Hey I'm 17 and...

Hello! I am a striving catholic teenaged male about to graduate high school, and I have a few questions about my faith. I’d appreciate the forum’s input…

  1. I recently returned from a weekend religious camp. Over the past few years I have habitually struggled with the so called “teenager sins”. I came home from the camp with a new zeal not to commit them anymore, unfortunately the temptations are coming back bigger than ever. Any thoughts on how to deal?

  2. There is a boy at my church who is a huge gossip and problem. He has caused many problems within the youth group to the point where many people refuse to speak to one another. The youth minister is aware of what the boy does but does little to stop it. The parish priests are under the boy’s “spell.” What can I do In this situation? It really is getting very hard to be holy in my church as a result of the culture of gossip and judgment.

  3. Is looking at non-pornographic pictures a mortal sin (ie swimsuit pictures) provided no other sexual sin is committed in the process?

  4. Is it appropriate to be “crushing” on a girl that is in a relationship?

I’m not sure if this is the right section of the forum for this. I’m sorry if it is not.

If everyone else in the group is sick of the boy’s antics, then you need to make a pact to tell him directly that his behavior is unacceptable and detrimental to the group. If he continues to behave in a similar manner, then ignore him. Attention is probably what he’s looking for the most.

  1. Pray. Prayer is one of the strongest weapons and aids we have for our lives. Pray to God for strength to resist temptation, and maybe ask for intercessory prayers of some saints that may have had similar problems as you. Also, have some fallback plan to prevent you from falling to temptation. Usually should I be in a situation where I might sin, or make the wrong choice, I just think of Jesus being right next to me and whether He would be proud or hurt from a choice I might make. Do a Hail Mary, Our Father, or make a sign of the cross at cases for temptation. Many of these things are helpful as well.

  2. Et Cetera gives some good advice. Also, it never hurts to go directly to the Parish Priest and share you thoughts on this. You can also tell a parent or guardian to bring it to the Parish Priest as well. And it would be good to go to the highest authority of your parish (pastor perhaps?) should some of the other parish priests not respond.

  3. It depends on context. If it makes you lust or feel good by looking at them and you continue on purpose to look at them for that reason, then yes, it may be a sin. If you were just going through the internet and ended up looking at it on a random occasion, then no it is not a sin. If it’s posters of people in swim suits, then if it makes you lust (you like the poster because they make you feel good because they are attractive) then it may be a sin especially because you purposefully put it there for that purpose. Context is key.

  4. It depends. If you are having thoughts or impulses of attraction, then no it is not a sin. However, should you have lustful thoughts and impulses of attraction and continue to pursue them on purpose, then yes it may be a sin as lust (not just because she can’t be with you). If you are trying to not pursue your romantic/lustful attractions or thoughts for her, then it is fine.

When you go to your priest about gossip boy, be prepared and organized in stating your case. Know what specific points you will bring up, and specific examples, i.e., I heard gossip boy say X,Y, and Z about me or others, and explain how and why you know that he is lying/intentionally stirring the pot. Don’t go in with a bunch of “He…” statements. You will only sound like you are the one doing the targeting, and will give the appearance of a big rooster fight, which will result in the priest not taking you seriously. Also, speak calmly and use a reasonable volume. Are there any other guys that can corroborate your story? Strength in #s and all works wonders when you are asking for a solution from someone who I’m assuming has not seen/heard gossip boy in action, only believing his side of things later on because he is the one who goes running to Father for every little thing.
I’m a woman who works in an all male high school, and am often asked to handle situations similar to what you describe. If you need any more advice, or if there is more to the situation that renders my advice irrelevant, just let me know.

I will speak to the issue of the gossipy boy. Go ahead and take the advice of the posters above, but also realize that as far as that sort of social behavior goes,we NEVER get beyond the high school stage.

No matter where you go to school, work, etc etc you will have to deal with the same issues, so may as well get off to a proper start with it.

Also, as an adult, often you will have little to no recourse…as in no priest or pastor to go to to have the situation addressed, but will have to deal with it best you can with equinamity and grace.

Stay honest yourself, don’t engage in gossip or rumors, when others start talking about those things leave the conversation, or say “I don’t know anything about that” and speak of other things.

One of my roomates shared a saying with me that I have used in these situations when someone wants me to get involved talking about rumors with them “I don’t have a dog in that fight.” which is a “cool” way of saying “it’s none of my business”

It gets more difficult when the gossip is about ourselves and our loved ones. If it gets back to us, correct it if appropriate to the person who tells us, and we can be pretty sure that is likely to get around as well. And pray.

Hi! I am glad you posted.

  1. There are no “teenager sins” If you are referring to masturbation and pornography those do not know age boundaries. They are not unique to teens. What is unique is using this time in your life to get these sins under control so that you may be the father and husband and child of God, (or priest) you are called to be.:thumbsup:
  2. This too is not limited to the youth. Most parishes have a gossip. Heck most groups of more than two in all of life have one. Your job is to keep yourself away from the gossip and help others to avoid it as well. Perhaps it is time for you to lead with this young man. And teach and show him why gossip is so evil. Evangelize him.
  3. You gave yourself away with the use of the word (other). If you are deriving sexual pleasure from something in an impure manner, that is troublesome. Most men are attracted to women, but you should also feel some sort of honor or protection about the women putting their bodies on display for men to ogle.
  4. As long as that relationship is not a marriage, engagement, or a discernment to the religious life I see no problem with it. Most women nowadays are seemingly constantly in a “relationship” of some sort. My wife had a “boyfriend” when I asked her out. In fact my exact words were " why would you want to go to a movie with that guy when you could go have a great time with me?" Not exactly something I recommend you say but it worked and I can assure you there was nothing immoral or unholy about it! :thumbsup:
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