A Rare Case, please help.

CAUTION LONG POST

I love this forum, so many questions have been answered, and it has helped me understand many questions I’ve had about our faith, which I’m proud of having.

I love my faith, I love God, and I love anything that has to do with the church.

My biggest problem is masturbation.

As with a lot of young people, I’m currently 20. I did not start embracing my Catholic faith until I was 19, and I can say that I’m so fully submerged in it.

I attended just this passing World Youth Day in Rio, I’m a Core Team member for the Life Team ministry, I’m a Confirmation teacher, and a leader for a ministry helping kids live out their faith on campus as well as in their home.

I’m as active as I could possibly be at my parish, but I keep on resorting to masturbate.

The problem was that this sin developed before I started embracing my faith. I’d masturbate at a tender age of 12 constantly, and I’d go around and get laid by multiple girls. (Although now that I’m more engaged, the occurrence of masturbation is way less). The reason why I’m posting this is because I just broke my recent month-long spree of not masturbating, and it is alarming for me.

How can I, someone who engages in mortal sin, be worthy to preach and teach the Gospel? How can someone who does this, be worthy to help people with the same struggle?

I always try my best to live to be in a state of grace, but when the desire comes around I resist it at first. Then later on, it becomes stronger and stronger. It gets to this point where, I initially resist the temptation to look at pornography, but later on give into it. Sadly, my conscience goes to somewhere that I hate. “You can just go to Confession later.” I hate that excuse, it kills me that I tell that to myself. Every single time this happens, I believe it. Thus, making my Confession non-contrite.

What am I doing wrong? I have a Miraculous Medal that I constantly use, especially in the presence of sin. I pray to Our Mother. If that doesn’t work, I read the daily readings, or I contemplate on the Crucifix. I try to visualize Christ hanging on the Cross naked, even.

I guess my problem is that I know that I hate the action of masturbating, but I have this WANT to do it.

I reason with myself not to do it, but I just WANT to do it. I want this instant gratification.

But deep down, I think it spawns from the fact that I am lonely. I want to love someone, hold someone, you know? I want to care for someone. I miss having the feeling of having someone with me. I know that Christ is always with me, but there’s just that human want of not being alone.

What am I doing wrong? What should I do? I want to be a better person.

(If you’re a troll who’s trying to reason with me to become atheist, quite frankly I’m not gonna become atheist. Just putting it out there.)

I think what you need to do is quit looking for it to miraculously stop, because as I myself know, it often doesn’t work that way. I struggled with it up until the day I got married. Since then, it has seemed like a miracle that it stopped. Just continue to stop for as long as you can. And when it happens again, go to confession. God knows we are not perfect, nor can we be, at the very least, he wants you to try. Do you best to avoid sin, but do not be down trodden when you do sin, because God is merciful. St. Peter himself denied Christ 3 times, and Christ still chose him to lead the Church. We all sin. We just need to realize that our sin shouldn’t keep us from trying to obey Christ.

Go to confession and continue to try your best to stop.

Maybe when you get the urge to do it, go and pray the rosary.

I found that thinking on Our Blessed Lady while saying a ‘Hail Mary’ to be very efficatious.

Masturbating is a sin. (Make no mistake.) At a certain age, the mid teens, almost everyone does it, girls and boys. By age it is supposed to get easier, and for some it does. You do have a problem, but you are doing all you can to overcome your urge, and that is a very positive thing. You do all you can, and God is not asking more. Sure, it is a sin, and it is wrong, and it will never be right. You feel lousy afterwards, and that too is a good sign. You know that what you do is wrong. Take it from there. I am sure that you also seek near and far if it would be, after all, not a sin? Am I right? Why did I ask that? Because that is what I do. I do two kinds of sins, or actually, only one now, but not long ago I did confess to all here that I lie, and a lot. I made it clear for my self that I need to stop. And I did stop. But I am also a “masturbater” who repeat the sin over and over. I confess it, and I promise that I will never do it again, and what happen after a forthnight? I masturbate, I feel good for a minute or two and bad for a few days. So, I ask my self, “why did I do it again?” Answer, “not a clue”. And at this point I think it is important to tell that I am 53, I did divorce when I was 34. And I use that as a excuse, “I was so young and I did miss so much”. BTW, that does not work. There is no excuse, except one, we are all humans, we have a natural need and if we can not control that need we sin. How to gain control? Pray. You will fall, but God will help you up again, and here is my very strange way to try to stop what I do: give yourself one specific day each month when you can masturbate. And when that day come, pray as hard as you ever have done before and try to get over that day. Pray, take a walk, do all you can, and if you make thru that day, you are gaining control again. This is not a fail safe method, and I am 100 % sure no priest in the whole Church would give you a advice like this, but I have faith in it. Give it a try and see what will happen. If you read my post today, set your date when you can masturbate one month from today or the day when you read it. It will be a long month, and it will be a long and hard day when you can masturbate but do all you can to not do it. But when that day is gone, you are one month closer to give up this sinful habit.

Confess and then stop. That’s how I do it. Haven’t been doing it for quite some time (in my eyes) and yesterday I had such a big urge to do it but somehow I managed not to. It really helps if you confess it to a priest who you know as much as you can. I think it really helped me (I’m embarrassed to confess it to him now), especially since I am discerning and he knows it.

One problem may be, thinking that this is a rare case.

Do you know I’ve laid my head to the floor, bitterly, cursing that I had faith, that if I didn’t I’d be back to the old games again? Sounding like an OT lamentation, that God had only made my life difficult without giving me reward? It’s not easy. Even in my anger I prayed for him to strike me dead as soon as I had finished confession!

But it is doable. I hope that I never turn back there again, but I haven’t for some time now, and it gets easier on average (some more some less) over time. And after these little outbursts, and all throughout them really, I know that the Lord is my Lord and he is right. It’s a heavy cross to bear. Did not the angels themselves minister to God? Did not Simon help carry the cross? Did he not suffer deeply in prayer at Gethsemane, to align his will and the Father’s?

Recall St. Pauls words to the Romans:

But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

God doesn’t wait for us to be perfect before He comes to save us. And even those who do ministry struggle with sin. Certainly, we want to grow in holiness and weed out mortal sin from our lives. But we don’t wait until we are perfect before we start to spread the Gospel. If we did, there would be know one to preach and teach.

I agree with SighGuy that this is not a “rare case”. It is something many guys struggle with. Above all, keep praying, and keep availing yourself of the sacraments. You said it has gotten easier since your faith has become more important to you. That’s no accident. But a deeply ingrained habit such as this often does not go away overnight. So keep praying. And keep going to Confession everytime you falter.

A wise priest once told me that God wants us to think of His just judgment before we sin and think of his infinite mercy after we sin. The devil wants us to do the opposite. He wants us to presume upon God’s mercy beforehand so that we drop our guard figuring we can just go to Confession later. And then afterwards, he wants us to be consummed with self-hatred pondering God’s judgment and thus be paralyzed to inaction.

Don’t fall for it. God loves you and He wants to forgive you. That you presume you can always go to Confession later does not make your Confession non-contrite. (It simply adds the additional sin of presumption. :o) You can always, always, always turn to the Lord in the Sacrament. As often as you fall, run to Him in the Sacrament of Confession. Those graces will assist you in overcoming this sin.

God bless!

It’s the devil that’s whispering to you that you’re making a mockery of the Sacrament of Confession. He’s desperately trying to prevent you from benefitting from it. Go daily if necessary. Contrition is not determined by success in resisting sin in the future, but in how you view your sins of the past.

Pick a priest you trust, tell him you really want to work on breaking this habit and are not afraid of some hefty penance and apologize in advance that you might be a pest for a while while you’re working hard on breaking this sinful habit. Just the fact of having to admit to him that you did it AGAIN three days later helps reduce temptation.

Or so I’ve heard… cough, cough…

As far as your case being rare, puhleezee! Why do you think people find that Seinfeld episode so funny (Master of His Domain)? People laugh at things they can relate to (even if it’s crude).

You are right to be disappointed with your failings, but not to be amazed. Indeed, were you a 20 year old male, never masturbating, that would be a wonderful circumstance, but more likely to give cause for surprise! So, stay true to your ideals and continue to fight the good fight.

Im glad that you are doing all that you feel you can do presently. It is tough.Being a Catholic is tough, maturing into a “Son of God”,by grace,…you are filling very big shoes!!!
The foundations of a holy life is HUMILITY.
The greater the ediface Our Lord wants to build of your spiritual life, the deeper the foundations have to be laid. You are in the school of humiliation, the school of the Lord.I am glad the Lord wants to do great things in you.!! Persevere.
You are experiencing the frailty of human nature. New wain…new wine skins. You need to fast…(need I say you may be “too far gone” already by the time you are at the computer!!)
There is proximate and distant preparations to fight the good fight.
For a 20 year old to come to the realization and desire for holiness is a great gift…Being involved in ministry has obtained you this gift. Persevere…Time will humble you and make you more worthy of your calling.

Lets get down to the nitty gritty of daily living.
Do you have a prayer life that is solid and consistent? You did not mention anything substantial. Habits of prayer that takes you into the Rosary, the Chaplet of Mercy, the Divine Office, the Sciptures,"If you find your delight in the Lord, He will grant you your hearts desires."Psalms.
This is distant preparation of the fight. This regime is not for a religious but for a “Son of God”…ie for all christians. No matter our state in life, we need this prayer life to sustain us and give ourselves substantial food.
Do you receive the Bread of Angels?This is the Food that will assist greatly as proposed by Holy Mother Church. You may for a time not FEEL it but only in time it will be so.
One argument I use to get myself to Mass more often…
I need Jesus to strengthen me. My faith is weak, I need Him in the Eucharist. I desire to build myself treasure in Heaven, to grow in the capacity to see God more profoundly for all eternity.That is the goal of all human life, to know and love God for all eternity and Our Blessed Lord is so generous in giving Himself and vouchsafe a substantial growth as often as I receive Him in the state of grace. I must make use of such a generous gift on God’s part.(Never in the history of saints, you find one who does not have recourse to the Eucharist…I will not be the exception!..or else I will not be a saint…long way to go, sigh! ) We grow substantial every time we receive Him well in Holy Communion in the state of grace. My day must begin and flow to the eucharist and away from it.
You receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before communion if you are in mortal sin. This is paramount if you are to grow in appreciation of the Holy Eucharist.
You may be doing all of the above,covering all the bases just to assist and confirm you present practice…but when the time of temptation comes…it is quite another story isnt it? Every argument justs goes out of the window?!!
There is a temptation that arises from the excess of humours in the body itself. Cut down on food for a day or two in a week to prevent this “sudden rise within the heart.”…from the hymn, “Mary from thy Sacred Image”.
And yet if you find the body still rebelling. Go to your room, kneel and prostrate yourself before the Lord and make fervent acts of humility…ie Lord, I humble (7 times) myself to the dust, I humble…repeat it until the body cools down and the temptation leaves you. These acts of humility in your spirit and mind will assist your body too to humble itself and follow your humbled spirit. And you will find it does not rebel again.
The sooner you go into this as you feel the beginnings of the rebellion, the concupiences of the flesh ,the easier and shorter will your battle be.
REMEMBER, the very foundations of the spiritual life is NOT FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE (even though these are HIGHER VIRTUES), but that OF HUMILITY.
It is always a good and most worthy of practices to humble our whole being before the Lord as often as we can.
contd.

Kentcara2003(SSCC 3rd order)

The sense of gratitude and commitment to Jesus as Lord and saviour is something we need to grow throughout our lives. WE NEED TO MEDITATE ON THE PASSION.
I most highly recommend the 15 prayers of St Bridget.
It will ingrain in us the sense of gratitude and thankfullness to the Lord which will greatly assist us in our growth as Catholic Christians. Notice how the evil one has convinced the majority of our Protestant brothers to forget the Passion of Our Lord??
Why pray this Prayer? When i first began I wanted the promises attached to it. Though later I found out the Promises are not authenticated. I was rather sad but I felt the Lord telling me…
“My child, the promises are only a glimpse of the measure of grace and blessings I will bestow on all who bring to mind my Passion. I am most generous and anyone who consoles me and recalls my Sufferings and Pains in these prayers amasses for themselves and all others who they desire to include a great treasury of blessings which eye has not seen, nor ear heard or dawned on the sons of men, in the eternity of Heaven.” …My own personal reflection or a" Word from the Lord" for your own discernment. Either way, it is a consolation…
I began to reason out why this is so. Imagine having to go through a measure of what our Lord has gone through, for a friend to obtain for him something of value. And every time you meet this friend, WHO REALISES YOUR PAIN AND DIFFICULTIES AND ANGUISH you went through for him…and recalls them time and time again. Would you after the initial embarrassment be touched at his gratitude and recalling of your moments of difficulties? Would Our Lord be any less sensitive to our recalling all that befell Him to obtain the benefits of the Redemption? Will He be touched any less?
He also led me to other quotes by other saints who say something similiar,
“Diary of St Faustina”
There is more merit to one hour of meditation on My Sorrowful Passion than there is a whole year of flagellation that draws blood.; the contemplation of my painful wounds is of great profit to you, and it brings Me great joy(pg166 No.369)
“The secret of the Rosary” by St Louis Marie de Montfort
Blessed Albert the Great…learned in a revelation that by simply thinking or meditating on the Passion of OL Jesus Christ, a christian gains more merit than if he has fasted on bread and water every Friday for a whole year or had beaten himself with the discipline once a week until the blood flowed, or had recited the whole book of Psalms everyday.(pg68)
Our Lord has been kind to you. Be gentle with yourself, as you mourn your sins. Do not allow yourself to "become despondent but with great confidence submit yourself to God’s Will, which is Love and Mercy Itself."St Faustina
God bless
Kentcara2003(SSCC 3rd Order):slight_smile:

Please see the following threads for further insight and advice:
[LIST]
*]Specific Questions About an Old Topic: Masturbation
*]List of Catholic Websites for Battling Impurity
[/LIST]

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