My Struggle: A Hopefully Successful Journal


#1

I have thought about doing this for a while now and have finally got the guts to try it. Just got back from confession and the priest suggested that i perhaps talk to people about my struggles with pornography and masturbation. I do, every now and then, talk with some people about these struggles, but this is a little different. Each day I am going to post on this thread. Hopefully everyday I can come on here and say that another day went by and other day i went without those particular sins in my life. This way I have the whole Catholic forums holding me accountable if I should fall. If anyone else wants to do the same thing and post their struggle that’d be cool too. Thanks for your continuous encouragement, catholicforums has always be a great source of inspiration for me.

Day 1: Free from those sins.


#2

In a sense all sins have certain things in common. Some people struggle with certain particular sins, but all have certain things in common. Therefore, there are common cures.

What it takes for me to be honest and not steal money from my employer or rob a bank, to tell the truth, to be faithful to my wife, to be sober, to love my neighbor is grace. The thing that keeps us from sin and heals us of sin is God’s grace.

It does not matter what the sin is, grace is the prevention and the cure.

You already have some grace or you would not be confessing and struggling to overcome sin. You just need some more to remain free of sin.

Jesus says anyone who sins is a slave to sin. A slave does what his master commands. A slave has no power to free himself. It takes someone stringer than the slave master to set free those held in bondage.

If you make God your lord or master and give your attention to your new master you will grow in grace. You can’t go about life the way you have been. So the first thing that has to change is your prayer life. How much time to you spend in prayer every day? How much time do you spend watching tv shows, or sports, or reading novels or involved in hobbies or other amusements?

The rosary will help you grow stronger. Fellowship with the saints, particularly those who are known for purity will help you.

Avoiding temptation and the places where you might go, the internet, or anywhere that lustful thoughts are sparked is critical to you being successful.

Whatever a person’s weak spot is hardly ever goes away. This will probably be a threat to your soul for a long time. You can’t let your guard down.

God loves you. God loves us despite our sinfulness. Our sins separate us from God’s love, because when we sin we think we are unlovable. You may let God down, but His infinite love for you remains.


#3

Thanks for the loving advice…
Day 3…for myself


#4

[quote="fbl9, post:3, topic:179453"]
Thanks for the loving advice..
Day 3...for myself

[/quote]

If it is the middle of the night or waking where you are weak you can pray when you get into bed. You can read a book or magazine and fall asleep, or fall asleep with the rosary and invoking Mary's protection.

We are all beggars. Beggars have no pride. When we are confronted with our sinfulness and realize only God can free us, and how helpless we are, we beg God for mercy.

The root of sin is pride. It is not like God wants to see us grovel. We can't be free of pride until it is stripped away, every shred. So we plead and beg. God can not resist the humble.


#5

This has been very edifying thread and I think it is a great idea what you are doing memphisman and now fbl9. And the loving advise from grandfather is moved me deeply.

But I need to caution you from my experience with my own vices. The reason I am cautioning you about this is because in my experience, when you think you have finally “nailed” your weak spot it comes back to haunt you more suddenly and sadly than you can imagine. I dont know if anyone else goes through this?:frowning:

So Grandfather is right. We will always have our same weakspots. So I would additionally caution about bringing things to a close on this thread unless you are planning on posting until your death!!

Sorry to be so harse. In the short to medium term its a great idea, but you will need a transition period or something else in the long term. Make the plan to post for a period - set a deadline, maybe longer than you would normally last without falling, Or a period of time which would give you great joy and reason to be thankful and Praise God. But make sure you have some thing else to fall back on in the long term.

God Bless!!!:thumbsup:


#6

Alcoholics can be sober, but they will always be alcoholics. In AA they look in the mirror every morning and tell themselves, you are a drunk. I think it was Saint Charles who prayed every morning, “Lord keep your hand on me today or else I will betray you”.

Once we have been able to find grace for ourselves we remain beggars. We beg God for souls that remain in sin. Often we can be most sympathetic to those who share the same struggles we faced ourselves. This is the communion of saints.

Mary refuge of sinners, pray for us.


#7

Day 2: No slip today


#8

:thumbsup:
day 4

Prayers from the Old Testament
Prayer against Temptation:
O Lord, Father and sovereing ruler of my life
leave me not to suffer the temptations of my enemies,
nor suffer me to fall by them.
Who will set scourges over my thoughts,
and discipline of wisdom over my heart,
lest my ignorance increase,
and my offences be multiplied,
and my sins abound
and my enemy rejoice over me?
O Lord, Father and God of my life
leave me not to their snares.
Give me not pride of my eyes,
and turn away from me all coveting
Take from me the greediness of the belly,
and let not the lusts of the flesh take hold of me,
and give me not over
to a shamless and foolish mind.
(from Ecclesiasticus 23)


#9

[quote="thememphisman, post:7, topic:179453"]
Day 2: No slip today

[/quote]

It is a good idea for everyone whatever their struggles upon getting in bed for the night to immediately make the sign of the Cross and the first thing at waking. It can be accompanied by any prayer, invoking Mary, Saint Joseph, or a patron. We ask for protection at moments like these, at the end of the day and the beginning and especially while we sleep.


#10

Unfortunately I fell last night. Back to the basics. I have loved all the advice and encouragement. I am going to make a clearer goal now. I want to get to Day 30. They say it takes two weeks to form a habit, lets try 4 and see what happens.

Day 1: Back to the Basics


#11

[quote="thememphisman, post:10, topic:179453"]
Unfortunately I fell last night. Back to the basics. I have loved all the advice and encouragement. I am going to make a clearer goal now. I want to get to Day 30. They say it takes two weeks to form a habit, lets try 4 and see what happens.

Day 1: Back to the Basics

[/quote]

I am sorry for you.


#12

Saying a prayer for you…


#13

You have done well in getting back up again,it’s much easier to wallow in the dirt saying i am no good. It takes character and humbleness to reach out grasp the hand of God, and get back up again.

day 5


#14

I can't even get to a week. I'll be going strong and doing everything I can and then all of a sudden I get side-tracked and fall.


#15

Give thanks for the days God keeps you free from falling. Dont look at it in a weekly thing. If you fall after 3 days, well thats two good ones for every one bad one. It is difficult. I know. I have my own vices.

I read todays gospel reading and I want to share with you what I saw in it.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 21:28-32.
What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.'
He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go.
Which of the two did his father’s will?" They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

Brother, we have to change our minds about our vices. But I saw this as changing the way our mind deals with them, treats them. Thinks! That is one helluva change. You can change your clothes, the way you look, the way you speak even. But to change our very minds, is difficult. But we have God on our side. Comfort my friend. Comfort.


#16

day 6
hang in there and most of all have patience,with yourself and with God especially when He doesn't seem to be helping you..


#17

I struggle with masturbation as well. I'm on day 5.

I one time went about 4 months without doing it, but fell back into it. Never let your guard down, even if you make it really far.


#18

Whenever we are trying to overcome some vice it is helpful to meditate on the opposing virtue. In this case it is purity. It would be good if you did some research on what has been said about purity. It is impossible to love someone unless it is a pure love. That means caring only for the person's good and not seeking one's own pleasure from the person. We have many examples of public figures who's lives are a mess over sins of impurity.

When you pray the sorrowful mysteries and think of Jesus scourged, He is suffering for your sins of the flesh.


#19

That is so true cause for me when i allowed this sin back into my life it took a fair bit of time and much anguish to get it back under control…


#20

Day 3: Alright...alright...so far so good


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.