Is Masterbation a Grave Sin?


#1

Is the act of Masterbation a Grave sin? Or if you did with full consent and knowledge, would it be a mortal sin that would have to be absolved in confession? Or would it be considered a vienial sin (lacking grave matter) that could be absolved during the general pentitential rite of Mass?

Thanks,

ShyBoy


#2

[quote=ShyBoy]Is the act of Masterbation a Grave sin? Or if you did with full consent and knowledge, would it be a mortal sin that would have to be absolved in confession? Or would it be considered a vienial sin (lacking grave matter) that could be absolved during the general pentitential rite of Mass?

Thanks,

ShyBoy
[/quote]

Read what the Catechsim of the Catholic Church has to say about masturbation:

**CCC 2352 **By *masturbation *is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.” To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility 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."


#3

Regardless of the state of one’s sin (mortal, venial), confession to a good confessor may help alleviate some of the guilt and suffering that one who engages in this kind of activity might feel. Hearing the words of absolution and the grace that one recieves in the confessional might help give the penitent the strength to ‘go and sin no more.’

Confession should not be about “have to.” It’s about “getting to.” Sinners have wonderful recourse to this sacrament, and should feel blessed that God has chosen this ministry so that we can hear the words with our ears that Christ says to our souls.

I love reconciliation. It is a beautiful opportunity to reconcile myself to the body of Christ and to grow spiritually and recieve great graces.


#4

I actually was hoping to find a thread relating to this subject. I’ve got a friend who is trying to stop this terrible habit and goes to confession regularly. He is beginning to feel guilty about confessing the sin over and over again. He claims that he is trying his best to stop a behavior that he used to not even think twice about (until he read it for himself in the Catechism), but gets overtaken within days of going to confession. He is beginning to feel so guilty about continueing to sin after confessing that he is considering not going to communion until he gets complete control over it, whether confessed or not. I can tell that he is struggling with this and seems to be embarrassed and ashamed.

I told him that it sounds like a habitual or possibly stress related problem. He claims, no, there are lustful thoughts going through his head when he is doing it, but he can’t make them go away.

What can I do for my struggling friend? He seems to be getting depressed.


#5

[quote=Crusader]Read what the Catechsim of the Catholic Church has to say about masturbation:

**CCC 2352 **By *masturbation *is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. “Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action.” “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of “the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.” To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility 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]

Ok. So it is a “gravely disordered action”. Whatever that means. So the next question is, are “disordered actions” sinfull?

I get the feeling they are trying to skirt this issue.


#6

I once heard Steve Wood, www.dads.org, discuss pornography and men and how the thoughts of the images can be difficult to shun. He recommended reading and memorizing Scripture. That way the good would overtake the evil in the mind, and in this case, the Word of God would take over the evil of your friends act. If your friend really wants to free himself, he should read scripture, and meditate on it as the Word of God. By this, he will come to know God much better and turning from evil will be easier. Will take time, but I believe it works. He has to have faith.

If your friend, for instance, memorizes John 3:14. Whenever he has the urge to masturbate, recite that verse in his mind and think about what it means. The Word of God will win over evil.


#7

I actually was hoping to find a thread relating to this subject. I’ve got a friend who is trying to stop this terrible habit and goes to confession regularly.

Wow. You must be pretty good friends if that’s a regular topic of conversation. 'Course, I guess my friends sometimes obliquely mention it to me, too, though not in a repentant way…

It reminds me of my roommate at Franciscan U. As I was unpacking in the dorm, literally minutes after I’d arrived, he “confessed” to me that he had that same problem. I won’t describe the details, (which he provided), or the horror of the thought of such an…odd…looking guy doing such a thing, but I’ll just say it set a deeply wierd precedent for the year. :hmmm:


#8

[quote=Cary Melvin]Ok. So it is a “gravely disordered action”. Whatever that means. So the next question is, are “disordered actions” sinfull?

I get the feeling they are trying to skirt this issue.
[/quote]

No, they are not trying to skirt any issues. They simply assume that people understand the terms.

A “gravely disordered action” is always a grave sin.

You probably recall their are 3 conditions for a mortal sin.[list=1]*] A sin that is grave (meaning very serious).
*]Full knowledge that it is a grave sin.
*]Deliberate consent of the will.[/list]

You can read the Catechism on this subject at: scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#1854


#9

[quote=Cary Melvin]Ok. So it is a “gravely disordered action”. Whatever that means. So the next question is, are “disordered actions” sinfull?

I get the feeling they are trying to skirt this issue.
[/quote]

Masturbation is a mortal sin.

That said, there are mitigating circumstances as described in the CCC.


#10

It is? Always?

I would consider the sudden urge to stand out in the middle of a interstate highway jumping up and down and screaming your head off a “gravely disordered action”. But is it a grave sin, or a sin at all? If it is always a grave sin, then why don’t they just say that?

I believe that masterbation is a sin, but I don’t think that it would always be a grave matter. It would depend on the situation. Wouldn’t it?


#11

I know masterbation is a sin because I have seen it in the bible before. The best thing to do is check the Catechism and if you do not have one usually your Diocese has an internet version on its websites.

In general this should be easy to remember – Anytime the seed is extracted without the intent of being open to the “possibility of new life” or outside the context of marriage, the act is a sin.


#12

In general this should be easy to remember – Anytime the seed is extracted without the intent of being open to the “possibility of new life” or outside the context of marriage, the act is a sin.

What about nocturnal emissions? Seriously. Should one confess these?


#13

no

It is sinful, but the mitigating circumstances change the seriousness. There is a terrific booklet on the topic, called Charity and Sex and the Young Man by Herbert J. Raterman, S.J. and can be obtained through Roman Catholic Books.

FIRST I would say that anyone who decides to fast from the Eucharist, even while in the state of grace is caving to the devil. He wants people to avoid the very best Medicine! Tell the friend that he is not the only one, that the priest(s) understand and that he simply needs the grace of Confession, so keep going when he falls to the temptation. But to ask the priest what constitutes mortal sin. The intention necessary: fully intending to sin… if one
is falling to temptation, even while trying not to, it can lack that full intention.


#14

[quote=rubbersoul]What about nocturnal emissions? Seriously. Should one confess these?
[/quote]

no

It is sinful, but the mitigating circumstances change the seriousness. There is a terrific booklet on the topic, called Charity and Sex and the Young Man by Herbert J. Raterman, S.J. and can be obtained through Roman Catholic Books.

FIRST I would say that anyone who decides to fast from the Eucharist, even while in the state of grace is caving to the devil. He wants people to avoid the very best Medicine! Tell the friend that he is not the only one, that the priest(s) understand and that he simply needs the grace of Confession, so keep going when he falls to the temptation. But to ask the priest what constitutes mortal sin. The intention necessary: fully intending to sin… if one
is falling to temptation, even while trying not to, it can lack that full intention


#15

Those are not sins.


#16

[quote=Cary Melvin]It is? Always?

I would consider the sudden urge to stand out in the middle of a interstate highway jumping up and down and screaming your head off a “gravely disordered action”. But is it a grave sin, or a sin at all? If it is always a grave sin, then why don’t they just say that?

I believe that masterbation is a sin, but I don’t think that it would always be a grave matter. It would depend on the situation. Wouldn’t it?
[/quote]

refer to rfk’s post on the conditions for a mortal sin. Also note the word intrinsically in the CCC. That means masterbation can not be justified in any circumstance. Its sinfulness would depend on the situation as you mentioned in the form of one’s culpability.

That is: certains acts are either objectively right or wrong. You can call it sin when a person comitting it has sufficient culpability. Thus, nocturnal emissions carry not even venial sin because the person has zero culpability.

Scott


#17

[quote=Catholic Cadet]Those are not sins.
[/quote]

This is not a sin, the nocturnals, because they occur during sleep and you are conscienouly aware of it.
But, can dreams while you sleep trigger this nocturnal reaction?

Go with God!
Edwin


#18

[quote=Edwin1961]This is not a sin, the nocturnals, because they occur during sleep and you are conscienouly aware of it.
But, can dreams while you sleep trigger this nocturnal reaction?

Go with God!
Edwin
[/quote]

Yes, and again, not a sin. It is only a sin if there is full consent of the will, and that requires that you be fully awake for starters.


#19

[quote=rfk]A “gravely disordered action” is always a grave sin.
[/quote]

[quote=Cary Melvin]It is? Always?
[/quote]

Yes, it always is.

[quote=Cary Melvin]I would consider the sudden urge to stand out in the middle of a interstate highway jumping up and down and screaming your head off a “gravely disordered action”.
[/quote]

You are using the words as if they are everyday language. However, they have a very specific meaning when discussing theology and morality.

Assuming you are not putting you life at risk, acting like a fool is not a “gravely disordered action”. A “gravely disordered action” is an action, first of all. An action is either “ordered” or “disordered”. An ordered action means it is an action consistent with the Will of God and natural law. A disordered action goes against natural law and is sinful. A disordered action can be minor or grave (meaning serious).

A “gravely disordered action” is one which is always objectively wrong and serious. Performing an abortion. Performing homsexual acts. These acts are always unacceptable, regardless of the circumstances, and are serious or grave matters.

[quote=Cary Melvin]I believe that masterbation is a sin, but I don’t think that it would always be a grave matter. It would depend on the situation. Wouldn’t it?
[/quote]

That is the mistake of Relativism. Masturbation is always a gravely disordered action, always a grave matter.

However, it appears you do not understand the distinction between grave matters, which are sinful in the very character of the act, and a mortal sin. A grave sin is always a grave sin regardless of knowledge or intent. However, to be a mortal sin requires the grave sin to be accompanied by full knowledge and consent of the will.


#20

[quote=Cary Melvin]Ok. So it is a “gravely disordered action”. Whatever that means. So the next question is, are “disordered actions” sinfull?

I get the feeling they are trying to skirt this issue.
[/quote]

Number One – Talk to a priest. Now. Don’t be unduly embarrassed; believe me, he’s heard it all – and then some.

Number Two – Until you have taked to a priest, *do not read into the Catechism anything more or less than what it actually says * – and don’t listen to anyone else who does this, either (not even on this thread). Your priest will know. Trust him.

Number Three – Give your priest/confessor some background: What triggers this for you? Has it been a long-standing habit? Is it “eating you up” inside – or not? Note that these questions are listed as aids for your talk with a priest – they are not intended to be answered on this thread.

Number Four – Remember that any kind of habitual behavior which you desire to conquer is best addressed, with God’s help, on a “One Day At A Time” basis – and that “falling off the wagon”, so to speak, is not cause for despair.

Peace be with you.


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