Frequent Mortal Sin + Daily Mass + Family Watching


I am 17 years old and struggling with chastity. I hate what it does to me, but it is like a trap. I don’t think, I just almost impulsively fall each week. And then I go to confession when I can. But after I fall, I fall again easily.

This is hard for me, because I have several siblings, all younger but definitely aware of me, and parents who are unaware of my situation. We go to daily mass, but confessions are only available on Tuesday/Thursday mornings, and the priest often arrives the other days last minute (so can’t get in time for a confession before mass.) I then, I will admit it, receive communion hoping that it wasn’t a mortal sin until I can confess next time. Then a week or two passes, and bam, I fall again, and then repeatedly the days after.

My hope is small. I don’t really consent to it (I hate it), but when that rush comes upon me, I don’t really resist. It makes me miserable. I will (of course) keep fighting, but it hurts my heart that I received this many times and it might be mortal. Does the habitual falling, or my weird psuedo-consent, relieve the mortal-ness of the situation? :frowning:

I’m just so conflicted. I wish I could tell my parents or not receive, but at the same time, it would rip my relationship with my family apart. I’m just not that brave. I just… I wish I could. But I’m… it’s hard.

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Victory App by Lifeteen.

I will say some initial statements in the thread are concerning.

Their are no unique concerns under the sun. This is nothing new and has been documented alot.

Have you discussed this with your confessor? I know that there are times when one can receive dispute having committed a grave sin.

Is there any way you can talk with your confessor without your family around?

First, issues with purity are not uncommon at your age. Yes, you should do your best to avoid this sin. This includes prayer and helpful reading and not just relying on yourself to be stronger than the urge. Second, continue daily Mass and confession as frequently as you can or need to. Find a priest or priests you are comfortable with and who have sensitivity for the struggles that adolescence, living in a culture completely obsessed with and controlled by the desire for sex and plain good health can bring to the single life. It will take time and be hard. You will fail and have to get back up again. The Lord asks that you keep trying, and lean on Him while you do your best. You know the three conditions for mortal sin. Hating your sins may or may not change your culpability, but it is a great place to be to make small but steady changes.

Don’t give up and praise him for even the small gains you make!

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The Catechism specifically notes with this sin that immaturity and habit can mitigate the gravity. Given that you are a young person trying to break in ingrained habit, it might be worth talking to your confessor about whether this sin is venial in your case.

You are not alone! It is a very hard struggle that many people your age go through, (I am 20YO, I have dealt with this also). Confession is always an amazing thing, infinite mercies and God NEVER grows tired of us returning to confession :smiley:

One of the best things you can do in this struggle is to give up something you enjoy, so that you build willpower to say no to your desires. Let me explain: Say you give up soda. If you can’t deny yourself a Pepsi when you want one, how can you deny yourself masturbation or porn? So by giving up something like this, it builds your willpower. Another great thing to do is cold showers for the very same reason, it gives you control over your desires.

Always remember to stay positive and strive for positive goals. Saying you want to not do something impure so you don’t go to confession can feel like a burden and cause stress and anxiety (which increases impure temptations). So rather, focus on the virtue of chastity and just try and take each day like a new day.

I would like to offer you some great resources:

God Bless,

I’m not clear what you are doing? Is it grave matter?

Have a talk with your confessor about this.

Going to take a wild guess here and say he’s referring to masturbation.

But he says “family watching”? Others seem to think porn?

Could be both? What is “family watching?”

I assume he means family watching to see if he goes up for communion, so if he doesn’t, they know he’s done something… and given that he’s 17, they probably can guess what that something is.

I hope it’s not family actually watching him be unchaste, because…gross.

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Okay, I get that explanation. That makes sense. Thanks.


I am very thankful for the suggestions and information. Thank you!

Yes, fully honest, I receive sometimes when I am afraid I am in mortal sin, because we go to daily mass and I am afraid that my family would realize. And that is what I am struggling with. I can’t get to confession before mass every time I fall, and so I sometimes hope there is some way it wasn’t mortal.

I have not talked specifically with a confessor (just gone to confession), but that is a very good idea.

It is some porn and some masturbation. :frowning: Pray for me!

Talk to your confessor about the culpability in your case, but at bare minimum, don’t feel like a freak. This is something all guys your age struggle with.

OP, could you do some other sin so it serves as an excuse if your family questions you? At least some of the time? Like eat too close to Communion time (oops! I didn’t observe the fast! Can’t go up for Communion!). Or, I’m having some doubts about____.
Or just sleep in?
This is a tough situation - - I think things will get better as you get a bit older and more mature.
Prayers for you in your situation!
It’s not easy to be superhuman (trying to be divine!) in the body of a teenage boy!

Your family has no idea why you will not receive Communion, and you don’t have to tell them.

No one has suggested the following yet…(at least not in my brief skim through the responses)…

Why not tell your parents (or one of your parents, like your dad)? If you are indeed in a state of mortal sin and you’re receiving communion…wouldn’t it be better from an eternal perspective to tell your parents and abstain instead of adding another mortal sin on top of the pre-existing one? (Of course, it might not be mortal in your case, as others have said. Sometimes ingrained/habitual vices are not mortal because you do not have full consent to choose these actions. As others have said, talk to your confessor.)

You seem to be quite concerned about how your parents will react. I don’t know your parents, so maybe your concern is warranted. But here’s what I’ll say. I have a ton of admiration for people who abstain from communion due to mortal sin. It’s a hard, humbling thing to do. Would it be better not to be in mortal in sin the first place? Yeah, definitely. When we’re in a state of mortal sin, we need to do everything we can to get to Confession and to avoid the fault in the future, relying on the grace of God. It’s brave to admit to yourself (and others) that you are not worthy to receive at that time. (Not saying that’s the situation in your case - you may not be in a state of mortal sin, as I said. Just wanted to reiterate.)

I’d be really proud of a son who had such reverence for the Eucharist that he did not receive in a state of mortal sin. I mean, I’d definitely want him to get help for the mortal sin he’s struggling with, though. It sounds like you’re also concerned because you have younger siblings who look up to you. IMO, there’s something powerful about the witness of someone who falls and then (repeatedly) lets God pick him back up by going to Confession and resolving to sin no more, always trusting in the mercy of God and in His grace for aid in overcoming temptation. I don’t know how old your siblings are. If they’re old enough to surmise that you’re avoiding communion due to mortal sin, then you can still witness to them by letting them see you walk into the confessional. Some day one of them might struggle with some mortal sin, and your example from years before will be very powerful - the example of letting God pick you back up, trusting in His mercy and in the grace of the Sacraments Christ gave us.

Back to talking to your parents. What if chastity was something that your own father also struggled with? If you had a son who was going through what you had gone through, wouldn’t you want to help? Or if you had a son who was fighting any spiritual battle at all, wouldn’t you want to help? I’m going to make the assumption that your family is pretty devout since you’re going to daily Mass. If your parents are serious Catholics, they’re going to take their children’s spiritual growth very seriously. If they knew the struggles you’re going through, can you imagine all the extra intercessory prayer you’d be getting to overcome this? Heck, they might even start covertly fasting for you. You never know. Again, I don’t know your parents, but I think they could be very serious allies for you in this spiritual battle.

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I wouldn’t advise lying, no matter how small the lie. You can tell the truth but be non-specific.

But if he actually does have breakfast too late, then he’s not lying. I believe this is what is known as being “Jesuitical”. :smile:

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