How is this even fair!?

Yes, over my entire childhood, adolescence, and early adult years, I developed deeply ingrained habits of unchastity, some of them criminal. I’ve gone to jail for it.

But I wasn’t a Christian that whole time! I wasn’t raised Christian! My dad had me baptized at 4 years old, and brought me to Mass just a few times, but that was it. We lived in an agnostic household.

So how is it fair that I now have habits which I don’t want anymore, and I can’t stop doing them? How is it fair that I’m in a state of mortal sin 6 out of 7 days a week?? Was it my fault that my Dad was a horrible person and refused to raise me in the religion of his parents? Was it my fault that he left a 7 year old alone every morning with the porn channel barely hidden (it was channel 79 or something)? Was it my fault that he let me listen to sexual radio talk shows at that age?

SO WHY CAN’T I BREAK THIS HABIT? Why is it MY fault that I fell into deep habits of sin AS A CHILD?

It’s not fair. I’m so angry about this. I’m always doing wrong, and always being punished for it, but these habits were not my fault in the first place!

And why does Jesus never fight off Satan for me when I turn to Jesus in times of temptation? Why does Jesus let me fall into sin every time? This is so not fair.

Yes, I know I’m wrong. I’ve been punished far less than I should have been. I should be in prison right now. So it’s me who’s wrong, not God. God is infinite mercy, etc etc. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m always in a state of mortal sin, and that my earnest prayers for help during temptations SEEM to go ignored, even if they aren’t.

I’m ready to give up all hope that I can ever figure this out.

And that scares me even more. Because every time I fall this far into despair, God sends a terrible curse on me or those in my family (often in the form of allowing demons to terrify me at night), until I repent. So I’m forced to keep hoping, even though I can’t understand how any of this works!

What sorts of “demons”?

I don’t know. I just know that at night I am constantly terrified and feel the presence of evil, and doing my very best to pray completely sincerely all night as I lay in bed, until I fall asleep, knowing it’s my only hope to protect me against demons.

Satan’s pull can be extremely hard, and he has been known to torment the Saints throughout the ages. You must know this: God has defeated him, and all Satan and his associates can do is harass the flesh. Unite your suffering with Christ and battle on knowing that the demons can play horrendous tricks with your mind and body - but never with your soul. They cannot touch a soul that has been claimed for Christ. Remain in Him, and he will never abandon you, no matter how dark the night.

May God bless you and keep you strong.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares
of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

That sounds real nice and all. But then how is it that Satan can control me through severe temptations, controlling where I go and what I do and when I do it? Because it happens. Often. So why is Satan able to control my entire mind and body? And how can I stop it?

Are you familiar with obsessive-compulsive disorder?

I would say the best thing you can do is seek counsel from a priest, confess your sins often, and continue to persevere. Get up every time you fall, no matter how often. God recognizes intent and effort, so don’t let Satan convince you that you are too far away to be saved. He spins that lie all the time. Evil is allowed a certain degree of control over the world, which includes the ability to influence people’s thoughts and bodies. The fact that you have not given up or stopped seeking God speaks volumes about your faith. There is tremendous power in that.

Forgive me if this is out of line for me to say. It’s really indicative more of things I have been recognizing in my own life than it is about you specifically. But what I notice in the first post is an abundance of the words “me” and “I”.

I think it is easy for us to spend inordinate amount of time and attention on ourselves, even under the guise of trying to be better people. But too much of that inward-gazing can lead us to neglect God and all those around us.

You were dealt a bad hand. That really stinks. And – as you are experiencing – sin has consequences. And those consequences extend far beyond the person committing the sin. You are living with those consequences down to this day.

Fix your eyes on the Cross. Think about what God has done for you. Pray frequently. Thank Him for the good things (and there has to be something good). Do works of service for other people. Don’t spend so much time dwelling on these things and the problems of the past.

Yes, I realize that it is far, far easier said than done. Jesus did not obtain salvation for us by taking the easy way. Life is hard. It can be brutally so at times. But where sin abounds, there grace abounds even more. Stick close to Him. You can get through this.

I will say a prayer for you. Please pray for me, too.

I can’t remember where I read it, but someone great once pointed out once that Satan only has power over the imagination, not over our free will. If we are strong enough to exercise our free will, he’s powerless over us.

As anyone with an addictive personality can tell you, it’s hard to reprogram ourselves and cut loose from deeply embedded habits. But it’s great that you’ve recognized that you need to change for your own benefit.

For the physical aspect of your addiction, you might seek out a help group in your area. For the spiritual aspects, work on cultivating the virtues contrary to the vice, and avoid the triggers for your sins. If it’s places, avoid them; if it’s things, throw them in the dumpster; if it’s people, redefine your relationships or avoid them altogether.

Do these demons cause you to act out in ways possibly sexual ways that are harmful to other people?

First off these habits have probably become a part of your body and you need to go to a place were you can break these habits. Your prayers are heard and why God takes so long no one knows but he has not been ignoring you. Sometimes we suffer for no reason. Just think of Jesus on the cross it wasn’t fair that he died for our sins. Jesus knows your suffering as he has suffered much more. Don’t give up even if you fall into mortal sin always get back up you will win eventually.

If we fall into sin, we must take responsibility for our behaviors, realizing that what happened in the past is in the past and try to move forward. We must not blame God for our actions.

It’s easy to want to blame God when we have an addiction. Alcoholics do this a lot, too. It’s called, “poor me”. However, self pity can also be dangerous and lead to “pour me”…(a drink) and be an excuse to continue with whatever the addiction is. In AA, they say that “yesterday is a cancelled check”.

Now, this may sound really “cold” and callous, but it is also true. Sometimes, we turn to addictions to also make up for what we feel might be lacking in our lives, but it’s preferable to see what’s missing and look for healthier outlets.

There are different ways to approach this. One way would be through counseling to get at the trauma of this. Another way is through a support group such as Sexaholics Anonymous.

For some, medication is necessary.

Then, of course, prayer is always good.

As to those who have corrupted children, God said it’d be better for them to have a millstone tied around his neck and be flung into the sea.

Realize, though, that if you have been guilty of sexual crimes, you have hurt people in a similar way to how you have been hurt. It can actually be a cycle.

With due respect for all who have replied before me, all you succeed in doing by baring your problem on the internet is to flatter your ego into thinking that someone really cares for you.
What you really need to do is to see a priest. If you are unable to travel to a local Catholic Rectory, telephone one and ask to meet with one. I am sure that one will come to you.
Outline your problem to him, face-to-face, just as you have done here. This will help you resolve your questions and your spiritual situation far better than can be done on the internet.

Well, I did that. Many times. And it didn’t help, at all.

So I guess that means I’m out of luck.

I’m fine with that. So be it.

Firstly, if you haven’t already, try counselling and consult a reputable psychologist or even psychiatrist. No shame in it.

Secondly, you didn’t develop these sinful habits over a short time, so you know they’re not going to go away quickly either. Persist in your prayer and confession and other help - and above all trust that God is more powerful than the Devil. You will probably notice that your sins lessen in frequency and severity over time, if you stick with it.

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength & fortitude to overcome your temptations.

Out of luck in what way? God may not immediately, or may not at all, erase the habits that you have ingrained into yourself. These are consequences of sin - your actions, and your fathers - and you will have to fight them, and perhaps unsuccessfully for some time. It is not a matter of fairness for God to erase what we have done. If He does it in this life, it is mercy.

And God is merciful, but He also takes us seriously. He will not simply undo every bad thing we have chosen. He will offer us the grace to please Him, but what form this takes, or how fast it helps us overcome our habits, or similar, is not something we can know ahead of time. So the answer is to persevere in what you know is right - pray, go to confession, go to a counselor if you can, and do your best to fight temptation.

The mere fact that you know that this stuff was wrong and have returned to the faith shows that God IS working within you. Do not demand that He work faster or in a different way, that is not our place. He knows what He is doing. And He also knows what you are doing - including which of your actions are essentially beyond your control. So in addition to continuing to seek forgiveness when you mess up and fighting temptation, you should most importantly have confidence in His mercy and know that He understands where you are even better than you do.

OP - I was once trapped where I thought everybody thought and acted the way I did about various and specific sin.

Some things I learned, there is a light at the end of a tunnel to strive for.

With my issues, a priest once ordered me to excercise, that cut temptation in half.

I got rid of things that stemmed other temptation.

Went to Confession weekly and was so excited the first week I got to skip something I’d been saying for a decade.

Though of course, I mentioned that I got through the week, so we could measure progress.

You aren’t going to jump out of the hole you dug, you are going to climb out, if you keep at it.

Seek the source of the grace you need often. Confession and the Eucharist.

Start each day with the St. Michael prayer for the intentions of staying away from evil, staying focussed on your daily activities, and being aware and acting on opportunities to serve others.

God Bless.

There’s one thing I haven’t tried. A man I know in ##catholic on freenode (his nick is Luke-Jr) has said that the reason I’m not receiving the graces I need is because I’m not going to a real Catholic Church, but rather to the modernists who are run by the Vatican. He says I need to go find a real Catholic Church nearby and find a real priest (ordained via the old rite, and thus a valid ordination). I have not looked into this because it sounded like some simple heresy, but it could explain why I’m not receiving the graces I need even though I’ve been trying my hardest every day for 3 years now.

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