I’m considering a Chastity device to help curb my bad impulsive behavior in remaining chaste.
Before some on here might gather cliche thoughts against it, let me say, I’ve read a few threads (one old one here, and others on other web sites) which usually bring forth non-compelling arguments of absolutism.
Most who speak against say
“you shouldn’t need a device, using one isn’t building mental discipline”
… To which I heavily disagree.
Breaking old habits, and established mindsets, is a process. It’s not just a one-time decision. Also, being held accountable for your actions can be an absolute game-changer.
Let me give an example. My brother and I both came to realize (I think it was more he was concerned for me) that we hadn’t 100% rid ourselves of pornography in our lives. So, we used a computer program called “XXXwatch”, or something like that, which would be running on our computers at all times, and if either of us signed onto a porn site, it would report the activity to the other user.
This brought shame and accountability into the equation. Looking at pornography is seen and felt by most as shameful behavior (even most secularists and athiests don’t enjoy talking openly about it).
And guess what, even though I would have initial impulses to go look at porn, the cascade of lust would stall at the sudden realization that I CAN’T look at it, or else I’m going to have to answer to my brother. So I didn’t look at it.
Then, as time went on, the automatic impulse faded. It took time, but there was a “device” to help me change my habitual nature.
So, in the same manner, I’m considering using a Chastity device to help wean myself off of being active in all areas, and holding an acceptable standard.
I would like your thoughts, and if you still feel the need to bring forth the “all or nothing” logic, do so with my example and logic in mind.
P.S. Also, the risk of infection is extremely minimal to non-existant on the right ones. I can go into detail without being improper to describe how.
I can tell you from personal experience that the best cure for sins of impurity is weekly confession + some kind of devotion. Many wonderful devotions come with great promises to those who faithfully perform them.
It sounds wonderful in theory Alex, It really does. And I wish it was that easy.
I’d just say that I’m a slave to this particular sin, and it creates a circle that pushes me away from God, dispiriting me by my failure, and not being able to take the body and blood.
Its not just some other sin, it effects my entire spiritual life. And when I fail, it tears me apart. And while I’m doing it, I stop caring about what God would want. My own governance isn’t strong enough.
And I avoid confession because of it, or I go to different church’s confessions to avoid the same priests out of embarrassment.
There are times when you really just need to cut off access to the thing that is causing you to sin so much, don’t you think?
It sounds wonderful in theory Alex, It really does. And I wish it was that easy.
It was that easy for me. I used to look at porn 6+ hours a day, every day, till my eyes were hurting. But I went to Confession every week, week after week. I can’t remember how long I did this…one year? two years? more?
Then one day I got tired of it all and started a devotion to the Holy Infant. My porn urges collapsed soon afterwards. I still occasionally fall, but it’s nothing compared to the past.
And I avoid confession because of it,
This is killing you. Going to confession week after week is an act of humiliation and faith that greatly pleases the Lord. You will be rewarded if you persist.
Remember this always: You cannot simultaneously be immersed in prayer and Sacraments AND persist in sin. One or the other will fall to the wayside. For me, I dragged myself to Confession every week, said the same sins week after week, went to Mass after Confession, and am 100% porn-free today.
All I would say is that be careful saying “it worked for me, so it works for everybody” logic.
I’m so happy to hear you rose above your addiction.
However, we as humans are allowed to help ourselves, and that doesn’t mean we don’t trust in God.
We go to Doctors, we don’t just pray God would heal us.
As far as my situation is concerned, I’ll admit the radical idea of castrating myself doesn’t seem 100% crazy to me, because it’s the very thing that leads me to soul death. Of course, it never got beyond the inquiry portion, but there’s a relief I yearn for in walking amongst women in knowing that it’s not even an option.
However, here’s something that comes close to it. “Training wheels” for the time being.
I guess when there’s a repetition of negative behavior, you sometimes need to resort to more extreme measures to deal with it.
Since the shame factor is big, I’d make a conscious effort to spend as much time with or around other people as possible, and not spend time alone. Work hard and go to bed tired, so all you do there is sleep. Keep your curtains and blinds open during the day. etc…
Really, the main thing is to break the habit. Unfortunately, devices like the ones you’re talking about are often an erotic device, not actually for stopping.
If you are addicted, you could benefit from professional help from a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT). Also, participating in Sexaholics Anonymous meetings is helpful as well (www.sa.org). Here is a link from a Catholic Church that has a comprehensive list of resources (both Catholic and secular, in Spanish and English) that you might find helpful: stthomasannarbor.org/anti-pornography-resources/
I would say no, because I read that people who go to ‘extreme’ measures, rather than patient and long suffering with Christ, can end up falling into greater disorder than before.
It depends what you mean by ‘Chastity device’, if you mean an internet filter, that’s completely fine and I would highly recommend it, I use K9 Web Protection, which is very good because of how customizable it is, then just send the password to each other and don’t allow one another to get the password for the account. (Block the things you want to block and then tick the box ‘proxy avoidance’ too which stops anyone from bypassing internet filters).
I also think ‘shaming’ one another is not a good tactic in combating this either. I would recommend confession prayer and patience (and an internet filter of course) and other than that, if you fall 10 times, make sure you humble yourself before God, ask for mercy and rise again on the path of virtue 10 times and it will become a matter of merit and a source for sanctification.
So long as we live in this world, we cannot remain without trial and temptation: as Job says, “Man’s life on earth is a warfare.” We must therefore be on guard against temptations, and watchful in prayer, that the Devil find no means of deceiving us; for he never rests, but prowls around seeking whom he may devour. No one is so perfect and holy that he is never tempted, and we can never be secure from temptation.
Although temptations are so troublesome and grievous, yet they are often profitable to us, for by them we are humbled, cleansed, and instructed. All the Saints endured many trials and temptations, and profited by them; but those who could not resist temptations became reprobate, and fell away. There is no Order so holy, nor place so secluded, where there are no troubles and temptations.
No man can be entirely free from temptation so long as he lives; for the source of temptation lies within our own nature, since we are born with an inclination towards evil. When one temptation or trial draws to a close, another takes its place; and we shall always have something to fight, for man has lost the blessing of original happiness. **Many try to escape temptations, only to encounter them more fiercely, for no one can win victory by flight alone; it is only by patience and true humility that we can grow stronger than all our foes. **
**The man who only avoids the outward occasions of evil, but fails to uproot it in himself, will gain little advantage. Indeed, temptations will return upon him the sooner, and he will find himself in a worse state than before. Little by little and by patient endurance you will overcome them by God’s help, better than by your own violence and importunity. Seek regular advice in temptation, and never deal harshly with those who are tempted, but give them such encouragement as you would value yourself. **
The beginning of all evil temptation is an unstable mind and lack of trust in God. Just as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so a careless man, who abandons his proper course, is tempted in countless ways. Fire tempers steel, and temptation the just man. We often do not know what we can bear, but temptation reveals our true nature. We need especially to be on our guard at the very onset of temptation, for then the Enemy may be more easily overcome, if he is not allowed to enter the gates of the mind: he must be repulsed at the threshold, as soon as he knocks. Thus the poet Ovid writes, “Resist at the beginning; the remedy may come too late.” For first there comes into the mind an evil thought: next, a vivid picture: then delight, and urge to evil, and finally consent. In this way the Enemy gradually gains complete mastery, when he is not resisted at first. And the longer a slothful man delays resistance, the weaker he becomes, and the stronger his enemy grows against him.
Some people undergo their heaviest temptations at the beginning of their conversion; some towards the end of their course; others are greatly troubled all their lives; while there are some whose temptations are but light. This is in accordance with the wisdom and justice of God’s ordinance, who weighs the condition and merits of every man, and disposes all things for the salvation of those whom He chooses.
We must not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but earnestly pray God to grant us his help in every need. For, as Saint Paul says, “With the temptation, God will provide a way to overcome it, that we may be able to bear it.” So, let us humble ourselves under the hand of God, in every trial and trouble, for He will save and raise up the humble in Spirit. In all these trials, our progress is tested; in them great merit may be secured, and our virtue become evident. It is no great matter if we are devout and fervent when we have no troubles; but if we show patience in adversity, we can make great progress in virtue. Some are spared severe temptations, but are overcome in the lesser ones of every day, in order that they may be humble, and learn not to trust in themselves, but to recognize their frailty.
Mary will help you! Just ask. That’s been my personal experience. It didn’t happen over night. It took time. She came through for me though : ) I’m not the best at prayer and would falter with devotions. Even so, she took care of me. Within a couple of months what had been a great struggle was no longer so. It still was a struggle but not like before.
I consecrated myself to her and thought of her daily. I carried my rosary around with me everywhere to remind me of her constantly. I even slept with it. Check out the “The Secret of the Rosary” by St Louis de Montfort. It illustrates that Mary really is very terrifying to demons and a mother to us.
The rosary is an awesome armor if you can pray it. If it’s too much, the Angelus is great and what I prefer. It’s short. It can easily be kept in a wallet and you can set a timer to remind you to pray it.
Your guardian angel is also a great friend and help if you can keep him in mind. Think of how uncomfortable he is when you do not put God first. I’ve recently discovered the Holy Souls are great friends as well. I still struggle and fail from time to time.
Something else to keep in mind, especially when it’s something you struggle with. The struggle counts. Think of this. A hundred yard dash completed by an olympian athlete. A hundred yard dash completed by someone who is physically disabled. They’re both impressive. It always helped me to keep in mind that heaven was rooting for me : ) and still is.
I found the Angelus in “The Pieta Prayer Book”. You can easily find it on amazon.com, just type in pieta prayer book. It’s a great prayer book with lots of devotions and prayers, small too. Here’s the prayer from CatholicDoors.com
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, etc...
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to Your Word.
Hail Mary, etc...
V. And the Word was made flesh,
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc...
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech You, O Lord,
Your Grace into our hearts;
that as we have known the incarnation of Christ,
your Son by the message of an angel,
so by His passion and cross
we may be brought to the glory of His Resurrection.
Through the same Christ, our Lord.
The wording for the Pieta prayer is slightly different and the one I prefer. You’re supposed to say the prayer at 6 AM, noon, and 6 PM. I say it on the way to work., when lunch starts, and on the way home. It’s a nice go to prayer. Sometimes I find myself saying it just because.
I hope this helps : )
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