Possible things

My confessor recommended to me that I meditate on the passion so that I can come to a greater understanding of God’s love.  His instructions were to simply read a passage from the Gospel, and quietly listen for what God has to say.  Sounds simple enough.

Yesterday I was reading the 14th chapter of Mark, when Jesus is in Gethsemani.  My eyes fell upon these words, “And he saith: Abba, Father, if all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.”

I stopped.  Something didn’t seem right.

So I read them again, this time more carefully.

And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.

What happened?  The first time, my brain added two letters before the word all: “if.”  I added a condition to what Jesus said.  Certainly our Lord knows that all things are possible.  I’m the one who introduced doubt, my doubt.

It made me wonder: how much of my prayer life has been conditional?  Have I been praying, “If you can do this God…” rather than “If you will do this God…” or simply, “Thy will be done”?

Jesus probably prayed more than these words.  He was there for an hour.  But the evangelist records only this one bit.  Jesus affirms the power of God.  He makes His request.  Then He surrenders to His Father.

Here we have the first three steps: we admit that we are powerless over sex addiction and that only God can restore us to sanity, we come before God with our needs, humbly and sorrowfully; and we surrender our lives to Him.

Remember the passion of our Lord when working the steps.  Remember them year round, not just during Lent.  Find an hour every day to enter the garden and pray with Him.

 

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Are you a sex addict?

I have updated the self-assessment page and reprinted the content below. I highly recommend reading my 7 questions in conjunction with the self-assessments at Sex Addicts Anonymous or Sexhelp.com.

Sex addicts commonly answer yes to one or more of the 7 questions below.  If you even lean towards saying yes one any of the questions below, consider getting help.  Many of us start out in extreme denial.  Don’t hold back from yourself.

  1. Do you ever feel like your sexual behavior is “out of control”?  Do you want to stop but feel like you’re unable to?
  2. Have you ever made a promise to yourself that you would stop a behavior, only to break it?  Has this become a cycle?
  3. Do you keep your behavior a secret?  Are you careful to clear your browser history, or do you lie about where you’ve been?
  4. Does your behavior violate your personal beliefs or values?  Do you feel guilt or shame afterwards? Are you afraid people at work, church, or school will find out?
  5. Are your behaviors illegal? Do you fear getting caught by the police? Do you continue the behavior in spite of your fear?
  6. Do the things that used to satisfy you fail to satisfy you now? Do you need to engage in more extreme or riskier behaviors to reach the same level of satisfaction?
  7. Do you ever seek to avoid sex altogether? Do you “swear off” sex, only to return to your old behavior? Do you have a “binge and purge” pattern of engaging in undesirable behavior, obsessively or compulsively avoiding all sex, then returning to your undesirable behavior? Do you replace your sexual behaviors with other problematic behaviors such as excessive drinking, eating, drug use, gambling, spending, etc.?

What makes something an addiction is compulsivity.  If you are trying to stop, but can’t, or if you are doing things you know you shouldn’t, or if you try replacing one problem with another, that is a strong indicator you might be an addict.  Now is the time to seek help through a twelve-step fellowship or Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT).