Thursday, March 23, 2006

Purity At Any Cost

If your eye causes you to sin, PLUCK IT OUT! Those are sobering words - or they should be. The problem is that they are so unbelievably strong, we just don't believe them - or we don't believe Jesus meant them. The truth is that he did mean what he said. The operable word here is "if". The truth is our eye does not cause us to sin. It's our inability to control what our eye sees. It's the porn on the Internet. It's the liberty with which we look at women on the street or on TV. Those are the things that cause us to sin. So we should "pluck" them out. We should be just as ruthless as Jesus' words. We need to do a radical amputaion of the offending cause.

Most times we know exactly what we need to do: move the computer to a public place; avert our eyes when a seductively dressed woman walks by or shows up on TV; get a content filter for our computer; stop veiwing material that excites our passions.

What is it that you can amputate that will make the difference in the long run between heaven and hell?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

When Peace Like A River...

I'm not sure what's up but I have peace today. No nagging desire to scour the Internet for pornography. It could be that I spent yesterday evening with the guys or maybe it was the five minute stop into the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at church this morning or probably a combination of them. Thats my point: the key to overcoming compultions is having an interesting life. It's not that other people need to find your life interesting it's that I find inters in the things that I do. The minute I become bored or see my life as teadious, the tendancy to want to spice it up begins to loom in the foreground. You don't need to go jumping out of planes, you do need to do things that connect you to people, their lives and God. If you're having trouble meeting people, join a commuity service organization like the Knights Of Columbus or the Lions Club, or just volunteer at the local food shelf.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stress & The Struggle

I'm under a lot of stress. I don't have a regular income and I'm behind on meeting our budget, plus there's nothing on the horizon to make up the difference. On top of it all, the stress has driven me to masturbation and porn. This makes me feel like God had better hold off from blessing me until I get the message and get my life back in order. That doesn't seem very easy right now. I want to escape and the escape that's right at my fingertips is masterbation & maybe porn (If I can find some). The advantage of the porn filter I'm using is that it does a good job, which means I don't "know" that my computer is the gateway to finding porn. In my last post I said that prayer helps and it does - when you use it. The questions need to be asked again. Does God love me more than I love myself? Yes. Can I trust that His ways will provide the true happiness I seek? Okay, I can buy that. So I'll pray.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Filters Don't Do Everything

Just because you have an Internet filter on your computer doesn't mean that you'll never see Internet porn again. It gives you a fighting chance by minimizing the likelyhood that you'll stumble across pornography while doing your everyday (read: wholesome) online activities. The problem is when you want to explore the more shadowy corners of the Internet. If you're trying to find porn and you're reasonably clever, you'll probably find it. So my recommendation is that you find an accountability partner. An accountability partner gets a report of your online activities everyday or by some other trigger. The tool I use, NetMop, is a hack-proof filter that has an accountability tool buit in. You can give a special username and password to your accountability partner and they can view your online activity to keep you on the straight and narrow. You can also enter the email address of your accountability partner and when you visit a blocked site, or have an image load from a blocked site, your accountability partner gets an email notifying them that you've accessed a blocked site. Your accountability partner can check your activity to see if it was an innocent mistake or if your were cruising the shadowy site of the Net.

Prayer = Progress

You know that nagging temptation to do something to elieviate the driving impulse of sexual temptation? There is a solution - prayer. I know - I know - who wants to pray at a time like that. The problem is we probably don't want to give up the potential satisfaction of giving in to our compulsion or addiction. So we need to first settle the issue of pleasing God or Self. God wants our freedom more than we do (obviously). Let's consider that for a moment. God wants our best - our peace and self possession. If we truly believe that, it may be a bit easier to allow our temption to be replaced by - or better yet, satisfied by - the intercourse of prayer. I recommend a formal prayer like the Our Father or Hail Mary. While praying, present yourself to God and include your present temptation and urges. Allow God to satisfy your need for comfort by the very act of being in communion with the loving God who loves you more than you love yourself.

I just did this and it worked!

Friday, March 17, 2006

See Masterbation As It Is

This is a great paper on masturbation as an addiction or compultion and the Catholic view the level of cupability (i.e. how responsible we are for the action). It helped me put my actions in perspective and see that though I have committed a sin, in most cases I lacked the consent to raise it to the level of serious personal (mortal) sin. Read it here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Starting out

I have a purity problem. I view porn about 2-4 times a month. I'm compulsive about it and I hate it. I'm married with kids and I'd die if they ever found out.
On the possitive side, I've progressed in my purity. I used the do the big M almost every day - now I can say it's been almost a month. Did I say I was married? She's a great woman but we aren't the most active couple in the world. If we do it once every three weeks, I'd be amazed. Through ten years of marriage we've become a bit cowardly in bed.

So that's my battle in a nutshell. I've got a good bit to say on this topic and even some things I've found helpful - so stay tuned.