"Love One Another!" 16/2010 → True Love Waits - Pure Hearts
It began with masturbation when I was around fourteen or fifteen years of age. I did not know it was bad for me or that it could lead to addiction. How grave a sin it was, I would not learn until much later.
I would even confess it, but I made no effort to address the problem, and so I would fall into sin again. I grew older but not wiser. I had a “great” bunch of friends. I began to experiment with drugs. My buddies and I would sniff glue together. I did myself harm. One day I got so zonked that I could clearly feel my memory and concentration going. This frightened me, and I got off the vile stuff. I know God helped me then. I soon regained my mental faculties, but the fear and terror stayed with me a long time after that.
I know now that fear and discouragement are the devil’s most powerful weapons. That is why it is so important to entrust oneself to our Lord Jesus. But I had not finished with masturbation, and Scratchy Foot was tunneling in on me from every side. The years passed and still I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I turned to pornography. I constantly sought out novel experiences. All my creative energies, which God had freely given me, I discharged through masturbation. I was selfish and self-centered and did not develop God’s gift of love. I had no girlfriend, though I very much wanted to have one. I was shy–a consequence of my addiction. Finally, when I had lost hope in ever finding a girlfriend, a chum of mine suggested I go to a brothel. He said it would give me more confidence with girls. And so began a rapid descent into hell.
I have no desire to recall those terrible times. I will only say that they were terribly addictive. I lost my money, risked my health, and mindlessly destroyed one of God’s greatest gifts–my sexuality. I fell into a depression, was loath to leave the house, had trouble getting out of bed and performing even the simplest of activities.
This time a friend helped me. He directed me to a psychologist. There, one by one, we began to peel away my problems. The first was alcohol. I often got very drunk with my friends; as a result, I had to eliminate every occasion that led me to drink–for example, barbeques at my friend’s house. Denying myself this pleasure was painful and difficult, but it helped me to stop drinking. But my depression would not go away, and so my psychologist had to look for other causes. Finally, it all came out. I was told I had to join a Sexoholics Anonymous group as soon as possible. The prospect of revealing my sordid secrets filled me with dread. I felt terribly lonely. I dreamed of enjoying a walk with a woman I loved, and yet I knew that any girlfriend of mine could only expect abuse at my hands, since my relations with a woman had never gone beyond the sexual exploitation of a naked body. This was what over a dozen years of pornographic consumption had brought me to.
Today I have to be careful of advertisements displaying attractive women. I have to avoid glancing at pornographic magazines on display at a newsstand. These materials are there because the law governing pornography permits their display. I am campaigning to have the law repealed, for it is wreaking harm on future generations. I am campaigning for a total ban on the display, promotion, and sale of any form of pornography. Surely every psychologist providing therapy to prostitutes and sex addict will support my efforts.
Only recently, after a vigil held at Jasna Gora by my Renewal in the Spirit group, did Jesus finally free me from my slavery to sexual impurity. I felt this very clearly and personally. Ever since then I have been receiving Him in God’s greatest miracle — the Eucharist.