I consider this to be a very serious post. I only wish for insight from somebody qualified to respond. This is of a somewhat private or personal nature…please keep responses on a serious note.
I am a Catholic, 24 yrs. old (male). I have long been struggling with temptations and sins of impurity…specifically masturbation. I stay away from it for several weeks, even months, then, crash…relapse.
First off, the definition of masturbation, according to the Vatican catechism: vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm
*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."138 “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."139
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.*
Now, in the past, I have been tempted for all the usual reasons. You know, it all boils down to “I just want to do it because it feels good.” Well now, I’ve been trying to avoid this for the past several months, but one thing gets me…
See the above definition?.. It keeps mentioning the word “pleasure.” "…masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure"and “…for here sexual pleasure is sought…”
Well, I hate to be knit-picking, and I know it looks like I’m looking for a loophole, but I’m not. The problem is, if I can honestly say that I’m masturbating as a “release,” and it is not for pleasure (i.e. I have previously been putting off the temptation for hours or days, praying, distracting myself from the thought, etc.), if I can say it is not for pleasure, then by definition it is not even masturbation! What do I call it? Is this action even sinful? You will say, of course, but why? If done for reasons other than pleasure, what sin does it come under? Lust? No, that is “the disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure…”
Most of you probably won’t even believe I can be making this argument in all seriousness, but I am. In fact, I am in a dilemma, torn in mind and spirit. I have explained my reasoning somewhat to the priest in the confessional, as I have above, but he says (and I am sure he is only trying to help): “Don’t fool yourself, this is a very pleasurable act. You are doing it for the pleasure.” something like that…
You see, I want, I need somebody to convince me that I am wrong. It will be so much easier if I can realize there are no loopholes. As long as I can say, “if I am not doing this for pleasure, if I can simply have a “release,” just to be more able to go about my daily duties,” I will keep doing this. But somehow, based on my upbringing this action (masturbation, if that’s what it is) seems wrong. That is how I was taught, as a Catholic, in no uncertain terms.
No, it would be far easier if I can put my trust in God and pray that through the intercession of Mary I can avoid these actions… Please tell me how my reasoning is wrong. Or why this action is sinful when done for reasons other than pleasure.
Even though I committed these actions this week with the idea that it wasn’t sinful, I feel obligated not to go to Communion until this is confessed. But if I do not have a “true purpose of amendment” I cannot be forgiven… This is serious. I know there is an explanation. Everything can be explained within the Catholic Church. It always turns out that way. I must be wrong somewhere. I don’t mean to do wrong, but I am torn in mind, heart and soul. I am serious. Please help. By the grace of God, please…I know I will be helped.
May God Bless you.
Ooh! I think I may have posted in the wrong thread. I have since submitted this to “Ask an Apologist.” Sorry I am new to this site. Oh well, if you can competently respond, go ahead, please.