteries of His Life and Passion

    This book is free on the internet:
    http://patrimoinechretien.com/Bibliothèque/Oeuvres/ScupoliSpiritualCombat2016en.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
  13. It's a great, practical book. The author also wrote a "workbook" on finding and workings towards peace of soul. I have not read it yet, but it is very much in line with how he sets things out in the Spiritual Combat.

    I remember seeing chapters or sections on "resolutions." I imagine you will find a lot of parallels there.
     
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  14. Stommy

    Stommy Fapstronaut

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    Sorry, but I did not understand.

    For example I now promise God not to practice PM for a total of 5 days.
    What happens after 5 days? I can decide to practice PM because the promise is done or I have to extend the limit of the promise. Right? At this point, having reached the goal, I decide to take the promise from the 5 days reached to 7 days ... Correct?

    If by chance the time established in the promise has expired, I want to relapse, does the next promise still start from the milestone reached?

    But how do you concretely make the promise?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2021
  15. Mr Eko

    Mr Eko Fapstronaut

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    Hi,


    First, the most important is to keep any promise, not to break any independent of any circumstances. After a promise has been successfully completed we are free and we can decide: a) either we take another promise ( the best option would be a longer one because we wish to get rid of pmo altogether in future) or we don't take any following promise trying not to pmo, or we pmo as a relief ( which is a sin of course but it's way better to pmo when we are not in promise time than to break a promise and pmo which are two sins ). Even if you pmo after a promise you can take another promise , (a longer one would be better) after pmo session. As you see you are free after completing any promise. The idea is that even if you pmo after a promise time you will start missing the promise time when you was obliged not to pmo, not to watch any tempting material and to pray each time when temptation came because you will feel that this ensured you some time of freedom, joy and control over your addiction.
    This you say to Jesus in your own invented words - for example I do it so:
    Jesus, I promise to You that from now on 1. I won't pmo for 24 hours, 2. I won't see anything tempting ( no tempting photos, even no fashion shows or bikini models etc. in that time , 3. I will pray each time a temptation comes and I will pray as long as temptation lasts ( even for some hours if the need be) in that 24 hours time. Please, give me a special grace to complete the promise.

    I write down such a promise in my notebook and sign it with my name. It's a contract between me and Jesus. From now on I have given up my free will and I have to do all possible to keep the promise. After it I anew have my free will and can do what I choose.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2021
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  16. Stommy

    Stommy Fapstronaut

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    Thank you mrEko
     
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  17. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

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    Thank you once again, Mr. Eko. I went to this book, as you suggested and I read Chapter XIX and I found much helpful advice and wisdom. I was particularly struck by the opening words of that chapter

    "THIS temptation must be dealt with in a way peculiar to itself, and unlike any other. In order, therefore, to fight successfully against it, three periods of time must be observed : – 1. Before the temptation. 2. During the temptation. 3. After the temptation. 1. Before the temptation, the struggle must be against the things which lead to it. First, you must not war against this vice by confronting it, but, on the contrary, by fleeing with all your might from the thing or person that may have the least likelihood of exciting it. [58] And if through necessity you have to converse with such a person, be as brief as you can, and preserve a grave and modest demeanour, 63 and let your words incline to harshness, rather than to excess of tenderness and affability. Presume not on your own strength, if you are free, and have been for very many years free, from the temptations of the flesh ; for this cursed vice does in an hour what for years it has failed to do, often making its advances stealthily"
     
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