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Question: Can I be forgiven?
Yes - 21 (100%)
No - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 21

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Author Topic: New Catechumen; already failing  (Read 819 times) Average Rating: 0
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BalmungSama
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« on: May 31, 2012, 03:51:38 AM »

People, please pray for me. I'm a terrible sinner. I'm a very recent catechumen, and I'm off to a terrible start. Sometimes (more often than I'd like to admit), I like to think myself better than others for my faith. It's silly. Others are FAR more faithful than I am, and are much better studied in pretty much everything than I am. But arrogance isn't the sin I'm focusing on.

It's lust. Pornography, erotica, etc. I enjoy it. Now I don't mean "enjoy" as in I enjoy ice cream, or I enjoy my family. I mean enjoy in the sense that it is pleasurable and satisfies a craving. I don't do a very good job of fighting my urges, am constantly falling after what is may very well be over a hundred "last-time-evers". I tried wearing a crucifix around my neck. It worked great for a while and I love it. But something horrible happened; I took it off! I took it off so that I could sin! I can't believe I did that. I wear it to remind me of the God who loves me and heals me, and I take it off so that I don't have to think about Him and I can perform these sins.

I don't know what to do! I don't know where my strength is. I've done a fair job of resisting it before. Not a GREAT job, but fair and I still consider it good progress. But that was a long time ago. I don't know what happened. I just gave in one day. And gave in again not long after. It's a demon of mine, and I know I should keep it chained up until it dies of starvation, but I don't do that. I hear it crying out, think "eh, a little more just this once won't hurt much", and then I feed it far more than I said I would, see it grow, and make another vow. It's frustrating. I can't look at myself in the mirror without seeing that side of me.

Today I grabbed a knife in my kitchen and held it to my wrist. I thought I was just doing it for drama, to convince myself that I'm serious. I didn't think I was being serious (my brain has a flair for theatrics, even when I'm only viewing myself). But something happened; I held the knife there longer. I was wondering if I should cut. If it would hurt, what it would look like, if this would help. The whole thing only lasted a few seconds, but I can't believe those thoughts actually crossed my mind in any serious way.

I'm going to schedule an appointment with my doctor, see if he can help me sign up for porn addiction treatment. That's one thing I love about Canada; government health care can make things like this possible.

I'm sure the people I'll eventually be getting treatment from will be loving and caring professionals. I myself am studying psychology and know a fair deal about what I should expect. But I also know I won't get far without God. If anyone has some spiritual advice for me, or even a short prayer, it would be extremely appreciated.
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Orthodox11
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 04:05:10 AM »

Have you tried installing a parental control filter like K9 or NetNanny? The former is free. Blocking your access to most sites should at least help you cut down on whatever you're doing.

There is always forgiveness for the one that repents. So you should be happy to hear that your poll at the top of this thread is pointless  Smiley
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BalmungSama
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 04:10:29 AM »

I have K9, and it works great (I don't know the password). I've recently discovered a small loop-hole in it, but I think I can fix that with another blocking program (I probably should've been more thorough before making it permanent). My real problem is that my laptop isn't the only computer in the house. My younger brother one. I want him to set up a sign-in password for it that I don't know, so then I can't use it when temptation strikes, but I'm not sure how I could ask without having to explain a reason. I'd rather not say "so I don't use it to look at porn". A substitute excuse would be much-appreciated.

And I know I can be forgiven. lol For some reason it wouldn't let me post without a poll question with at least two options.
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Von Döllinger
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 04:37:51 AM »

I think you should talk about it to your priest. When i joined the Church and confessed to the priest of a parish i started to go regularly, that is the first thing he asked me after it.
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 01:03:49 PM »

Do not despair!

Yes, as said above, talk to your priest! You are not in this alone. Talk to your priest, and of course talk to Christ! Ask for his help. Pray to the Theotokos. It takes time. I will pray for you!
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biro
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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 01:09:08 PM »

Please do not do anything to hurt yourself.  Cry
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BalmungSama
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« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 01:18:15 PM »

Thank you all. I'll try to bring it up with my priest. I know that with prayer and hard work, I can make it. Many saints have done it before, and there was nothing special about them except that they kept working at it.

And don't worry, Biro. I may be in a bad place, but even after that I don't think I could bring myself to cut my own body. It was just a shock to me that I actually considered it at all
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 04:18:56 PM »

At least you care about such things. Many people think they have a right to be involved in these activities and could not care less. Of course you know that to do this is demoralising, I think you will naturally not want to look at these things because it makes your heart feel sad. Next time you want to look then remember the consequences of doing so, how you will feel aftewards. Furthermore using some software to block access will not work in the long term. You must have will power to overcome it and hate it. So be a man, that is the only way.
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yeshuaisiam
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 08:01:34 PM »

I'm beginning to think that pornography has become a massive problem in Christianity.  I hear a lot of men fall into this sin often and have a very difficult time controlling the addiction.

It's interesting that you actually HAD to remove the cross, in order to sin.  That's a pretty gripping addiction indeed. (without judgment)  

This has got to be destroying how many men & Christians are "viewing" women as well.  I think we are in for some problems in society in the near future seeing how common this is.

ON a personal note, KEEP THE CROSS ON.  Talk with your priest, and pray when the urges come.  Exorcisms are often performed with a cross being touched to the victim...   I'm not saying anything, but it is interesting that you have to remove it to sin....
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BalmungSama
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 08:31:29 PM »

I've considered getting a tatoo. A cross I can't ever take off.

And it's a cultural problem. I've been told by many friends that porn is "normal". And I'm sure it is. But "normal" is not "good". Horrible attrocities have once been normal. Black people were once 3/5 of a person, and it was "normal" to treat them as such.
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 08:54:34 PM »

It's lust. Pornography, erotica, etc. I enjoy it. Now I don't mean "enjoy" as in I enjoy ice cream, or I enjoy my family. I mean enjoy in the sense that it is pleasurable and satisfies a craving. I don't do a very good job of fighting my urges, am constantly falling after what is may very well be over a hundred "last-time-evers". I tried wearing a crucifix around my neck. It worked great for a while and I love it. But something horrible happened; I took it off! I took it off so that I could sin! I can't believe I did that. I wear it to remind me of the God who loves me and heals me, and I take it off so that I don't have to think about Him and I can perform these sins.

Think of King David who went his entire life constantly under attack from everyone including his own son. Read the Psalms, especially 3, 12 (13), 30 (31), 37 (38), 45 (46), 50 (51), 53 (54), 68 (69), 69 (70), 87 (88), 101 (102), 129 (130), 135 (136), 140 (141), 141 (142), 142 (143), and Jonah's song recorded in Jonah 2. Take these words, make them yours, offer them to God, struggle against your enemies (your passions and addictions), and do not despair.
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

Made Perfect in Weakness - Latest Post: The Son of God
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 09:44:56 PM »

I've considered getting a tatoo. A cross I can't ever take off.

And it's a cultural problem. I've been told by many friends that porn is "normal". And I'm sure it is. But "normal" is not "good". Horrible attrocities have once been normal. Black people were once 3/5 of a person, and it was "normal" to treat them as such.

A bit off subject, but I'd just wear a cross.

Leviticus 19:28 - "'Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."

Keep it on, and let its small amount of weight remind you of the heavy weight that your sins, my sins, and everyone's sins weighed on Christ.  I bet it would be a great reminder to you, and prevent you from this sin.  Remember his death always.

Also remember how he beat death, and that if God has shown us how to conquer death, through him, we can conquer sins and temptations.

Brother, try it... DO NOT remove the cross no matter how strong you are tempted.  It may mess up your brain, and cause you distress.  Pray during this time.

I use to wear a cross when I found myself very quick to anger amongst people that were really making me mad.  It really helped, and like you when I felt like blowing up, I wanted to remove it.  Keep it on!  Bet it will help!
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biro
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 09:52:49 PM »

Thank you all. I'll try to bring it up with my priest. I know that with prayer and hard work, I can make it. Many saints have done it before, and there was nothing special about them except that they kept working at it.

And don't worry, Biro. I may be in a bad place, but even after that I don't think I could bring myself to cut my own body. It was just a shock to me that I actually considered it at all

Whew. Glad to hear you decided not to.

It is hard to be a catechumen. Pray. Get enough sleep. Don't be afraid to talk to people in your parish and ask questions. Good luck. Smiley
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Fran Lebowitz: Everything. There is not one thing with which I am satisfied.

http://spcasuncoast.org/
BalmungSama
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2012, 11:54:33 PM »

It's lust. Pornography, erotica, etc. I enjoy it. Now I don't mean "enjoy" as in I enjoy ice cream, or I enjoy my family. I mean enjoy in the sense that it is pleasurable and satisfies a craving. I don't do a very good job of fighting my urges, am constantly falling after what is may very well be over a hundred "last-time-evers". I tried wearing a crucifix around my neck. It worked great for a while and I love it. But something horrible happened; I took it off! I took it off so that I could sin! I can't believe I did that. I wear it to remind me of the God who loves me and heals me, and I take it off so that I don't have to think about Him and I can perform these sins.

Think of King David who went his entire life constantly under attack from everyone including his own son. Read the Psalms, especially 3, 12 (13), 30 (31), 37 (38), 45 (46), 50 (51), 53 (54), 68 (69), 69 (70), 87 (88), 101 (102), 129 (130), 135 (136), 140 (141), 141 (142), 142 (143), and Jonah's song recorded in Jonah 2. Take these words, make them yours, offer them to God, struggle against your enemies (your passions and addictions), and do not despair.

Melodist, thank you. It's late right now, so I'm only reading the Psalms you recommended to me at the moment, but thank you. I'm not very far in yet. I just finished 30, but wow. It's almost like it was written for me.Thank you so much.

The world is full or armies that want to harm us. And sadly, many times they strike very painful blows. But we have the greatest fortress to protect us. They can only hurt us when we leave and try to fight them alone.
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« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2012, 05:30:36 PM »

I've considered getting a tatoo. A cross I can't ever take off.

And it's a cultural problem. I've been told by many friends that porn is "normal". And I'm sure it is. But "normal" is not "good". Horrible attrocities have once been normal. Black people were once 3/5 of a person, and it was "normal" to treat them as such.

Tattoos are not blessed. They won't help you anyway. What will help is hope, humility, repentance, and love. Also, do not believe the illusions and lies of the devil. The temptation will pass. With patience you will outlast it.

God be with you!
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« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2012, 04:56:32 PM »

The good news is, you have realized the problem and the severity of the problem.  The bad news is, it will be a hard path to travel.  More good news is it can be done if you want to travel the path.  Pornography is such a horrible, tempting and easily available means of sin in today’s world.  IN fact, you come across it many times without looking for it (Magazines, TV, internet), as sex saturates the secular world.  We find all sorts of people trying to tell us it’s ok to be naked, see nudity, etc., but that is all entry level to more profound and graphic viewing.  I cannot tell you how many criminals (sexual crimes) have admitted their doorway was simple pornography.  It is very much like any other addiction, slow recovery and lifelong struggles.

I am myself a recent convert (Pascha 2011) and know well the struggles you experience.  I think the cross necklace is a good idea.  Also, prayer!!!  Create a regimented prayer life and do not deviate from it if you can.  NO excuses!  For me, one of the steps I have taken is to place my computer opposite my prayer corner.  It makes me feel as if the icons are watching me.  Of course I know this is not true, but it is a psychological effect which helps.  Bottom line, prayer, always prayer, and being open with your priest (or assigned spiritual father).  He is there to help you, pray with you, pray for you and counsel you where you need help!  No one is perfect so do not beat yourself up!
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« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2012, 01:20:30 AM »

Such temptations are like hunger. It is something base. But the peace of mind you have by not doing them is far more valuable than anything else.
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