As the Apostles experienced on the sea of Galilee, life often presents us with many storms during which we seek God's comfort.

As the Apostles experienced on the sea of Galilee, life often presents us with many storms during which we seek God’s comfort. This is a great religious painting by Rembrandt.

Now that my life has gone through some major and difficult changes over the past few months, once again I need to write about the joys of leading a simple life based on faith in God. Sundays are a good day for this. Now that I am once again attending Church on a weekly basis, I often think about the difference of one life compared to another. In one life of mine, a former life, I might spend a Sunday morning waking up with  a woman in bed and missing Mass. I always disliked that, since attending Church on a weekly basis has been a part of my entire adult life. Whenever I missed Mass for whatever reason, whether because of sexual pleasure or disagreement with something aspect of Catholic teaching, I always felt like I was missing something very important. It gave me a sense of being slightly cut off, if not very distant, from God and even myself. I simply need the experience each week of a spiritual gathering of people, a public worship of God.

Now whatever woman I awoke with on whatever morning at whatever time in my past is long gone, nothing more now than a distant memory. I have many memories like that. After my heart attack last December, these are things of my past. If you accumulate enough of them, after a while they begin to become rather melancholic. A type of anxiety, sadness, even unhappiness, was always the ultimate result of such behavior, eventually, when all the thrills of the sexual conquest eventually wore off, and wear off they will.

This is not to say that I am any less sexual, or desire sexual pleasure any less, or am any less inclined towards eroticism today; rather, I find my sensitivity to eroticism even more heightened now that I have pruned much of the spiritual and psychological fat from my being. My days of bedding as many women as possible are over, I have no desire for that any more; my love of women and of sensuality and eroticism, however, and of feminine beauty are still as alive and active as ever. Somehow, in some strange way, being closer to God has, at least for me, deepened my appreciation of the power of eroticism. I have always believed in the nexus between beauty, eroticism, and spirituality, and now that I have rediscovered my faith in God I feel those things even more intensely.  Today I don’t need to fuck as many women as possible, as in my old life, to try to fulfill some ineluctable need for sexual thrills, delights and pleasures.  No, now my sense of sexuality and sexual pleasure are evolving into something different, although at the moment I am still not sure what that is. I trust in God’s guidance for this though; God does indeed work in mysterious ways.

With a renewed spiritual life, my of the feminine beauty and eroticism are even more intense than before...

With a renewed spiritual life and a turning away from sexual excesses, my love of the feminine beauty and eroticism are even more intense than before…

For me, despite my occasional departures from belief, despite my doubts about and quarrels with God, God was and will always be there. I can live in darkness, but the light is always trying to penetrate that darkness, despite my best efforts to keep it out. Even when I was away, the Church was there, Christ was there. I often think how the Church does not go away, how God does not go away, even when I stray. There is a strength, a stability, a joy and a peace in all that which is far superior to whatever pleasures, whether sexual, or culinary, or intellectual, I may have immersed myself in the past.  All those pleasures, as fun and wonderful and intense as they were, were ultimately nothing more than fleeting experiences; but God is truly like a rock that is there forever. Keeping God close makes so much more sense and has so many more rewards than keeping Him away.

A life lived  far from God and a life lived close to God are truly two different things and the latter is far, far better.