If you search back my last posts you will notice that I have been having, for a long time, a problem with pornography and masturbation. My current doubt is related to it.
I am a 20 year old man, and have been fighting this sin (at least in the same way I’m doing now) for around 2 years. After a time where I have improved, I recently noticed that I am not being able to got without sin for more than 2 months. My question is: How to know if I trully regret my sins? I ask this because I keep sinning and every time after I try to avoid and end up sinning I sin thinking “Oh, I go to confession and it’s OK”. I tell the priest this every time because I realize it is a very stupid and incoherent thing to do and yet I keep doing it time after time. After I sin, I feel like I have also betrayed myself, because the man I want to be is a serious man, of prayer and spiritualty. The other reason I ask this is because I noticed recently that when I was trying to avoid the sin the reason that most matters to me is exactly having to go to confession after I sin or not being able to receive communion, and not being able to receive communion is something I don’t like because I usually go to mass with my parents or other people close to me and when I don’t receive I always sense some kind of judgement, or the kind of “what has he done again” look.
So, if you could help me with that, please answer me these questions:
How do I know if I trully regret my sins or just want to go to confession to avoid some kind of social embarassment?
How many times can I keep going to confession to tell these sins, which I and, I believe, the priest are tired of? Is it OK to keep going to confession just for this kind of sin?
If someone has any past or current experience with that please tell me, in personal message or here. And I also ask for those who can to pray for me, so that God can be mercyfull with me and I have the grace of forgiveness and also the victory over this sin.
Thanks, and sorry for the very long post.
The fact that a person does sincerely try to avoid sin shows that they do have repentance and a genuine wish to avoid succumbing human temptation.
By actively trying and managing to avoid succumbing you are showing genuine repentance.
Few of our motives as human beings are completely without self-interest, so that if part of your wish to go to Confession is to avoid a sense of exposure and humiliation, that is a natural human desire.
If you did put embarrassment above your repentance and received Communion with a bad conscience, the it would be that you are motivated just by avoiding embarrassment.
But you don’t.
You put God above yourself and others, as the choice you make, which requires courage and humility.
Your regret for sin and your love for God is shown in the choice you make not to receive Communion if your conscience isn’t clear.
You have my admiration, and I’m sure, God’s blessing for your choice to put Him first.
God bless you with many more blessings.
As for Confession, you are far from the only one who frequently comes to the priest in Confession with such issues.
Be sure that, rather than judging you, the priest will feel understanding.
The very fact the you continue to go to confession shows that the Lord is working in your life. I too have suffered these same things so I feel your pain brother. Do not be afraid to go to the same priest as much as you need. I would even suggest it. Next time you go to confession ask the priest about professional help. Pornography and masturbation are very real addictions and should be taken EXTREMELY seriously. From my personal experience I have found that retreats are helpful especially when spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I will pray for you and for your healing. May the Lord watch over you and give you peace.
P.S. I would also suggest lots of consistent prayer (Daily Mass if your schedule allows). Also take extreme forms of discipline i.e. cold showers, go for a run every morning, fast from sweets, desserts, etc. The Lord will pour massive amounts of grace onto you I am sure of it.