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  #16  
Old Dec 15, '11, 10:42 am
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joshvanrad joshvanrad is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

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Originally Posted by Nom the Wise View Post
Absolutely. I was lazy yesterday by just reposting your and DarrenOglesby's posts. I don't think I was calling you out on anything. I was a seminarian years ago (didn't get ordained) and I'm keenly aware of the piety that is gripping vacation92. Going into the seminary you expect everyone to be a little bit "holier than thou." You actually have the expectation and it's not always met. I won't go into scandalous details or anything, but of course priests are human.

One of my classmates had an absolute attachment to stuffed animals and Star Trek (he had models of the Enterprise and I think at least one klingon ship hanging from his ceiling). He went on to be ordained. Another classmate was offered pot the day after we had all unpacked, and that guy (the pot smoker) went on to be ordained, but I have it on good authority that he doesn't smoke pot anymore. And the priests at our seminary always lamented that the #1 thing they heard in confession was about masturbation. I don't say they lamented it in terms of not taking it seriously, but it is a very common sin and the easy accessability to porn on-line doesn't help at all. Here in CAF there is always an active thread about masturbation, usually more than one running at a time.

I think what needs to be said is that sex was recently (within the last 10 years at least) elevated on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is a very human thing to do. The focus of seminary formations is to teach men how to achieve personal intimacy in healthy relationships especially for those discerning a celibate vocation. I'm married now, but sexual expression in marriage is never quite as...consistent as one would hope so even in marriage, managing one's appetites is still on the itinerary as it were.

I wish that CAF would post something like what I'm saying as a "sticky thread" on Moral Theology. A kind of official acknowledgement that masturbation is so common of a struggle for many and a disciplined prayer life is truly the only defense against it, coupled with healthy friendships with plenty of platonic hugs.
I completely agree. I have recently been speaking with a friend, who was once a seminarian, and we discussed chastity and self-mastery in depth.

In a world with lust all around us and sexual desires every corner you turn the only way to truly combat it is to master one's self through prayer. Chastity is more than just not looking at women and denying yourself the ability to appreciate beauty- that is not freedom from sin, it is running from it. Through prayer and self-discipline you can teach yourself how to truly be open to the appreciation of beauty and the opposite sex while still being chaste. I say, tell women they are beautiful and acknowledge that you are attracted to women. BUT, realize that there is an order in living a holy life and they are a child of God and not just an object of lust. Chastity is acknowledging the beauty that surrounds us while still keeping in mind that beauty is a gift given from God, and he wants us to respect that gift in a holy way.

God's blessings,
Joshua
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  #17  
Old Dec 15, '11, 10:48 am
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

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Originally Posted by DasErlibnis View Post
The New Testament says its better to marry than to be consumed with lust.
Someone with a porn addiction has no business getting married.


-Tim-
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  #18  
Old Dec 15, '11, 5:05 pm
DarrenOglesby DarrenOglesby is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Yea, I made a 3 day visit to the seminary in October. It was my observance that seminarians are usually not too Pius. It was nice, they took their faith serious, as well as their prayer time and chapel time.

But outside of that, they are normal people.

This was a college seminary so everyone was around my age 18-24 ish.

I talked to the rector a long time ago, and he hears it regularly in the confessional too.
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  #19  
Old Dec 18, '11, 8:19 am
ringil ringil is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

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Originally Posted by vacation92 View Post
Hi all!

Ever since I could remember I always considered a vocation to the priesthood. In fact, many in my family always said I would be a priest (as well as a couple priests and sisters). I go through phases of preferring the priesthood and married life. I want to start really discerning my call. The one problem is that I have had a pornography and masturbation addiction since the 7th grade and I am now a freshman in college. Honestly, I want to stop, but it is difficult. The most I could go without masturbating is a week it seems like. My body caves in. I feel like St. Paul,"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate."

I am hoping to work within my next few years of college to kick the habit however, I want to do it now. I want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

Will this effect my chances of joining the priesthood? I want to stop so that I can fully and better discern my vocation.

God bless you all.
Also as you get older resisting these sins will get easier with changes in hormones.
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  #20  
Old Dec 18, '11, 11:19 am
3Sanctus 3Sanctus is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Someone further up the chain (Tim I believe?) said something about trying to appreciate human relationships. This is important!

First of all, you must certainly make sure you don't objectify other people - and this extends beyond sexual sin, but is particularly relavent to sexual sin. Whether we are looking at pictures of people or at people themselves, we must always see them as children of God. If you have a little sister or a niece of nephew, you could think about how people do (or one day will, when they grow up) objectify these loved ones of yours. Consider how that would make you feel, and realize that's how God feels when we objectify one of His dear children - yet He loves them far more than we could ever hope to loved our dear ones.

Another potential issue is the fact many young men who aren't dating tend to not communicate well with women and tend to not having meaningful relationships with women - and when they do can tend to err on the side of being too much "one of the girls" or too goofy - if you will excuse the phraseology. We don't have enough real men in our generation (being raised by a single mom for most of my life, I can certainly see this in myself and have tried to man-up and become more independent in a responsible way as I've grown...but I digress). My point is, going along with the first point, we must interact with people in a meaningful way and learn to see all people as God's children. If he have more meaningful relationships with people of the opposite gender, it can help to change our perception of that gender in general (young men or women who don't interact much with the opposite gender, like the stereotypical geek, tend to have unnaturally good or poor ideas about the opposite gender and tend to have difficulty in genuinely valuing its members - in my experience geeks have at least as much a masturbation problem as anyone else from other social groupings, and I believe this may be part of why that is).

Most importantly, give yourself up to Our Blessed Lady and to Saint Joseph, approaching Our Lord through them for the sake of purity and chastity. Our Lady is the paramount example within creation for those who struggle with sins of the flesh - she lights the way and if we abandon ourselves to her love, she will never lead us astray or let us down. Saint Joseph, as Our Lady's most chaste spouse, is also a great help in struggles against impurity. A particularly efficacious prayer reads:

Quote:
Oh Guardian of Virgins and holy Father Saint Joseph, into who faithful keeping were entrusted Christ Jesus, Innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, I pray and beseech thee by these dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that, being preserved from all uncleanness, I may with spotless mind, pure heart, and caste body ever serve Jesus and Mary most chastely all the days of my life. Amen.
I found this prayer in "Favorite Prayers to St. Joseph," a little 73-page booklet I found at a local parish. It is published by Tan and I would strongly recommend it - I use that and a couple of other prayers from the booklet on a daily basis. It also has a number of litanies - really it has at least one thing for about every occasion, please check it out if you can find one at your parish (the parish where I found it have it on their book rack with a suggested $3.00 donation, though the book will pay for itself the first time you use it!)

I would also suggest you read "True Devotion to Mary" by Saint Louis de Montfort. A proper devotion to the Holy Mother of God is not something we can afford to dismiss, not worry about, or treat as trimming to our spiritual/prayer life. I recently read this book and it has increased my piety and strengthened me greatly - it has made my contrition for my sins and for my failings much more meaningful and since I have begun to strengthen my relationship with the Mother of God I have found myself able to better offer myself to Him in prayer and especially while assisting at Mass. Even if you do not read this book, be certain to improve your relationship with the Mother of Our Lord - next to God she is the greatest help or aid we can ever hope to find with regards to our salvation.

For this reason, as well as for its own particular efficaciousness, be certain to pray the Rosary regularly, daily if possible - and take it slow. If you finish your Rosary in 10-15 minutes, while you may gain something it is possible you are rushing past graces on the way to that final Sign of the Cross - allow yourself to pray slowly, confidently, and thoughtfully; allow yourself to offer through Mary yourself to Our Lord with the fullness of your capacity as a human. The Rosary isn't a race, it is a loving contemplation of what Our Lord has done for us - it can be difficult, especially at first, but work to not rush through the Rosary when you pray it.

Continued next post...
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  #21  
Old Dec 18, '11, 11:19 am
3Sanctus 3Sanctus is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Most importantly, frequent the sacraments! Confession and Communion are your greatest weapons in this battle - I would suggest weekly Confession in an effort to drive out this wicked, sinful impulse. Even if you only confess venial sins, Confession provides the grace necessary to fight the good fight and overcome all our shortcomings - do not neglect it! Also, receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist as often as possible - and even when you are not properly disposed to receive Him, assist at Mass with all devotion as regularly as you reasonably can. When making yourself ready to receive Our Lord worthily, don't count having been to Confession as sufficient - work to excite heartfelt contrition within yourself every time you are to receive, and every time you assist at Mass. Once you have received Our Lord, don't neglect to contemplate the awesomeness of this gift fully and to consider how fortunate we are! Remember how the prophets of old longed to lay eyes on Our Savior, but it is we - not they, though they were certainly more deserving than I! - who Christ has deigned to offer Himself to in this Sacrament of His Love! WOW!

Hopefully you will find something helpful here. The Peace of the Lord be with you always - never give up! Christ has conquered death - how much simpler will it be for Him to conquer our insignificant failings if we but allow Him to do so!
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  #22  
Old Dec 19, '11, 10:43 am
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anruari anruari is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catholic1954 View Post
Until you can kick this evil addiction for good, you will not be considered for the priesthood and frankly, you are not a good choice for a husband either. I'm sure you are a great guy, with many fine qualities, but this habit puts your focus on yourself, something that cannot be done as a good and holy priest or a loving and selfless husband. There is help out there and you are not alone, don't ever quit trying or praying for strength and guidence from the Holy Spirit. You can kick this habit and have the life you are ment to have, but there is A LOT of hard work ahead of you. You can do it and we will be praying for you.
I have to disagree with Catholic1954 !!!
I do not mean to understate the importance and dangers of Sin, however Jesus comes to us in our sinfulness.
While I have rarely used porn, I have struggled with masturbation for my entire post adolescent life.
Every confessor I have had has always advised me not to be too harsh on myself about the issue, as allowing feelings of guilt about this matter to intrude into other areas of my life is more damaging and therefore a greater barrier between me and the Grace of the Lord.

In many ways this is much like Smoking. Smoking is a grave sin against the commandment "Thou shalt not kill". it is a form of slow suicide.
but while caught in the addiction, the individual cigarette carries less cause for guilt due to the mitigation caused by the addiction.
It is the addiction that needs to be broken. permitting that to continue is the greater sin. That is the attachment to / enslavement to sin which destroys our relationship with ourself, those around us - especially family - and God.

Similarly I think the following about masturbation:
the individual act of masturbating is a relatively less serious sin. it is serious not because that one act is hugely damaging - but precisely because it is habit-forming, and precisely because it normally goes hand in hand with fantasizing about and objectifying those people who are the focus of your fantasies during the act.
The habit greatly damages our relationship with God. The fantasies greatly damage our ability to have wholesome relationships with those people around us (especially those of the gender we are drawn to in fantasy during the act... for men this is most often women unless there is same sex attraction involved as well - that's a whole extra problem)

Here's the warning, and the reason for disagreeing with the quoted post:
Letting yourself become too focused on this one problem - especially in the force of a long standing habit, leaves you open to the dispondancy due to the almost inevitable failures. This leads to a rejection of the virtue of Hope. Feeling dispondant will then open your heart to taking solace in precisely that habit which is the cause of your problems.

My advice:
Re porn: Get rid of any magazines you have. burn them! make a ritual out of it. Give them to God.
Cancel any subscriptions to paper or internet services.
Ask your internet service provider to activate any available parental controls. - if you live with your parents. ask them to do so.
Ask your mobile phone provider to do the same.

If possible use a hardware firewall that blocks unsavoury sites. These are beginning to become more affordable for home PC's. If necessary build one from an old PC or laptop & install a Linux based firewall system. set this up between the compters you use in the house and the outside world. Old laptops are heap and use little electricity. Do not set up a windows system on this computer so it cant be directly used to surf for porn to bypass it's own protection. -
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  #23  
Old Dec 19, '11, 3:31 pm
4givemeasinner 4givemeasinner is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Hi!

I think most everyone has said it all already. However, I am discerning a vocation to the priesthood as well and I used to have the same problems you are going through now. Remember that you are a beloved child of God (priest or not) and that through prayer you can stop. Daily mass is extremely helpful. I would also recommend finding a good confessor (your parish priest, spirtual director, etc.) and when you feel the urge to offer a sincere Hail Mary.

You are in my prayers.
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  #24  
Old Dec 19, '11, 5:45 pm
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iloveangels iloveangels is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by vacation92 View Post
Hi all!

Ever since I could remember I always considered a vocation to the priesthood. In fact, many in my family always said I would be a priest (as well as a couple priests and sisters). I go through phases of preferring the priesthood and married life. I want to start really discerning my call. The one problem is that I have had a pornography and masturbation addiction since the 7th grade and I am now a freshman in college. Honestly, I want to stop, but it is difficult. The most I could go without masturbating is a week it seems like. My body caves in. I feel like St. Paul,"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate."

I am hoping to work within my next few years of college to kick the habit however, I want to do it now. I want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

Will this effect my chances of joining the priesthood? I want to stop so that I can fully and better discern my vocation.

God bless you all.

It should affect your chances of joining the priesthood. This is a very serious problem. Even if you do stop, you should see a counselor to figure out why this happened to you because it is not a persistent problem like this with most people. I would suggest putting any plans for priesthood away, until you deal with this definitively.

PS. You do know, I hope, that an adult, whether in the priesthood or in business, or even in a marriage, who has a porn collection is usually in trouble. People get arrested for such things. Get rid of it.
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  #25  
Old Dec 20, '11, 8:36 pm
werstrng werstrng is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

i'v had this problem for a long time not knowing it was a sin but now that i do it has been less but i still cant stop. do i need to go to confession each time do it?
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  #26  
Old Dec 21, '11, 7:10 am
3Sanctus 3Sanctus is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

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Originally Posted by werstrng View Post
i'v had this problem for a long time not knowing it was a sin but now that i do it has been less but i still cant stop. do i need to go to confession each time do it?
Absolutely! Masturbation is a mortal sin - that means if we receive Holy Communion without having made a good confession after having committed this act, we simply heap more guilt and judgment on ourselves and thereby multiply our offenses against God.

Additionally, remember that if we die in a state of unrepentant (unconfessed) mortal sin we will go to Hell.

Take heart, though! We have great means at our disposal for the conquest of the evils of this world and for every trap laid before us by the evil one and even those we lay before ourselves through imprudence and our own fallen nature.

Take full advantage of the graces God provides for our deliverance from sin (some ideas that may help can be found in this thread) and you can, given time and patience, relieve yourself of this heavy burden. It may seem impossible, but all that is necessary to make it happen is to give it up to God - when we dwell on something that seems difficult and consider what "we" have to do to complete the difficult task we are discouraged, but to God all things are a simple matter of will - if He wills it, then it will be! Offer your life and your particular problems up to Him, conform yourself more fully to His Will through the intercession and love of His Immaculate Mother, and allow her, by the Grace of God, to transform you in her womb as she transformed Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gods grace and mercy be with you - as long as you never give up, neither will God!
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  #27  
Old Dec 22, '11, 9:36 pm
auderyja auderyja is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

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Originally Posted by DasErlibnis View Post
The New Testament says its better to marry than to be consumed with lust.
Oh, that's what happened with one of St Francis of Assisi's brothers in the movie "Brother Sun, Sister Moon".
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  #28  
Old Dec 24, '11, 1:26 pm
DanPF DanPF is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

By all means go for a vocation. Almost everyone struggles with these, and similar, issues. Sometimes even those in consecrated life.

Even after being accepted into an order/seminary, there will still be quite a wait until final vows are taken. This time will be a time of growth and discernment.

Peace+
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  #29  
Old Dec 29, '11, 3:45 pm
Captain America Captain America is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

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Originally Posted by ringil View Post
Also as you get older resisting these sins will get easier with changes in hormones.
This is what I'd point out. For me, that hormonal insanity started lessening around age 25 or so.

You might want to consider the initial motivation you might have for pornography: why did you seek it out? I never had an addiction, but I can remember that thrill I'd get from the secretive behavior of hiding a Playboy magazine (and the thrilling fear of perhaps getting caught): quite like the thrill of shoplifting, even if you've got cash. I think for many that particular secretiveness buzz is just as important as the physical pleasure.
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  #30  
Old Jan 1, '12, 7:43 pm
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ATeutonicKnight ATeutonicKnight is offline
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Default Re: Discernment & a porn/masturbation addiction

Quote:
Originally Posted by vacation92 View Post
Hi all!

Ever since I could remember I always considered a vocation to the priesthood. In fact, many in my family always said I would be a priest (as well as a couple priests and sisters). I go through phases of preferring the priesthood and married life. I want to start really discerning my call. The one problem is that I have had a pornography and masturbation addiction since the 7th grade and I am now a freshman in college. Honestly, I want to stop, but it is difficult. The most I could go without masturbating is a week it seems like. My body caves in. I feel like St. Paul,"I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate."

I am hoping to work within my next few years of college to kick the habit however, I want to do it now. I want to be rid of it as soon as possible.

Will this effect my chances of joining the priesthood? I want to stop so that I can fully and better discern my vocation.

God bless you all.
I will add my experiences with both of these addictions and my discernment later (As I am on my iPod), but know that these problems will not make you somehow unelligible for Seminary. In fact, it very well may be Seminary that helps you kick these addictions.
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