this is really well advised. I am encouraged by your words too. I think fasting is a key to overcoming this addiction! Thanks bro, and God bless your journey young man!
I guess you also think abortions, murder, and rape are OK as well, because this is the 21st century, those things are common, and something so common among the 21st century can’t possibly be wrong aye?
Your view is just laughable if anything else. God cannot be disrpoven or proven? I beg to differ; there are historical records and non-Church related evidence which proves the existence and testimonies of Jesus Christ. Archaeology supports the actions and events in the Bible even though many people thought they were fabricated myths. There are miracles happening around the world that are being audited by science (in this amazing 21st century of yours) and still cannot be explained.
There is significant reason to conclude that God exists. The universe, amazing human body, different species, and morals cannot create themselves. The onus is on the opposed to prove that everything we have today can come from random luck or chance and that the historical support for the Bible is somehow not true.
The bible condemns masturbation, not because it’s the Bible, but because masturbation is wrong. Aside from the fact that it’s ruining our society (it’s the first step to sexual addiction; next comes lust, then adultery, then STD’s, then abortions, then rape etc), it’s also unhealthy, for your mind and your body. The modern view on masturbation and sexual desires being something perfectly normal is the exact reason behind things like increasing divorce and infidelity rates, orphans being left without parents, abortions, homosexuals, rape and sexual abuse, etc. The Church warned against these things becoming prominent many years before they did, and they were right. Society refused to listen and the result is the putrid society we live in today, where people think masturbation is still OK.
That is off topic. This is not the Apologetics Forum.
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All wonderful suggestions. What it really comes down to is a commitment to stop compartmentalizing you life. It is easy to create different personas for different occasion (and Facebook sure doesn’t help with that).
In my former “once saved, always saved” life, it was very easy to just set God asifde for a little while because I knew that I would be sorry later. I had pastors who told me that if you are truly saved that you could (his words) commit any sin in the book.
Obviously when I reverted to Catholicism, this way of thinking went out the window.
When I realize that that was what I was doing, I was not dedicating myself wholly and fully unto God. Only when I did that did other prayer and sacramentals help me conquer this sin in my life. And when I say conquer, I don’t mean never being attracted to women, or never having a lustful thought in my head. But I have been able to NOT act on that for five years now, and I can see final deliverance in the future, where before I felt that it would never happen until death.
It could be a way to replace something that you want in your life. Some people over eat or get drunk or gamble or buy stuff. what exactly are you triying to replace? I have vast experience in this sin as I am trying to rid of it myself. Trust me it will go past your 20s so age is not the issue the issue is that you have something missing in your life. What emotions are you having before you partake in this sin? what relief are you getting whilst doing it and what do you feel after I assume this isn’t a porn driven offense is it? if not you have a stress in your life or a desire for something you aren’t getting. I am not into porn never even seen it or sought it out. The question is, why are you doing this. find the reason through spiritual direction and prayer and listen to yourself and see what the triggers are, once you cure that. THEN you can work on the masturbation. Untill you find and fix the underlaying cause, the problem won’t go away. Masturbation without porn is a symptom of an emotional or lacking but curable underlaying issue. That is what I am doing and I realized what it is, and it is getting much more easy to obstain. Take my advice I struggled with it for years and it is a discusting awful sin and it is curable IF you find the root cause. ask Mary to help you find the cause and roseries are beautiful and needed, but also talk to her and tell her how you feel like you would your confident. Be in constant communication with Jesus like he is real tell him how you hurt when you do this, and you wish it to go away. you will find the source and then fix that source and fixing that problem will be much more attainable.
Masturbation is ubiquitous and has existed for all time, well before pornography existed.
I’m outside of the age range, plus I’m married. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to offer.
Prayer/meditation is very helpful, in particular, focusing on controlling emotions and suppressing desires. When you feel the desire, try to ignore it by simply focusing on something else.
If you have an issue with pornography, simply turn off the computer, throw out the magazine, etc. and go do something else.
Lastly, working out does seem to help, notably intensive workouts. Example: I was “in the mood” yesterday morning, but after an intense day of working, running in and out of the city for a family member’s audition, and finishing off the day with and hour and a half of stunt fighting (choreographed dives, rolls, throws, etc.) at 10:00 at night, I was ready to faint…sexual desires were not on the radar screen.
That is true. also explore what your hearts desires are, focus on them. If you focus on what you want in life. that may replace the quick satisfaction that masturbation provides. also idle hands are the devil’s workshop. I like to build stuff. i am building a console stereo, and when I get that desire, I go and do what I can on the project and I forget the needs and go to sleep and wake up the desire is gone. Sometimes the fight is too much and give in… but pray a perfect act of contrition and be truly sorry in your heart and move on. go to confession when you can and when God forgives then forgive yourself. I will certainly keep you in my prayers
There is a fundamental reason we want to do anything in our lives: we want to be happy. Sanctity is when we do that correctly; sin is when we do that wrongly.
“No man can live without joy. That is why one deprived of spiritual joy goes over to carnal pleasures.” St. Thomas Aquinas
What is helping me to overcome sin is to know the difference between happiness, joy, and delight.
Happiness is all about feeling good; joy is all about knowing the good; delight is all about doing the good.
Christianity has always frowned at pursuing happiness alone, if happiness is all about feeling good. This is because feeling good as an end in itself is a shortcut through rationality. What separates us from all other living creatures on earth is our rational mind; therefore to base our actions on anything less than reason is to reduce us to the level of animals. That is why we have fasting: it is to control our baser passions under the power of our rational mind. And that is also why fasting can help control our urge to masturbate.
Now does that mean Christianity does not like us to be happy, to feel good? NOT BY ANY MEANS! Look at our traditions of feasts, in one hand, and also the great traditions of our monastic brothers and sisters producing the best alcoholic beverages in the world in another.
So what should our attitude to happiness be? Just look at the word: happy has it origins in the old English word hap, meaning luck, as still found in words like perhaps, hapless, and haphazard. Happiness is not at our beck and call, it just (ahem) happens. To try to control happiness, to make it come whenever we want it by overeating or sexual depravity or obsessive gambling or whatnot, is the saddest occupation possible.
Now you may think this is all bleak for the Christian, who cannot be happy all the time. That may be, but we are called for something higher: joy. And joy is something we can do always.
Now see the the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is something that happens to us; joy is something we do. But what the heck is joy?
The Greek philosopher Plato was the first to articulate the idea that will be later termed joy:
“…the happy [are] those who are the possessors of things good or fair…” Plato, Symposium
St. Thomas Aquinas reiterated this definition:
“The object of joy is the good present and possessed.”
, Book I, Chapter 89Summa Contra Gentiles
But he was able to go further than Plato because of his Christian faith. In very dry terms, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote something that should actually fill every baptized Christian with wonder:
Now a divine person is said to belong to another, either by origin, as the Son belongs to the Father; or as possessed by another. But we are said to possess what we can freely use or enjoy as we please: and in this way a divine person cannot be possessed, except by a rational creature united to God. Other creatures can be moved by a divine person, not, however, in such a way as to be able to enjoy the divine person, and to use the effect thereof.
He says, in effect, that one can enjoy a divine person (i.e. the Holy Spirit) and use the effect thereof! And yet we know that God is the Perfect Beatitude, i.e. the one thing that, if you possess, will make you supremely and perfectly happy. God is, in essence, Heaven.
Therefore, each and every Christian has Perfect Joy in them! And yet how miserable most of us are!
They’re like the family of immigrants on a ship from Europe to America. They were so poor that they had to spend almost all their money on the ticket, and what they had left over for food was only enough to buy bread and cheese. So for the first couple of days all they ate was cheese sandwiches. Then the little boy said to his father, “Daddy, please, can I have money for an ice cream cone, just this once? I hate cheese sandwiches!” His father said, “We have almost no money left. And cheese sandwiches will keep you alive till we get to New York. Once we’re there, there are golden streets and everybody’s rich.” The boy wouldn’t stop asking, so his father finally gave him some change for an ice cream cone and waited. The boy didn’t come back for two hours. His father was getting worried when the boy finally came back with a fat tummy and a smile on his face. “Did you get your ice cream cone?” “Oh, sure, Dad. And then another one, and then a steak, and then apple pie.” “What? You bought all that with the money I gave you?” “Oh, no, Dad. It’s free. It comes with the ticket!”
…A lot of Christians are living on spiritual cheese sandwiches, when steak is offered.
Peter Kreeft, “The Dynamite in Prayer”
The Gift to us by the Father and the Son that is the Holy Spirit allows us to enjoy God through prayer. In fact, enjoying God is the MAIN reason for prayer. You can always----ALWAYS!----enjoy God anytime, anywhere, and is superior to all other joys.
Now do you see why St. Paul said “Rejoice always” with “Pray unceasingly”?
[BIBLEDRB]1 Thessalonians 5:16-18[/BIBLEDRB]
That is why all the suggestions here of prayer will be efficacious in our fight against masturbation and all other sins. Furthermore, I suggest you have a very short prayer that you can say in rapid succession like a machine gun when needed to increase the joy in you when you need it the most. This kind of prayer is called an “Ejaculatory Prayer”, and the easiest and most effective one that I have found is just one word: “Jesus”.
But there is even a greater form than joy that you can attain in this world. To understand what and how this is, let me go back to St. Thomas Aquinas:
Now, joy and delight differ in notion. For delight arises from a really conjoined good, whereas joy does not require this, but the resting of the will in the object willed suffices for the nature of joy. Hence, delight is only of the conjoined good if it be taken properly, whereas joy is of a non-conjoined good.
Delight, in other words, is when you become part of the good that is willed. Thus in love it may give you pleasure to love somebody, but that pleasure really pales to the joy one feels when he/she is loved back, and yet even that pales to the delight of being part of your loved one’s plans of living the rest of your life with you.
And yet that is what happens when we do God’s will: we become part of God’s goodness, and we even become part of God. This is called theosis.
CCC 460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”: “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.” “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God.” “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
And how do we do this? By being virtuous.
CCC 1803 “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
*The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.*
Now do you see why they say “Idleness is the devil’s workshop”? To stop doing anything but try to “kill time” is the surest way to fall into sin because you will not be filled with delight. Always be doing something that is good, and take delight in doing it, no matter how you want to loathe it. Even when resting and doing some pleasurable things like playing games, sleeping, reading a book, or what not, do them not because you are bored, but because you are following God’s command to “Love others as yourself” (and not “instead of yourself”) and you are taking care of yourself but not pampering----the virtue called eutrapelia.
So do not pursue happiness, but rejoice always by knowing and enjoying God through prayer, and delight always by doing and being Goodness Himself through virtue. Those will help you in avoiding any and all sin, not just masturbation .
Sure… go do something else until the temptation has passed, something public like go for a walk outside and pray. Are you doing something to trigger these thoughts if so attack that with prayer and fasting. Start forming different habits to counter it. Exercise of body does not work as you mentioned, increasing your prayer life and fasting(exercise of you soul and your will) does work because it stenghthens you will which is weak which is why you are asking this question in the first place. Jesus told the apostles that some demons could not be cast out without prayer and fasting…start doing penance and watch Christ go to work in you.
God bless you and your family!