There are days when I feel so down. Today was one of them. Loneliness, despair, cares for the world can all weigh the soul down. At times in my life I have been completely debauched: pursuing sex, women, or other forms of pleasures to the exclusions of all else. In the end I always feel empty, drained and exhausted. But despite all that the allure still remains.

Then there are the times where life simply seems to be burdensome. It is at these moments that I know how much I need God in my life. Prayer is a great comfort. Nothing is perfect, and prayer certainly does not remove all our anxieties, but without prayer I cannot imagine making it for too long. It took me years to realize this. In my early years of faith my prayer life was sporadic. But recently over the past few years my prayer life has improved. I pray daily, usually the rosary at least, and try to read the daily readings for Mass as well as the Liturgy of the Hours. It all helps to keep me balanced. On those days when lust and sexual urges seem stronger than others I simply remember the pain and heart aches of my past life, the nearly destructive behavior in seeking sexual thrills and pleasures, and the transitory emptiness it all brings compared to the steady, loving strength that God provides.

Rembrant's depiction of the Apostles afraid on the Sea of Galilee

Life is stormy sometimes: Rembrant's depiction of the Apostles afraid on the Sea of Galilee

I was in a love relationship for a good part of last year and the year before. It was never going to work out, for reasons which I cannot divulge here, but it was doomed from the start. Still, we both wanted each other and told each other that we loved each other, even though we both knew it was impossible. But she needed more than I could give her and eventually she found someone else. The difficulty of that still haunts me. I knew the risks involved when we started out, but I never really understood how I would react to things. So I have now vowed never to get into one of those situations again and hopefully I won’t, but the pain of it all is indescribable.

Love is this strange thing. We are drawn to each other, we become involved, yet it is in a way that is not completely whole and so in the end there is great pain. After such situations I can understand better the validity of marriage. It becomes difficult after a while to have people float in and out of your life, nothing ever permanent, nothing ever consummated fully. And yet, and yet despite these lesson, despite the pain and suffering I have gone through in my life, despite all my vows of never to engage in thrilling, casual sex again, I am drawn to the pursuit. It is a never ending battle with me.

But I also know that despite all my sins I can turn again to God. Forgiveness is there, everlasting, as is His love. And I know in the end that that love is far more rewarding than the thrills of pursuing women.