Mental battle raging.Any help would be appreciated!

I have never experienced anything like this before.Recently, I have gone through some very trying times,and the positive side is that I feel closer to God than I have in a long time.I spend more time than ever reading my bible and praying, because it was when I took my eyes off Him that I got involved in things I should not have been involved in as a married woman.

However, the closer I want to get to God the more I feel that I am literally being attacked.My transgression was of a sexual nature- we didn’t have sex, but wanted to(just as bad), and to compound things, he is a priest(as many of you know who helped me through my saga!).

What is happening, is that the most terrible impure thoughts keep invading my mind, at the most inopportune moments.These thoughts involve him and I and sex.An example will be the minute Mass starts, I keep imagining what it would have been like to have sex with him-could it be worse!!!.I keep blocking each thought with a prayer the minute it enters my mind, because I do not want to entertain such disgusting thoughts and images.I spend the entire service doing that- the result is that I could not have told you any of the readings, sermon,etc.Or it happens when my husband and I are intimate-and puts me off totally.

I have confessed my transgression, told my husband, ended contact, and don’t want to be thinking these thoughts.It’s as if I have no control over them, and all I can do is pray when this happens.

I must say I am exhausted with this mental battle going on all the time.The more I pray the worse it seems to get.

Has anyone else experienced this?Any other ideas to deal with the situation?How long can it keep going on for?I am getting my life back in order, and these thoughts keep reminding me of the whole sorry incident,which I am trying to put behind me.I really am desperate.

I wish I could help. All that I can do is pray for you, so I will. Just keep trying, keep working, keep praying. My prayers are with you.

When I experience temptations that are very strong I say “Begone Satan” and it usually goes away. Sometimes it may take a few times but stay strong.

Don’t dwell on the temptation … ask Jesus to help you at that time also. Don’t forget He too faced temptation. Most of all DON’T stop your prayer, spiritual reading and getting closer to God. (It is very easy to quit when faced with these kinds of temptations. It is very easy to not want the suffering they bring.) Remember that this is what Satan wants. He wants you to think about that situation. He wants you to sin … don’t give in. You were already triumphant in that you did not give in to the temptations of an affair. Remain triumphant in these temptations.

Continue in your endeavor to become united to Jesus. Offer your suffering (of these temptations) to Him in unity with His suffering. You will be triumphant if you continue your prayer and growth toward our good Lord!

Praying for your success in defeating the temptations!

I find the St. Michael the Archangel prayer very helpful during temptations and distractions. Say the prayer over and over until the thought subsides. Ask the angels and saints to pray with you and for you during Mass. Surely you’re not attending Mass with this priest-friend presiding, are you? That would be putting yourself in temptation’s direct path.

Remember that our longings to be close to another person mirror our utmost longing to be close to God. Call upon Him to help you in time of temptation. Realize your longings, at their deepest level, are really for God. Offer your struggles to God so He can change them into blessings for you and for others.

Put on your spiritual armor for this battle! Pray, pray, pray. Pray the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Memorare, the Angelus. If you don’t know these prayers, you can find them at

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Protect us from the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, o prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast in hell satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the earth seeking the destruction of souls.

Praying is very important as others have suggested.

Also, this is the time you need to work on your marriage. There might be some serious problem there, and that could be the root of your current temptation.

Asking God to help you with your marriage, to love your husband with all your heart, and to realize how your temptation could ruin the marriage.

Praying to St. Joselph for his intercession and ask him to keep your soul and body pure.

Also, this is the time you need to work on your marriage. There might be some serious problem there, and that could be the root of your current temptation.

:thumbsup: I agree. While we do need to accept, confess and repent for our sins - too often sins are repeated over and over again because they are in fact just a symptom of some other problem. Like trying to stop a head ache with aspirin, when you in fact have a brain tumor…something much bigger is at work below the surface.

I was told once when dealing with a problem you should ask yourself “why” 5 times, then you might be getting close to the real problem. (i.e. I fantasize about sex - ask yourself “why” - maybe the answer is: “because I am lonely” - then ask yourself “why” are you lonely, etc… you get the idea).


I only have one simple thing to add…GET OUT OF THAT PARISH ASAP!!! Go to a different parish and stop tempting yourself!!!

Honestly, I think you should be going to a different parish. The impure thoughts of being with him won’t stop when he’s within arm’s reach. And I think it would be confusing spirituality to have those feelings about the man that’s supposed to guide you in spiritual matters. My two pennies.

Hi. Thank you for your responses so far.Just to clear up some confusion…He was never the parish priest, and I have no contact with him at all.He was part of a missionary team that visited our parish last year.That’s how I met him.He lives very far away, so I am not going to mass in his parish every week!!!

That is why I find this situation so disturbing.I am distancing myself by not seeing or speaking to him, praying, reading the bible, trying to work on my marriage, yet the harder I try the more thoughts I have, which I reject as soon as they enter my mind.I am certainly not dwelling on them, and am really not placing myself in a position where I actually WANT to be tempted!!!I am running as far away as I can, but I can’t run from myself or my thoughts!Hence my request for help…

Having a true devotion to the chaplet of St. Michael is a silver bullet. I complained that it was too easy after I started praying it. I thought I was being too lax or something.

This is the chaplet with some extra prayers that I did.

If you start to pray it without a true focus, then the temptations will come back again.

Hi again!

This is simply a case of spiritual warfare. I agree that St. Michael can help! St. Benedict is another one who can help with this particular temptation. He had really horrible temptations of the flesh. When they were really bad he would strip and roll around in the prickers until the temptations went away.

The biggest thing is that you must not give up. You should continue praying and reading scripture. Add St. Michael and St. Benedict to fight with you. Keep your mind occupied with the Lord. These temptations will help you move forward in achieving holiness if you continue with your efforts to fight and do not give in or give up! In the end you will be closer to Our Lord. That is why He allows them … To bring us to Him. He shows us that no good comes from us … it comes from Him alone!

Next time you go to confession mention to Father that you are having these temptations. Make sure you tell him you have not acted on them. This will provide more grace to fight them.

Novena To St. Benedict
Glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of virtue, pure vessel of God’s grace! Behold me humbly kneeling at your feet. I implore you in your loving kindness to pray for me before the throne of God. To you I have recourse in the dangers that daily surround me. Shield me against my selfishness and my indifference to God and to my neighbor. Inspire me to imitate you in all things. May your blessing be with me always, so that I may see and serve Christ in others and work for His kingdom.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces which I need so much in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Your heart was always full of love, compassion, and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. You never dismissed without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to you. I therefore invoke your powerful intercession, confident in the hope that you will hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I earnestly implore (name it).

Help me, great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to run in the sweetness of His loving will and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen

You can win this battle!

Hey MCH,

I was driving by the home that my ex-husband and I lived in at least 5 days a week. The house was on my route to work. Everytime I drove by, I would have horrible (remembering the abuse) thoughts and I could not help but look in that direction.

My problem was solved once I stopped driving by. I started driving an extra 5 miles out of the way each day to avoid the place.

If these thoughts you have started in that parish then you should go to another parish. Healing sometimes comes with avoiding.

7 years later…
I can drive by that house now without even looking! Seems that God always puts a thought in my head that distracts me as I pass the place.

Pax et bonum,

I was rereading your original post and had another thought I would like to share with you.

An example will be the minute Mass starts, I keep imagining what it would have been like to have sex with him-could it be worse!!!.I keep blocking each thought with a prayer the minute it enters my mind, because I do not want to entertain such disgusting thoughts and images.I spend the entire service doing that- the result is that I could not have told you any of the readings, sermon,etc.Or it happens when my husband and I are intimate-and puts me off totally.

If you notice you said the temptations are coming at the most opportune times … before Mass … when being intimate with your husband. These are just the things the devil would want to destroy. He does not want you to pay attention at Mass. He does not want you to mend your marriage. These things are good. The devil will do all in his power to stop you from doing good and he will stop at nothing to get you to sin, even if it is just lingering and enjoying the thoughts you are having.

I really think you should speak to your parish priest about this either in the confessional or make an appointment. I beg you to continue your prayer life and to not give up. As I said in my previous post, this is spiritual warfare. Suffer your temptations with joy … shoo them away with “Satan be gone”, crossing yourself with or without Holy Water, etc.

St. Therese tells us this: “Suffering is the very best gift He has to give us,. He gives it only to His chosen friends.” St. Therese of Lisieux

Good luck to you! Keeping you in my prayers.

Time and Prayers.

You should seek psychiatric help. You have an unhealthy obsession. There is a problem and you are looking for a resolution. Somehow, your mind thinks that the solution is this priest. Perhaps he is a figure you associate with strength. However, you are finding it hard to connect with him in an appropriate way.

You need to talk with a professional (not with this priest) to determine what the underlying cause of your problem is. I would even guess that it has nothing to do with this priest at all, but with some inner conflict within you.

Here is my 2 cents.

I read your post and scanned some of the others, so if I missed another post by you, I apologize.

First, gratitude that you catch the thoughts starting and pray.
Keep up the spiritual muscle building. From what I’ve studied,
the ones who do NOT fall to temptation REALIZE how strong the temptation is/can be. The ones who fall, do not.

Second, prayer and not falling to temptation, brings greater and
stronger temptation. Keep praying and resisting.

Third, it goes away. Not forever, keep up your guard, but it does subside and disappear for long amounts of time.

Intimacy, spiritual, emotional, and physical is a natural human drive. My priest defined simply for me prudence, knowing what to say/do when. Who better to feel spiritual and emotional intimacy with than someone so close to God, how can we help it. I’m working on that with my fiance.

Fourth, anyone who doesn’t admit to ever having those thoughts for someone who they ‘shouldn’t’ is not being honest.

I’m allowed to pray for you, it says up there I am a prayer warrior,
one of my most beloved titles.

This was suggested to me by my parish priest and it helped me. When temptation/impure thoughts/whatever overcomes me, I close my eyes and repeat the holy name of Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus…Jesus


My experience has (unbelievably) been, to forget what was bothering me.

May God bless you.

As a married woman why are you still attending Mass at the same Parish where you had an affair with the priest? Remove yourself from temptaion, it’s easy enough, find another Church.

Anyway you’re responsible for your actions, I would suggest grow up a bit.

She didn’t have an affair with a priest.

I did not have an affair, he is NOT at the same parish and if you read my post you would see that I am doing everything I humanly can to RUN from temptation!!!Hence the post on this board specifically- to get help and advice from others who actually do care, not snide remarks from you.

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