Catholic since this past Easter and already thinking about giving up on being Catholic

As the title reads. Like seemingly most people, the area of morality I have struggled with the most has been in the area of sexuality. I fought self-abuse and pornography use and have been able to fight these off for several weeks at a time.

But there always seems to be some way that my sexual energy gets out otherwise. No matter how much I pray, I find myself looking at pictures of women in bikinis, or sometimes I’ll tell my fiancee all the things I want (“marital relations”) after we get married. All of these things seem mortally sinful and not like something I am capable of completely erasing from myself.

It seems like my personality is incompatible with what God wants out of me, and that Hell is pretty much inevitable. So what’s even the point of pretending to want to please God if my base desires are so disordered and antithetical to what pleases Him? All that happens is that I struggle with my thoughts, a bunch of grumpy Catholics bark at me about how I have complete control of who I am and what/how I think, when in reality they have no clue about how difficult this all is for me, and I’m left trying to pray in the dark.

I don’t know if I can go on like this.

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If I’ve read your past posts correctly, you’re getting married in January and you’re expecting your first child? If so, you’re under a lot of stress. Keep trying to be the best Christian you can be and give it time. Being a newlywed and new parent might help curtail your habits. Marriage will give your “energies” an outlet and having an infant will make you so tired you won’t care :grin:.

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First off, you’re not the first person to struggle with these issues. If CAF has taught me one thing it’s that these struggles are incredibly common.

Get spiritual guidance from your Priest.

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Don’t despair…Our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t make it impossible for us to become holy.

He is always waiting in the wings for us with open arms if we fall and are sorry.

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God is not surprised by your sins. He knew that you would commit them before creating you. He knows our weaknesses. He knows our hearts. Even the darkest stuff.

While you may not understand why God is allowing this to happen (your repeating sins) that’s where trust in Him comes in. He knows better than us.

Don’t give up.

Go to confession and ask a priest advice against your sexual sins💖

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Welcome to the club. I’ve had similar struggles, and can assure you that although the apprenticeship in self-mastery by which we learn to govern our passions is difficult and long, God is eager to provide the grace needed to accomplish it.

Don’t despair. I suggest that every time these thoughts enter your mind, turn to our Blessed Mother asking for her intecession and to our Lord asking for his grace to overcome them. Like me, you may have to do this dozens of times a day - just keep at it. Avail yourself of frequent confession, which is a powerful source of grace. It will get better, even if it takes a lot longer than you like.

And once again - don’t despair.

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You’re still fighting in your own strength. That’s understandable, but ultimately it isn’t the true Christian path. The true path is submission to God’s transformative operation on you, a long (usually lifelong) process by which God slowly, little by little, transforms you from a sinner into a saint. It’s not something that happens in a year, or two, or five.

Precisely: you yourself cannot erase them. Only God can erase them from you, and like I wrote above that requires your submission and a lot of time and patience. Patience means: you do not take charge of yourself, because you acknowledge that that doesn’t work. It’s the same as being a patient in a hospital: you’re not there to show the doctors how well you can fix yourself. You’re there to submit yourself to their treatment, even if the treatment takes a lifetime.

What God wants out of you, and what pleases Him, is your submission to His healing influence. Hell can be avoided, but you need to learn that it is God who will save you from perdition, not you yourself.

But then you might ask: what am I supposed to DO then? The answer is first and foremost: pray, and pray without expecting quick results. It takes years of prayer life for fundamental change in your character to materialize. Second, as best as you can, limit your opportunities for sin. That’s difficult in the modern world, but do what you can in this regard.

That’s about it. Good luck & God bless.

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Be grateful for what you have. So many men and women are single and all alone, fighting the fight. You are making plans to become married. Imagine not having that, no support, no motivation for the future. It is much harder to be Catholic, believe me.

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Get yourself before Christ in the Blessed Sacrament! Beg Him for the grace to overcome your sins and your attachment to sexual sin. He Who took flesh is fully aware of the temptations of the flesh.

Just go.

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No one will ever be a perfect Catholic. That is why we have the sacrament of confession. If we fall seven times, we get up eight. We should not despair of God’s mercy. Of course, we don’t deserve it, but He doesn’t grant it based on our merit. Never give up on yourself, He won’t give up on you. He appreciates your struggle and will always be there to lean on.

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Overcoming sin is a process and nobody said it was easy. Have great faith and look for heavenly things not this world. Replace bad habits with good habits. Reject temptation at the entrance do not give in. This will take time but in the end the spirit will prevail over the flesh.

I’ll give you a secular response, because you are tired of a “bunch of grumpy Catholics.” Have you ever wanted something in your life? If so, provided it was something good and worthwhile, did it come very easily or did you have to work hard for it? If the latter, the same applies to becoming a member of a religion. In my experience, everything worthwhile means you will stumble; but you just have to keep trying until you begin to make some improvement. The improvement may be slow, especially at the beginning until you get the hang of it. But once you do, you’ll be grateful for having made the effort.

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@Roguish,

Just wanted to give you props for this insight: it’s pretty much a concise summary of living the Catholic life! :+1::+1:

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So how would things change if you “left” the church? Do you think things would get better? Your struggles will still be there, and reconciliation will not?

Many people post how difficult how difficult things are for them. Many people have the same struggles, or other things they struggle with. People actually do have a clue. But you can’t just give up.

Catholicism helps, not hinders you. If you gave it up, you would still struggle.

First, go to your parish & ask about spiritual direction. Tell your spiritual director everything you’ve said here.

Why do you say “pretend”? You either want to or you don’t want to. You may fail from time to time, but that doesn’t mean you are pretending.

Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Know that if God wanted you to be perfect & without sin, you would be perfect & without sin. I do not understand it, but God wants us to work out our salvation with fear & trembling.

I think it’s akin to the saying, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish & he’ll never go hungry.”

God loves us… so we can love one another. God consoles us… so we can console one another. God saves us… so we can save one another.

Chances are if you persevere this experience you are having right now will help you love, console, save some poor soul who will struggle with this in the future.

Don’t give up!! It is SUPPOSED to be hard. Here’s the thing - we want a real God, infinite in wisdom and goodness. If He is INFINITELY good, then the gap between us is very great indeed. But he still wants us to become more like him, which is a long journey. It is ok to fail as long as you keep trying. It is ok to start off very weak. Just don’t give up. His mercy & affection for you is far greater than his rule-keeping. He actually forgets our sins. If you’ve confessed it, it is truly gone as far as he is concerned.

The sexual limits of Christianity are especially difficult. Back away from the specific sexual rules for a moment and think big picture. There is a reason for the rules. God does not want sex to rule our life. He does not want us enslaved to sexual desire. Keep this in mind and ask him to help bring forth sexual strength and even sexual holiness in you.

You aren’t pretending if you’re upset about it!

I think this is your cross, and in my experience, there will always be another cross when you get rid of one. This life is a struggle, but without being tested you wouldn’t grow! Do not give up my friend. As long as you are trying, you are growing.

If you ever need to chat message me! I’ve been through a lot of this as well.

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You’re a sinner on the road to Sainthood. A Saint is a sinner who doesn’t stop trying. You became Catholic that was a major step in the right direction. Because you have the Sacrament of Confession, you have a Priest who can help absolve you of your sins and help you with counsel to overcome them. DON’T give up. We all fall and we all have faults. That’s exactly why Jesus suffered and died for us so that we could turn to him and continue to get up when we fall and strive to do His will. He loves you more than you love yourself and He knows you better than you know yourself. Do your best, go to Confession as often as you need to, PRAY UNceasingly for the grace to overcome the sins you are struggling with and remember Jesus’ Divine Mercy. He loves you and He understands what you are going through. No matter how often you fall get back up and go to him in sorrow. He’s waiting for you with open arms. DON’T leave the one true Church that Jesus founded with the Sacraments and Our Lord Himself.

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You could also read up on St. Augustine when you have the time. He had some pretty serious difficulties with sexual sins before he became one of the greatest saints.

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