For the longest time, I have hated porn. And not just pornography, but any form of impurity that elicits lust and impure sexual desire. This has been my greatest spiritual discontent ever since I first encountered sexuality (I was so young I cannot even remember my age).
I was fascinated by sexuality. As an adult now, I can sadly close my eyes and call to mind the impure dreams that would haunt me at night, and then how I would later lust over the images and feelings they produced. I was so drawn to sexuality and yet so repulsed by the sinfulness in its perversion all at the same time. Sexuality became a heavy chain snapped tightly around my ankles and wrists, and I was its prisoner.
I soon began to hate television for its intolerable, crude and graphic portrayal of sexuality. Magazines also. The internet showed its dark side too, with unrequested pop-ups and advertisements. Through my own insecurities and wounds, I found myself frustratingly conflicted with the desire to be modest and pure, and with the desire to be sexy and gawked at by men. This only served to deepen my confusion and anger.
To my great sorrow, I have a terribly good memory for sexual images and anything can trigger them to resurface. Each encounter with impure sexuality has made its cut on my heart. I literally feel an ache in my chest where my heart is and each time I have been wounded by this sin, I have been marked anew. The cuts return with a rush in these moments. The heaviness makes me physically sick, my stomach tightening as I am overcome with the urge to throw up.
There are people in my life quite dear to me, who have been at one time or another, ensnared by sexual sin in their own ways. Instinctually in my brokenness and selfishness, I’ve allowed the pain of their struggles to become a personal burden or attack, resulting in more suffering to myself and in unintended shame onto the other. My imagination left unchecked, runs wild with “what if’s” and the like, causing even more distress.
But I do not want this. I do not want this anger, this pain, this obsession with sexual sin.
Five years ago while driving through a cascade of spring rain, the memory of a past incidentinvolving sexual sin, made fresh the invisible cuts on my heart. I said to myself (so very selfishly), “Oh if only he knew the pain he has caused me, of how much it hurts.” But then, Jesus was hanging on the cross with gashes and shredded flesh, blood was everywhere and He said, “Oh, if only you knew, my child, of the pain you have caused me and how each transgression has been a lash on my heart.” I began to cry. Pulling over to the side of the road I finally, for the first time in my life, understood the unconditional love and forgiveness of Jesus.
Forgiving, in my human condition, is not enough because I can still remember the past where forgiveness evaporates in the memory of my pain. No, I ask Jesus, I beg Him to give me the grace to forgive as He forgives me.
Jesus has bathed me in His most Precious Blood, He kisses me and forgets my sins. There is no more need for guilt, shame or resentment, because my sins are no more. You too have been forgiven, your struggles, your failures with pornography and sexual sin once forgiven are NO MORE.
“I thirst,” He said from the cross…
Jesus was rejected and denied by the world (and still is). He has been torn to shreds, crucified and killed thousands of times and more. My sufferings are but a graze from a pin in comparison to the sufferings of our Sweet Saviour. And when He was feeling all of this pain, sorrow, abandonment and loneliness, He did not curse in anger or wallow in His self-pity. Jesus, with a feeble voice, shaking with exhaustion and gasping for air, managed to say, “I thirst.”
He thirsts for our souls to experience conversions, to repent and to seek Him even if it means going to confession to ask forgiveness for the same sin one hundred thousand times! This is the cry of the greatest Lover of all souls, the invitation of the One who is LOVE!
Still weeping in my vehicle, heavenly tears weeping with me, I was overwhelmed with this understanding: Jesus does not want me to be delivered from this spiritual discontentment. He shared with me a brief moment of His passion, asking me to use it, not to wallow in my own self-pity or anger or hatred.
Jesus asks me to thirst with Him for these souls, for my soul. He wants me to love them and to forget their sins, to just see them and to want them to be with He who my soul loves. What difference does it make if I get hurt? Jesus comforts me. But when Jesus is hurt, who is there to comfort Him? Salvation is suddenly and dangerously jeopardized for these souls and that difference matters.
My Sweet Jesus, I understand your love for souls when I look at You. My love for You is so great that I would die for You. I am forever grateful for Your sacrifice. I pray now, for all souls ensnared or affected by the epidemic of sexual sin. Give them the grace to forget sin, forget the shame, forget the guilt, forget the past, forget the anger and forget the hurt. May they feel Your self-sacrificial love.
I know that He loves me – it is enough. Now run to Jesus. He thirsts.
Thanks for reading and, as always, God bless!