I’ve seen another poster also struggle with this, and I believe my issue is very similar.
For me, it is very easy to not act upon my sexual sin (aka: sexual infidelity, masturbation, contraception, etc. – the physical acts). Of course, I wasn’t always that way, but after serious praying and work and grace, I was able to overcome those things. And all of my sins that I have acted on, I’ve confessed.
What bothers me is that I feel that I in a constant state of mortal sin because my mind is not strong. Sure it’s easy not to sleep with another woman, but when attractive woman walk into view, my thoughts, without my brain even wanting them to, turn to sex. Or my brain/mind might simply say, yum, or she has nice “FITB” (fill in the blank), or it will without my consent think about her naked, or just think about “sex” in the general sense, not specifically with that woman, but sort of just the act itself. And I try to not have this happen, but it does. I am married, so many times I just try to replace that thought with thoughts about my wife, but I’m too weak to do this all the time.
Of course, I’ve prayed and prayed and not gotten any better.
I’ve spoken with a priest and he did not help, or at least provide the advice or comfort I was seeking. I mentioned the part about the bible where if your hand causes you to sin, you should cut it off, if your eye causes you to sin, you should cut it out. Now of course, I am not going to physically cut my eyes out, because my brain would still think about women in a sexual nature, so even not seeing them wouldn’t help. What he told me when I said it would just be best for me to go to some secluded place where there was no women ever, so I wouldn’t be tempted or get into this “state” of mind. He said, oh wouldn’t that be nice. Unfortunately, that wasn’t helpful.
I’ve posted on this before because I’m still struggling with this, whether I’m mortally sinning or just having human emotions. I don’t know the LINE where sexual desire or attraction turns to lust. Everyone says when you entertain it. That doesn’t really help me either. My mind ends up thinking about it even if I don’t want it to. Sort of like if you tell someone not to think about an elephant, you think about an elephant.
I never know if my mind is truly “entertaining” it or not. If I see an attractive woman and look away b/c she is wearing attractive clothing (say at the gym, and is curvy and in good shape) and then I look again to admire her, I feel that I’ve committed mortal sin. But how do I NEVER be anywhere woman are? How would I stop that?
I seriously need a better definition of lust other than “entertaining” the thought or what is provided in the Catechism.