Lust – It’s Not Always About Sex | Anonymous | HPR
Sometimes it’s about a compulsion to dominate other people that originates in childhood rivalries and persists into adulthood as an unconscious trait.
The author is a Catholic layman. As a general rule, Homiletic and Pastoral Review does not accept anonymous submissions, especially if the submitted essay is a critique of another. In this instance, however, we were asked to respect the author’s anonymity for the sake of his family and community.)
For years, I struggled with impure thoughts and desires. I prayed often and confessed sins of impurity many times for many years. I always felt sorry for my confessors because, despite their attempts to be helpful, I sensed that they must have endured thousands of drearily similar confessions over the years, often repeated by the same penitents. I have gone to many different confessors, but have yet to find one that can do more than offer encouragement, and recommend frequent prayer, and reception of the sacraments. And, indeed, I find that regular prayer, daily Mass, and weekly confession are a great help in fighting temptations to commit sins of impurity.
Still the persistence of the temptations was profoundly disturbing to me. I noticed that they became stronger the greater the interval between receptions of the sacraments. I felt a kind of pressure build up in me when I saw an attractive woman, or picture of an attractive woman, and the pressure would increase with each instance. I felt guilty coming home to my wife with this pent-up urge for sexual release, but thought it was probably normal male sexuality. Yet, I knew that it undermined my fight for sexual purity, and threatened my soul. I was trapped in a double life and did not know how to escape.
As I got older, I wondered if the temptations would reduce in frequency or severity. After all, I reasoned, this is the result of the male sex drive and when my virility begins to wane, so will the temptations. Yet this did not happen. I often think of a story told by a friend who spent several years as a young man in a monastery. He asked an elderly monk the age at which his sexual temptations would begin to diminish. The old monk looked surprised and hopeful, “Does that happen?” he playfully asked.
Thus, I gradually learned that I could not expect assistance from my declining hormones; lust is not something one “naturally” grows out of.Continue reading at www.HPRweb.com.