I have a strong desire, as I know all Catholics should, to be morally pure, but in thought and in deed. But this is of course often very difficult, especially if we have built up habits of acting in ways we should not, such as being indifferent, mean or insensitive, or sinful in some way. Does anyone know a good way to build up one’s mental and spiritual strength to be able to have the inner peace necessary to truly be moral, pure and devoted?
You cannot come to God except through the grace of God. Without His grace, you are doomed to failure. His grace is a free gift, undeserved, but granted because of His love for us. Ask and you shall receive.
Pray to God and ask His grace and help. Go to confession and acknowledge your failures. He will give an abundance of grace.
Before I came back to God, I masturbated daily. Since then, I have not. I used to have an explosive anger.
I been tempted but I ask for strength from Him and I have been able to resist temptation. When I catch myself getting to the edge, I use the following short prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Try fasting from food occasionally. It is recommended in the Bible (prayer and fasting often go together). There are two reasons why it might be helpful:
Fasting is a sacrifice to God, and like any father He is pleased by our offerings. You can skip a meal here and there for the intention of God’s assistance in your struggle.
But here’s a very important reason why fasting might help in your case: it “trains” our physical urges to be under the control of our intellect and will. It might seem like no big deal to skip lunch two days per week, but somehow it might make you stronger to resist the urge to masturbate (it won’t happen in a week’s time, but gradually you may feel stronger against temptations.)
Both hunger and sex are natural urges, but they must be controlled in a licit way. So try fasting for the two reasons mentioned above!
Thanks alot to both of you for your advice, it’s very helpful.
the traditional recommendations are prayer, fasting and almsgiving (service as well as material goods). with of course frequent recourse to the sacraments. Replacing a harmful habit with a good one is also endorsed by behavioral psychology, as well as traditional Christian spiritual direction. adding a regular holy hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, weekly at least, in contemplation of Christ and his sacrifice of love on our behalf, is the surest route to changing the underlying attitudes and disposition that are engendering the behaviors we despise.
all 3, prayer, fasting and giving, work together synergistically, each is necessary to the other and demands the other.
Try to learn to love God with all your heart, mind, and soul. The rest will come with that. Seek His will above all things, even above your own will. Always trust Him. Build humility.
I’m sure there’s more but this seems to be really foundational, based on what I’ve read in the Saints
You are both completely right. Something I have recently begun to contemplate, as we’ve been discussing suffering and sickness in reference to the anointing of the sick sacrament in RCIA, is that if we suffer and offer it up to Christ, it is added to the treasury of grace used for indulgences, and indeed is an indulgence for our own sin. I think that doing this, essentially suffering willfully and without resorting to sin to resist it, and offering it to God builds our character, as St. Paul teaches, and is redemptive, as John Paul the Great taught.