Help with Confession/Masterbation


#1

Im a teenager as such i’ve obviously had the urges and have quenched them. Im extremely embarassed about telling my confesser, which i wont see until next year. I’ve seen pornography and erotic drawings, and masterbated to them. I’ve just ended doing so and im trying to stay away from it. The first time i did it i had no idea it was a Mortal sin. I was somewhat aware it was wrong but didnt know how serious it was. Im not the best catholic, i havent gone to church unless it was a certain event. My school has confession every year so thats the only time i can see a confesser, i chickened out last time out of embarassment. Ive masterbated on and off for years now not being able to man up and speak to a priest about it. The guilt has become heavy lately which makes me depressed. I cant tell anyone dispite the fact that i kno wmy parents are aware i’ve masterbated before even though i say i havent (its really really embarassing :blush:) Im going to confess my sins next time i can see a priest but i need to know, am i going to hell or am i really really close to damnation for waiting so long and for continueing the act event after i relised its wrong? Im not the best catholic (my theology teacher said its called not being a practicioner of my faith, but im still catholic). i know its gonna happen again, maybe even today or tomarrow. will i go to hell for doing it again even after confessing it/trying to stop doing it but doing it anyway?


#2

I would assume that since you are Catholic you attend Mass every Sunday? I’m sure that your local parish has Confession at least monthly, if not weekly.


#3

Hello Dragon

Being someone who suffers from sins of impurity I can say first off that admitting your sins and faults is the first step to getting better. Second if you can not see a priest right now but are truley sorry for your sins then you can make a perfect act of contrition which if done from the heart can save you provided it was by no fault of your own that you were unable to confess your sins to a priest. You must see a confessor as soon as possible. Being in a state of mortal sin is always being in a risk of going to hell! However you must right now think of Gods mercy and know that He is waiting for you to come back and that God knows your heart. Remeber too that while we are not perfect it is the times that we fall and get back up that make God truly happy. One site that I would recommend for the pornography problem would be www.pornnomore.com. Also if you ever need to talk privately then plese feel free to message me. I have found that frequent confession, communion, fasting and prayer have been the biggest help for stopping my addiction/habit. The other would be talking to others who have the same issue because it helps you not feel alone in this battle.

God bless


#4

[edited]

Dragon…you are not alone. IM me anytime. Also, check out www.e5men.com


#5

This an issue that I too struggle with. I have had this problem for as long as I can actually remember (and I 28). I haven’t been confirmed yet, so I haven’t been able to start going to confession yet. Do you guys think that, no matter how heinous the thought-and I’m not going to divulge what they are here-that I should discuss it once I do start going to confession?


#6

Dragon! Welcome aboard! As you can see, the sins of impurity plague a great many of us Catholics. If I knew exactly how to defeat it, I’d tell you. However, the questions you have are very, very common ones around these forums. Many young people are terrified that they’re going to hell because they masturbate, and no one in their lives is giving answers. Why isn’t this covered in religion classes, I ask you? Why do we hear so much about contraception from the pulpit, but never a word about masturbation, the sin that so often acts as a prelude to contraception and failed marriages? Why do our religion classes spend so much time talking about capital punishment and just war (issues that affect 0% of Catholic high schoolers) but encourage silence on the sin that affects 99% of their male students?

In short, it’s an embarrassment to the Catholic community that you had to come to the Internet for answers, Dragon, but it’s a credit to you that you saw what you had to do and did it.

Now, are you going to Hell? The answer to this question is always going to be “We don’t know.” The Church tells us who the saints are so we can model our lives after them, but never once has the Church given us an example of someone who went to Hell. There are so many circumstances involved in judging a person’s guilt for a sin that–literally–the only people who truly know who’s going to Heaven and who’s going to Hell are named Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There are many reasons why you might be spared the full guilt of your sin; the Catechism writes that:

[quote=Catechism of the Catholic Church 2352]To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility [for masturbation] and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.
[/quote]

…which means, in English, that, because you’re a young man dealing with feelings you don’t know how to cope with in a culture awash with messages that pervert and attack true human sexuality and you have free, convenient access to pornography (through the Internet) unprecedented in human history, there’s a very good chance that your soul is not as damaged by the sin as it could be, and you are not turning yourself into a demon as quickly as you might think. That being said, masturbation is a grave sin, the opposite of true sexuality (which is a union of love between two people), and, anytime you commit a grave sin, you open the door to the possibility that you will throw yourself into Hellfire at the Final Judgement. Best not to risk it, I always say.

It would be prudent to attend confession weekly. If you have a Catholic Church within walking distance, I suggest you make use of it. If not, well, that’s another thing that isn’t your fault, and God won’t hold it against you if you can’t get there right away. At the very least, though, your parents should be willing to drive you to the church for confession once every three months. That’s hardly unusual, and you don’t need to tell them a reason for your sudden increase in confessions except that you’re taking your faith more seriously. (This is not a lie–by coming here and asking these questions, you are taking your faith more seriously. Good for you.) Make use of the confessional as often as you can, and pray at least weekly for forgiveness when you cannot.

You should also be going to Mass every Sunday. I can’t overstate the importance of that. Christ gives us the grace to persevere through the sacrament of Holy Eucharist. We cannot conquer sin–especially stubborn sins like impurity–without His grace. Now, you say that you haven’t been “the best Catholic.” Well, none of us are. However, we all have to try to be the best Catholic we can be. God sees that. That’s what God’s watching for.

Of course, I’m guessing that your parents aren’t going to Sunday Mass, and, if they’re not driving, you have no way to get there. Again, that isn’t your fault. Make the best effort you can to get to Sunday Mass–even if it isn’t easy at times–and, if you can’t do it, you can’t do it. I was once in a situation where, because I was with a student tour group and not allowed by my teachers to go off on my own, I was unable to make it to Sunday Mass while in Rome. There was a church on every street–usually two–and there was nothing I could do about it. In situations where your legal status as a minor or as someone who can’t have a driver’s license somehow prevents you from getting to Mass, the sin is not yours. Just try.

The same goes for masturbation itself: keep trying. Stay strong. Pray often. It’s a brutal sin, and it entraps you like none other–often before you even know it’s wrong. It saps your freedom, takes control of your passions, and undermines your intellect. Sometimes, it becomes so strong that you begin to doubt that it’s even really wrong to masturbate. You’ve just got to have faith, use the sacraments, and pray.

It might also help to read books that explain true Catholic teaching about sex, so you understand just what makes masturbation so hostile to humanity. I recommend Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners, if you can get your hands on it.

And when you fall–and you will fall–pick yourself up again and keep at it. For me, it hasn’t gone away… but it has gotten easier. And I know people who are even further along than I am. There is hope, and, as Pope Benedict wrote, “In hope, we are saved.”

Hope that helps. I tend to get long-winded on this topic.


#7

Personally, I think it’s best to leave the sins of impurity fairly vague in the confession booth. A wise priest I once knew–who, rest his soul, died just this past week–advised me during a confession that to dwell on sins of impurity is to feed them. Every time you think about them–the more specific, the worse–you give those thoughts an opening to leap back in and reoccupy your weakened mind.

Now, everyone has their own manner of doing confession, and what works for one might not work for another, but I think that’s sound advice. Of course, confess every sin–the more heinous the sin, the more important it is to confess–but I think the wisest path is to give those thoughts as little air as possible in the confession booth. I confess pornography as “looking at impure images,” reading erotica as “reading impure works,” and masturbation as “committing impure act(s) with myself.” The priest knows exactly what I mean, and, by leaving them like that, I can acknowledge the sin and ask forgiveness for it without giving it a way back into my heart.


#8

Wow I would like to apologize for my mistake. It was suppose to be pornnomore. Thank you for the correction.


#9

To the OP:

As someone who has been there (And is still struggling to get out) I have a few tips.

Try saying a Rosary Novena for the virtues of Chastity and Impurity.

In the same spirit as above develop a strong devotion to the Rosary.

Exercise! I try to exercise now 30-45min a day. The Point is you want to put that energy and idleness somewhere else. I have never exercised in my life (I am an I.T. Major after all) but ive started taking up walking two-four miles a day on my house’s treadmill. Its a great excuse to watch EWTN.

Get a regular spirtual confessor. This is key! You need to develop a relationship with a Priest so he can formulate a plan of action with you. Even if you feel silly going weekly bite the bullet and do it anyway. I know feel odd if i miss a weekly confession, its a wonderful tool and developing a devotion to it is a great way to combat habitual sin.

I know on my Desktop background i have El Greco’s St.Dominic in Prayer (I want to be a Dominican so I view him as a Patron of mine) surround your self with Holy Images (The Blessed Mother is especially effective in my opinion)

There are Several Confratarnities designed to help you in this regard.

There is the St.Joseph Confraternity

and there is the Confraternity of Angelic Warfare/The Confraternity of the Cord of St.Thomas (This one is a specific Confraternity of the Dominican Order)

The worse thing you can do is fall into despair that you will never be free of the Sin. As a poster above me mentioned you will fall. The important thing is picking your self back up, and it gets easier each time.

If you have any more questions please PM Me. I know its hard being a Catholic College/Highschool Student. Our Society does not value chastity at all and hell even my parents tell me I should do it as a medical practice to help me “unwind”.

I hope this helps, you will be in my prayers.


#10

as i said earlier i do not attend church weekly. i will start if it helps as going to hell is one of my greatest fears.

edit: I have told my mom just now she says i will not go to hell and that it is not neccesarally a mortal sin as thousands do it daily. i will stop doing it and watching porno is gone. if i can tell a confesser. i believe my mom and i feel much less stressed.


#11

extension to above

edit: I have told my mom just now she says i will not go to hell and that it is not neccesarally a mortal sin as thousands do it daily. i will stop doing it and watching porno is gone. if i can tell my mom i can tell a confesser. i believe my mom and i feel much less stressed. I honestly now believe that not everyone who masterbates goes to hell just for that. forgiveness is important but should someone to masterbate then say die in a car acceent before they can tell a confesser, they shouldnt go to hell especially if thats the only thing they have done. if you dont believe me i respect that. i will go to church and confess it. i feel much better though atm.

thank you all very much for your help, it really helped me man up and tell someone.


#12

Don’t worry, dragon.

The priest has heard it before.


#13

I hate to break this to you but it is a very grievous sin regardless of what your mom says. I would consult the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding it Dragon. Countless people take drugs, and kill themselves but does this void the sinfulness of those actions? Unfortunately “everybody does it” is not the way to go when deciding what is sinful and what is not. However you are correct that if by no fault of your own you are unable to reach a confessor but yet are truly sorry and die in lets say a car accident then no you don’t necessarily go to hell. Your judgment is between you and God. It is your duty as a practicing Catholic to keep you soul in a state of grace and to get to confession as soon as possible after committing a mortal sin such as masturbation. This would include asking your mom to drive you to the nearest Church to find out when confession is offered, or if offered at that time to go.

God Bless


#14

Dragon:

Also, you can also call your priest for a confessional appointment.

Wowbagger:

means, in English, that, because you’re a young man dealing with feelings you don’t know how to cope with in a culture awash with messages that pervert and attack true human sexuality and you have free, convenient access to pornography (through the Internet) unprecedented in human history, there’s a very good chance that your soul is not as damaged by the sin as it could be,

Just a thought.

But isn’t this an admittance of vincible ignorance?. In fact ignorance no longer. The Church making this declaration is also informing, so that we can now say, “from now on, it is definitely mortal”.

The sinner knows the enemy in his full garb so it can no longer present a surprise. Having been given this knowledge, he is now in the strategic stage where all that remains is to launch an effective defense against what this era presents. He can no longer say these factors that would otherwise rescue him from responsibility are entirely new to him.

Andy


#15

Hi Dragon!

It’s great that you are thinking about this and have folks here that can help you. When I was a teenager I was plagued with extreme and unhealthy guilt about this sin. I did confess it but it was a few years until a priest explained to me about the compulsion facing adolescent boys.

Hormones are extremely high at this stage (Lord are they high!). The CCC hadn’t come out with it’s above section which would have given me some solace. God does take our circumstances into account. Still stay vigilant regarding purity, but don’t despair if you fall.

Now that I am an adult and my hormones have calmed down significantly I don’t do this nearly as much. But when I do I know that my sin is mortal as I am choosing to sin in this way and if I tried very hard I could resist.

So yes, do pray about this sin- especially to Mary- and really try to get to a priest for Confession. Also get to mass. (sadly I do often miss my obligation which is another mortal sin for me.)

But try not to think so much about Hell but instead think of God’s mercy and love.


#16

The church teaches it is a serious sin. Trust the church, it has probably thought about this more than you. It just happens to be a very, very common one. Being common does not make it less serious - birth control is common as well (so is divorce, so is abortion). Remember, we have the freedom to choose between right or wrong, not the freedom to determine what is right or wrong. (That is what Eve did and is still the core of most sin). It is very tempting, and usually will attack us by convincing us it’s not that bad…

It is hard to see the related problems associated with it. But it can easily become an addiction. It can easily effect how you view sexuality, which in turns affects future relationships (even and especially future marriage). Finally, as hard is it is to believe, it is probably easier for you to deal with it now (even with your current hormones)- than in 10 or 20 years of habit. I am sure plenty of older members here can attest to years of this addiction. Personally I have not found my hormones to go away - and one priest told a friend of mine about the number of widower’s who still have the problem (in their 70’s and 80’s) Just work on it now. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it.

Don’t be ashamed to confess it - the priest has heard it before (probably every day the hear confession). Confession is a healing process associated with absolution. Go to confession more frequently - many go to monthly and weekly confession (some religious go to daily confession). It’s good for you. It causes you to look deeper, to find the root of the sin, rather than just the symptom’s of it.

Good luck, just understand - you are not alone.

fwiw I do not think it is a teenaged problem. It effects most everyone eventually, it is just a new problem to teenagers, and an older problem for the rest of us.


#17

I read the CCC passage as acknowledging a compromise of the subject’s ability to give full consent of the will. Ignorance aside (clearly, most Catholics are aware of the gravity of the sin), a person acting without full consent of the will–that is, a person whose will is dominated by the passions and whose passions are continually strengthened and inflamed by the culture, as in a young adolescent in the current culture–is incapable of committing mortal sin. Grave sin, yes; mortal sin, no.

Dragon, I’m glad you were able to tell your mom. Compared to the terror of telling a mom, telling a priest will be a cakewalk. :stuck_out_tongue: As everyone is saying, just keep fighting and praying and receiving the sacraments as often as possible. God bless!


#18

As I have seen mentioned in earlier posts, the priest will not be shocked. I’m quite certain he’s heard such things before…confess and I know you’ll feel A LOT better. :cool:

Telling your mom and posting this issue online for everyone to see tells me you’re prepared to confess. Best of Luck!

Peace be with. :highprayer:


#19

Dragon254,

I totally get it and let me tell you that I had to confess a BIGGIE and my parish priest knows me very well. I wasnt going to confess it but than i just blurted it out. He was so kind and now i find myself going every week with this same confession. the only difference is that God is giving me the grace to deal with it.It is getting better but is not gone completely.
I keep telling God that I am sorry but I am weak and I need Him to help me. He sent me to Mary and now she’s helping me through this thing.

The devil will find your “vice” and tempt you with it BIG TIME. he know my weakness and he put it right in front of me and he continues to do so. Now I look at it as a test and yes, im still failing but im getting closer to overcoming it.

GO to a parish near by every week and confess this weakness and it will get better, that is if you truely feel bad and want to amend…

p.s. We had a Priest freind who told us that masturbation is like the most confessed thing in the confessional. They have heard it all. no need to be embarrassed;).


#20

Yes priests have heard it ALL. AND they don’t even remember what they have heard fifteen minutes later! :slight_smile:

Such is Christ- when we repent of our sins they are blotted out- as if they were never there.

Our most grievous sins are like a tiny atom before the burning Sun of God’s Mercy.

All WE (that means me) need to do is approach Him.


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