Intense self-loathing and shame after sin of impurity

I am a woman in my early 30s, single, never married. After committing a certain sin of impurity, I have such an intense self-loathing and shame. I feel as though any work or strides I’ve made toward being a good Catholic are erased forever and I must begin again from scratch. Subconsciously, I think that I’m going to have a terrible week and that I don’t deserve to have any prayers answered about anything else because I lost that privilege by sinning.

I am a very decent and kind person in every other aspect of my life, but I forget about this when I focus on how sinfully I have behaved.

How can I remember that God loves me and will forgive me and that I’m not the worst sinner in the world and that it can be fixed?

Also, I scold myself when I sin for not immediately finding a church with confession available, and sort of sentence myself to misery until I can go to confession next. The shame is unbearable.

Please do not let this sin consume your life - you did not commit murder. At our huge Jesuit parish there are 4 full time priests so if you call the office during normal hours one can usually make an appointment for face to face confession. Please try to remember that you are human, and just like the rest of our species, you fall once in a while . You obviously are very devout and love Our Lord. Make that appointment and go forward with joy and peace!:rolleyes:

Thank you, koziosap :slight_smile: :blessyou:

Tell Jesus in your heart that you are sorry…then get to confession as soon as possible.

@true to faith – thank you, but this is the issue that my post is about – the feeling that i must get to confession ASAP, as opposed to waiting for Saturday afternoon regular confession–

That’s what I meant by as soon as possible…Saturday Confession…I know people who,maybe go, once a year…

You’re confessing to God…and He forgives you, but to receive Communion, go to Sat. Confession.

Oh, okay – I just torture myself all week until that day comes – the point is that I need to understand that if I intend to (and will) confess my sins this week, and because I certainly am truly sorry, that it is okay to not walk around feeling ashamed and as though my week will be terrible now bc I sinned. I know God isn’t a punishing God. I just think guilt makes me feel that way. I have excessive guilt – it’s totally out of proportion to the sin.

Allow me to focus on two words in your post which I bolded.
We already know the morality involved with impurity, and the requirements of the Church, That leaves your feelings.

Feelings can be spiritually dangerous. And for certain feelings are not truth, right? Feelings are feelings, Truth is Truth. Feelings are subject to the ebb and flow of the human condition.
You feel ashamed and worthless, yet the truth is you are of inestimable worth in God’s eyes. So your feelings are taking hold of you and diverting your gaze from the Way the Truth, and the Life. God is telling you one thing, and you are putting your feelings ahead of God. The same strong feelings that lie to you to make you feel ashamed and worthless also drive you to satisfy feelings through impurity. It’s a vicious up and down cycle.

The key is to put your feelings and emotions in proper perspective -at all times-…when you are low, when you are high, your feelings need to be subordinate to the truth of who you are. Otherwise your feelings will have you on a rollercoaster of ups and downs. This is Satan’s plan, not God’s. The truth is that confession’s purpose is not primarily to make you feel better. The purpose of confession is the remission of sins. So you feel bad in the meantime. So? Feelings will pass. Use that time of torture to go to God and bask in his Truth.

When I get into a place where Satan is using my feelings and emotions to lie to me, I like to remind myself of a few things:

"my feelings are not god, you, oh Lord, are God. "

“That others might become holier and purer than I, as long as I become as holy and pure as you will, Lord grant me the grace to desire it”.

St. Thérèse of Liseux Prayer From “Story of A Soul”

“May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.”

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Your post was really excellent, but I have to comment on the end part that I bolded.

This is absolutely NOT a prayer of St Therese of Lisieux!

It is extremely modern in sentiment - “allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love” ??? Seriously??? No way would St Therese talk like that. Her prayers were about suffering for love, about absolute and unmitigated surrender.

Here’s a prayer that was actually written by St Therese. I’m sure you’ll see the difference in tone.

O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.


Somehow it seems that you have allowed the Catholic Church’s teachings to consume you with guilt unnecessarily. These teachings were not meant to lead you to ruin your life with guilt and self-loathing. Throughout the world people are doing far, far worse things than you have. Other posters have given you good advice.

Confess, try to avoid future sin, and get on with your life.

Sexual sins may have that affect, however, what we all must understand is that these sins may not be as bad as some of the ones that offend God.

For all I know, missing Mass on Sunday without a good reason is more grievous than masturbating. :shrug:

The best thing you can do is go to Confession and try a plenary indulgence for yourself.

It is one thing to feel sorrow for our sins and another thing to wallow in shame. The devil wishes to keep you in shame, despair, guilt. If he can keep you in that state, he can get you to start thinking that you will never be able to stop sinning, you will never be “good enough” for our Lord, you will never be able to be pure. He wants this to lead to you being discouraged and abandoning the Faith altogether as being too hard.

God has already forgiven you.

God loves you.

God wants you to trust in His goodness and lean on His mercy.

Simply make an Act of Contrition right now, entrust the matter to God and be at peace. Next time you are able to go to confession, mention the sin, but know that this is simply a formality at this point since you’ve repented to God already. The Sacrament is there for your peace of mind and healing. The purpose is not so you can await it like one facing execution, but so you can hear the priest say, in Jesus’ place, that your sins are absolved.
Praying to St. Gerard for you…

Just to add a note to the wonderful previous posts. Once you make a sincere, valid sacramental Confession, your graces and merits are you. You do not have to start .all over. You will however have to do penance for your sins in this life or purgatory.
Don’t beat yourself up. Guilt is good, excessive guilt is detrimental. God bless you.

Psalms 43:5

Why are you downcast, my soul?

Why do you groan within me?

Wait for God, for I shall again praise him,

my savior and my God.


To paraphrase St. Alphonsus Liguori, when tempted call upon Mary and you will not cede to the temptation. God bless you.

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