Are you divorced and feeling alone in your struggle to get back on track and rebuild a happy life for yourself? If so, you may find some consolation as you continue reading. I’m sharing a recent conversation I had with a gentleman who emailed me at firstname.lastname@example.org to hopefully give you some encouragement and help you not feel like you’re the only one out there struggling. I thank this anonymous gentleman who was generous in allowing me to share it with you.
I read your article posted online on May 13, 2013, and wanted to get your view on being chaste after being divorced four times. I struggle with this problem. I talked to my Pastor at my church and he said that I need to be chaste since I am single now, but I find that hard to do at the age of 56. I understand that having sex with a woman and not being married to her is a sin, but one priest at the same church told me NOT to confess this same sin over and over again because some priests can be very hard on me doing that.
What is your take? I thank you in advance for taking the time out to read my email and I look forward to your response.
Sincerely in Christ,
Mr. Pray All Day
Dear Mr. Pray All Day:
Thank you so much for sending your email and your candid explanation of your situation.
I understand very well where you are coming from. For the first two years after my divorce, I made many mistakes, myself. I tried hard to be chaste, but the pressure to give in was overwhelming and I will always regret those mistakes.
I think once a person experiences the joy of physical intimacy, it’s difficult at any age to move back into the celibate frame of mind.
If knowing that sex outside of marriage is a grave sin doesn’t motivate you to change, you might think of it in this way: when you are having sex outside of marriage, it’s like driving a car with a muddy windshield. Visibility is almost nothing and you run the risk of crashing the car.
Chastity is like turning on the windshield wipers and clearing away the mud and dirt. It’s only then you have clear vision and can drive safely. Make sense?
Living a celibate lifestyle is not the norm in our society and other people can make you feel like a loser for being this way, but they are the fools in this case. They are the ones trying to drive their car with mud on their windshields. So the question is how do you overcome your normal, natural desire for sex when you’re not married?
The answer is simply to ask God for the grace to overcome temptation. When you feel tempted, say this little prayer, “Dear Jesus, let Your blood wash over me and protect me from this temptation.” Or my favorite, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord.”
You and I cannot overcome our temptations by our strength and will alone, we need His grace. Just ask for it.
Another important thing to remember as you struggle to overcome this weakness, is that Our Blessed Mother also wants to help you. You may want to get in the habit of saying the Memorare on a daily basis, asking for her help.
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored your help or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.