Unfortunately, I have been addicted to pornography for a number of years. It is something that I continue to battle with every day. I went to confession back in late October-early November. However, recently, I fell back into this sin. I plan to go to confession before Christmas and New Year begins. I am worried that if I go to confession, my priest will automatically know it is me (he doesn’t know who I am though) and I just feel so ashamed that I just cannot fight this. Third, does anyone have a link I could visit about confession (i.e. how do I confess?). I do not go to confession as often as I probably should, so my memory is bad. Thanks for your advice!
Here are some good newsletters:
"How to Celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation Today"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M.
"Ten Tips for Better Confessions: The Gift of Reconciliation"
by Thomas Richstatter, O.F.M., S.T.D.
"The Sacrament of Reconciliation: Celebrating God’s Forgiveness"
by Sandra DeGidio, O.S.M.
"Preparing for Confession: Taking Your Spiritual Temperature"
by Rev. Thomas M. Casey
"Reconciliation: An Experience of Forgiveness"
by Ellen Fanizzi
Spiritually, I’d suggest that you should go to confession regularly - once a month if you could. Attend some daily mass, not just Sunday out of obligation. Ask Our Blessed Virgin Mary to keep your heart near Her Immaculate Heart. Think of God and Mother Mary as often as you could throughout the day - by just calling their names. The Rosary prayer is very powerful.
Physically, keep yourself occupied with other works - exercises, etc … Do not watch movies that intrigue your sexual desire that leads to sins. Stop using much of internet.
Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit - that might help remind you when temptation comes.
My embarassment to confront the priest caused me to come up with all kinds of justifications for putting off confession indefinitely. As I repeated my offenses, I found it harder & harder to face the priest in confession. Before long, my justifications degraded into ‘you made me this way’. Addictions that are private sins are really hard to give up. And you know they are not like a chemical imbalance like substance abuse, they are more psychological like gambling. So it is even more embarassing to tell the priest because it means that you do not have control of your mind. Persevere and don’t give up. Even if the addiction follows you to the grave, confess, confess, confess. Bottom line, you were given this cross to bear and to struggle with. With true perseverence, the problem will most likely be licked.
Be vigilant & observant about the little details of life that trigger or feed the problem. Soft porn abounds in daily life just from fashion styles. It cannot be avoided, but beware if you fixate or dwell on it. Go the fridge during the titillating parts of an otherwise good show. For me, I don’t subscribe to cable TV and have opted to use the money to buy TV classic DVD collections.
Maybe mastery of self in sacrifice & homage to Our Lord’s commandments when we are made this way, is our way of the cross to master our love of God above ourselves.
OK. This is REALLY hard. AND a billion people have this problem these days; internet porn is a humongous business.
Just pull up your britches, face down your embarrassment, go to confession and TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS.
You have already shown yourself to be ready to fight the battle. Don’t let Old Scratch win this one!
Don’t be a wuss. Play the man (or woman)! You can do this!
I’ve battled this problem for (urp) decades. Like wynnejj I too would put off confession because I thought “I can’t make a firm purpose to give this up so why go?” or “I’m scum, I can’t possibly go confess this sin AGAIN”. After sometimes a year away from the confessional, but still attending Mass weekly, I was so awash in shame, guilt and feeling like a disgusting piece of dog poo that I would spend a week away from porn, girding up myself and finally going to confession. I’ve always come away with wet eyes but a firm desire to give it up. I’m in that place right now having gone to confession a month ago and every week since, praying the Rosary daily if possible, making the sign of the Cross as soon as I wake up and say “Lord, please help me to conduct myself in a manner that is please to you.”. Then I make a morning offering and start my day. When tempting thoughts enter my mind I say “In the name of Jesus Christ, Lord of all, I bind you demon of Lust and call upon St. Michael the Archangel and his angel soldiers to take you and cast you back into Hell from whence you came. In the name of Jesus begone from me!”. Then I say a few Hail Mary’s, recommend myself to Her and Jesus’ care. Sometimes I’ll just drop onto my knees and pray the Rosary then and there. Then I change my location or activity. I work from home so this is a bit more difficult since nobody is ever around and I have 3 computers at my disposal. But so far, even though Satan has been hammering my imagination pretty hard, with the help of Mary and the grace of God I haven’t fallen in the past month. I have complete confidence in Mary’s intercessory power and complete trust in Jesus to deliver me from this sin.
I’ll be going to Confession tomorrow to confess my venial sins and get the full power of Christ’s mercy and compassion from the Sacrament to help me with this fight. I hope you will do the same. I am praying for you now and will continue to do so, as I do for everyone suffering from this horrible addiction.
Don’t give up!!! Follow the advice of everyone here and you’ll make it!!!
Yours in Christ,
Check out the thread on this same forum called “Cast your eyes down”. I think it pertains to avoiding the near occasions of this sin.
Excellent suggestion! I checked that link out yesterday and found it very edifying and enlightening. It’s amazing how devout some men were back then that they could go an entire day without seeing anything around them even tho they passed through a city.
Don’t be ashamed or afraid of going to Confession… that is where our souls are healed… I’ve heard a priest talk once about how people are afraid of telling him their sins, but he’s always just glad that they had the courage to go to confession even when the sins are really shameful. Remember God’s mercy is infinite.
Jesus said to St Faustina:
“Today the Lord said to me, 'Daughter, when you go to confession, to this foundation of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I Myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls”
It is something that I continue to battle with every day.
You will not win by your strength alone. I mean it. The evil one is far too smart, and has had thousands of years of practice.
Enlist the help of our most holy and blessed Mother. She transmits the love of her Son, the true love that is necessary to combat the false “love” of lust. She will help you see the true beauty and dignity of women.