From Sin to Celibacy


#1

I know its backwards. But I will be honest as this is a tough transition for me to make. My Catholic girlfriend and I, of nearly a year, have been sexually active for some time now. I was agnostic when we met and am now a full blown RCIA-so-to-be-Catholic. Since my conversion began I have struggled with sex in a way that is hard to talk about among men my age. I can’t talk about my desires to be celibate with 20 something yr old friends of mine. I’m not as interested in it any more and when we do have sex its only euphoria that I feel and not the joy that is supposed to come with love.
That being said, I have laid down the law about my desires to return to celibacy but this is “not going to be easy” according to my girlfriend.
I’m torn. I don’t know what to think.

Maybe I just need some encouragement, definetly your prayers.


#2

First of all–I’m excited for you that you’re in RCIA!! Good for you.

Second–my husband was somewhat in the boat you’re both in…he was sexually active a few years before we met–he was in a serious relationship. He decided before meeting me, and after breaking it off with that woman, that he wanted to remain chaste until marriage. He was in his late 20’s at that time. I met my husband when he was 32, and I was 22. I waited until marriage, so for me–I didn’t have the identical struggle as him. But, it can be a struggle in another way. My husband said it was the best thing he did–returning to chastity after being sexual with others.

But, your gf is right–it won’t be easy–but doing the wrong thing to make it easier, isn’t the answer.:wink: It will bring you closer together though–believe it or not. Keep praying and praying and praying–together–for strength to remain chaste with one another. Read some good books on the subject together–I’d start with Love & Responsibility by Pope JP2–it’s a great read, and it will help you both see God’s true master plan for human sexuality. (and why it’s important to be married before having sex)

I will keep you both in my prayers. Through God’s grace, anything is possible…even this.:slight_smile:


#3

I’m in a similar situation, though I currently don’t have a girlfriend or fiancee. I’m 30, and after 15 years of focused research into sex, drugs, and general hedonism, I’ve “come back to the fold”, as my mom would say. As part of what is an ongoing conversion process, my understanding of the gift of sexuality is broadening and deepening, and as such I am choosing to be celibate because it is where my revitalized conscience is directing me.

St. Francis had a similar awakening, so you’re in good company!

You’ll be in my prayers.

–John Francis


#4

My fiancee and I have/are having a similar struggle.

When we met (he picked me up in a bar by talking to me about Faulkner novels) I was just starting the journey that would eventually lead me to Christ, having been Wiccan mainly before that, and he’d been away from the Sacraments for over two years. Our relationship at the beginning was pretty much purely sexual. Well, that’s not true, we’d talk a lot about religion and Christianity and Catholic Dogma, plus he’d give me Catholic books to read and we’d discuss those as well. Looking back, it was a rather odd dynamic.

Very quickly I felt like he was the man I was meant to marry, but I didn’t see how that would ever happen given the way our relationship began. About six months into it (as I began to pray regularly and was attending a few different churches, including the Catholic Church six blocks from my house) I told him that I couldn’t continue seeing him as I desperately needed to get my spirituality sorted out and to do that I felt that I needed to try and live a chaste life.

I went into this conversation expecting that this would be the end of our relationship. To my utter surprise, his response was that he would never want to endanger my journey towards Christ, and he completely supported my decision, but didn’t think we needed to stop seeing each other.

That was about a year ago, we are engaged now and I have no doubt that we would not be if our relationships had continued on the path it was. I am in RCIA now and he has returned to the sacrements.:slight_smile:

But it’s been a hard road going from a sexually active relationship to a chaste one (not to mention the previous decade of sexual activity I had before that!) . I’ll admit we have fallen down a few times:blush: but we just pick ourselves up, pray for forgiveness, and start over.

One of the things that was hardest was breaking habits we’d established: sleeping together, changing in front of each other, spending the night at each others houses, etc. Oh, and drinking together, that was a big one. In the beginning, we used to go out all the time and have a few drinks, but now, not so much. More than a beer or two is a bad idea for us.

And it is hard and it’s also a learning process too. Just make sure that when your girlfriend says, “It’s not going to be easy,” that what she really means isn’t,“I don’t really like this idea and I don’t really support it,” because you cannot be successful in this unless you’re both 100% committed. And even then it will be difficult, at times it will be an everyday struggle.

Plus, if she’s not willing to do this with you, maybe she’s not the one and you should start this journey on your own?

BTW, I am 30 and the fh is 34. So, I understand about not people to talk to about this sort of thing (especially being a convert and having a lot of non-Christian friends). So, I got involved with a 20-30’s group at my fiancee’s parish (mine doesn’t have one) and we’ve made friends with other chaste singles and couples. :slight_smile:

Sorry this was so long!:blush:


#5

Thank you for the replies. It has a been a tough road this past week as many things have changed. The discussion about celibacy ended in a profound conversation about our lives and where we are right now. She’s still in school, busting her but to study for the MCATs and I’m waiting to leave for Air Force Officer Training School. There are fears about the future but with the grace of God we’ll stay true to the love we have for one another.


#6

My husband could probably offer better advice on this topic than me, but in case he does not see this post, I will do my best! Before we met, my husband lived with his girlfriend for a few years and then he began his conversion, which eventually (thanks be to God) led him to enter the Church. When we met, we shared our own sexual struggles and temptations as I was freed of my sinful past in that regard, but he was still battling his (to live a chaste life now). We became great friends who mostly discussed the Faith and our own spiritual journey as we are both recent converts. As time continued on, we finally admitted to each other that we had stronger feelings than just friendship and after praying/discerning it, we began a courtship with the hopes of future marriage, which (obviously) is our vocation. Anyway, as our engagement progressed, it became more difficult for us to remain chaste, but we perservered in prayer and learned to stop when the kissing was becoming too heated, and thanks be to God we remained chaste until our wedding night. It was such an awesome gift to give ourselves, completely and fully that way on that night! Best wedding gift to receive. During our engagement we bought the JPII Theology of the Body book which really helped us appreciate our sexuality and God’s plan and will for us. Also, praying the Rosary daily and wearing the Brown Scapular were instrumental in our remaining chaste, particularly for my husband. So, yes, with prayer and perserverence you and your girlfriend can remain chaste. Think about how much you want Heaven for her. After all, if you are called to marry each other, that is your vocation: to help your mate become a Saint and enter Heaven. On another note, while we were dating, my husband was planning to enter the Army to become an officer and I was finishing up my last year of university studies. Before I met him, I planned to go on for my masters, but then our plans changed as our dreams changed, now having someone else to share them with, so he is now going into the Air Force (come this April–shorter deployments and he is going to be a linguist!) and I am carrying our baby who is due in August. If it is God’s Holy Will for you and your girlfriend to marry, it will happen. Be patient. Pray. But also be active. Christ is always on the move.


#7

Both of you can discuss this with the same priest and have him as your confessor. That accountablilty will be pretty good motivation as you have someone that is holding you to the high standard God expects but society does not.
My husband and I waited. He said what kept him on track was remembering constantly that I belonged to Christ and he was not about to steal something so precious from his creator, and that to love me in the way a husband ought love a wife is to seek my good and show me the way to heaven. It would have been an act of hate to have disregard for my dignity and self-hate to risk hell for a stolen moment of selfish gratification. He decided to be the man God wanted him to be and take control of the situation if I ever became weak.
So take pro-active action. Read St. Paul’s letters. Keep your desires in check, as he says. Self-discipline is excellent cultivation of the role of husband you are pursuing. Don’t even allow yourself the choice. Remind yourself God absolutely forbids it. It won’t be easy, but the right thing seldom is.
As for your girlfriend, this sacrifice would be a beautiful bridal bouqet to offer to Our Lady.

Viva Cristo Rey!
WK


#8

In a similar boat w/ my fiancee. Prayer is important; as are the sacraments of Pennance and Eucharist. I’ll pray for you. Good luck w/ the AF, btw.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.