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A group for members of all religions, or no religion at all, to talk about religion
Quite a first post! These are all such beautiful works of profound wisdom.
Why thank you. I have many more.
"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
2 Peter 3:9
"Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness."
Add to these "the Spiritual Combat" it and most of these can be gotten electronically online for free.
Just posted this at /r/Catholicism, and I had to share it here, too.
There are two kinds of love: the emotional one most people mean when they say it, and volitional love defined as willing the good of another. The latter is easier to do for someone you don't like. Not easy, just easier than the former. I've been working on it for some time, since the Gospel and some recent remarks by Pope Francis and others that came up all around the same time inspired me to do. I knew it was necessary for there to be healing. What I have just found (btw ninth day of current Undoer of Knots Novena, just sayin') is that the latter will, if you let God in, lead to the former.
Granted this is based on a realization that is essentially no more than an assumption, but I've just turned in the space of about a minute from "I consciously choose to love this person; to will his good" to a very sincere and deep empathy for him. He shares my addiction, but lashed out at me quite violently around a year ago, and said things completely inconsistent with being a recovered addict of the same vice. It baffled me, but I understand it today. I remember the hate I had for myself for so long. I remembered how I thought of myself all the things he said of me. I didn't understand how someone who had recovered could not understand the grip of addiction, and the way you hated wanting and needing and enjoying the object of it. It hit me like a wave of empathetic sorrow: he's exiled the addiction from his life, he's recovered from the addiction - the behavior, but he hasn't healed emotionally.
I mean, maybe he's just a big fat jerk, and it's not this complicated. Maybe some other dark thing is going on. Maybe he was just trying to scare me off/hurt me as deeply as he could just because. It could be any of those things. But what if it's that he still looks in the mirror and sees the years of horrible sin, and wasted life? What if he still sees the wretched things he did to others, like they're lines on his face? That would explain seeing me that way too. Especially if he thought I'd recovered more than him, in less time. Of course he'd want to hurt me! Why do I deserve better than him? I don't. He'd be right about that.
I truly feel for the guy now. I want to help him. I want to tell him he's not worthless, and he's not evil, and he's not all the things he once did. I want to tell him, and to find a way to tell him that he believes me, that the healing and grace he needs are found in only one place: in the sacraments. What's the difference between us? I'm Catholic, and he's an Evangelical Protestant, i.e. Reconciliation, the gift of the Holy Spirit from my confirmation, and the healing power of the Eucharist. And when did I heal? I mean really heal? When I returned to the sacraments. When I started to pray. And, you know me, when I pray I'm about as Catholic as they come. I looked up the patron saint of everything I could think of that was even slightly related to what was wrong with me, and what was wrong in my life. At the apex, I was praying seven or eight novenas, each followed by a relevant chaplet, six or so of them nine times per day, another that included five decades of the Rosary, and one that I said once before all my prayers, and once at the end of the day after them. To find time for it all I had to record myself praying aloud and play it in the car so I could pray along with it. It was about three hours of vocal prayer every day, and that went on for months. Funny enough, though, most of the healing came at the start, before it got so intense. That's probably why it got so intense, and lasted. That's why God gave me miracles and graces left right and center (yes, multiple naturally inexplicable miracles). Not because I was deserving. None of us are. He did that because it was what was going to break through my deafness, the walls I'd built up around myself, and restore my faith to what it had once been, and more. Around 12 years ago I seriously considered the seminary, but I knew part of me was looking at it like "THAT! That'll be the thing to fix my whole life." I knew that that was no reason to become a priest, so I never really discerned my vocation. The various states of my faith over the years are probably an interesting thing to hash out more fully, and maybe some day I'll do that. I just wanted to illustrate where I was before I went into the darkness - I wasn't lukewarm my whole life. I was a real live, believing, practicing Catholic. When I was 10-11 I was the only one in my family who went to church every Sunday. I'd ride my bike there, to don my alb and cincture. I had a big, vibrant, deep-rooted and firm faith that got pushed down under the weight of all kinds of stuff. But I digress.
I see the imperfect, weak, sinful person, now. Not the actions, and the wrongs against me, and an obstacle to my most treasured desires. No. I see the pain that I know all too well. I don't know if I'm right about that, but seeing the possibility, feeling real, deep, true empathy for this man. I'll be honest I never thought I'd get to that point. Loving him, as an act of will, because Christ demands it of me? Yes. Feeling a connection with him? Seeing myself, and my own fears and pains in him, and wanting to help him find a path to healing? That seemed a rather far fetched outcome. But here we are!
So maybe I'm right tonight, or maybe I'm not. Either way it's a grace. The possibility I've been shown ... the power of faith, hope, and love. And of these, love is the greatest!
Pray that the Holy Spirit inspires me (or someone) with the words, and actions that will bring this suffering soul to Christ's true Church, so that he can receive the sacraments, and heal his mind and his soul. Please, please pray for him.
Keeping everyone affected by pornography in my prayers. Please keep me in yours too.
Requesting prayers for detachment and discernment brothers and sisters in Christ!
Hope you are all having a blessed Holy Week.
You are blessed to already have wisdom to be seeking these instead of vain things, so I pray that this grace remain with you always, that you increase in all virtues, and that you continue to seek God and grow in His grace, love, and mercy.
From St Peter Faber:
I beg of you, my Lord,
to remove anything which separates
me from you, and you from me.
Remove anything that makes me unworthy
of your sight, your control, your reprehension;
of your speech and conversation,
of your benevolence and love.
Cast from me every evil
that stands in the way of my seeing you,
hearing, tasting, savoring, and touching you;
fearing and being mindful of you;
knowing, trusting, loving, and possessing you;
being conscious of your presence
and, as far as may be, enjoying you.
This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from you. Amen.
Hi, I'm new here but not new to this journey. I wanted to share some things with you all that may be of assistance in your journey.
The first is a perfect act of contrition, which can put you back into the state of santifying grace once made before you are able to visit the confessional. The full details of what it is and how to make one are described in a good sermon by Fr Selway. Unfortunately I can't yet post links, but if you google "libsyn Sermon: Frequent Acts of Perfect Contrition, by Fr. Selway" you'll find it. An act of perfect contrition is how those who lived before Christ reconciled themselves to God, but continues to remain available to all his faithful.
It requires that the penitent be truly sorry for his sins, not out of self love or fear of damnation, but because they have a truly contrite heart and are sorry for offending God, who is infinitely good and deserving of all love. An act of perfect contrition is not impossible for the everyday man, indeed it is possible for all men, including the worst of sinners, provided you ask God for the grace to make it worthily.
It does not replace confession. You must confess your sins to a Priest as soon as is practicibly possible and before recieving the eucharist.
Death has been conquered by death my friends!! Have hope.
He is risen!
Catholic Answers Live radio program:
Guest is Matt Fradd, author of The Porn Myth
"Most people overestimate what they
can do in a day, and underestimate
what they can do in a month.
We overestimate what we can do in
a year, and underestimate what we
can accomplish in a decade."
"If you learn to take the long
view, you will find yourself in
possession of two of life's most
precious commodities: patience and
"Taking the long view teaches us to
be patient, and all of life is better
for a patient person. Patience will
pay immeasurable dividends in
your career, marriage, parenting,
health and well-being, personal
finances, and in your spiritual
"So, get really good at delaying
gratification. Hone this skill.
Become a master of this ability and
you will become master of yourself."
"The constant denial of self in small
things will give you the clarity of
heart, mind, and soul to see the
present for what it really is and the
future for what it still can be."
I went a long way on the path, and I haven't done PMO in a while. And it feels great, but I am still a little worried, because physical pain there.
Should I stop thinking about it? I mean there is wet-dreams, but those doesn't always help.
Keep on keeping on. Ask Mary Help of Christians to ... help ... you ... a Christian.
I don't know if you've been doing the cold showers thing, but if you have or are open to it, let the cold water run "down there" for a while. The cold will help reduce pain/swelling. Don't do it in the spirit of self-punishment, though.
If you have access to a place to go swimming, that might help as well.
When I would have pain, I found going for a fairly long bike ride helped. The seat puts pressure on the prostate area, and it may kind of squeeze that area like a sponge, allowing some excess to be eliminated.
Try different skivvies - Wearing briefs at all times has been better for me than boxer shorts.
And treat it as a person would treat other pains: take some anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. See what works. I found Excedrin (aspirin, acetaminophen, caffeine) takes the edge off pretty well. I thought about using a benzocaine spray to numb the area, but never tried it.
The most important thing, though, is to radically stop anything that inflames the passions. Nip impure thoughts in the bud - immediately. Do not look at anything sexually attractive. Little by little, increase your prayer life. Read a little from the Bible every day. Mental prayer is key. Give God the firstfruits of your life. Go to confession regularly, like once a fortnight (this is extremely beneficial). Doing these things, I have gotten to Day 40 now with zero pain, and "the thoughts," which would usually be buzzing around my head like a cloud of flies by week 3 or so, are gone. My mind is so much quieter now. This has been the easiest streak yet.
dear Catholic fapstronauts, I would really appreciate if you would look at my thread and give some advices! I don't really want to listen secular bullshit about self acceptance etc.
Pax et bono!