Answer both psychological and spiritual. Answer both psychological and spiritual


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Answer both psychological and spiritual.

  • Answer both psychological and spiritual.

  • Different profile of seminarians:

  • Prevailing culture.

  • Broken families.



Compromised morality.

  • Compromised morality.

  • Media.

  • Provocative sexual images everywhere.

  • Western culture tolerating pornography and masturbation.



Message: Whatever sexual activity you want to do, as long as feelings are mutual, it is ok.

  • Message: Whatever sexual activity you want to do, as long as feelings are mutual, it is ok.

  • Roger Scruton:

  • Sexual urges need expression.

  • Shame, guilt and disgust are unhealthy.

  • Sex for pleasure.



Loving and serving others fundamental to the priestly vocation.

  • Loving and serving others fundamental to the priestly vocation.

  • Human sexuality and the personal level a form of sexual fulfillment.

  • Difficulty in loving others if there was no experience of love in the past.



Psychologist John Bowlby.

  • Psychologist John Bowlby.

  • Child – primary caregiver and the image of self.

  • Secure attachment – self as lovable and worthwhile (caregiver is the secure base).

  • Insecure – internalized sense of self as unwanted, unworthy, or incompetent.



Insecure attachment styles:

  • Insecure attachment styles:

  • Internalized sense of self as unwanted,

  • unworthy, or incompetent.

  • Inability to bond with others

  • to loneliness and isolation

  • to harmful coping mechanisms (unchaste sexual practices).



Attachment styles include the way we relate to God.

  • Attachment styles include the way we relate to God.

  • Relationship with God akin to the relationship with primary caregiver.

  • For insecurely attached seminarians possibility to develop secure attachment through having God as a “secure base.”



Learning Theories:

  • Learning Theories:

  • Classical Conditioning.

  • Operant Conditioning.

  • Ideas developed in 20th century by psychologists called behaviorists.



Classical Conditioning:

  • Classical Conditioning:

  • The Response paired and conditioned to the

  • Stimulus.

  • A classic case: Pavlov’s dogs:

  • S (food) + CS (sound of a bell) R(Salivating)

  • Eventually CS R;



Operant Conditioning

  • Operant Conditioning

  • Rewarding consequence increases

  • likelihood of engaging in the behavior in the

  • future (reinforcing the behavior).

  • Consequence is punishment decreases

  • that one will engage in the behavior in the

  • future.



S (mild pornographic images) R (mild

  • S (mild pornographic images) R (mild

  • sexual arousal);

  • Eventually, CS (ex. writing a paper on

  • computer) thoughts and impulses to view

  • pornography.

  • CS triggers because S paired with CS

  • (triggers) producing the same behavior.



Neuroplasticity of the brain.

  • Neuroplasticity of the brain.

  • Neurons that fire together, wire together.

  • Brain changes as a consequence of experience.

  • Neurotransmitters.

  • Fantasizing to high-state arousal.



Realizing that the change is needed.

  • Realizing that the change is needed.

  • Understanding why misbehavior takes place.

  • The decision to change.

  • Deactivating a reaction sequence.

  • Controlling these behaviors helps to develop self control.

  • Contemplative dimensions of religious life.



Criteria :

  • Criteria :

  • Recurrent failure to resist impulses to behave unchastely.

  • More extensive time spent in those unchaste sexual practices.

  • Ongoing, but unsuccessful, efforts to stop, reduce, or control sexual behavior.

  • Feeling preoccupied with fantasy, sexualized thoughts, and/or preparatory activities.

  • Engaging in sexual practices takes significant time away from priestly obligations.



Continuation of unchaste behavior despite its consequences.

  • Continuation of unchaste behavior despite its consequences.

  • Tolerance – more frequent or intense S are needed over time to obtain the desired result.

  • Deliberately limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities in order to keep time open for unchaste sexual practices.

  • Distress, restlessness, or irritability if unable to act on unchaste sexual impulses accompanied with: dizziness, body aches, headaches, sleeplessness, restlessness, anxiety, mood swings, and/or depression.



Helpful tips:

  • Helpful tips:

  • Write down the beliefs you have about yourself, your relationships and others, that are a direct result of your involvement with unchaste sexual practices.

  • Provide as much evidence as you can that supports your beliefs.

  • Look at your beliefs and ask whether there is any evidence that would make the belief false or true.

  • Identify how your beliefs have impacted you.

  • Create a plan of action for the next time this belief comes into your mind.



The decision to change and live a holy life ought to be made.

  • The decision to change and live a holy life ought to be made.

  • “Why do I want to change?”

  • Being Christ like.

  • Fr. Paperini:

  • “I don’t want you to accept chastity; I want

  • you to choose chastity.”



Reaction Sequence: pathway formed in the brain that generally begins with a S and ends with a specific R.

  • Reaction Sequence: pathway formed in the brain that generally begins with a S and ends with a specific R.

  • Once developed, RS will automatically change a person’s emotional state.







Resisting temptation as a challenge and opportunity to build self-control.

  • Resisting temptation as a challenge and opportunity to build self-control.

  • Building self-control helps growth in other virtues.



Chastity also a gift from God; grace needed.

  • Chastity also a gift from God; grace needed.

  • Daily prayer life, fasting and other acts of

  • penance and mortification, examining ones

  • conscious daily, regular confessions, meeting

  • with a spiritual director help nourishing

  • loving relationship with God helping

  • seminarians live chastity.





It is possible to live chastity.

  • It is possible to live chastity.

  • Both needed:

  • Human formation (understand psychology).

  • Spiritual formation (transcendence of the vocation to the priesthood).

  • It is through self-control that seminarians

  • will obtain the freedom which “exists for the

  • sake of love.”





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