Confessing the same mortal sins week after week


#1

I have been catholic for a month exactly today was confirmed at Easter Vigil… I was doing good with breaking a habbit i had that is common among males but still a sin against the 6th commandment ill let you infer what i mean and also trouble with lust. I fell back into the habbit last week and confesssed and then fell back into it multiple times this week, I am going to confession tommrow but I am worried I am not being truely contrite since i keep falling back into the sin. I feel guilty after I do it though…
Thoughts?
Thanks
also what is meant by lust is it just looking at girls and thinking they are attractive or is it wanting sexual activity with them , that was not clearly taught in rcia and i have heard conflicting defenitons… If it helps I am a male


#2

You know what they say, would you rather be confessing new mortal sins each week? :)

Virtue takes time to develop and bad habits take time to break. As long as you are truly sorry AND truly intend to sin no more at the moment of confession you are forgiven, even if you fall into the same sins again and again. I know what you're going through (I was confirmed last Easter Vigil) it can be very difficult. Keep at it, don't get discouraged, and pray to St. Joesph who was married to a sinless (and therefore the most beautiful) woman and knew her not. He'll help. Also, try to remember there is a real difference between temptation (wanting to think about or look at women) and sin (thinking about or looking at women). When tempted try to remind yourself that you're being tempted and that temptation is not a sin. Then think about or do something else. It might be baby steps for awhile, but you'll get there.

God Bless.


#3

read paragraph 1735 of your catechism, or here

1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

Given your habit, this paragraph states that it is not a mortal sin.

This paragraph is part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or in other words, part of the deposit of faith. This is the same deposit of faith that says that self abuse is grave matter. So, in other words, you should try to work out your habit or addiction. In the meantime, you may receive Communion without prior confession of this matter.

Remember the universal call to holiness, that we are to be holy as God is holy. Pray for strength, cleanness of heart, and greater faith to live the walk.

Remember that our bodies do not belong to us. as it says in the Psalms someplace, all the earth and everything in it belongs to God. This is why suicide is a sin, for example. We should respect our body, as Paul says, as a temple of the Holy Spirit.


#4

Hi,

Before I continue typing I apologize if any information below is inaccurate.

Know that if he or she is in a state of mortal sin then it is not good at all :(, however Our Lord's Divine Mercy is so great and wonderful :D.

Despite how many times a person has fallen into a state of mortal sin, Our Lord still loves you, He cannot look away from you :).

Remain calm, meditate upon the Passion of Our Lord and the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, firmly pray an act of contrition, and find access to a confessional as soon as possible :).

Never fear Satan; He fears you as if you are a lion and he is an ant.

"I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him." -Saint Teresa of Avila

After confession, renew your everlasting love for Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Saints :).

Saint Catherine of Sienna once struggled with impure thoughts. Saint Catherine looked upon the impure thoughts with disgust. This reveals that Our Lord was Truly Present in her heart :). Each person has impure thoughts, however as long as he or she looks upon the impure thoughts with disgust and not pleasure, then there is no sin :).

"If I am not in the state of grace, may God put me there; if I am in the state of grace, may God keep me there." -Saint Joan of Arc

If you have any questions I will be happy to answer them :-).

God Bless,

In Christ,

Golden :)


#5

[quote="sirach2v4, post:3, topic:324888"]
read paragraph 1735 of your catechism, or here

1735 Imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

Given your habit, this paragraph states that it is not a mortal sin.

This paragraph is part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or in other words, part of the deposit of faith. This is the same deposit of faith that says that self abuse is grave matter. So, in other words, you should try to work out your habit or addiction. In the meantime, you may receive Communion without prior confession of this matter.

I would be careful about going to communion. To me the quoted 1735 "can be" is not reason to take the sacrament lightly. Remember you have to be worthy to receive. This means pure-no mortal sin. Don't risk it. Just stay in the pew until you have another chance to confess. Don't worry about what people might think when you abstain. Half of them should probably be staying in the pew with you.
Pray for strength from God, ask your guardian angel for help, and keep fighting your addiction. And you might go to bed earlier. I will pray for you.:)

[/quote]


#6

also what is meant by lust is it just looking at girls and thinking they are attractive or is it wanting sexual activity with them ,,,, that was not clearly taught in rcia and i have heard conflicting defenitons.. If it helps I am a male

ps.
Lust would be having any unholy sexual thoughts about another person. Ordinarily I don't think admiring a woman's beauty is a sin unless you are taking it below the top of their shoulders. Also if you notice an attractive person, that might be fine, but don't turn your head to get a second look. Since you are fighting this sin, you need to keep your eyes to yourself until you can build your defenses. Remember this is an addiction and like other addictions it might be a lifelong battle. Just when you feel you are getting it under control, the devil will come out of the woodwork to tempt you. Be ready and prove you are better than that.
:) May God be with you. Don't give up.


#7

[quote="LawrenceHenry, post:5, topic:324888"]

diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors.

Given your habit, this paragraph states that it is not a mortal sin.

This paragraph is part of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or in other words, part of the deposit of faith. This is the same deposit of faith that says that self abuse is grave matter. So, in other words, you should try to work out your habit or addiction. In the meantime, you may receive Communion without prior confession of this matter.

Let me second what was said above, especially the can be and the diminished or even nullified. Presumption (assuming God will forgive you without the necessary remorse and /or sacramental confession) is a mortal sin in and of itself - in fact it is one of the "sins against the Holy Spirit" which cannot be forgiven (cf. Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-30, Luke 12:10). Keep going to confession and keep working to overcome your habit. It will take time and effort and you'll fall many times before it is over, but you can do it (cf. Phil 4:13).

God Bless.
[/quote]


#8

Another thing that helped me was reading and meditating on the Divine Comedy by Dante, especially Canto 5 of the Inferno. I'll say a prayer for you. Good Luck :thumbsup:


#9

[quote="PietroPaolo, post:7, topic:324888"]

be and the diminished or even nullified. Presumption (assuming God will forgive you without the necessary remorse and /or sacramental confession) is a mortal sin in and of itself - in fact it is one of the "sins against the Holy Spirit" which cannot be forgiven (cf. Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-30, Luke 12:10). Keep going to confession and keep working to overcome your habit. It will take time and effort and you'll fall many times before it is over, but you can do it (cf. Phil 4:13).

God Bless.

The guideline in the CCC is intended for confessors. Only the confessor can make that assessment. What's important is that the OP confesses this and discuss the habit with his confessor. If his confessor says that he need not confess it every time... i.e. the habitual nature makes it venial in culpability, then he should follow the advice of his confessor. He will be saying this to the penitent to avoid having him fall into scrupulosity, self-loathing, and worse, despair, which can be an even greater danger to one's soul because they can cause one to lose hope and be driven away from the Church, God's graces, and His mercy.

A good confessor willing to work with a penitent is worth his weight in gold. The OP shouldn't be afraid to ask his confessor for advice.

The other thing important to note is that this habit cannot be overcome by willpower alone. Only opening the door to God's grace, surrendering one's self totally to His mercy, and accepting yourself as you are with all that is good and bad, can improve things. Perfection may not be attainable, but God rewards the effort, not the result, and with God's grace great strides are possible.
[/quote]


#10

[quote="OraLabora, post:9, topic:324888"]

This is the golden answer. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
[/quote]


#11

[quote="PietroPaolo, post:7, topic:324888"]

be and the diminished or even nullified. Presumption (assuming God will forgive you without the necessary remorse and /or sacramental confession) is a mortal sin in and of itself - in fact it is one of the "sins against the Holy Spirit" which cannot be forgiven (cf. Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:28-30, Luke 12:10). Keep going to confession and keep working to overcome your habit. It will take time and effort and you'll fall many times before it is over, but you can do it (cf. Phil 4:13).

God Bless.

Correct me if I misunderstand something here, but I don't think Presumption is the same as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Presumption (like any other sin, mortal or venial) can be forgiven. Only the sin of refusing God's forgiveness and dying in a state of mortal sin damns a person to Hell.
[/quote]


#12

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:


#13

[quote="OraLabora, post:9, topic:324888"]
The guideline in the CCC is intended for confessors. Only the confessor can make that assessment. What's important is that the OP confesses this and discuss the habit with his confessor.

[/quote]

Precisely. :) [bolding mine]
That cannot be stressed enough.


#14

[quote="MattJB, post:11, topic:324888"]

Traditionally the sins against the Holy Spirit are identified as:

1) Despair
2) Presumption
3) Impugning the Truth
4) Envy at another's spiritual gain
5) Obstinacy in Sin
6) Final Impenitence

See for example Summa Theologiae Part II-II Question 14 Article 2.

God Bless.
[/quote]


#15

[quote="MattJB, post:11, topic:324888"]

The sin of presumption leads to dying in a state of mortal sin. Think about someone who believes in 'once saved, always saved.' If such a person were to commit adultery, but presumed that they would be forgiven b/c they previously accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior they would never repent, thinking it unnecessary, and would therefore die in a state of mortal sin and be damned to Hell. The traditional list of the sins against the H.S. all tend to lead to someone dying without repenting of their sins, which leads to Hell.
[/quote]


#16

What is lust?

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):CCC 2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
Is it lust to look at another and think them attractive? Is it lust to desire sexual activity with them? Am I not contrite when falling back into sin?

One can see and think another attractive without sin. It is important to avoid an flee from situations that are near occasions of sin. One can have a desire for sexual activity with another without sin, by banishing the thought, and not intentionally dwelling on it. We can develop true charity for others by being true friends rather than seeking the attainment of sexual pleasures. This requires development of self control, beginning with avoidance of certain situations, and with control of the thoughts.

For contrition, perfect or imperfect, we must intend to avoid the near occasions of sin at the time our our confession. This is the practical manifestation of our will to amend our life. Later, in weakness, that will can be broken, so we must strive to strengthen this will to do good.

The Baltimore Catechism No. 3Q. 1316. What are we commanded by the ninth Commandment?
A. We are commanded by the ninth Commandment to keep ourselves pure in thought and desire.

Q. 1317. What is forbidden by the ninth Commandment?
A. The ninth Commandment forbids unchaste thoughts, desires of another’s wife or husband, and all other unlawful impure thoughts and desires.

Q. 1318. Are impure thoughts and desires always sins?
A. Impure thoughts and desires are always sins, unless they displease us and we try to banish them.

Q. 1324. In what does the sixth commandment differ from the ninth, and the seventh differ from the tenth?
A. The sixth commandment differs from the ninth in this, that the sixth refers chiefly to external acts of impurity, while the ninth refers more to sins of thought against purity. The seventh commandment refers chiefly to external acts of dishonesty, while the tenth refers more to thoughts against honesty.
**
Q. 1284. What is forbidden by the sixth Commandment?**
A. The sixth Commandment forbids all unchaste freedom with another’s wife or husband; also all immodesty with ourselves or others in looks, dress, words, and actions.

Q. 1285. Why are sins of impurity the most dangerous?
A. Sins of impurity are the most dangerous:

[LIST=1]
*]Because they have the most numerous temptations;
*]Because, if deliberate, they are always mortal, and
*]Because, more than other sins, they lead to the loss of faith.
[/LIST]
More from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: CCC 2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends,[133] who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.
Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.

**CCC 2341** The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance,    which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with    reason. 

**CCC 2342** Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it    acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of    life.[128] The effort required can be more intense in certain periods,    such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and    adolescence. 

St. Thomas Aquinas identified six species of lust:

  1. Vice against nature (not procreative):

[LIST]
*]Uncleanness (masturbation)
*]Wrong Manner
*]Sodomy (with same or opposite sex)
*]Beastiality
[/LIST]
2) Fornication (hurtful to child)
3) Incest
4) Adultery (under authority of husband)
5) Seduction (under authority of father)
6) Rape


#17

Sorry this will be long but I hope it is helpful in some way.

Go to confession. Again and again and again. Perfect contrition is not necessary to go to confession, but some remorse and a purpose of ammendment is necessary. You show both of these just by saying you feel guilt (remorse) and the fact that you are going to confession and asking for advice shows that you desire to change (purpose of ammendment). You can not fight this battle alone, you need the strength of God. So after confession receive the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist with a pure heart and mind and ask Him to strengthen you. Let Him be your strength. No matter how many times you fall, you must fight the urge each and every time even if you lose individual battles, you must continue to fight each and every time. Remember that you are the battlefield, your soul is the prize. Satan will not stop trying to steal you from God, but God is your ally. Fortify yourself with His graces in the sacraments.

You must also do what you can to prepare yourself for each battle. If you have pornographic magazines or movies, throw them away. If there are sexual scenes on TV, change the channel immediately. Your mind is your worst enemy, but it can't recall what you don't see. If the internet is a problem you may even put a child protection program that prevents you from accessing those websites. Have someone else put the password in so you can't bypass it. Any other visual stimulation that you may have, eliminate it as much as possible. That also includes public places such as the beach, etc. Some things may be unavoidable but do the best you can.

What I found to be the hardest was my friends. If your friends are pointing out beautiful girls and talking in innuendos you may try to change the subject or redirect their attention.
If you find that your friends are constantly bringing you into temptation through their words or deeds, you should explain to them that you are trying to live a moral life pleasing to God (you don't have to go into details) and that you would hope that they would respect you and not discuss things of that nature around you. If that doesn't work, you may also have to cut off or at least limit those friendships that are detrimental. That is why this part is the hardest to do. It's extremely painful and hard, but look for other friends that will encourage your choice to live according to God and the dignity of the human person.

Control your thoughts. As soon as you recognize your thoughts going in the wrong direction replace it with something else. Personally I use the Eucharist in the monstrance at adoration or the priest after consecration elevating the Host. Slam the door on the impure and open you heart and mind to the pure beauty of Christ as we view him through the veil. Or maybe imagine your guardian angel wrapping his wings around you and shielding you. Use whatever works for you, but find something that works for you.

The flesh wars against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. At this point the flesh seems to have the upper hand. You need to resupply the spirit and call for reinforcements. Ask the saints for assistance. St Joseph (purity), St Jude (impossible cases), St Faustina (for Divine Mercy). I personally love the Divine Mercy chaplet. But again, you need to find what works for you. If you are drawn to a perticular prayer or aspect of God such as mercy, compassion, his Sacred Heart, etc. try to find a devotion that goes along with what you are drawn to. It will have much more meaning and impact on you than something that doesn't personally have meaning for you. Set aside a specific time of day when you will say this devotion. And then say it every day. There are so many things you can do to strengthen your spiritual life the possibilities are endless. Saying little prayers even while your at work, daily mass if possible, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, etc. Say a morning prayer to unite yourself to Christ all day long including your thoughts, words, and deeds and try to hold to that all day long. A professional athlete doesn't become a professional over night. He must train himself mentally and physically. You must do the same. You must train your spiritual life and in so doing, you will find your physical life start to follow suit. As the desires of the spirit get stronger, the desires of the flesh will weaken.

Deny yourself little things that don't mean a whole lot, just to get into the good habit of denying yourself. If you are thirsty, get drink but don't drink it immediately. Deny yourself the instant gratification of alleviating your thirst. Same with snacks or other things. Just get into the habit of saying NO to yourself even if it's just for a few minutes. Also offer these tiny acts of self sacrifice to God for the purpose of being united to His sacrifice. All sin, no matter how big or small is saying YES to ourself and NO to God. So train yourself to say NO to yourself and YES to God even if it seems like a very trivial matter. When you can say NO to yourself on simple things it will become easier to say No on more important things that would seperate ourselves from God.

Whatever you do, do not give up, do not get discouraged, and do not despair. No matter how many battles you lose keep up the fight day by day, or minute by minute if necessary. Take courage, when you start to win battles more consistantly, it does get easier (not easy, just easier).


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.