The good news is that I no longer masturbate or watch porn. However, I sometimes remember lustful thought from the past that I willfully allow into my mind; I do not really dwell on them, but I allow them into my mind thinking that I must uproot these memories and not repress them. When these memories arise, I do not get sexually aroused, but I repent of my past sins and soon afterwards the memories disappear. I do not know what causes these memories to surface, but I do willfully allow them into my mind so that I can successfully deal with them, and not allow them to turn into unconscious conflicts. Am I sinning by allowing them into my mind?
What do you think? You, like the rest of us, are disordered. That means we will have these thoughts. It doesn’t mean we’re guilty of them like we would be if we were to indulge in them.
You said that you don’t indulge in them. Seems cut and dry. Even if it weren’t, it would only be venial. Only God knows what’s really in your heart, but if you often ask yourself questions like this you *may *suffer from scrupulosity.
That being said, great job resisting the lures of lust. These are not easy beasts to best, but with the grace of God, persevere!
Seems like for now you are handling them all right, but this may be a ploy by the enemy to get you to let your guard down… the saints who have written about combatting one’s vices advise *running from *those thoughts, unlike their advice for certain other vices. So maybe not sinning, but possibly endangering yourself.
We are never to rely on ourselves, and always to rely on God, Who alone can truly rid us of our bad habits.
You might try reading or listening to Spiritual Combat, which is available in both formats at CCEL.