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Question

Reverend Father Angelo,

although in the past I wrote several times to ask you many questions, this time I have decided to write you this email to tell you my story and to say thank you.

My name is Andrea, I am 25 years old and, after being confirmed, I spent my adolescence wandering away from Faith and from the Church. One day I decided to attend mass and since then I decided to reconcile with the Church. Unfortunately, two bad habits had already taken over me: masturbation and pornography, that are both very widespread among people my age. I fought with all my strength, but I was unable to succeed (perhaps because I had not enough faith in God the Saviour). In the meantime I got engaged. In the beginning, my girlfriend and I were determined to live chastely, but after a while we gave in and for three years I have wandered away from the Church, from God and from Faith doing all sorts of unutterable things both alone and with my girlfriend. I even considered adhering to another Christian denomination, choosing among the Protestant ones that, being far from the Truth, tolerate moral laxity.

Nonetheless, God did not abandon me and deep down His voice kept telling me that all this was wrong.

Eventually, last Easter something ignited inside me. I bolstered myself and talked to my girlfriend. We agreed that chastity was the right path. I went to see a priest, I made a good confession, and I resolved that I would stop sinning. I have found the way thanks to the Rosary, to the Liturgy of the Hours (I try to recite all the divine office daily) and to the guidance provided by a very good priest, whom I meet on a weekly basis, both alone and with other young men and women.

Dear Father Angelo, since that Easter day I have never watched pornography and have never masturbated. I can give testimony that this is possible and that it is liberating. The world propounds a morality that enslaves us, even though it pretends to set us free. Only the Faith in Jesus Christ and his easy yoke  liberate us.

I apologize for such a long letter, but I thought it was important to give you a detailed account of my story. I get the chance to say thanks because your Q&A column helped me to understand some of the teachings of the Catholic Church which I used to find difficult or unclear, so that I was ready to give  an explanation to anyone who asked me for a reason for my hope [Cf. 1Pt 3, 15, translator’s note].

I pray for you, dear Father, in order that God gives you the graces you need for your important apostolate.

Kind regards,

Andrea


Answer

Dear Andrea,

1. I have just finished answering the email that is going to be published the day before yours.

In that answer I tried to help a young woman who is distressed because the man she lives with (and to whom she is in fact married in a registry office), after recognizing her mistakes, has decided to live chastely until the religious marriage.

Not only did I want to hint to the intrinsic disorder of those acts and of that state of life, but also to the effects that are brought about by a pleasure-oriented sexual experience deprived of its fundamental values.

2. Now, you are the one who explains where a relationship in which sexual pleasure is an end in itself leads to. In such a relationship, pleasure is pursued as if it were one’s ultimate goal.in life

Here are the very words you wrote: «for three years I have wandered away from the Church, from God and from Faith doing all sorts of unutterable things, both alone and with my girlfriend. I even considered adhering to another Christian denomination, choosing among the Protestant ones that, being far from the Truth, tolerate moral laxity».

3. Those sexual experiences had become impoverished of their intrinsic significance. There was something about them that did not satiate you. It is precisely because you were not fully satiated that you were looking for stronger and stronger experiences, so that you ended up practicing the so-called extreme sex. When you had done all sorts of unutterable things, both alone and with other people, you found yourselves immensely far away from God and from the Sacraments of the Church.

4. You even considered becoming a protestant in order to feel freer — or rather to be enslaved by sensual lust to the fullest. In this case, religion would be a mere pretense, because clearly God would not be the starting point and the end of your love life. He would only be a label, so that you could declare: “we are believers”.  

5. But then Easter arrived with the grace it brings along every year.  Because at Easter we do not just celebrate rituals, nor do we just recollect past events. Every year the grace of Christ’s resurrection is effused. On Easter day 2019 Christ raised both of you. In a miraculous way he removed the stone of sensual lust that was weighing down on you. Licentiousness was actually an impediment to your spiritual progress and to the development of your love life.

6. Now you are on your journey of faith. Now, you pray, and by reciting the Rosary you invite Jesus Christ and the Most Blessed Virgin into your life.

Now, you have a thousand prayer intentions to share with one another. Now you can tell each other the inner lights and holy affections that the Lord and the Virgin kindle in your souls through prayer.

Now you can understand the Scripture, because your mind is pure and is no longer oppressed by what you called unutterable things. And while you read, your heart is burning within you [Cf. Lk. 24,32, translator’s note] because Jesus is talking to you.

Now you pray the Liturgy of the Hours: you pray with the Church and for the Church. Indeed, you pray for the whole of mankind.

None of these things would have been possible if you had been mired in sensual lust, «for the flesh has desires against the Spirit» [cf. Gal 5,17]. The desires of the flesh include licentiousness.

7. What an amazing and enviable transformation occurred to you! Before Easter 2019, perhaps you despised or pitied people who talked about the spiritual heights. You probably thought that yours was a clever and worthy lifestyle. Now that you have undergone a change, you realize that the things you used to crave are nothing but unutterable things, that is to say things that are so repulsive that one should not even utter them [translator’s note: in Italian, the author hints to the origin of the word “nefandezza”, that derives from Latin “ne” + “fandus”, thus meaning “thing that shall not be said” (because it is blameworthy)] .

8. Thank you for this beautiful testimony and thank you for the prayers you promised me. I will heartfully pray for you in order that the Lord may continue to perform a great work in you.

I bless you and I wish you a good journey of faith.

Father Angelo


Translated by: Alessandra N.

Verified by: David