Friday, March 4, 2016

SEX FOR CATHOLICS - MASTURBATION

This is a recent post from  Catholic Answers Forum user who has been struggling with the issue for two years:

I've encountered this same question again: Can you contribute something that hasn't already been said?
I think I have a sex addiction and I don't know how to deal with my sex drive. I'm trying to live chastely in accord with the Church's teaching for 9 months, and it seems I might not be able to last two weeks. Do you have any advice? Asking this question, I am reminded of St. Paul saying it's 'better to marry than to burn with temptation': Am I to understand that there may be nothing I can do except try to marry to satisfy this desire? Why would God be so cruel as to give us such a strong desire with no means of satisfying it? 

I decided it's time to start writing about sex. I'm moved to do so out of sympathy and compassion for so many people who suffer as this poster does, more from lack of objective information than anything.  Here is someone who sounds like he has a perfectly normal, healthy sex drive who believes he is "addicted" because some pronouncements about masturbation have made him feel badly about simply being a human being.

I'm going to put most of this in Tabs at the top or maybe in a new blog. It's impossible to discuss human sexuality without using words that some people are conditioned to find offensive.  But the parts of your reproductive anatomy and how they function don't have moral implications.  They are simply how God made you. They work and function in certain ways just like eyes or a pancreas. Still, I want to give people the option of not choosing to view the material which will include illustrations.

In answer to this poster:


Physical life on earth has two basic functions: production and reproduction.  "Production" in this case means acquiring space to live (a den, a fertile plain to roam, a section of reef) and food to eat.  Humans in many climates also need clothes, but the essentials of life are included in Production.

Then, there's Reproduction. At the most basic levels, this just means having sex. The drive for the individual is to have the most offspring who grow up to have the most offspring. This isn't a religious idea or a moral imperative.  This is how all life works.  After food and shelter, sex is the strongest drive we have. And achieving that goal - most offspring - produces "reproductive strategies" that are different for females and males.

The woman looks for an Alpha male, a male of high status, who can provide steady food and shelter and protect her and her offspring.  A male, conversely, looks for as many sex partners as he can possibly find to make as many babies as he can. This leads to a social structure where - if there are adequate resources (food, shelter) -  a high-ranking male has more than one wife.  And this is the tradition in our own Judeo-Christian background. Commonly seen in the Old Testament. 

Not being only biological creatures, but beings of spirit, we have imposed some controls on this behavior.  Which doesn't stop many men from acting out on these impulses. But it does bring us to the truth of your now years-long battle with your libido:

You were made that way on purpose. 

Everything about your reproductive system is designed to "addict" you to sex.  It's normal. 


Normal. There's nothing wrong with you, from what's in your thread. You just have a strong, healthy sex drive. Biologically, you are supposed to be able to make many babies with a variety of women. You are designed physically to make that a priority. So, here's what's happening:

Sexual arousal accompanies the release of certain hormones in your body.  Hormones that make you feel really good. Some of these, like dopamine, are also associated with addictions.  Does that mean you are an addict?  NO - it means we all are - sort of. Men and women have the same hormones, the same "addicting" chemicals that come from sexual arousal.

These are good things.  The regular release of these hormones is associated with heart and brain health, mental and emotional stability, lower incidence of neurological and circulatory disease. Arousal and orgasm are good things for your body and mind. It keeps your reproductive system in tip-top shape. In fact, certain of these chemicals trigger things in a woman's body making it easier for her to transmit sperm through the cervix and move an ovum down a fallopian tube.

We are supposed to be like this.

About porn and fantasy.  Studies show our bodies and brains cannot tell the difference between a sexual encounter we imagine and a real one. All the positive things that come from having sex, also come from masturbation for either sex.  It's also possible to become quite enamored of a celebrity or porn star one fantasizes about or watches. So, limiting porn and at least varying fantasy regularly are probably good ideas.

But what about morality?  Let's look at the CCC:

2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability. 

Look at the bolded section. No matter what a lot of people on CAF tell you, without the Church now repudiating a lot of old, repressed judgements - She has sought to ameliorate this to  "yeah, try to keep it under control, but seriously, not that big a deal."

Look at your levels of anxiety and self-loathing over this very natural and healthy thing. Look at your social factors, delayed marriage.

Here's a fact: 50% of all priests do not live within their vows of chastity. That is, they have sex. Mostly with women.  And most of them masturbate from time to time.

But lets say you have firmly decided you want to give this up. Going "cold turkey" off masturbation means you have shut down a source of healthy chemicals your body depends on to maintain health. Unless you are having regular, involuntary nocturnal emissions, you are not maintaining reproductive health.

So let's try a few things.  First - is there anything that's objectively abnormal about your sexual fantasies?  Are you only stimulated by children or animals or some fetishistic objects?   Are you feeding sadistic fantasies?  If not, then stop beating yourself up for being a normal man responding to a very essential drive.

So what to do?

First:  Start by replacing the hormones. At least some of them. The exercise people recommend is good because it also causes dopamine and other hormones to be released. Know what else does that?  Contemplative prayer. That's a demanding discipline, but once you achieve it, you will find your sex drive naturally repressed instead of by force of will.

Of course, chocolate, cigarettes and heroine also cause some of these hormones to be released, but lets avoid too much of one and all of the others.

Second: Don't go "cold turkey."  What happens is, we end up in an extreme rubber-banding situation.  Sooner or later, you give in and then hate yourself and then give up "being good" and descend into a morass of sexual guilt and over-indulgance.

Just give up porn.  Most of the porn industry is still controlled by organized crime and you just don't want to be supporting the kinds of terrible sin that entails.

Don't give up fantasy and masturbation entirely. Not at this time of life.  That's taking into account the social factors. But do take control of it. Do you shower daily?  That can be your time. A brief bit of fantasy and an orgasm will be enough to maintain your health.

Add to your routine the exercise and prayer.  Do not continually confess masturbation. It's venial.  DO discipline yourself during the day to stop fantasizing when you find yourself doing that. One way to help yourself, is to decide you'll go ahead and have that fantasy the next time you shower.  Save it for later, in other words.

Just do this for a while.  When you have a habit formed, if you want, you can slow down to every other day.  But give it a few months.

You know, people who habitually lie and want to stop that, they don't just up and never lie again. People get angry and are rude, they do all kinds of imperfect things they have a difficult time changing and none of those things are one of the two biological imperatives of all life on earth.

Just start to take some control. Stop castigating yourself.  Realize the difficulty is not a character flaw of yours but a biological imperative. Let chastity be a goal you pursue rather than an all-or-nothing, angst-producing fight for your soul.

Research foods and activities that produce endorphins.  Possibly you'll end up in a year or so only masturbating once a week or so.


Jesus told you to love. To treat people well. Do that. Turn your focus outward to the one next to you that needs help or kindness. Find a reasonable way to deal with your sexuality and practice compassion whenever possible. I think the devil's getting more mileage out of keeping you focused on not masturbating. Let it go, try for a reasonable level of sexual expression. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Deleting PRmerger - the CAF Toxicity


This is the text of a post "The Amateur Apologist" made. One of, I think, three, I deleted:
 The Amateur Apologist has left a new comment on your post "Change and Belief":

And in the interest of self disclosure, I will profess here that I personally do not believe that divorce and re-marriage is adultery.

But Christ said it. I therefore conform my views to Christ's.

I don't re-create a belief system that says, "It's too mean to say divorce and re-marriage is adultery. Therefore, I'm just going to say that Jesus didn't really say that! He happens to agree with me on this. In fact, curiously, He happens to agree with me on every moral and theological belief!"

This blog is not about to become a sounding board for the toxic brand of Catholicism that runs rampant on CAF. But I am addressing this and the deleting of posts on the blog. This will be the last post of this type.

I think this post encapsulates the most dangerous kind of thinking that we find on CAF. Let's look at the construct of ideas:
1. I don't believe divorce and re-marriage is adultery.
2. Jesus said so, so I conform my views to His.
First, the writer proclaims her present belief: she doesn't believe divorce and re-marriage is adultery.

Second, she says she changed her view to be Jesus' view. But she didn't. She started out saying what she really believes at the time she wrote the post. Today. So no change of belief occurred.
 1. I don't believe divorce and re-marriage is adultery.
This is beyond hypocrisy. It's dangerous, IMO. It's frightening in it's sincerity.

This is what people have to do to justify themselves on the Catholic Answers Forum. Find some twisted deconstruction of logic to support - what? Their own claim to being a "good Catholic?" In fact, a "better" Catholic than someone who might do what this poster goes on in an ad hom attack about with no reference to any writing or person?

This isn't the only person whose posts I have removed. I take out personal attacks or things that seem ugly to me. And it is just my personal opinion.  But it also is my personal blog. I don't hang with haters. I hope you won't, either.




(I copy/pasted this because a screenshot is very hard to read, the font comes out so small. I can post it if necessary to authenticate this is her exact post, if necessary.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Change and Belief

Banned from Catholic Answers Again is the most read and commented-on post in this forum.  As you can see, I haven't posted here in quite a while.  But people keep commenting in that thread. The comments section of the previous  very simple template didn't allow for replying to individual posts and made exchange of ideas quite difficult. I felt like I needed to update things a bit, so here is the new, simplified version of the blog. I hope everyone finds it easier to comment and connect.

I am a proponent of Truth. I'm not sure I always know what that is, when written with a capital "T."  I am also, however,  proponent of facts and freedom.

The Corporate Roman Catholic Church, that is, the physical hierarchical set of persons that take it upon themselves to make rules for the rest of humanity is corrupt. Power corrupts. That's inevitable. Some Popes have been great villains, committed heinous, despicable acts. True for all ranks of persons in the cRCC.  Bishops, having so much power, are especially vulnerable. Which is not to deny the presence of great spiritual warriors in the cRCC. There has also always been Light.

This is no attack on the Church.  It's just a statement of fact.  What is also factual, IMO, is that each of us is responsible for our own salvation. If you are not following Christ, not feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, refraining from judgement and praying in a closet and taking the last seat at the table, you cannot expect to be excused by God because some corporate body, a Bishop, a self-appointed expert on Christianity, said it was okay.

It's not okay. Not because I say it's not okay, but because Christ did. Our Savior didn't tell us to go to Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. He didn't tell us to confess or not masturbate or say a Rosary.

He told us to love one another.  Serve one another. Feed, clothe, visit the imprisoned. Pray. Pray. Pray. He gave us the Eucharist.  He didn't say it was the exclusive province of anyone. He didn't say who should and shouldn't receive.

It seems quite simple and anyone or anything that represses the simple message of Christ is just another in that nest of vipers blocking access to the fullness of life in God forever.

This is what I believe. I wanted to make it perfectly clear. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Our History-Making Pope





CNN PAGE ON THE POPE'S RESIGNATION

It occurred to me a while ago that the Pope is a very old man isolated amongst a savage pride of lions: powerful, ambitious and corrupt men.

Telling no one, he planned a public announcement: he will resign.
As of Feb. 11, 2013, 67 of the 118 cardinal electors were appointed by Benedict. The rest were appointed by John Paul II. 

From: "Papal Transition" America Magazine  The vast majority of these Cardinals are under 80 years of age.   Because we are weeks from the date of resignation, all Cardinals have time to make their way to Rome by the resignation date so that the Conclave can begin at once.   All, we assume, will call upon the Pope before he retires.  All, I hope, will know the preference of the Pope for his successor.  Today, Vatican news announced the Pope will have a "farewell gathering" with the Cardinals on February 28th.

This Pope wants someone in place before Easter, and the Cardinals are already going to be winging their way to Vatican City.  What was most interesting in the story, was this:

Also during the course of the question and answer session following the briefing proper, Fr. Lombardi reaffirmed that Pope Benedict will be returning to live a life of prayer and reflection in the Vatican... 
I'll bet. It's like a clockwork, a well-thought plan to shepherd us through the coming tribulations, executed at speed and under the time demands of the Lenten season to get a Pope in place long before Easter.  .

In a recent address (which I'm having trouble finding a link to) Pope Benedict XVI said that the Church had plenty of structure, what the Church lacks is enough spirituality.  With his comments on the importance of the novissimi as he interpreted the 3rd secret of Fatima, I'm wondering when someone will trust us enough to let us in on the actual Secret and finally, over 50 years later, tell us what Mary wanted us to know.

It's going to be an interesting 8 weeks.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Banned from Catholic Answers...AGAIN!! (oops)

ENOUGH ALREADY. Use this Reddit forum: Banned from CAF,  if you want to leave a post for friends, talk about what happened or find others who's question, ideas or interpretations were repressed. Or just to talk about what you really want to talk about in our struggle to follow Christ.




I can't say I thought I was disregarding what Mr. Casey said, but I was pretty sure that a different post I made might be skating on thin ice so I reported my own post. I was kinda surprised I got banned for this one.  But whatever, not my forum and if he felt I ignored him, well, I'm pretty sure even if I had thought it was wrong I was asking the question, anyway.  So, I cannot complain. Here's the thread, BTW: http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=743968

What's always too bad is they take out the post and the response.  I had to ask Mr "Lines and Numbers" (numealinesimpet) the question twice before he'd answer it.

His answer was: "OH, YES, OF COURSE, AND I'D BE WILLING TO DIE BEFORE I DENIED IT."

(That's a paraphrase and he didn't use all caps but it did have an eye-rolling amount of drama.)

So why would I push the question even if I had known it would get me a ban?  Because he is posting with this huge agenda, pushing the ideas of the SSPX, attacking Papal authority over the Church, trying to undermine it pretty much completely and reduce the Pope to some guy who makes "Faith and morals" pronouncements and everyone else can pretty much ignore him and do as they please.

As the poster presents himself as an SSPX "insider" who knows all the major players personally and has the inside scoop on what's going on, I took him at face-value and wanted to know just what game the SSPX is playing. And if I had to fall on my sword to do it (or, well, maybe stub my toe a little) it was worth it, as far as I'm concerned.  That thread has almost 800 posts, but it has about 24,400 views.  That's a ratio of over 30-1,  far in excess of the 8-1 lurker to poster that is standard for forum threads. And knowing the SSPX agenda is critical to good discernment by so many interested parties. 

It's fairly diabolical, IMO, and while we can use that phrase in the vernacular, I am using it in Saint Paul's sense of the Devil disguised as an angel of light - by which he meant people will claim, and may believe, they are preaching the Truth of Christ when they are just speaking Satan's lies.

2 Cor 11:13-15 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, who masquerade as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light.  So it is not strange that his ministers also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

The SSPX is walking a thin line, but a line of demarcation well-understood: as long as they acknowledge the Pope is the Pope, they stay in the Church, even though they have completely ignored every single one of his orders.  Every.  One.  The SSPX also knows it is not the practice of the Vatican to take a fight to the public.  They have no publicity spinners.  But the SSPX have made it their bread and butter, to tell "their side:" and to convince a lot of people too arrogant to admit their own ignorance that somehow, the Pope and all his true Magisterium are just, well, too dumb to know how the Church works.  

(If anyone wants to discuss this in-depth, please comment below.)

I am absolutely sure the man (and most of the laity who are loyal to the SSPX) is very earnest and has allowed himself to be convinced that he is a soldier in the Church Militant fighting to protect the Faith from evil influence.  sigh  And God will appreciate his efforts if not his outcome, and be merciful, I am sure.  Hey, he's probably fighting harder than I am even if he is under the influence of a dangerous schismatic cult.

Yup, I said the words: SCHISMATIC CULT.

After he made his "die for the Pope" speech, the poster could hardly wait to launch into the story of where the SSPX is going next.

The SSPX is going to take over American Samoa.  

No, I'm not joking.  The whole place is one big Diocese and apparently they "converted" the Bishop who has ordered everyone to receive the Eucharist on the tongue and kneeling.  (I have no idea if this is true, I am just reporting what he said.) Since about 90% of the population is Catholic, I guess Michael Voris will finally get his  Catholic Dictatorship, as soon as the SSPX moves there and starts telling everyone who to vote for and what books to read and movies to watch.

The problem is Fatima.  The SSPX loves to toss around the Fatima prophecies as if the Blessed Mother supports their position.  Here's the problem with that.  She said that in Portugal the dogma of the Faith would always be preserved.

I don't recall Sister Lucy reporting Our Lady saying a single thing about American Samoa.

Nice looking place, though.  I hope our Irish SSPX fan has much SPF 800 in his suitcase.

And watches out for sharks.