Author: Paul Masek

I have a confession to make: I’ve always secretly kind of loved those mosaics of the face of Jesus that are composed of pictures of parishioners from the parish directory. And I think it has something to do with an experience I once had – and which I dream of having more often.

During my first visit to one of the Catholic schools here in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that everyone who I walked past in the hallways – staff members and students alike – looked me directly in the eyes, smiled, and said hello. What was even more stunning was the realization that such a thing had never happened to me before, even though I’ve visited countless Catholic institutions.

At the end of that particular retreat day, while we on the team were processing the day with the school’s principal, we mentioned to her how blessed we all were by the warmth and kindness of everyone we encountered. Her response was simple, yet profound:

“I regularly remind my students and faculty that Jesus is present in everyone we meet, and that if any one of us ever passed by Jesus in the hallway, I would hope that we would look him in the eyes, smile, and say hello.”

As an intelligent person, you know that there is a lot you can do (physically), without actually having intercourse, right? So, how far is too far to go, physically, with a member of the opposite sex? To answer this question, we'd like to invite you...

My problem is masturbating. I’ve tried to stop many times but can’t.  How can I stop doing this?

Dear Friend,

Thanks for writing. It takes a lot of courage to send out an email like yours about an issue like this, even anonymously. Admitting that you have a problem and that you want to stop masturbating is the first and most important step that you can take. I hope it doesn’t sound too crazy when I tell you that I am proud that you are seeking real freedom in your life!