Masterbation and confession.


#1

I’m generally pretty in control although as a younger guy I was promiscuous and stopped having sex and only masterbating. Then I stopped doing that and see a confessor regularly to make sure I am doing alright. My question is as I am fighting an addiction and when I do fall I can’t get to confession right away as my confessor is extremely busy. I am scared to even goto sleep. Is it acceptable to attempt to remain in control to the best I can and see my confessor on Friday and not feel like I am damned?


#2

Ask your confessor just like you asked here, be fully honest, and follow his advice and direction. I’m sure he will be very understanding.


#3

I’ve been suffering from that kind of addiction for years. When you fall, try to get to confession as quickly as possible. Lust-addiction is quite deep. You’ll think you’re doing well, and it will come upon you again without you realizing. Pray for the grace to overcome it. Read some things about lust addiction on the web also. As for being in the state of mortal sin – if you offer an act of true contrition after you fall remember that Our Lord knows how difficult this sin is – He is calling you to a much deeper union, he has mercy, but you have to be willing to do whatever you possibly can to overcome this sin. Believe me, you’ll need all your conviction to serve God totally, and allow His grace to transform you. Falls can be ways for you to discover your weak spots – look carefully at why you fell. Then strengthen yourself in those areas. For me it’s worldlyness, distraction, lack of prayer, frivolousness, cutting off from others – that’s what causes the fall. You have to realize through sobriety that lust is empty – it seems like the most compelling thing imaginable when it hits you, but it leaves your soul empty and it takes your strength and virtue away. I’m sad to say that I’ve paid a heavy price for masturbation – it leads to much worse things. Lust must be battled with spiritual weapons as well as with common sense and determination. Satan will keep attacking you on your weak spot – Our Blessed Lord will destroy Satan’s efforts but you have to put yourself in the position for victory. The holy rosary is a tremendous weapon against lust – take it up and pray it daily. You will eventually triumph. I have fallen badly, but I am finally having more and more victories over lust. It’s truly a horrible addiction and I know what you’re going through. God will win a miracle for you and heal you entirely – but you have to make a total committment to Him (gently and honestly). Don’t worry – he will lead you as long as you just keep your eyes on Him – through the Blessed Virgin. You can do it – just don’t deceive yourself about the nature of the battle. It seems easy, but it isn’t – not at all. It can dominate the strongest of men. Because the only way to cure it is not with physical strength – but with spiritual strength. That comes from God – yes, through the sacraments. Confession is so essential. Go every week – at least. The way an addict needs his drug, you will need prayer, the Eucharist and holy confession. Talk and spiritual direction – good spiritual reading, a disciplined, balanced, healthy life – you can do it!! Our Lord wants you to win this battle with Satan. Sometimes He lets you fall so you realize how weak you really are – you can’t depend on yourself, your own intelligence or your personal strength – only He can shield you, and he truly will. You’ll one day make more progress and have more joy than you can imagine – just stay with it. I’m praying for you.


#4

Thanks for the response and prayers, ReggieM I am praying for you as well. I guess more what I was saying was that I’m unable to see my confessor until Friday and does God understand this? Also if it is an addiction although I will goto confession anyway is it possible that I can goto sleep without worrying about hell between now and then.


#5

I suffer from the same addiction and was very embarrassed since someone saw me at confession the next week after they knew I went the week before. I even went to another church but still managed to see someone and now I am all worried what they are thinking of me since people aren’t supposed to go to Confession after a week. Although, keep in mind I do have an anxiety disorder so before you bash me for saying what I just did I do realize that that is probably an irrational fear and the person won’t even remember it or bring that point up. But the point is, the priest told me that since it is an addiction as long as you plan on confessing it in the future then you can still receive communion and don’t need to worry about being damned etc. At least I finally have the courage to confess it though. I went years before I admitted to this addiction in confession and I must say my awareness of it probably is largely due to this forum.

However, I really am not worried about it since unexplainably other than God helping me through it, I am not tempted as often. For years I don’t think I went more than a couple days ever without masterbating and daily masterbation was more common that not. Although the tempation is there at any given moment, it now takes about a week before I am seriously tempted now and unfortunately the knowledge that I could just confess it the next day got me to give in last time. It is not just masterbation though. There are several other things I have really worked on changing in the last few months and masterbating is just the final and hardest one. But the reason I bring that up is for the first time in my life I am more happy with my life than the opposite. I have been plagued with depression and this anxiety disorder and while the anxiety disorder will always be there, I finally feel I have more control over it than the opposite. People have said I have changed for the better in many ways. Really the only thing that has changed is eliminating ceratin things from my life, to which masterbation is the last of them, as well as finally having a better prayer life and relationship with God.


#6

[quote=tenfootpole]I’m generally pretty in control although as a younger guy I was promiscuous and stopped having sex and only masterbating. Then I stopped doing that and see a confessor regularly to make sure I am doing alright. My question is as I am fighting an addiction and when I do fall I can’t get to confession right away as my confessor is extremely busy. I am scared to even goto sleep. Is it acceptable to attempt to remain in control to the best I can and see my confessor on Friday and not feel like I am damned?
[/quote]

You’re not alone there brother. I feel this way too. I admit I fall as well. I’m in a struggle right now myself against lust. I live with this burden of sin and I am afraid and paranoid as well. I’m always asking myself “What if something was to happen to me before Confession?” Not so long ago I went into the Church, there was a man cleaning the floors(Priest). He said “Are you here for Confession?” I was like “No! Just looking” He told me “You look troubled” I replied “I’m good” and darted out of there. 29 years old and ashamed. Heh!

I have yet to make a TRUE confession as I stated in a thread the other day. It is a struggle. I will pray for you and I ask you pray for me so that we can defeat these impulses and fears.

God Bless.


#7

[quote=wjp984]I suffer from the same addiction and was very embarrassed since someone saw me at confession the next week after they knew I went the week before. I even went to another church but still managed to see someone and now I am all worried what they are thinking of me since people aren’t supposed to go to Confession after a week. .
[/quote]

Don’t ever be embarassed to be seen at confession. If someone sees you 2 weeks in a row, notice that the same person who saw you was there 2 weeks in a row as well!!! :wink:

There is no problem with going to confession week after week. I try to go every two weeks. Sometimes I go “week after week”. We have to go as often as we need to work out our salvation. Don’t worry about what others might think, that will be their sin. Don’t ever be afraid of what others may think of you, only worry about what God thinks of you.

God Bless and I will pray for you.


#8

Habitual sins of impurity are very tough to kick. I don’t want to discourage anyone, but don’t be surprised if this is something you’ll have to contend with for the rest of your life. Alcoholics could tell us a lot about this struggle, if only because society tends to be more open to hearing the stories of recovering alcoholics than it is those of sex addiction in it’s various forms.

If I had any advice, it would be to keep the line of communication open with your confessor. Accountability is very important, as is having someone you can be completely honest with about something so personal. I’d also recommend sticking to a single confessor if at all possible - find someone you’re comfortable with and stick with them. The reason for this is, they will understand your particular problem and where you are in your struggle; someone with some knowledge of your history will have a context within which to help you, which will simply be lacking if you keep changing confessors.

I’d also suggest doing a little thinking about why you have a problem with this sin. While on the surface it is an issue of seeking pleasure, if you look deeper I think you’ll find something else. Many times people use unlawful pleasures (whether it be this, or over-eating/gluttony, drinking heavily, etc.) to either fill a painful void in their lives, or to mask/dull some deep hurt. I’m not saying that those who suffer from this addiction necessarily have had “traumatic lives”, at least more so most other folks (though this could be the case as well.) But I know with a lot of men, such addictions form because it’s an easy (even if it’s very superficial and doesn’t last) way to mask deep seated feelings of loneliness and isolation - for the brief period they’re indulging these sins, they can “feel” wanted, desirable, and fulfilled. Unfortunately, what self abuse really ends up doing is worsening that condition - since it is in fact a solitary activity, and all of our temporarily feelings associated with it are in fact delusional. If anything, it harms our ability to have natural, healthy relationships, not simply with the opposite sex (and most particularly our spouses, whether we’re currently married or plan on this in the future) but oddly enough even with other people in general (though this effect is more subtle and long term.)

I have a great deal of sympathy with this very common problem; I think if the facts came to the light of day, people would be shocked to find out how common various forms of sex addiction have become in our society. Were we to replace “booze” or “drugs” for “sexual sins” we’d realize we have a societal pandemic on our hands.


#9

[quote=wjp984] I even went to another church but still managed to see someone and now I am all worried what they are thinking of me since people aren’t supposed to go to Confession after a week.
.
[/quote]

Whoa… we arent supposed to go to confession every week?
Is that true, cause i go everytime i fall to ‘that’ sin, which is like every few days… And if you go to communion everyday, you have to keep yourself free from mortal sin, (although not sinning at all is a much better way of achieving that). Anyway, not to get off the subject, but are you really not supposed to go every week?


#10

The pope goes at a bare minimum weekly. Most bishops and priests do, too. Going every week is a wonderful thing which ought not to be discouraged at all, but encouraged. In this modern world no doubt many people would look at someone weird for going each week, but that is not because it *is * weird, but because the world doesn’t really understand or believe in sin anymore. Going each week is wonderful! :slight_smile:

If you are sorry for your sins because you truly love God and know they offend Him, then if you die before you can make it to confession, you will not be damned. This is called perfect contrition. Imperfect contrition is sorrow out of fear of hell or some other reason. Imperfect contrition is sufficient in the Sacrament of confession, but not if you don’t get there on time. It’s very important to realize that this contrition is not a feeling. Feelings come and go. It is possible to be truly sorry because you have offended God without feeling extremely guilty or sorrowful, so don’t worry if you have trouble with your feelings - what matters is where your will is at. You must resolve to make it as soon as possible and not delay, however, because we cannot judge even our own wills accurately all the time.

I used to masturbate two or three times a day for a decade. I had incredible problems. I tried and tried, and it didn’t work, even through prayer. Then finally one day, something inside of me moved and I was for the first time really able to give myself completely to Christ, and since that day, nearly a year now,I have not done it once, and have been truly tempted only a few times. Others may struggle more than I, but I tell you this to encourage you and help you to see that it absolutely can be done. If you fall, just get back up and turn to Christ, He will forgive and He will help. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but realize that you are a fallen person who must battle with sin. But also realize it can be done. :slight_smile:


#11

Weekly confession is fantastic! What is wrong with that? I personally try to make mine every 2 weeks, but if the line is really short or I get to mass early before many people are there I’ll often times go more frequently.

Confession is not just for ‘reconciliation’, i.e., being reconciled with the Church after mortal sin; confession confers graces that help one to grow in holiness and avoid future sin.

Go to the sacrament of penance often! Don’t let anyone tell you that weekly, monthly or so forth is too much.

In my case my parish recommends frequent confession of at least monthly. Confessions are heard before every mass at my parish. You’ll see the same people week after week; they aren’t all committing grave sin over and over yet they go to the sacrament often to receive grace! Just as we should often receive Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.

I’ve found that when I’m struggling with a sin, frequent confession is a great strength in not committing that sin again. It works as a wonderfull preventive measure, not just to ‘be healed’ after I’ve commited the sin.


#12

JP2 went to confession 3 times a week. Mother Theresa went to confession EVERY day! Not only does confession remove our sins, but being a sacrament, it also bestows much needed graces upon us.


#13

[quote=tenfootpole]My question is as I am fighting an addiction and when I do fall I can’t get to confession right away as my confessor is extremely busy. I am scared to even goto sleep. Is it acceptable to attempt to remain in control to the best I can and see my confessor on Friday and not feel like I am damned?
[/quote]

Absolutely, whatever you do–do not justify repeating a mortal sin because ‘you’re damned anyway’! Firstly, because (as has already been said) if you make an act of Perfect Contrition (sorrow out of love for God) then you *are already *in God’s Grace, and committing another mortal sin would just cast you back out. Secondly, you are heaping punishment on yourself, which means greater offense to God and greater penance required.

Action plan when fallen into mortal sin:
[list=1]
*]make an act of perfect contrition ASAP
*]pray for Grace to resist further temptation!
*]go to confession ASAP! Go to your Confessor as soon as you can. As a matter of church discipline (except in extraordinary circumstances, such as life-threatening), one cannot return to communion after falling into mortal sin until receiving the sacrament of absolution, regardless of whether you are already in a state of Grace (but you knew that already).
[/list]

[quote=Lazerlike42] but that is not because it *is *weird, but because the world doesn’t really understand or believe in sin anymore.
[/quote]

I think you pinpointed here the central problem of modern western civilization.

Then finally one day, something inside of me moved and I was for the first time really able to give myself completely to Christ, and since that day, nearly a year now,I have not done it once, and have been truly tempted only a few times.

What a blessing! Some of us (myself included) battle this sin on what seems like a perpetual treadmill. Reducing the frequency from daily, to weekly, to monthly, to a few times yearly and then suddenly it will all come crashing down; we fall, revert back to full-blown addiction and have to start again from scratch! It’s discouraging, but the hope and faith that God doesn’t give up on us is enough to persist through anything.


#14

[quote=Palamite]Habitual sins of impurity are very tough to kick. I don’t want to discourage anyone, but don’t be surprised if this is something you’ll have to contend with for the rest of your life. Alcoholics could tell us a lot about this struggle, if only because society tends to be more open to hearing the stories of recovering alcoholics than it is those of sex addiction in it’s various forms.

If I had any advice, it would be to keep the line of communication open with your confessor. Accountability is very important, as is having someone you can be completely honest with about something so personal. I’d also recommend sticking to a single confessor if at all possible - find someone you’re comfortable with and stick with them. The reason for this is, they will understand your particular problem and where you are in your struggle; someone with some knowledge of your history will have a context within which to help you, which will simply be lacking if you keep changing confessors.

I’d also suggest doing a little thinking about why you have a problem with this sin. While on the surface it is an issue of seeking pleasure, if you look deeper I think you’ll find something else. Many times people use unlawful pleasures (whether it be this, or over-eating/gluttony, drinking heavily, etc.) to either fill a painful void in their lives, or to mask/dull some deep hurt. I’m not saying that those who suffer from this addiction necessarily have had “traumatic lives”, at least more so most other folks (though this could be the case as well.) But I know with a lot of men, such addictions form because it’s an easy (even if it’s very superficial and doesn’t last) way to mask deep seated feelings of loneliness and isolation - for the brief period they’re indulging these sins, they can “feel” wanted, desirable, and fulfilled. Unfortunately, what self abuse really ends up doing is worsening that condition - since it is in fact a solitary activity, and all of our temporarily feelings associated with it are in fact delusional. If anything, it harms our ability to have natural, healthy relationships, not simply with the opposite sex (and most particularly our spouses, whether we’re currently married or plan on this in the future) but oddly enough even with other people in general (though this effect is more subtle and long term.)

I have a great deal of sympathy with this very common problem; I think if the facts came to the light of day, people would be shocked to find out how common various forms of sex addiction have become in our society. Were we to replace “booze” or “drugs” for “sexual sins” we’d realize we have a societal pandemic on our hands.
[/quote]

Very well thought out response.


#15

[quote=Neithan]Absolutely, whatever you do–do not justify repeating a mortal sin because ‘you’re damned anyway’! Firstly, because (as has already been said) if you make an act of Perfect Contrition (sorrow out of love for God) then you *are already *in God’s Grace, and committing another mortal sin would just cast you back out. Secondly, you are heaping punishment on yourself, which means greater offense to God and greater penance required.

Action plan when fallen into mortal sin:
[list=1]
*]make an act of perfect contrition ASAP
*]pray for Grace to resist further temptation!
*]go to confession ASAP! Go to your Confessor as soon as you can. As a matter of church discipline (except in extraordinary circumstances, such as life-threatening), one cannot return to communion after falling into mortal sin until receiving the sacrament of absolution, regardless of whether you are already in a state of Grace (but you knew that already).
[/list]
I think you pinpointed here the central problem of modern western civilization.

What a blessing! Some of us (myself included) battle this sin on what seems like a perpetual treadmill. Reducing the frequency from daily, to weekly, to monthly, to a few times yearly and then suddenly it will all come crashing down; we fall, revert back to full-blown addiction and have to start again from scratch! It’s discouraging, but the hope and faith that God doesn’t give up on us is enough to persist through anything.
[/quote]

If it is an addiction, then he has not committed a mortal sin because mortal sin requires full consent of the will.


#16

[quote=tillis]If it is an addiction, then he has not committed a mortal sin because mortal sin requires full consent of the will.
[/quote]

Could be… but it is *objectively *a mortal sin–so better to play it safe. Consulting your Confessor would be best.


#17

This is definitely a really really tough addiction to fight. I get tempted more and more each day and I am not sure how many more days I can go before I will fall again. I previously went 2 weeks, then one week, and now almost 2 weeks again but I just know that sometime in the next week I am going to fall into the sin again. The worst part is I don’t see how I can justify it not being a sin since I now have to willingly choose to masterbate after giving a lot of thought to it and battling over the issue and therefore willingly choosing to sin. It may be an addiction but I definitely have the control over it even if I don’t like that fact. One thing that motivates me though is the fact that if I one day meet someone in the future after finishing undergraduate school, having an addiction to masterbation is not something I would want to admit to. If I want to one day meet someone that is potentially chaste and a good practicing Catholic, and I think there are more of them out there than what is thought, I better get rid of the one part of me that is not chaste first.


#18

[quote=Neithan]Could be… but it is *objectively *a mortal sin–so better to play it safe. Consulting your Confessor would be best.
[/quote]

Actually, it is an objectively grave matter, not objectively a mortal sin (otherwise that means that masturbation is always a mortal sin which clearly it isn’t - in fact, no sin is always mortal, although several sins always have grave matter and full knowledge, like murder). 2 conditions are certainly met here - it is a grave matter and he clearly has full knowledge. However, if he is a slave to his addiction (not saying he definitely is, but he might be) then that is not full consent of the will, hence not mortal.


I wonder if anyone has ever tried St. Benedict’s approach to beating masturbation? Of course you couldn’t do with without first consulting a spiritual director, but for some people, it might be worth a try. St Benedict used to throw himself into thorny bushes whenever he got the urge to masturbate. This self-discipline eventually helped him to get rid of his addiction. St Francis of Assisi used something similar, he would take off all his clothes and roll in the snow whenever he got the urge to masturbate. However, corporal mortification must be used with care / caution, that’s why you have to check with a spiritual director first to see if it would be okay for you.


#19

[quote=wjp984]I suffer from the same addiction and was very embarrassed since someone saw me at confession the next week after they knew I went the week before. I even went to another church but still managed to see someone and now I am all worried what they are thinking of me since people aren’t supposed to go to Confession after a week.
[/quote]

Nothing at all wrong with going to confession weekly. I usually make it a point of going once every two weeks, but I won’t hestitate to go more often when needed. What I find more difficult to believe is that more people don’t go to Confession more often. The Holy Communion line at Mass is always so long yet when I go to Confession there is rarely more than 4 or 5 people many of them the same people that I see over and over again. Oh well, that’s a whole other topic, and I apologize for straying.


#20

Brothers, it is with great, disappoint that I report to you, that as a your brother in this battle i fell yesterday and even today. Even as i type this to all of you my soul is in mortal sin. I was ‘sober’ for about 10 months, until a couple of days ago just something very small sparked my arousal. I have been a daily communicant for a while and prayed the rosary daily, even was in the middle of a couple of novenas, then my world came crashing down…I gave into temptaion, I felt like I had been winded so tight sexually…meaning, not experienced erotic fantasies or masturbation, or pornography for so long, the devil told me I was due…sadly I listend to him, not caring for the consequences only until after i commited the act…I felt suh sorrow and so ashamed.
Then today about an hour ago I engaged in pornography, masturbation, fantasies, the works…This sin is HELL,epecially crafted by Satan for us men…and i have become ensnared. As with all the times this has happened i always had the feeling in the back of my head “oh well, i’m screwed anyway, why not” or “I could just go to confession tomorrow” I absolutley hate tjhose thoughts. Has anyone else here experienced this dilemma? And then i feel as if i am using the sacrament if i go. I get the feeling that, I should be sorry, and i want to be sorry, but i don’t “feel” as though I am deeply sorrowful…and i want to be sorrowful for this sin, and i want to have perfect contrition

It was definately premeditated and willed on my part, unfortunately. Now i want forgivness. I hate this sin so badly.
Brothers…Help me.

I have now, a mind to relate with St Paul

St. Paul: Romans 7:16 -

16 If then I do that which I will not, I consent to the law, that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, that which is good. For to will, is present with me; but to accomplish that which is good, I find not. 19 For the good which I will, I do not; but the evil which I will not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that which I will not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that when I have a will to do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin, that is in my members. 24 Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 The grace of God, by Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with the mind serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin.

anyone relate to this? I sure hope so


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