Struggling with Same Sex Attractions

I’m rather taking over another thread, so I decided I would go ahead and make a new one (Thanks Beng for the advice :))

I’m only 18 years old, a freshman in college, but I have been struggling with homosexuality since I hit puberty. At one point, when I was entering the age of reason and exploring my faith, I realized what the Bible and the church said on such things. But my sexual feelings were so strong and I was so prideful (I was in it for what would satisfy me) that I didn’t want to be catholic anymore, or Christian, for that matter.

However, in time, with the help of my wonderful youth group, my family, and my friends, I started to believe again. Now my faith is extremely strong, and, thanks in part to Catholic Answers, I’m extremely knowledgeable about my faith. I’ve also committed to chastity. Someone earlier said that homosexuality really isn’t as bad as heterosexual chastity - it’s more severe in the simple fact that you are not allowed to have any romantic contact at all with those of the same sex, which would be innocent between members of the opposite sex. Anyhow, also, over the years, the homosexual attractions have lessened very much so.

The church’s teaching on homosexuality is not “impossible.” It’s very possible. I am no superhero. I’m your average American catholic teenage college kid who struggles with this, not unlike many other struggles that kids deal with.

It’s not easy, you know. Society and the APA and culture at school is very pro-homosexuality and considers what I am doing “repressing” myself. It’s silly and stupid, and it makes life difficult.

I think of the issue of homosexuality akin to the history of diabetes. It is an illness easily combated by insulin medicine. But many years ago, insulin was not available and diabetes patients subsequently died. Now, diabetes is still a terrible problem and illness but the tools are in place to combat it somewhat effectively. The problem here is that the tools for combating homosexuality are not as strong as they need to be (few die now from diabetes, but millions spiritually die from untreated and misunderstood homosexuality).

I’m having great difficulty finding a good, catholic psychologist that will help me with this in the Austin area and the Courage website is … extremely confusing … for actually getting help. Any tips?

Through the Courge web site, write to Fr. John Harvey directly. Tell him I told you to. He’s a friend of mine.

I don’t know if there is a Courage chapter near you, but of course he would. If there isn’t, he might be able to put you in contact with a “virtual” chapter; an online support group is better than none at all.

Feel free to speak on the phone with our staff apologists, especially Fr. Vincent Serpa. You can reach him at 619-387-7200. (He’ll return the call to save you the charges.) Again, tell him that I said you should call. Of course, you also can reach him through these forums; he’s a member, and you could send him a private message. (He’s just getting started here and hasn’t even posted yet, so using the phone might be the best way to reach him.)

He isn’t involved in Courage, but he’s a wise counselor. As a Dominican, he might be able to recommend a friar who lives close to you, someone you could use as a spiritual director (if you don’t otherwise have one).

[quote=eaManwe]I’m rather taking over another thread, so I decided I would go ahead and make a new one (Thanks Beng for the advice :))

I’m only 18 years old, a freshman in college, but I have been struggling with homosexuality since I hit puberty. At one point, when I was entering the age of reason and exploring my faith, I realized what the Bible and the church said on such things. But my sexual feelings were so strong and I was so prideful (I was in it for what would satisfy me) that I didn’t want to be catholic anymore, or Christian, for that matter.

However, in time, with the help of my wonderful youth group, my family, and my friends, I started to believe again. Now my faith is extremely strong, and, thanks in part to Catholic Answers, I’m extremely knowledgeable about my faith. I’ve also committed to chastity. Someone earlier said that homosexuality really isn’t as bad as heterosexual chastity - it’s more severe in the simple fact that you are not allowed to have any romantic contact at all with those of the same sex, which would be innocent between members of the opposite sex. Anyhow, also, over the years, the homosexual attractions have lessened very much so.

The church’s teaching on homosexuality is not “impossible.” It’s very possible. I am no superhero. I’m your average American catholic teenage college kid who struggles with this, not unlike many other struggles that kids deal with.

It’s not easy, you know. Society and the APA and culture at school is very pro-homosexuality and considers what I am doing “repressing” myself. It’s silly and stupid, and it makes life difficult.

I think of the issue of homosexuality akin to the history of diabetes. It is an illness easily combated by insulin medicine. But many years ago, insulin was not available and diabetes patients subsequently died. Now, diabetes is still a terrible problem and illness but the tools are in place to combat it somewhat effectively. The problem here is that the tools for combating homosexuality are not as strong as they need to be (few die now from diabetes, but millions spiritually die from untreated and misunderstood homosexuality).

I’m having great difficulty finding a good, catholic psychologist that will help me with this in the Austin area and the Courage website is … extremely confusing … for actually getting help. Any tips?
[/quote]

Go bless you and the resolve you have shown to live a chaste life.

You are an inspiration to us all about accepting the Churches teachings on sexuality. I do not envy the cross you bear and I will be praying fory you that God will give you the grace to live out your vocation.

Woah! Praise God for your courage.

Now I can’t speak from experience, but is it more difficult, in your opinion, than for those God calls to celibacy (priests and religious)? It would be inappropriate for them to indulge in the ‘light romantic relationships’ you mentioned. (Not that I’m suggesting that it is easy for people in your situation…but I’m just sugesting that it can be difficult for those called to celibacy as well).

I applaud your courage, resolve, and honesty. You are a living refutation of the lies of modernity.

Thanks for your candor. Remember, however, that society, in general, seems to promote sex, regardless of orientation. I remember that, in high school and college, the word “virgin” was considered to be an insult. And anyone who defended chastity was considered a prude. And, that was 30 years ago. I can only imagine what it’s like now.

Keep on keepin’ on, eeManwe. Maintain that virtue. It will serve you well – for eternity.

eaManwe,

What you are also experincing is Grace. God’s love is being shown to you through the power of His Grace to keep you away from acting on this mortal sin.

Celibate life is a calling too. It is not just for priests. Even though in Genesis God says to ‘increase and multiply’. but of course the earth needed to be populated. HOWEVER in the Epistle, and I’m an not sure where exactly it is written, Paul says that it is ‘better to be single but if you must marry, then marry.’

I am currently living a celibate lifestyle and do Very Much know the struggle you are going through.

Be in grace, be in prayer and be in God’s loving hands!


Glory be to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him Forever!

First, let me thank you as your sister in the Body of Christ. Since, we as Catholics, believe that we are actually a part of the Body of Christ, this also means that our individual actions have an effect on each member within that Body. Your commitment to chastity, builds us up, and supports all of us. Thank you for loving God, and His Church enough to strengthen all of us. :thumbsup:

I can only try to imagine the cross you bear, since I have never felt such proclivities, but I believe with all of my heart, that God does provide grace and assistance to those who are willing to seek out His will, and place it above their own, transient needs. Indeed, you have set your sights on eternity.

May God bless you. I will lift you up at Mass, this day.

dust

eaManwe,

God Bless you for the cross you carry. One thing that might help is going to perpetual adoration and spend some time with Jesus.

Just a thought,
we will pray for you :thumbsup:

Shari

Through the Courge web site, write to Fr. John Harvey directly. Tell him I told you to. He’s a friend of mine.

I don’t know if there is a Courage chapter near you, but of course he would. If there isn’t, he might be able to put you in contact with a “virtual” chapter; an online support group is better than none at all.

Feel free to speak on the phone with our staff apologists, especially Fr. Vincent Serpa. You can reach him at 619-387-7200. (He’ll return the call to save you the charges.) Again, tell him that I said you should call. Of course, you also can reach him through these forums; he’s a member, and you could send him a private message. (He’s just getting started here and hasn’t even posted yet, so using the phone might be the best way to reach him.)

He isn’t involved in Courage, but he’s a wise counselor. As a Dominican, he might be able to recommend a friar who lives close to you, someone you could use as a spiritual director (if you don’t otherwise have one).

I see my pastor regularly for confession (I still struggle alot with impure thoughts and some of the stuff that goes along with that). Anyhow, he is very scared for me. He really recommends seeing someone for professional help but doesn’t know anyone who would know how to help me. I have contacted Father Harvey before, but he only told me what I already knew. As far as finding a psychologist who agrees with the teachings of the church. I will contact him again, however.

Anyhow, and there’s also something strange as well. I seem to be at a never-ending dilemma: sometimes, I feel almost completely normal (minus one thing - romantic feelings towards girls). Other times, I feel very very tempted. At the times I feel normal, I don’t want any help, because maybe this time the abnormality will not come back, or because I just don’t want to think about that side of me…

:thumbsup:

Do not give up. Pray for God’s grace. He will provide it in spades to help you overcome sins.

Thanks to the power of God’s grace (and ONLY because of that, for I am a weak human being) I was able to overcome many sins and have made great strides in my life. I can testify to the power of God’s grace.

try reciting Pope Leo XIII exorcism for the laity when the urges occur and I guarantee you they will be gone…

As God arises His enemies are scattered, and those who hate Him flee before Him, as smoke is driven away, so are they driven as wax melts before the fire, so do the wicked parish at the presence of GOD…Psalm 67:2-3

God bless you!!! I will pray for you!

[quote=eaManwe]I see my pastor regularly for confession (I still struggle alot with impure thoughts and some of the stuff that goes along with that). Anyhow, he is very scared for me. He really recommends seeing someone for professional help but doesn’t know anyone who would know how to help me. I have contacted Father Harvey before, but he only told me what I already knew. As far as finding a psychologist who agrees with the teachings of the church. I will contact him again, however.

QUOTE]

Start here:
catholictherapists.com/
[/quote]

:frowning: No one from Austin… I will keep up my search, however…

:thumbsup: Keep it up, mate, you’re doing well!!
With the grace of God you can become an example and inspiration for those still lurking in the darkness…Your courage I really admire, like a beacon of light for obstinate sinners…

May God bless and keep you! I have not read all of the comments above, but I strongly urge you to follow the advice and leads provided by Karl Keating’s response. You seem to have begun a “cure” already with your statement about the reduction of intensity of the problem. If celibacy becomes your only joice, may God, through the intercession of His Blessed Mother and all the saints and angels give you all the strength you need. Pray for that help; I will pray for you too.

[quote=friendofgod]try reciting Pope Leo XIII exorcism for the laity when the urges occur and I guarantee you they will be gone…
[/quote]

Best not to do that, as it could kill you, or worse:

We CANNOT use a “formula of exorcism” as written in the Pope Leo XIII prayer

These prayers seem better, but I’m not a theologian. Here’s one that sounds about right:

Prayer To Confess A Lustful Heart

Dear Heavenly Father. You have told us in Your Word to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts (1). I acknowledge that I have given in to fleshly lusts which wage war against my soul (2). I thank You that in Christ my sins are forgiven, but I have transgressed Your holy law and given the enemy an opportunity to wage war in my members (3). I come before Your presence to acknowledge these sins and to seek Your cleansing (4) that I may be freed from the bondage of sin (5). I now ask You to reveal to my mind the ways that I have transgressed Your moral law and grieved the Holy Spirit so that I may stay pure in body and soul before You. I ask this, my Lord, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peters and Paul, and all the Saints and Angels of Heaven, and powerful in the holy authority of Your Name.

  1. Ro. 13:14
  2. 1 Pet. 2:11
  3. Eph. 4:27; Ja. 4:1; i Pet. 5:8
  4. 1 Jn. 1:9
  5. Gal. 5:1

St. Josemaria Escriva’s book, The Way, has a good section of advice on Chastity.

Jeffrey Satinover, MD and Ph.D., has written of his extensive experience with patients experiencing same-sex attraction:

“I have been extraordinarily fortunate to have met many people who have emerged from the gay life. When I see the personal difficulties they have squarely faced, the sheer courage they have displayed not only in facing these difficulties but also in confronting a culture that uses every possible means to deny the validity of their values, goals, and experiences, I truly stand back in wonder… It is these people – former homosexuals and those who are still struggling, all across America and aboard – who stand for me as a model of everything good and possible in a world that takes the human heart, and the God of that heart, seriously. In my various explorations within the worlds of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and psychiatry, I have simply never [in italics in the book] before seen such profound healing." (Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, 1996)

As you struggle, be aware that you are a credit to the Church, and one of her proudest boasts.

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