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Anastasia1
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« on: April 24, 2011, 10:50:58 PM »

I hate to admit this, but this is something I struggle with sometimes. I want to do better and have the wisdom to turn away from sin/sinful thoughts more easily. Are there any prayers that you can suggest or saints that I can ask to help me?
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2011, 11:05:22 PM »

Here are some very appropriate saints to whom I pray for chastity:

St. Augustine of Hippo (struggled with sensuality and fornication himself)

St. Thomas Aquinas (tempted to lust but preserved his chastity perfectly)

I am a member of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, a fellowship of men and women dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Here is the Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas for Purity which is part of our daily prayers in the Confraternity:

Dearest Jesus! I know well that every perfect gift, and above all others that of chastity, depends upon the most powerful assistance of Thy Providence, and that without Thee a creature can do nothing. Therefore, I pray Thee to defend, with Thy grace, chastity and purity in my soul as well as in my body. And if I have ever received through my senses any impression that could stain my chastity and purity, do Thou, Who art the Supreme Lord of all my powers, take it from me, that I may with an immaculate heart advance in Thy love and service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Thy Divinity. Amen.

St. Mary Magdalene would also be a good intercessor.

And best of all is Our Lady, the Holy Mother of God, the Spotless Virgin Mary.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2011, 11:14:48 PM »

A couple of quotes from St. Josemaria Escriva help me:

"As soon as you willfully allow a dialogue with temptation to begin, the soul is robbed of peace, just as consent to impurity destroys grace."

"To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thornbush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond . . . You . . . what have you done?"
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 11:51:04 PM »

St. Mary Magdalene would also be a good intercessor.
Why St. Mary Magdalene in particular?
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 11:57:22 PM »

St. Mary Magdalene would also be a good intercessor.
Why St. Mary Magdalene in particular?

Stop baiting the Latin tradition on this matter. It's Pascha!

St. Mary of Egypt is the saint you are looking for.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 11:58:00 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 11:58:15 PM »

I hate to admit this, but this is something I struggle with sometimes. I want to do better and have the wisdom to turn away from sin/sinful thoughts more easily. Are there any prayers that you can suggest or saints that I can ask to help me?
St. Mary of Egypt comes to mind as a saint about whom you could read and to whom you can pray. After 17 years of living a life of the most depraved promiscuity, she retreated to the desert to devote the rest of her life to battling for her salvation.
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2011, 12:21:50 AM »

St. Mary Magdalene would also be a good intercessor.
Why St. Mary Magdalene in particular?

Stop baiting the Latin tradition on this matter. It's Pascha!

St. Mary of Egypt is the saint you are looking for.
Agreed!
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2011, 05:25:49 AM »

I agree with Alveus! The intercessions of St. Mary of Egypt have helped me tremendously.




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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2011, 10:54:05 AM »

Is it unreasonable to think that the only way one can truly overcome the demon of Lust is to join in the monastic life?

I'm not sure if my salvation is going to work merely as a layman going to a parish.
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2011, 02:45:45 PM »

Dear Anastasia,

You could also pray to St Pelagia. She was a dancer and courtesan of Antioch known as Margarita for her great love of pearls who happened to hear a saintly bishop preach while passing a church. She went home, sold her jewels, freed her slaves and returned to the bishop for baptism. After that she bought herself some men's clothing and lived the rest of her life as a hermit on the Mount of Olives, her true sex was only discovered after her death.

In Christ's love,
Sr Margaret
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2011, 03:21:32 PM »

I personally pray to St Mary of Egypt (as a model of repentence), the Theotokos (as a model of purity), and St Valentine (who was martyred for performing marriages).
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And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2011, 06:45:07 PM »

Is it unreasonable to think that the only way one can truly overcome the demon of Lust is to join in the monastic life?

I'm not sure if my salvation is going to work merely as a layman going to a parish.

I feel like this all too often. I am so sick I feel the need for extensive care.
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2011, 06:47:26 PM »

Is it unreasonable to think that the only way one can truly overcome the demon of Lust is to join in the monastic life?

I don't think becoming a monk will solve the problem. It's certainly not the solution Paul recommended Wink
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2011, 06:55:25 PM »

Is it unreasonable to think that the only way one can truly overcome the demon of Lust is to join in the monastic life?

I don't think becoming a monk will solve the problem. It's certainly not the solution Paul recommended Wink

True that in itself won't solve anything. But it may put you in a better place to defeat those passions. Can you expand on your second sentence? Just curious ...
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2011, 07:00:51 PM »

I was thinking of this passage, and specifically the bolded parts...

"Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn." - 1 Cor. 7:1-9
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2011, 08:22:04 PM »

Forgive any offense by this, it is unintended.

I find it strange that monasticism is being viewed as a path to follow for those struggling with their faith and passions.  I understand that it will remove or lesson certain temptations, but it will also replace them with others. 

Perhaps in the West, medieval and post-medieval monasticism developed the reputation as the endeavor of the 5th born son, but I don't think this is the case in Orthodoxy.

I'm no expert on Orthodox monasticism (and I'm also guilty of this line of thinking), but isn't it a tad presumptuous to think that a monastery would want a brother who was unable to control their passions on the outside?  It's not a reform school.  I think we all struggle with different passions and some of us fail more than others to control them.  Personally, I think it would be easier for me to "love my neighbor" if I was a hermit and didn't have any, but that's not the point.

Again, no offense intended, and my post is, in part, to learn more.  I could be wrong in my line of thinking.  Also, particularly in CBGardner's case, I don't mean to attack or belittle any genuine monastic interest you may have.

Enough disclaimers and qualifications for one internet post? Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2011, 09:46:28 PM »

Forgive any offense by this, it is unintended.

I find it strange that monasticism is being viewed as a path to follow for those struggling with their faith and passions.  I understand that it will remove or lesson certain temptations, but it will also replace them with others. 

Perhaps in the West, medieval and post-medieval monasticism developed the reputation as the endeavor of the 5th born son, but I don't think this is the case in Orthodoxy.

I'm no expert on Orthodox monasticism (and I'm also guilty of this line of thinking), but isn't it a tad presumptuous to think that a monastery would want a brother who was unable to control their passions on the outside?  It's not a reform school.  I think we all struggle with different passions and some of us fail more than others to control them.  Personally, I think it would be easier for me to "love my neighbor" if I was a hermit and didn't have any, but that's not the point.

Again, no offense intended, and my post is, in part, to learn more.  I could be wrong in my line of thinking.  Also, particularly in CBGardner's case, I don't mean to attack or belittle any genuine monastic interest you may have.

Enough disclaimers and qualifications for one internet post? Smiley

Oh no offense taken at all. I definitely see both sides of the coin. Many (including myself) idealize monastic life as it's easy to see all the pros and miss the cons. Being "ultra" spiritual and spending your days with God I'm sure attracts many of us here. But of course the monastery doesn't make the monk, the monk makes the monastery if you will and I think we can agree on that. And you're right a person needs a certain level of progress before taking on such a path.
There is no doubt that there are temptations ready to replace the ones someone would leave behind, but we can't deny the whole idea of a monastery is too escape the world and turn from earth to heaven so there is definitely something there that is hard to recreate where most of us are at.
Also, many who have felt convicted of a "large" amount of sin often are attracted to that lifestyle (good examples mentioned above) , especially when it comes to sexual sins. I can't speak for Aposphet, but that is where I'm coming from at least.
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2011, 10:39:29 PM »

I couldn't agree more with your take on both sides of the coin.  Leave it to the internets to make it seem as if we were viewing things differently. 

Additionally, I think there is a particularly strong pull following Great Lent.  We get a taste of thorough, directed, and sustained spiritual focus, which I had never experienced before.  The prospect of returning to a somewhat "normal" or worldly focus is, in some ways, a bit disconcerting.   
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« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2011, 10:58:57 AM »

I couldn't agree more with your take on both sides of the coin.  Leave it to the internets to make it seem as if we were viewing things differently. 

Additionally, I think there is a particularly strong pull following Great Lent.  We get a taste of thorough, directed, and sustained spiritual focus, which I had never experienced before.  The prospect of returning to a somewhat "normal" or worldly focus is, in some ways, a bit disconcerting.   

I entirely agree with you.
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« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2011, 11:37:25 AM »

If you think monastics do not struggle with lust (or any other sin) think again. Just because they spend all day in prayer does not mean they are not human and subject to temptation.

Remember, St. Mary of Egypt only overcame her sin of lust AFTER 17 years in the desert. Not upon entering the desert, but upon spending 17 years there.
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"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer 29:11
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