I’m a 21 year old guy. I’ve made a resolution, since my last confession (one month ago), to stop masturbating. So far so good. However these past few days have been trying and I’ve almost succumbed a number of times. The longer I don’t do it, the hornier I get, the harder it is. Not to mention every time I see an attractive person, my mind goes to the gutter. And when I let my mind wander to nasty thoughts, I feel bad about my self, as though I’ve already succumbed. Needless to say, I need the gift of perseverance. Who can relate? Keep me in your prayers.
One month is doing very well. I also am troubled greatly by this sin. I find that saying the rosary twice daily helps keep my thoughts on getting to heaven. Of course I’ll think of you in my prayers!!
This inordinate shame is not of God. It keeps you enslaved. Lust thrives on isolation, frustration, shame.
Don’t believe the lie that you are “bad”. (not an excuse to sin…)
God loves you, accept it.
Be patient. Forming virtue is not easy, it takes a lot of work and time. It may take some people (me) years, decades even, to gain self mastery. The key is to not let the falls knock you off course into frustration and despair, and not let the triumphs overinflate your ego. Virtue is not a matter of these high and low feelings, it is patience and endurance under struggle. It takes time. Trust God to lead you even if you fall.
I think most guys can relate to some extent. Since you are 21, you really need to ask a priest when and if this is a mortal sin for you.
Prayer (such as the rosary) daily is important. Also, go to daily Mass whenever you can.
I must post a reply and make it clear that I relate to this “enslavement” and totally agree with the replies given as of this hour. Chastity is a virtue that involves much fervent, prayerful work over many years. You are in my prayers about your struggle. Always be aware that God loves us in spite of “falling”. A fervent daily prayer life is of utmost importance in addition to your daily activities of work and proper distractions. Peace and Blessings !
Thanks all, for the replies. It helps, really. If and when I fail in my struggle and end up doing it (like I have in the past), I know I’m going to feel so weak. I know the feeling because I’ve been there before. I’ll go so long without doing it, and then in a moment of weakness I just seem to tell myself that I don’t care that I’m sinning, and I’ll do it. And then it feels like I’ll never over come it, because I can only ever seem to go so far. Do any other guys feel this way, does this happen to you, even after years of trying to be chaste?? Does it get to a point that you never ever do it??
Frank, we can ALL relate to your situation! My advice is to keep going to Confession once a week, even if you have not fallen. Confess your venial sins and keep coming to God for His forgiveness. Also, the keep receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament every week, if not more. The graces of Christ from these two Sacraments will help you remain pure and persevere to the end.
Like my priest told me last week: you will not die without masturbation!
May God bless you and keep you in His graces!
Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom to overcome your temptations.
I can’t add much to what’s been shared except of course, one more voice saying “you’re not alone!” This is something I’d say most, if not all men (and many women) deal with.
One priest said to me, This is what we do: we resist temptation and when we fall, we come to confession quickly and get back up. The temptations will always be here. The key is that we resist and never stop seeking God’s mercy.
I used to expect a day without temptation, as if I was being tempted only when I was feeling weak. But that simple advice helped me realize, I am always tempted to something. When I am strong, it’s just easier to resist.
Well duh! (I guess I’m thick-headed sometimes)
One concrete habit I’ve picked up is when I have an opportunity and the temptation for that sin, I force myself right that second (that’s the hardest part) to physically grab my rosary beads and begin to pray. If I was near the computer when tempted, I turn it off and go into another room! If I had time for that temptation, I have time to pray a rosary or two!
Pray like your life depends on it, because in a very real way, it does!
God loves you!
I’ve had trouble with this and have been pretty good now.
My secret (which I highly recommend) is the advise a priest gave me… Every time you feel tempted, start praying multiple Hail Marys until the temptation goes away.
It really works.
I have said this many times here on the forum, but when I have felt troubled, I would go before the Blessed Sacrament and do a Holy Hour in Adoration. Then I would feel more calm and comforted. If I couldn’t do that, I would sit quietly in church before Mass, instead. I recommend that people try doing this, if they get a chance to do so.
We all “fall down,” Frank, over something. I am sure that we all have some particular sin that we are trying to overcome.
Try not to get discouraged. Think about the progress you have already made. You should be proud of yourself, if you think about your progress.
I would just take each day as it comes, and when you have tempting thoughts, pull your mind away from them, and distract yourself by doing something else.
Hang in there!
Prayers said for you.
God bless you.
You need two baths, one in the confessional and a cold one in the shower.
What do you mean, exactly?
I mean if you’ve committed lust, you should go to confession, which is like a bath in that it makes you clean.
And if you’re struggling with lust, cold showers - a literal bath - help to snap you out of it.
Frank13, I just want to tell you that I struggle with the same type of problem as you are struggling with, a long with a lot of other users on these forums. Masturbation and lustful thoughts are one of the main things I bring to confession almost every single time. After confession and after saying my penance, I would often make a resolution not to masturbate or deliberately entertain impure thoughts. And while the first few days are easy, its get harder and harder for each consecutive day, because that’s when the lustful thoughts come back. Even after praying hard to God to give me the grace to combat these thoughts, they don’t go away. The sad part about it is that often times I cave in to these thoughts, as well as to the temptation to look at a provocative image online and to masturbate to it, and then do it again and again. Furthermore, this relapse would make me feel like dirt. I would say to myself in my mind “Man, I can’t believe I screwed up again.” The worst part is that after knowingly committing these sins and without going to confession ASAP, i usually don’t have the courage to deny holy communion, just to be on the safe side. The best advice I can give you is to persevere, don’t get discouraged, go to confession as frequently as you can, and pray, pray, pray.
I’m not too certain about this, but it seems quite implicit in Church teachings that intention and struggle for virtue are paramount, and not the behavior or failure.
I have struggled with this and pornography.
It took countless prayers, rosaries, and frequent confession to help me fully gain continence.
When I feel tempted, I say “O Blessed Mother, and Holy Saint Joseph, pray for me that I may have pure eyes, a pure mind and a pure body.”
I say that many times a day.
A Latin rite friend of mine suggested the Angelic Warfare Confraternity. It’s a Dominican apostolate.
From the website:* “The Angelic Warfare Confraternity is a supernatural fellowship of men and women bound to one another in love and dedicated to pursuing and promoting chastity together under the powerful patronage of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Blessed Virgin Mary.”*
I didn’t join, but I found the prayers very beneficial.
Please see the following thread for additional insight and advice:
*] List of Catholic Websites for Battling Impurity
*]Specific Questions About an Old Topic: Masturbation