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  #1  
Old Feb 24, '08, 10:29 pm
HolySpirit22 HolySpirit22 is offline
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Default Masturbation, a mortal sin?

I am a male college student who is new to this site and in need of some advice. I have been “religious” my whole life but it was about two years ago when I finally found God and began to take my religion more seriously. Since then I have taken many steps to develop my faith and follow the words of the Christ. When ever I am in the need of help I turn to the Lord and I am consoled and shown the way (it truly is amazing). However, there has always been an issue that I have struggled to understand.

When I was about 12 years old I learned what porn was and since then I have been involved with masturbation. It started off small but quickly grew to something that I was obsessed with and lost control of. I always had the feeling that what I was doing was wrong but I could never find out if it was a sin or not. So I continued to masturbate and it soon became a habit and such a normal/ routine part of my life. However, now that I have found Jesus I see how poisoning porn is to my soul and against his teachings (Matthew 5: 28). Furthermore, I currently am in a long distance relationship and plan to wait till marriage to have sex, however, this leads to sexual tension which then leads to masturbation and even oral sex.

Nevertheless, for lent this year I finally decided to make the big step to follow what God has been trying to telling me. I have given up watching porn and masturbating this lent and for the past 3 week, with a lot of praying and reading of the bible, I have been successful. However, even though I am severely trying to save my soul I feel like when lent is over I will fall back to my old ways because masturbation has become such a rooted part of my life. I am scared because it is my understanding that looking at porn and masturbating is a mortal sin and I deeply do not want to continue to stain my soul with it….. How do people abstain from it? Is it ok to give it? (people say it’s natural), Is looking at porn to masturbate a mortal sin? Is oral sex a mortal sin?

I know that “With God anything is possible”…. can you please give me some advice to help me understand this situation and make this experience a little easier.

God Bless
  #2  
Old Feb 24, '08, 10:41 pm
Metaron Metaron is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HolySpirit22 View Post
I am a male college student who is new to this site and in need of some advice. I have been “religious” my whole life but it was about two years ago when I finally found God and began to take my religion more seriously. Since then I have taken many steps to develop my faith and follow the words of the Christ. When ever I am in the need of help I turn to the Lord and I am consoled and shown the way (it truly is amazing). However, there has always been an issue that I have struggled to understand.

When I was about 12 years old I learned what porn was and since then I have been involved with masturbation. It started off small but quickly grew to something that I was obsessed with and lost control of. I always had the feeling that what I was doing was wrong but I could never find out if it was a sin or not. So I continued to masturbate and it soon became a habit and such a normal/ routine part of my life. However, now that I have found Jesus I see how poisoning porn is to my soul and against his teachings (Matthew 5: 28). Furthermore, I currently am in a long distance relationship and plan to wait till marriage to have sex, however, this leads to sexual tension which then leads to masturbation and even oral sex.

Nevertheless, for lent this year I finally decided to make the big step to follow what God has been trying to telling me. I have given up watching porn and masturbating this lent and for the past 3 week, with a lot of praying and reading of the bible, I have been successful. However, even though I am severely trying to save my soul I feel like when lent is over I will fall back to my old ways because masturbation has become such a rooted part of my life. I am scared because it is my understanding that looking at porn and masturbating is a mortal sin and I deeply do not want to continue to stain my soul with it….. How do people abstain from it? Is it ok to give it? (people say it’s natural), Is looking at porn to masturbate a mortal sin? Is oral sex a mortal sin?

I know that “With God anything is possible”…. can you please give me some advice to help me understand this situation and make this experience a little easier.

God Bless
First of All, Welcome to the Forum, HolySpirit22! Glad to have you here.

There is no doubt on this subject on which the Church teaches: Masturbation is a mortal sin. However, when it becomes addictive and habitual, the more impossible it is to avoid, the less responsible one's conscious is. However, if there is no conscious descision to try and stop when tempted, it is still a mortal sin.

There is also no doubt about this issue on what the Church teaches: That all forms of sex outside of marriage, including masturbation, are gravely sinful. Orally consumated sex even within marriage, as well as contraceptive acts, such as usage if condoms, are sinful as well. Looking at pornography is also a mortal sin, unless it is involuntary.

I know it is a struggle, and I still struggle with it. It's one of the hardest parts of manhood. but we must learn to get through it and do our best. Confession is a good way to start. Have you been confessing these acts to your priest? He can offer advice for you against temptation. Also, check out Cahtholic abstinence sites on the web. Good luck, and continue to come back to the Forum.
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  #3  
Old Feb 25, '08, 12:06 am
PhoenixRoach PhoenixRoach is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

RE:consummated oral sex within marriage being gravely sinful, there are different schools of thought within Catholicism on that teaching. Just FYI.
  #4  
Old Feb 25, '08, 12:49 am
ASimpleSinner ASimpleSinner is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

It could well be time to develop a relationship with a singular confessor who can help you sort some things out here.

Trust me, that is very helpful.
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  #5  
Old Feb 25, '08, 2:18 am
thomasf thomasf is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Here's my 2 cents, and my experience. This was something I had a LOT of trouble with when I came back to the church. I too was used to basically 20 years of porn and masturbation. And not ever seeing it as a wrong thing. But to be honest, the older I got, and after I was married, I began to see how it was harmful and destructive to a married relationship. I think that at the time I came back to the church I was looking to change and get away from it anyway.

This is something I struggled with (and still struggle with) though. It is an addiction, I firmly believe that. Especially when you couple it with porn. It is something you have to fight through. And my priest offered me some advice in confession. Pray to God, ask Jesus for the grace to over come this. As simple as that sounds, it's not something I ever thought of. Pray and ask for help in avoiding this sin and staying away from it. It will help you.

Then the common sense thing is to just stay away from the porn, stay away from the temptation to sin. You know that just starting up a little bit with this is going to suck you back in. So stay away from it. As soon as the temptation comes up, you got to end it. Say a prayer, ask Jesus for His help.

It's a long fight, I will grant you that. But I will say that the more you have success, the easier it will be. The more you ask for and receive God's grace in fighting this the easier the fight becomes. When you do slip up, don't beat yourself up about it. Take it to confession asap. Don't live or dwell in this sin, get rid of it off our soul asap. Getting it to confession and clearing your soul will help immensely. Everyone fails and falls into sin, don't get discouraged when you do as well. Salvation is a journey through life, away from sin and toward God. But it's a journey of two steps forward, one step back. The important part is to keep moving forward, to pick yourself up and get back in the right direction when you do fall and sin.

I will say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have been very faithful with this as of late, and it no longer tempts me or holds me the way it used to. If I do slip up, I get rid of it immediately through confession. And I will tell you, the less you do it the less it will hold you. The last time I did slip up it wasn't what it used to be. It didn't give me the same feeling I used to get, and I felt that all I had done is injured my relationship with God. That's His grace at work. And I felt better knowing that this sin didn't have the same hold over me any more, it was very encouraging.

Good luck!
  #6  
Old Feb 25, '08, 1:11 pm
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baltobetsy baltobetsy is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

I second the advice to establish yourself with one priest for confession in order to take full advantage of the graces of that Sacrament. They are very powerful graces - you may be quite surprised at the progress you make.

Also, hop on over to the Moral Theology forum and check out the sticky at the top and do a search for one of the myriad threads on this topic. You may find some very helpful material.

Betsy
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  #7  
Old Feb 25, '08, 2:29 pm
Andruschak Andruschak is offline
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Post Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HolySpirit22 View Post
II know that “With God anything is possible”…. can you please give me some advice to help me understand this situation and make this experience a little easier.

God Bless

My own suggestion would be to have a long talk with a Priest you feel you can trust, and/or a Spiritual Director. At your stage, it is unlikely you can stop on your own, without outside help. Yes, it WILL BE EMBARASSING. (Or however that word is spelled. Does this forum have a spellling checker? )

In my own case, alcoholism used to be a grave sin, until the Church realized that all those Catholic Alcoholics, including Priests, could not get sober or stay sober by treating alcoholism as a sin. The Church now accepts the disease concept of alcoholism, and encourages us, including Priests, to attend AA, and will give us, if asked, The Annointing Of The Sick.

Could masturbation be considered a disease? If done to excess, and causing major problems in a person's life, perhaps so. Again, a long talk with an understanding Priest and/or Spiritual Director might be a good place to start

As usual, none of these OPINIONS have been endorsed by my cats
  #8  
Old Feb 25, '08, 2:51 pm
scapularkid8 scapularkid8 is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Hi! I want to let you know that I was in the EXACT same boat as you a few years ago (God willing, I can continue in chastity).

I also discovered what porn was around twelve and spiraled downward from there. I went about this the hard way: once I found out about how evil this all was and STILL did it, I would just confess anonymously to our parish priest who I had known since I was about six because I was too embarassed to seek his help or that of my parents. DON'T do this!! It will be much easier to get put back on the correct path if you get frequent face to face help from the same priest, preferably one you already know. Trust me, looking back I wish I had done that. By God's immense graces, He helped me find Him again, but I really could have been healed so much sooner had I gotten the correct help instead of struggling on my own.

Remember: even Jesus fell more than once while carrying His Cross, so you're not expected to be perfect through this process toward grace, but that doesn't mean you don't try to keep going and keep changing no matter what. Jesus was helped by people too: Simon, Veronica, even His own Mother, and the women of Jerusalem were weeping for Him. I'll be Simon and help you carry your cross by praying for you, but you have to turn to Mary and Her Son's Church (i.e. a priest) if you want to keep going.

Praying for you. You're NOT alone!!!
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  #9  
Old Feb 25, '08, 3:29 pm
FlyingCatholic FlyingCatholic is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

First, know that I have been where you are and I am praying for you. Also, if you can get your hands on a copy of Christopher West's book The Good News About Sex and Marriage, I would recomend it as a good source of information on Catholic teaching concerning sex, and may be able to help you in your struggle.
  #10  
Old Feb 25, '08, 10:25 pm
revelations revelations is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixRoach View Post
RE:consummated oral sex within marriage being gravely sinful, there are different schools of thought within Catholicism on that teaching. Just FYI.
The teaching is that the sexual act has to be mainly pro creative, or conception must be possible. If your sending the soldiers onto the carpet, they're not going to do much conceiving so for the man orally consummated sex is a grave sin. The goods have to make it to the bank, per se, FYI. The female aspect is a different story.

I would highly recommend JP II's theology of the body, or Chris West's book as mentioned above.

Back on track, about the pron and the dirty habit: Frequent confession is key. Soon your outlook to the act will change, you wont want to do it anymore but you will. You DON'T want to, but you do. It is a tough battle, but frequent confession, go often. And pray. I stopped praying for a while, that's a big no no. With Christ you can do it.

-revelations
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  #11  
Old Feb 25, '08, 10:31 pm
PhoenixRoach PhoenixRoach is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

I'm aware of the rationale for all semen leaving the man needing to be deposited inside the woman. I'm not at all convinced that it is a valid reading of the natural law, which is where all this stems from.
  #12  
Old Feb 27, '08, 10:24 am
distracted distracted is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixRoach View Post
RE:consummated oral sex within marriage being gravely sinful, there are different schools of thought within Catholicism on that teaching. Just FYI.
I don't believe this. I believe the Church condemns this - for one thing, how can u conceive a child like that??
  #13  
Old Feb 27, '08, 10:29 am
PhoenixRoach PhoenixRoach is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

You can't conceive a child by ejaculating inside the vagina while the woman is already pregnant, either.
  #14  
Old Feb 27, '08, 10:32 am
distracted distracted is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

My advice: 1. Get good Catholics to pray for you.
2. I know what it is like to be celibate for many, many years.. Not easy, Not always fun.. When i feel weak (which is all the time..), i tell myself that Jesus didn't like his cross either.. He did it because it was the right thing to do - the will of God. I think one reason you are suffering as you are is this sex-saturated culture we live in.. I don't even watch TV but am always exposed, nonetheless, to images i do not care to be exposed to.. & even when not exposed to those images, well, God made us sexual creatures so it isn't easy no matter how much imagery you give up.. but anyway,
3. Any time i am tempted w/ any sin, I just remind myself of the consequences

Jesus said that the road to eternal life was narrow and there are few who find it. (St. Matthew)

If you don't already, pray the rosary - or pray it MORE.
Praying for you.
  #15  
Old Feb 27, '08, 3:26 pm
mgconner mgconner is offline
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Default Re: Masturbation, a mortal sin?

Hey brother, first, as many have already said, know that you are no where NEAR alone. Do not be ashamed, we all fall into sin and sexual sin is the same as any other, except that it is more powerful than many others. I'm in a similar situation as you, I've looked at porn for many years from a very young age. This year I finally realized that it is an ADDICTION. It is the same as alcoholism or drug addiction. It may be the case that you are not in fact suffering from an addiction, only you can decide that, but know that it is a real disease. My suggestions:
1) Confession. I go once a week on average, always with the same priest.
2) Counseling. Your priest should be able to point you towards a good christian (if not Catholic) therapist. This helps ALOT.
3) Sex Addicts Anonymous. I've been attending these meetings for awhile now and they are very helpful. I know it's rather intimidating to walk into one, but you will NEVER be judged by the people there, and they can help you. http://saa-recovery.org/
If your priest can't tell you when and where to find an SAA meeting, that site should tell you where to go.

God bless you brother, you'll be in my prayers.
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