is this ok?


#1

well i have been falling in the same kind of sin lately and it is really disgusting and not good… (masturbation()

my question is, is it ok that i am hesitant to go to the same confessor every week? or every couple days?

i feel ashamed and discouraged to be heard by the same priest every week or every couple days because he knows who i am… i am looking for a church that doesnt now who i am now. is this alright?


#2

You need not go to the same confessor every time.


#3

On the other hand, one of CA's own apologists (Matt Fradd) suggests going to someone who you have a history with...if they know you have persistent trouble with this issue they may be able to offer you advice on how to fight it.


#4

I don’t think so. In fact, you may want to ask this confessor to become your spiritual director.

Shame is not a good trademark for a Christian. It is rooted on pride.

The day you are free (or significantly separated) from pride through God’s grace, you will come to realize that there is not one thing in man that does not deserve to be put to shame.

To go to the same confessor and to humbly ask for some spiritual direction will help you in understanding the root of your sins, which may or may not be lust.

I have experienced that pride can often be the root of such sins. But it could be vanity, or a combination of all three.

Also, we do have to come to an understanding that sexual desire is very good, and that there is absolutely nothing wrong in feeling a strong attraction.

The issue is with the disordered desire to experience sexual pleasure. The issue is in wishing to posses the other person, dehumanizing it; the issue is with destroying horribly the wonderful act of matrimony, meant to bind the spouses in a sacred union of love and bring forth new life.

A sincere and profound devotion to the Blessed Virgin will help very much in the fight against lust. Pray to her every day, even carrying an image of her on you which you may look at and pray every so often, will teach you what true beauty is, what purity looks like, what chastity means. You will still experience the most natural and very good attraction, but it will be purified. You will also learn to be prudent, for it is with good reason that we honor Our Lady as Virgo Prudentissima. You will learn that we should be willing to mortify ourselves by exposing ourselves to all sorts of temptations, except lust: for before lust we are like paper before fire: no matter what, we will catch fire.

You did say the keyword: disgusting.

This is the first step into liberation from the slavery to lust.

We all come to see, if we walk the path of chastity, that lust is disgusting indeed. It destroys all that is good and pure and holy in the sexual act. It turns it into something proper of beasts, unbecoming of the children of God. It turns something meant to sanctify the temple of the Holy Spirit into something that desecrates the Temple.

But running away from the confessor out of shame won’t help you at all. Because it is not to a man you confess. You confess to Jesus Christ. The minister acts in persona Christi. Christ hears you through his ears, and absolves you through his minister. No matter how far you go, the same man will be waiting: Jesus Christ, your God, your Lord, but above all else, your brother and your friend, who understands you and wants to set you free.

And by all means confess often, possibly weekly (and if you are blessed with a spiritual director, he will schedule your confessions and it will be no bother whatsoever). Christ told us to keep knocking at night and asking for the bread, even if this upsets the landlord. You will always receive what you need, and eventually by God’s grace you will be the one peacefully sleeping in God’s house and ready to wake at your brother’s requests at night :wink:


#5

^^Very well said

I would say, follow the advice you have been given. Stopping your desire and addiction to masturbation (believe me, I know where you’re coming from) is the real issue, not how you should feel about constantly confessing it.

I don’t want to be judgmental or assumptive here, but I feel that (perhaps, and I may be wrong) you should hold-off going to confession and receiving Eucharist until you get the issue sorted. I say this because repeatedly confessing the same sin every day does not bear the theme of sorrow or regret on your part, which is the essential foundation of confession. Christ forgives you because you forgive yourself, you are truly sorry for your act, and do not wish to do it again, but instead follow Him. This is what a confession is; it requires full regret and sorrow to be valid. I’m not saying that you don’t meet that requirement, it just sounds as if you know you will be doing it again everytime you go to confession, which (despite what you may feel at the time) is not true sorrow.

As I said, get the issue sorted. Follow the advice about the Virgin Mary and prayer, draw strength from it, and stop focusing or exposing yourself to lustful material. Do that, learn to stop the habit, and then go to confession with the intention to continue stopping it.

As to your question, a priest is in no way entitled to instill feelings of shame, hatred or judgement. He might tell you something similar to here, but ultimately remember that they are agents to Christ, and as long as you have something to regretfully confess, they will hear it. Odds are, most priests have probably heard much more disturbing things. Masturbation is definitely a disgusting habit, but it’s quite common nowadays. When you think that priests have heard confessions regarding adultery, murder, rape, etc, it makes your issue seem a lot less shameful.


#6

I do appreciate a lot your kind words :hug1: but I would actually discourage anyone from the last advice (which I quote) because it misses a very important point: to improve in anything, we need the help of sanctifying grace.

Sanctifying grace is gone after a mortal sin.

If we do not confess (indeed, by repenting experiencing contrition, being absolved, and doing our penance), we lack sanctifying grace and we have no way whatever to improve. Things will only go worse, because, in fact, the adversary will have a strong grip on us.

If we confess and follow spiritual direction, of course making sure we are truly repentant and experience as close to a perfect contrition as possible (asking the priest about it if we’re unsure), then we will receive a greater sanctifying grace geared towards the very sin or vice we’re fighting. And hopefully we’re not working on “stopping” something (not going to happen in this life) but on replacing a vice with a virtue.

Furthermore, we then approach as often as possible (I, a very scrupulous man, would say even daily!) the Holy Eucharist, then Christ Himself will be taking all those disordered desires and purifying them, giving us sight and strengthening us to be able to follow Him. Because as we partake of the Holy Eucharist, we truly become “partakers of the divine nature”, and we will be able to repeat with the apostle: “everything is possible through Him who lives in me”.

When I was in my time of greatest fight against this sin, I’d confess very often. I used to stay up all night and run to early Mass and pursue the priest. The people in the rectory were actually annoyed by me and once confronted me, telling me that confessions were on the weekend and that I should only call for emergencies. I did not care. I asked the priest after Mass, and I always received a “yes” for an answer. Confess and receive the Lord as often as possible, because without Grace and Life we are empty and can achieve nothing.

Theoretically it is possible through a very hard road of strict mortification and ascesis to “learn to stop the habit” while in a state of mortal sin…because the Spirit would still provide us some temporary auxiliating grace…but to chose this path willfully rather than following the ordinary way is both tempting God and being proud :shrug:


#7

I was more-so speaking from the view of physicality, rather than spirituality. As regretful as it is, an issue such as his is very heavy linked with physicality. I’m sure his spirituality is not half at fault here. As they say, “The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak”. He obviously has all the intentions to be a good person, spiritually pure etc. However, from someone who has come from a path very similarly related to his, I was giving the advice I myself followed. Indeed, having Christ in you is the ultimate medicine, making all things possible. The objective to his addiction is to train his physicality and sexual urges to be in controlled synchronization with his spirituality, for the way things stand now, they are 2 separate entities. His body cannot control his spirituality, and his spirituality cannot control his body (at least, to an easy ability).

As I said, prayer and drawing strength is key here, and despite being in mortal sin, I’m confident that through adoration of the Virgin Mary, grace and strength will be given to him in his sorrows (as it was to me). The heart of the Virgin Mary is endlessly good. She is an agent to Jesus’ love for sinners.

In the meantime, he is in need of a physical turnaround. I feel that there is no point in attending confession in the full knowledge of knowing that you are still addicted to something and will very, very likely end up doing it again very shortly. That, in it’s nature, does not meet the requirement for a sorrowful heart. A sorrowful heart is one that is free from the addiction of sin and intends on not doing it again, and wants Jesus to forgive their past and focus on their current and their future. My personal advice would be to align your spirituality with your physicality, and vice-versa (something not easy, but possible with time, prayer and training).

However, that is just me. FWIW, I’m not an expert, just another follower of Christ. I would advice the Topic Creator to ask a priest about his constant attendance of confession in relation to this if he’s that curious, but ultimately that’s how I saw it.


#8

There is nothing unacceptable in going to different confessors. But what happens when you’ve gone to all of them…:shrug:…In a sense this is trying to run away from the issue and it misses (or hides from) one very important fact.
No matter how many different priests you go to, it is still the same person (Jesus Christ) that you are confessing to. The priest is acting “in persona Christi”.

As R_C points out above, pride is involved in this - and a desire to hide out of shame. Yet you know that you cannot hide from Christ. He calls you and you need to come out and face Him. Having a regular confessor while battling issues such as this is a good exercise in overcoming that pride and desire to hide from the Lord.

That said, you DO need to feel comfortable with your confessor. So trying out different confessors to find that “connection” is fine. Then - when you find that one, stick with him. Not only will he grieve with you when you fail, but he will celebrate with you when you succeed.

Just some thoughts…

As a last note…I had to overcome this problem too…I found the following to be extremely helpful.
I developed a “visual prayer”…After all, if we can “visualize” toward lust - why not “visualize” away from it…
So I prayed, “Father, take me to the foot of the cross”, and then began thinking, visualizing myself there. Gazing on the scene of the one who died for my sins.
Hot, dry, dusty day.
The foot of the cross buried in the ground.
The wood of the cross stained black from blood and sweat.
The feet of our Lord.
Filthy and stained and dripping blood and sweat.
I did this - I put Him there - Not alone - but I helped.
Every time I sin, it is increases His pain.
If I refrain, it eases His pain.
Feel the heat of that day, the dryness of the air.
How thirsty He is…
…and so on…

How could I possibly sin while standing at the foot of the cross.

As a corollary to the idea of our sin putting Him there, consider how his cross is the accumulation of our sins. Each time we sin, the cross gets heavier…Each time we resist sin, the cross gets lighter.

Peace
James


#9

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