Discerning the priesthood and sexual sin


#1

Hello. I am new to this site and this is my first post. There may have been threads on something like this before, but this is my own personal experience. I have been discerning the priesthood for several years now. I has been in my mind since I was like in the 6th grade. I am 22 years old now and a senior in college. I have this strong feeling and desire that God is calling me to the priesthood, but the thing that seems to be holding me back is my problem/addiction to porn and masturbation. I have tried to stop many many times but it just seems that human desire always wins over. It seems physically impossible to stop masturbating. I have several good relationships with priests and the vocation director in my archdiocese so I am in constant contact with them on my discernment. Just wondering if anyone has advice for me? I also need prayers for my continued discernment, and I myself need to continue to beat this sin. Thanks for reading and God bless!


#2

[quote="Shaw2122, post:1, topic:247555"]
Hello. I am new to this site and this is my first post. There may have been threads on something like this before, but this is my own personal experience. I have been discerning the priesthood for several years now. I has been in my mind since I was like in the 6th grade. I am 22 years old now and a senior in college. I have this strong feeling and desire that God is calling me to the priesthood, but the thing that seems to be holding me back is my problem/addiction to porn and masturbation. I have tried to stop many many times but it just seems that human desire always wins over. It seems physically impossible to stop masturbating. I have several good relationships with priests and the vocation director in my archdiocese so I am in constant contact with them on my discernment. Just wondering if anyone has advice for me? I also need prayers for my continued discernment, and I myself need to continue to beat this sin. Thanks for reading and God bless!

[/quote]

Sin, who told you it is sin? why do you want to become a priest? You did not say a word about it!

UMMMMmmmmm

Go and get a girl, marry her and have kids, be an apostle, preach the word of God to your colleagues, help the poor, pray and you are a priest, As S. Paul said (quoting by memory, I may be wrong) we are all priests. Forget about priesthood. I am not telling you to do that, but it is merely my personal feelings. Had you a true vocation you had the problem solved centuries ago as since the 6th grade things are on and off.

Maybe that was not what you wanted to hear but, listen, I am saying only my personal opinion which is worth what is worth.....

Ready to help if you need.

:banghead:


#3

I meditating on the word of God (The Bible). And also buying a rosary and praying with it. This how to pray it.

newadvent.org/images/rosary.pdf

And also go to Church and to confession!

God bless :byzsoc:

David.


#4

[quote="Shaw2122, post:1, topic:247555"]
Hello. I am new to this site and this is my first post. There may have been threads on something like this before, but this is my own personal experience. I have been discerning the priesthood for several years now. I has been in my mind since I was like in the 6th grade. I am 22 years old now and a senior in college. I have this strong feeling and desire that God is calling me to the priesthood, but the thing that seems to be holding me back is my problem/addiction to porn and masturbation. I have tried to stop many many times but it just seems that human desire always wins over. It seems physically impossible to stop masturbating. I have several good relationships with priests and the vocation director in my archdiocese so I am in constant contact with them on my discernment. Just wondering if anyone has advice for me? I also need prayers for my continued discernment, and I myself need to continue to beat this sin. Thanks for reading and God bless!

[/quote]

This may be helpful for you. The priest who wrote it is also our diocesan vocations director and also someone I go to regularly for confession and spiritual guidance. I hope you will continue your discernment and disregard the rather uncharitable reply earlier.

thealternatepath.blogspot.com/2011/07/celibates-take-on-state-of-sex-and.html


#5

Well, I am discerning the priesthood because I feel God is calling me to serve him in my life. I love Christ and his Church and I want it to be a big part of my life. I know I can do that in marriage by raising a family in the Catholic Church, but being a priest is what I feel my calling is.


#6

You should make your spiritual advisor aware of this problem and follow their advice. Since priests are called to be celebate, this could be a big barrier between you and the priesthood.


#7

[quote="Shaw2122, post:5, topic:247555"]
Well, I am discerning the priesthood because I feel God is calling me to serve him in my life. I love Christ and his Church and I want it to be a big part of my life. I know I can do that in marriage by raising a family in the Catholic Church, but being a priest is what I feel my calling is.

[/quote]

Then that is what you should pursue. The Church is very good at helping young men follow that path and helping them realize when they should leave it. I know of a number of people who spent six years in formation only to stop just short of ordination. There is nothing wrong with that.


#8

There are a number of young men in seminary and discerning their vocation who frequent this forum. They are serious and Godly men who can give you better advice than just giving up your calling because you, like all of us, struggle with sin. I am praying for you and all young men who are discerning their vocation.


#9

Shaw2122 How is your prayer life? You are right. You can't defeat this. Not without God. All things are possible with Him. Battling with sin, and relying on yourself only, without asking for his help in my experience is a losing battle.

Keep away or at least Limit your time around anything that is a near occasion of sin. Keep your eyes pure. Keep alert and don't entertain impurity in your thoughts. Try to pray when you do.

Go to confession and pray the ROSARY, daily or at the very least whenever you are tempted. If you don't feel like it --- and you'd rather give in --- even more reason to pray.

[quote="supertubos, post:2, topic:247555"]
Sin, who told you it is sin?

[/quote]

It is a sin. It is of grave matter.


#10

[quote="Shaw2122, post:5, topic:247555"]
Well, I am discerning the priesthood because I feel God is calling me to serve him in my life. I love Christ and his Church and I want it to be a big part of my life. I know I can do that in marriage by raising a family in the Catholic Church, but being a priest is what I feel my calling is.

[/quote]

Get a spiritual director and go to him for regular confession. He will advise you on your vocation and on combating sin.

My advice- Start the application process, finish college, PRAY. Go to daily mass as much as possible, and frequent adoration. If at the end of this next year you still feel that you might have a calling to the priesthood then finish your application and go to seminary. You will enter as a Pre-Theologian and will have 5 years of seminary to further discern. After 3rd Theology you would be ordained a deacon and the year after a priest. It is important to note the seminary is for DISCERNMENT, you don't sign yourself away on the first day of class. It will give you an opportunity to get a taste of diocesan priesthood. If you are feeling a call to a fraternity or the monastic life talk to your vocations director. Good luck and God bless!


#11

ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/granada.htm

THE SINNER'S GUIDE


#12

RE

After reading your email, I personally do not think the priesthoosd is for you, If you have a masturbation problem and addicted to porn, how, at the same time can you be studying for the holy priesthood? These problems would interfere with you theological studies and besides, h ow could you receiv e the Body and Blood of CHrist when you are in mortal sin?

I do not think a priest could help you because they are not trained in this catergorty; besides, in your psychological testing, something would show up that you have a problem and the vocation director would question it.

You have lots of time for the priesthood. I would suggest seeing a psychiatrist and if that does help you or get rid of your problems, than try the priesthood.

There are other wyas of serving Christ besides t he priesthood. From my experiences, I would DISCOURAGE you in applyin for the priesthood with these problems.

If you do enter, you are going to under go numerous stress.

Go to the pyschiatirst and he probably can tell you where these problems stem from you.

Remember, if you enter the seminary now, that will be a GRAVE sin.


#13

First, if you have several good relationships with priests and your vocational director, why are you posting here? :confused:

My guess is that they are advising you one way and you are looking for alternative advice. Either they are leaning toward a priestly vocation and you want to head another way, or vice-versa.

The only thing that I get from your post is that you are a sinner and perhaps think that you need to stop sinning in order to be a priest.

Priests sin. They are men. They are not perfect. You are not being a hypocrite if you take an oath of celibacy and do not honor it, as long as your intentions are noble.

Know that you are forgiven. Even if you don't feel like you are forgiven, God's word tells us that you are forgiven. If the guilt of sin prevents you from fulfilling your vocation, guess who wins? Yep. Satan wins.


#14

[quote="Jim_Roberts, post:12, topic:247555"]
These problems would interfere with you theological studies and besides, h ow could you receiv e the Body and Blood of CHrist when you are in mortal sin?

[/quote]

The same way the rest of us sinners do, through the grace of the sacrament of reconciliation.

I do not think a priest could help you because they are not trained in this catergorty; besides, in your psychological testing, something would show up that you have a problem and the vocation director would question it.

Priests are absolutely trained in this area. Most of them will tell that this is one of the most common things which come up in confession.

.

Remember, if you enter the seminary now, that will be a GRAVE sin.

That is patently false. As another poster mentioned earlier, seminary, in addition to being a time of formation, is also one of discernment.

To the OP, talk to your diocesan vocations director about this issue.


#15

My concern is that you are not in recovery from your addiction. As someone who has battled this same addiction I can assure you that your view of yourself and the world will change radically once you have significant recovery from this disease. This addiction is extremely serious and has robbed you and will continue to rob you of knowledge of yourself, genuine relationships, the gift of the present and precisely what your true calling is in this world. I therefore urge you to find a counselor to guide you through the process of recovery. I would also suggest that you attend either SA, SLA or SAA meetings in your area to gain knowledge about this disease and connect with people that understand what you are battling. I also urge you to participate frequently in the sacrament of Reconcilliation. Once you have a few years of sexual sobriety, 3-4 years, and if you still have a calling to the priesthood I would feel confident that your perception of that calling will be so very different than what you preceive it to be now that you will know what the Holy Spirit is seeking you to do. Please know that recovery is possible and that you will lead a life that God has chosen for you. Peace, g


#16

I've been told from nonCatholic secular people that it is normal for a man to be in these kind of activities and there is nothing to be ashamed of. But for me it is something I need to fight and I know I can beat it by continuing to focus on prayer and God. And not things of just empty pleasure.

And I have talked to one priest about my problem and he has suggested I continue to pray for guidance and avoid situations where I may be tempted to commit such a sin. Thanks for all your advice.


#17

First of all, there is no rush. You're still young and the fact that you're almost done with school doesn't mean you have to jump straight into seminary to start your preparation to become a priest. Take some time after school to just think and discern what it is you are meant to do.

I'm 23 and that's what I'm doing right now - just taking some time to figure out if what I'm meant to do is pursue a degree in Theology or not. I've given myself about 6 months starting last week. If I still feel that's what I should do 6 months from now, then I will do it. You could do something similar, perhaps take a bit longer, and see how things go. Pray the rosary DAILY, go to Confession as soon as possible after you give in to sin, and NEVER GIVE UP. Your first step needs to be to take the time to take care of yourself, and that means dealing and solving the problems you are currently having with your addiction. It's not the end of the world, you can beat this, I've heard of many men (and know one of them) who have beat this addiction.

Also, someone mention this could be a psychological issue...take the time to look into that. It sounds like you've made up your mind, but have you made up your heart regarding priesthood? Maybe your current problem with porn and masturbation is something that's telling you you should be looking in a different direction (as in, not a celibate life - aka something other than priesthood). They're still problems that need to be dealt with for sure, but I'm just wondering whether, since you've already 'decided' you want to be a priest, you are not allowing yourself to see signs that you're being shown?

I may be completely off with that, it is perfectly valid that you've known, in your HEART, that this is what you've wanted since 6th grade. But I still hold what I said - first take the time to take care of yourself, grow as an individual, grow in your spiritual life...and then go back to discerning whether you're called to priesthood or not.

I will keep you in my prayers! And know you can beat this! Believe in yourself, stop thinking "I am going to mess up again" and start thinking "I'm strong, Jesus is with me, next time I have that impulse...I'll beat it."

God bless and the best of luck to you!


#18

Remember, the Church is the BEST bride that you could ever have! She so beautiful beyond compare!

(No offense, ladies) :stuck_out_tongue:


#19

I could not have put it better than Tighty Whitey. He is right on the mark and knows what he is talking about. In addition to all that Tighty Whitey said, I also suggest that you find a certified sex addiction therapist in your area. In addition there are some excellent books on the subject. Look for almost anything by Patrick Carnes. Another good one is "The Game Plan" by Joe Dallas. Fell free to PM me if you have any further questions. You can use this site to find a sex addiction counselor.

iitap.com/find_csat.cfm


#20

I'm the same age as you are and heading off to seminary in August. I can tell you that I used to struggle with this same sin and occasionally it will come up again. Two years ago I began to pray a daily rosary and I went to Confession at least every two weeks if not every week depending and I would ask God to forgive me of this addiction. Eventually the addiction went away although I still struggle and sometimes I fall, when I fall I still know that God loves me and that I need to go to Confession immediately after. Read the book To Save a Thousand Souls by Fr. Brett Brannen. I promise it will help you in your goal. First though try and get your addiction under control and once you can get this under control apply for seminary. Having a Spiritual Director will also help you greatly in ending your addiction. God bless, keep the faith, and stay strong you will make it!

Jeff


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