Impurity Isolation

I’d like to ask for tips or any advice on how to remain pure and not be impure with myself in isolation. I have no help and can receive no help from anyone in my communities.

I’m fully aware of the success of overcoming this with a friend, or priest, or a close person, but I don’t have these advantages with me to help me take on my sins and fight the temptations, and I’m falling back into evil in my isolation. I believe part of it may have to do with giving into despair.

Constant prayers and novenas, and weekly adoration + confession, aren’t saving me. I don’t want to say I’m not trying hard enough but I can’t say I’m making progress either, one factor can put you down easily each time, each new day.

What can I do, what could help me, to do this alone without friends or a constant confessor? I have run out of inspiration and I’m greatly displeased with myself, for not realizing with all I went through the severity of my sins, and having knowledge of all the evil I give myself into and practice and corrode my soul, and the abuse of all the blessings and graces I receive to use for selfish sinful purposes.

I need something that won’t replace my time, I need something that will help me realize the evil of these sins and how I can overcome them, I have too much time in solitude and I don’t last after a period of time, and I need motivation or something, not a time-filler.

I’m not worthy of fulfilling the desires of my heart, and nor do I have the graces or maturity to work myself to attaining them because of my constant impurity. I could never be a father or husband, or worthy to have any sort of relationship, because I can’t help myself.

I don’t know how to work this evil. Guilt for me easily leads into despair. But there is no excuse. It’s mortal, it’s wrong, I don’t care if it helps your body and if everyone does it and it may be natural for young people, that is no excuse before God. Dominic Savio and all the Saints knew the importance of purity and chastity. I don’t have the intelligence to fathom the same meaning of it to make myself pure, and it makes me mad that I cannot.

As I am becoming older, I know that the temptations only get worse, and especially not with just my sins in solitude, and I fear that my build-up against sin and temptation in solitude will only extend it to sin with others which I fear I could give into easily.

I don’t have strong communities or peoples that acknowledge this the same way that I do, that could help me.

I cannot attain a personal confessor due to time and other factors, which I did in fact try hard to acquire.

I don’t ask for your prayers or your pity. I have realized I have to do this alone because of the situations God has placed me in, and I know the consequences of my offenses will be justly given unless I find a way to win by standing alone.

My Holy Mother whom I love and adore, Saint Joseph, Saint Michael, Saint Philomena, my guardian angels and many saints whom I placed all my trust and prayers in, I have prayed novenas and made devotions to, but I see myself falling in evil again and again. I feel like I’ll never win or overcome it. And I know God’s trying to make me get it done on my own.

I’m destroying my hope through this sin and can’t attain the graces I desire. I’m not worthy of the sacrament of vocation to a spouse which I so greatly desire or being able to raise a son and teach him the ways of God because I cannot even rid myself of my selfish impurity.

I got really deep into this which I tried to avoid, but I tried to make the situation clear and perhaps understandable to one viewer to make a response that may help or motivate me. Something that can enlighten or change me and help me realize in any way or aspect the ruin this sin brings upon me. I see it as many things of evil. It destroys the Spirit within me and removes God’s presence, it defiles the image and likeness of God through the impure actions, it ruins the purpose of actual love and intimacy with a spouse, it goes against making life and abusing the gift of life. It is mortal, it is just as mortal as any other mortal sin. It’s evil. It will make you suffer in eternal fire.

I’m not motivated the same way against it like I use to be, and I was able to put myself against it.

I know it’s not suppose to be easy, but can be done, if I try to show all the devotion I can?
I try to go to Church everyday and then I’ll end up giving in within 5-7 days, and now lately less and less time it takes for me to give in so I stopped going everyday because I cannot receive, and sometimes when there is no homily every other day I don’t care to go and I’m not motivated to. I say the rosary and divine mercy everyday, and I’ve been trying the 54 Day Novena Rosary.
What more devotion do I need to show? What more could I possibly do? I don’t know how to enable myself or attain more graces. And I won’t give up I swear I won’t.

I only ask for advice or tips. I’m not motivated anymore, but I’m not giving up.
It’s so easy today to fall into evil. What can you do when no one can stand by you or give you comfort? How can I make myself a strong Catholic on my own?

God Bless.

Joshua - I assume you have seen the set of “stickys” at the top of the list of threads?
forums.catholic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=31

Please explain why you are unable to access a confessor?

I think I know the answer. Its hidden in the very question you asked. “How can I make myself a strong Catholic on my own?”. My friend it sounds like you depend on yourself to be perfect in order to gain grace from God. However as far as I understand it, no one EARNS grace from God through their worthiness. God gives it freely out of love. Maybe you have found yourself in this state as God is trying to teach you to depend on him more completely instead of yourself.

My advice when you are tempted. Instead of saying “I should be better than this.” and feeling bad. Say “God! Help! See how I need you!” This is what I do, and I have found it solved everything when I realised it was the answer (not long after reading St Faustinas diary I came to this realisation)

Best wishes for your struggle.

Pray for yourself, and then pray for others. Pray especially for married couples, that they may fully appreciate their gift of sexuality and that they may give glory to God.

Make a commitment to pray for married couples whenever the temptation arises. Maybe even a rosary on their behalf!

Lord Jesus Christ, I am a wretched sinner, and I beg for your assistance, that I might not yield to temptation. Help me to be pure, and to not covet this beautiful gift of sexuality which I want to misuse. Strengthen me with resolve, Lord, that I may follow your Father’s will, that I may walk with you in peace, and that I may be assisted by your Holy Spirit to remain holy as I was created to be. I give thanks and praise to you for all blessings bestowed upon me today, especially … … … … and … .

I offer up to you the ache of loneliness and emptiness from which I am suffering. Help me to know your love, and to love and serve you and others. Unite me to your Cross, so that I may be your faithful and willing servant. Help me to respect myself and the goodness infused in me by your Holy Spirit. Fill my heart with peace and joy, Lord, so that I may have more confidence to share with others the light of your blessed Love.

I offer you my sorrow for my sins and for my weakness, and beg for your merciful forgiveness. I ask again, Lord, for strengthened resolve, that I may love you with all my heart. (pray an Act of Contrition)

Lord, I also pray for others, that they may accept our Father’s will in using the sexuality given to each of us… I pray for all who fail to appreciate and respect the divine purpose of this gift.

I thank you for my parents, who conceived and raised me. I thank you for all married couples who take their vocation to heart, in your name.

(pray for couples you know)

Lord, I ask you to bless each married couple. Increase their appreciation of the gift of marriage, and the gift of sex. May their love be fruitful according to the will of our Father. Increase their joyful hope amidst the sacrifices and suffering which they endure. Help them to respect each other profoundly, Lord, and to reflect your Love to each other as they live out their sacred covenant from day to day. Help all married couples give you glory by the way they choose to love.

Help our confused society to better understand the need to respect and defend marriage, Lord, and to respect the gift of sexuality.

(Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, Glory Be)

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, please fight for us and pray for us.
Amen.

Hi Joshua66,

I can relate to your daily battles as I am as well fighting since years ago against impurity. So as you can see I would be the last one to give you advice in this matter :), but yet I’d like to leave some main tips that I collected along the years and at least when I don’t ignore them can leave me weeks without falling on those sins.

  1. Love for your wife. I don’t know your marital status or maybe you have other vocation, but in my case I am single and I try to think about my future wife that I don’t even know yet. Is it fair that I am not saving myself to her, which I am wasting what got destined to her in a egoistic manner? So, try thinking about all the other people that is affected because of your sins.

  2. Treat what is causing you to sin. Usually we commit impure sins because we want some temporary pleasure, kind of a need to feel a gap. In truth it works as a kind of anaesthesia, that’s why when it is over we feel empty again and shameful, because that was just some illusion and we did not in fact apply any treatment. So, what is causing you this gap? Focus on the void part and fill it with the right thing.

  3. Avoid the near occasion of sin. This is what led me to fall in sin the last time. This also sounds cliché, but I often find myself ignoring this. Just a while ago I forgot about it and I started watching Dexter, even that I knew that I was expecting to find nude women and strong scenes. At the time I thought, well, if I am faithful to my commitment nothing can make fall in temptation. I was wrong. This was just an example, but I am pretty sure there are always triggers that we can avoid whether in media, in friendships or somewhere else.

  4. ‘Cold Turkey’. I learned about this just days ago in this forum and Oh boy this is amazing. I think I have been passive to the temptation and underestimating its power. So, this tip is about literally having a strong internal fight against it. It sounds silly, but if you find yourself tempted, deep inside you scream NO, say to the devil go away, bully the temptation until it is not more there, without excuses.

  5. Replace the bad with the good. Don’t try to make the space impurity is occupying empty. I see that it is good that you already go to mass daily. I recommend that the rest of the day should be used as well to do good things. If we are so busy doing noble things there is no time to have impure thoughts, right? So, volunteer, teach, do whatever it takes to keep your mind busy. I know this saying in Portuguese: Empty head is the devil’s workshop. Or I found this version in English: Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Tools. In truth, the longest time I was without committing impure sins, I was so busy that there was no time to think about it and I’d would arrive at home so tired to have such thoughts.

Well, that’s what I believe although I not often follow those rules and I am still looking forward to a holistic solution as many other factors can be in place.

I can relate to your daily battles as I am as well fighting since years ago against impurity. So as you can see I would be the last one to give you advice in this matter :), but yet I’d like to leave some main tips that I collected along the years and at least when I don’t ignore them can leave be weeks without falling on those sins and sometimes beating some records :). (Although I just learned in this forum that we shouldn’t be trying to beat records, like 7 days, one month, one year, we should just stop forever, but it is easier said than done)

  1. Love for your wife. I don’t know your marital status or maybe you have other vocation, but in my case I am single and I try to think about my future wife that I don’t even know yet. Is it fair that I am not saving myself to her, which I am wasting what was destined to her in a egoistic manner? So, try thinking about all the other people that is affected because of your sins.

  2. Treat what is causing you to sin. Usually we commit impure sins because we want some temporary pleasure, kind of a need to feel a gap. In truth it works as a kind of anaesthesia, that’s why when it is over we feel empty again and shameful, because that was just some illusion and we did not in fact apply any treatment. So, what is causing you this gap? Focus on the void part, the underlying cause of your need to sin and fill it with the right thing.

  3. Avoid the near occasion of sin. This is what led me to fall in sin the last time. This also sounds cliché, but I often find myself ignoring this. Just a while ago I forgot about it and I started watching Dexter, even that I knew that I was expecting to find nude women and strong scenes. At the time I thought, well, if I am faithful to my commitment nothing can make fall in temptation. I was wrong. This was just an example, but I am pretty sure there are always triggers that we can avoid whether in media, in friendships or somewhere else.

  4. ‘Cold Turkey’. I learned about this just days ago in this forum and Oh boy this is amazing. I think I have been passive to the temptation and underestimating its power. So, this tip is about literally having a strong internal fight against it. It sounds silly, but if you find yourself tempted, deep inside you scream NO, say to the devil go away, bully the temptation until it is not more there, without excuses.

  5. Replace the bad with the good. Don’t try to make the space impurity is occupying empty. I see that it is good that you already go to mass daily. I recommend that the rest of the day should be used as well to do good things. If we are so busy doing noble things there is no time to have impure thoughts, right? So, volunteer, teach, do whatever it takes to keep your mind busy. I know this popular saying in Portuguese: Empty head is the devil’s workshop. Or I found this version in English: Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Tools. In truth, the longest time I was without committing impure sins, I was so busy that there was no time to think about it and I’d would arrive at home so tired to have such thoughts.

Well, that’s what I believe although I not often follow those rules and I am still looking forward to a holistic solution as many other factors can be in place.

I echo the same question as another: why are you not able to go to the sacrament of confession? Initially I thought you meant you were living on some kind of island or isolated part of the world where there are no priests, but you referred to time being the factor. If you have time to do all the praying that you do, it would seem that applying some of that to confession would be paramount.

It is very common for people to have great difficulty in stopping masturbation even when they are completely disgusted with themselves for it, so it is not surprising that you’re having such difficulty. You are praying hard, and that is important, but I would say you also need to find some way to make it to confession.

Do you mean to say that when you are by yourself you are finding it hard to remain pure?

If you can afford it I would recommend that you sign up for an account at reclaimsexualhealth.com. It is a Catholic site for people who battle with impurity and want to overcome it. It is based on both science and the teachings of the Church. You will learn about the brain science behind addiction and how to overcome it. You will be connected with a coach and will be able to log your success and write journal entries for each day noting the triggers you experienced and observations. You will learn about a method called “Face it, replace it, connect” where you can actually change the circuitry in your brain and rewire it for healthy outlets. I have found this site tremendously helpful in battling temptation. If you want details about these methods and can’t afford to sign up for the site, then just PM me and I will walk you through them as best I can.0

From what I’ve read of your post it looks like you’re stuck in something called the “avoidance cycle.” The reason I say this is because it seems from what you’ve written that you are plagued by guilt and shame and even think that you can benefit from these feelings. Unfortunately you can’t. Beating yourself up will only make it worse. If an unwanted thought comes into your mind, don’t panic, don’t frantically try to force the thought out of your head. Take a deep breath, face it, replace it, and turn to another outlet for help.

As far as prayer is concerned… I have found that it is not helpful to pray out of a sense of obligation, which is kind of how I did it for a long time. I would go to pray thinking “ok let’s get this over with” and then the whole time I prayed I would be distracted because I would think about all the things I needed to get done that day. What was really a game changer for me was when I moved to a new city and got a job, had no friends there, etc. This took a huge toll on me emotionally and I was falling into temptation constantly. What was a real blessing, though, was when I realized that I had relied too much upon friends and community to bring me happiness in my old life, and I saw this time of isolation and loneliness as an opportunity to grow closer to God. And that’s ultimately what happened. After work, instead of going straight home, I would go to the church and pray (and read the Bible and the Catechism) for about an hour and a half. I didn’t even need to check my watch, because I was happy to be there. I poured all of my emotions out to God. I came to where I psychologically associated emotional turmoil, stress, depression, etc. with prayer as the answer to these problems, and I was always relieved when I went to pray. The difference is like night and day. It’s been 17 days since I last fell, and I haven’t even been tempted since then because my mind is constantly on God.

I used to struggle with masturbation, and it has been 7 years now since I have stopped, praise be to God! It was about a 10 year struggle of trying to stop before I could entirely, and then the first year or two after, there were some really difficult moments.

But a trap I used to fall into was thinking too much about stopping. Like you, I would try to pray, but my prayers really weren’t prayers. They were really occasions to dwell more on what I was trying not to do. For example, if I told you, “Don’t think of a pink elephant wearing bright blue sunglasses and a top hat!” What are you doing? You are thinking of the pink elephant because I painted the picture for you. Now, if I continued to say, “Don’t think of that pink elephant. Pray that you stop thinking about it. Dear Lord, help me to stop thinking about the pink elephant.” I am actually causing you to think about it even more, and the more you think about it, the more it is hard to stop thinking about it.

So, how to stop thinking about something is to think of something else. While praying, try to meditate on a beautiful scene where Mary and baby Jesus are present. Maybe it’s in a garden, or by a lake… Or, if you find it difficult to pray at the moment of temptation, distract yourself with anything. Cleaning works a lot for me (who knew that the underside of the fridge could get so clean) or I watch funny videos of animals (humor is GREAT for relieving immediate temptations), do something artistic, etc. You can turn your distractions into occasions of prayer, offering up your struggle and by giving to God your joy in whatever it is you choose to do.

Some saints you might want a dedication to are:
St. Joseph - he’s just awesome!
St. Mary of Egypt - she was a sex addict turned mystic
St. Margaret of Cortona - she led a life of adultery and frivolity before her conversion. She also became a mystic
St. Dominic - while never having committed a sexual sin, he resisted a huge temptation while imprisoned by his family.
St. Philomena - She is like the patron saint of everything, including purity.
St. Terese of Lisieux - again, a great one for purity and simplicity
St. Augustine - we all know his story
St. Mary Magdaline - again, we know her story
The woman at the well - She’s not a cannonized saint, but I’m pretty sure she’s in heaven.
Oh, and St. Anthony - he’s pretty awesome too!

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