In Part 5, I shared how throughout my college career my compulsion to pornography began to fester. Today, we begin looking at how God had other plans for my life.
The summer after graduation from college, I was confused about where God was calling me. I seriously questioned whether I was being called to priesthood, for I was radically struggling with celibacy.1 For my three years at minor college seminary, I told God, “I’m going to be a priest.” As the old phrase goes, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans,” and He was cracking up. Instead, I should have been asking: “Lord, do You want me to be a priest?” In order to really discern well, I came to understand that I needed to continue onto the Major Seminary at St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland.
During that year, I became more serious about questioning my vocation. Through this, I was granted some relief from my addiction (although it would come out to play every so often). I began to pray a Holy Hour most days in front of the Tabernacle where Jesus in the Eucharist resided, rising at 6 am to pray. Although I struggled with my theological studies, I remained committed. I was involved in the community and was striving to grow in masculine intimacy with my brothers. I was faithful to my apostolate of serving at a local parish. I also began working out on a regular basis, which helped to direct my energy from pent up frustrations and stress.
Even though I was striving for balance, I still was not satisfied. I was still yearning for someone – some woman – to love me. While celibacy is a genuine gift and my respect for priests was growing immensely, a pain in my heart and a question in my head would not go away: What if there is someone out there for me? What if, in all those lonely days through junior high, high school, and college, of wanting female companionship, God had one woman prepared for me?
This all came to a head one Saturday morning. The night before, I went to bed early because I felt deathly ill. Waking up at about 9:30 am, I did something I rarely ever do: I just laid there. Looking around, I noticed the copy of Madonna of the Streets one of my brothers in seminary had given me (who would become the priest to witness my marriage). At that moment, a scene from the first Matrix movie popped in my head (you know, when you think of Mary, you think of Keanu Reeves…it is only natural). I replayed before my eyes the scene toward the end where Trinity says to Neo, “I’m not afraid.” At that moment, I was not afraid anymore. I knew, deep within the recesses of my heart, while celibacy is a gift, God had not granted it to me. I needed to jump. I did not know where I was going, but I realized that if He had led me into seminary, He was going to light my path. He had other plans for me, but a turning point — in my life and in my heart — would be needed if I were to fulfill what He had destined for me before the world began.
I had experienced a tremendous gift, and I knew there was a very different vocation ahead of me. But first, I needed to receive a full healing from my compulsion to pornography.
To be continued…
To read the whole story, as well as learn how to overcome the power of pornified images, as well as to transform our pornified culture, check out Redeemed Vision: Setting the Blind Free from Pornography, coming soon. Comment below so you can be notified as to when Redeemed Vision is released.
Steve Pokorny is the founder of freedom-coaching.net, a one-on-one mentoring system devoted to breaking the power of pornified images. If you or someone you care about is hooked on porn, click on the link above to learn how you can be set free.
1 The Catholic Church teaches clearly: Those with non-integrated sexual desires are not to be ordained to the priesthood. They are to be fully in possession of themselves to freely give themselves away to the whole Bride of Christ as a celibate in Holy Orders.