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James Michaelson wrote:

Hi, guys —

This is James from India. I am addicted to masturbation and porn videos and if I see any good photos, I masturbate to them, as well as gay porn too.

I need a release from this. I have done some sins four times while wearing a Rosary and holy medal of Jesus on my neck. I have also masturbated during a 33-day novena and have done the same sins in last four days because my desire is uncontrollable.

Sir, I need a big confession for this. I am a sinner who needs forgiveness.

  • How come this is a sin?
  • Will it be forgiven?
  • Can we wear sacramentals like the Rosary or a medal, while we are sexually active or masturbating?

Kindly answer me,

James

  { Can we wear sacramentals like the Rosary or a holy medal while sexually active or masturbating? }

Bob replied:

Dear James,

I'm sorry to hear how bad your struggle is going, but you should take courage and find some hope.

First, this addiction can end with God's grace. The trouble is you have established other bad habits that support this evil. Remember how Jesus said "if your eye causes you to sin tear it out." (Matthew 18:9) Now I am not suggesting that you go hurt yourself but only that you need to get ready to go to an all-out war on this behavior to overcome it. This is a war, a spiritual war, and you need to start winning some battles so you can turn the momentum in your favor. Every successful resistance to the temptation is a battle won. Remember that.

First, you need to fast from all social media and any other source of stimuli that feeds your addiction. You said pictures get you going. You have to eliminate your exposure to all trigger pictures, not simply the porn ones, but rather the attractive individuals you see that turn your brain in that direction. It may require giving up the Internet, TV, and any other media that triggers you, for at least seven weeks, (your Lent starts now), because that is how long it will take to get your brain moving in the right direction. Your brain is releasing a chemical (dopamine) that is extremely powerful, like a drug addiction, so you need a detox period.

When you are back on the web, there is also software that can limit your access to porn like:

Use that web browser or something similar.

Also, you need to pray the Rosary everyday and go to Confession at least once a month; twice a month or weekly is better, but I know that is difficult in this COVID world. Monthly Confession at least is a non-negotiable.

With respect to the holy objects you had on your person when you committed these deeds. That is greatly regrettable, and you need to make a special act of contrition for that, because it is especially insulting to our Lord and borders on sacrilegious. Addicts will rob their own family to steal money for their drugs, so He knows what the score is.

Lastly, there is probably an issue you have with shame, not guilt, that needs some attention.

Guilt is something we rightly feel when we know we have done something wrong for which we are totally responsible.

Shame is an attitude toward self that says I am bad, rather than I did something bad. It is very toxic and a tool of the devil to drive us into a downward spiral so that we remain trapped in these self abusive sins. To break free you need to affirm yourself as someone:

  • that God loves
  • who God is working with, and
  • who God has a plan to set free.

You need to start believing in yourself and God more.

Know there is a demonic side to this.

You need to tell satan and all demons to take a hike, that you are going to be free and Jesus is on your side. Pray often, sing songs to Jesus and Mary and do everything that annoys satan so he will stop harassing you and tempting you to this weakness. Read the Bible everyday, Christian books, listen to Christian music, get holy candles and make your environment like church and demons will not want to hang out with you. Get Fr. Chad Ripperger's book on deliverance prayers and start fighting the demons:

You are a man and you were made to be a warrior; this is your battlefield so armor up. You will not be defeated; you have been weak, but weakness is not in your future. Though you fall a hundred or even a thousand times, you will get up a hundred or even a thousand times and march on. Every good soldier fights as long as there is life in his body. You need to see yourself as strong and get rid of this effeminate spirit that keeps you down.

I prayed a Rosary for you already and will keep praying for you — many others struggle with this and your fight will help them. Know that you can pay this forward to another struggling person by fighting for them and offering your struggle on their behalf.

We fight together as one body in Christ, and each of us assists the others who need help so if you want to help change someone else's world, fight to change yours.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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