Sexual Temptation

I’ve noticed from my own dealings with sexual temptation that an interesting thing happens in my mind when a big temptation hits. While things are going well, there is no temptation present, and when a small temptation arises, I can easily say no, I don’t want to do that and keep going about my day. But when a big temptation hits, thing are really different. I’ll wrestle with it for a little and I realize that my mind has changed, and at this point I DO want to sin. It’s like I’ve already lost the battle, and it seems like there is nothing left to fight with because my mind has already changed.

Anyone else experience? Any suggestions on how to handle it other than the usual suggestions for temptation?

Hi there,

So I totally get where you’re coming from where you think you just ant rosin and there’s no point fighting it. I’ve given into that thinking at times I my life and stopped fighting, and I’ve deeply regretted it. What I’ve realized is that no matter what you try to convince yourself, all you really want is God. These sexual urges are just your soul crying out to be united with God, trying to fill that hole within us. The first thing that helps me to fight temptation is to realize that al longings are simply a disguised longing for God, and to acknowledge Him and His great love for us, calling us ever deeper into Himself. The second thing that helps is to humanize whoever you are objectifying in your mind. In my case, it’s my boyfriend, and I try to remember that I am with him not because he’s a warm body, but because he’s sweet, funny, and God-fearing. Maybe in your case it’s just a random girl. The second you try to objectify her, give her a name, remember she is someone’s daughter or sister, and remember that she is an image of God demanding respect. Thirdly, pray a LOT. Even when you want to stop fighting, say a Hail Mary. Say a million Hail Marys, even when you absolutely don’t want to. She’ll help you, and kick your butt in the process. Strengthen your prayer life, because I’ve found that the times when I’ve fallen the hardest were times when I neglected prayer. Lastly, exercise. When I do it, it gets that pent up frustration and energy out and I feel so much better.

So there’s some advice from a fellow struggler. It’s possible. Hard, but possible. We can be witnesses in this forsaken world. Also, read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and know it by heart. Also Romans 12:1-2. I have these taped up on my wall. They are the only things to get me by some times. Know that I’m praying for you and God bless you in your struggles!

You can also study and work on your intellectual side, which could spill into your spiritual and physical side. For example, studying up on Theology of the Body, and recognizing the value of the other gender, once that is instilled and believed in the mind, to violate that with some sexual sin would be like smashing a gold sculpture. You won’t want to do it. For another example, I have been sharing this C.S. Lewis quote to those struggling with solo sexual sin.

Also, learn to run the other way at the onset of temptation. It’s easier to escape there than later, just as once you eat the first Jay’s potato chip, you can’t stop. :o

One suggestion is also to persevere. Keep getting up no matter how many times one falls. There is no statute of limitations on the sacrament of Penance. :o Don’t abuse it, but don’t hesitate do go back no matter how often or how long.

Flight more than fight…

Turn to some good thing

(and one can without fighting so much as fleeing --conversi ad Dominum -turn towards the Lord)

And remember even if a temptation keeps returning and is insistent and “tempting”-- be calm and simply turn away --to something else…

…it may return again …but that does not mean one has “fallen”.

(to commit mortal sin one needs the needed knowledge and complete consent).

I would suggest reading “Introduction to the Devout Life” by St Francis De Sales.
He talks about how to cleanse yourself from sin, and the desires for sin.

God Bless!:thumbsup:

The moment you feel the temptation coming on, I have found, it’s best to physically get up and walk away. Go where there are people sexual behavior is not okay around, or go for a walk, make yourself a sandwich, brush your teeth again so as to occupy a sense that isn’t sight or touch, anything (that’s morally acceptable) to get your mind off the temptation. If flight from temptation is not possible for some reason, don’t merely resist, fight back. Say “NO! I will not. The answer is NO! I am not going to sin. I will not sin!” Setting yourself against it like this makes it less like wave from the ocean overpowering you and more like an enemy you can beat down and walk away from. Keep in mind that you are not angry at the person tempting you or at yourself, you are only fighting the temptation.
And pray always. When you wake up in the morning, at noon, before you go to sleep, and whenever you are tempted.
Also go to confession frequently. Every week before mass if you can. That way you can receive communion and also obtain the graces from it to help you beat your problem. I always hated confession, but now that I write my sins down before going it is a lot easier. You might want to try it if you don’t like confession.

Father John Riccardo mentioned in a talk that the grace from overcoming sexual temptation does not present itself for around 12 hours. I don’t know why that is helpful but it is.

Huh? Some misunderstanding there.

That would be incorrect. God gives us grace …and it is not on a 12 hour clock…

Whatever happens, there is no need to worry as long as you don’t consent. For only the will can open the door of the heart and let that corruption in. ~ St. J. Escriva The Way

Whenever you feel the stirrings of your poor flesh, which sometimes attacks with violent assaults, kiss your crucifix, kiss it many times with firm resolve, even if it seems to you that you are doing so without love. ~ St J. Escriva The Forge

We can say with Saint Augustine that our evil passions tug at our garments, dragging us down. At the same time we are aware of great, noble and pure ambitions within our hearts, and know that a struggle is going on.

—If, with the grace of God, you make use of the ascetical means: if you seek to have presence of God, if you look for mortification and — don’t be afraid — penance, then you will make progress, you will find peace and victory will be yours. -~St J. Escriva The Forge

Don’t show the cowardice of being ‘brave’; take to your heels! ~St. Escriva The Way

(he means with regards to temptation against chastity the way is to “flee” “run away”)

I think what Fr. John meant, and I agree is that our cognizance of grace is not noticeable right after defeating such temptation. His point was perhaps that one should not eschew one form of instant gratification while expecting instant grace to fill the void.

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