This link gives some good scriptures of why masturbation even during licit marital sex is wrong. I do not know if primates other than man do this or not. It is said, “All creation groans because of man” Anyway, why do people do this? Most psychologists I have talked to seem to think it’s normal. I have problems with lust and slothfulness. I don’t know what to do except start praying the rosary. I haven’t been to Mass for probably a year, and when I go to confession it doesn’t last long. I am in deep right now.
You should be aware that most of the opinions on the linked blog, including this one, are not Catholic teaching.
I would caution you to not read too much into the learned theologian’s publication of his opinion in this instance. He is correct that masturbation is intrinsically evil, but I believe his examples and lack of definitions leave a great deal of room for incorrect interpretation.
If you really read what you linked to, he first defines masturbation as intrinsically evil:
the deliberate use of the sexual faculty without the marital, unitive, or procreative meanings. In moral terms, the sin of masturbation is much like all the other intrinsically evil sexual sins. They each lack one or more of the three meanings intended by God for sexual acts.
So far, so good. Unfortunately, later in several places he replaced the conjunction “OR” with “AND” with the result being the deliberate use of sexual faculty lacking any one of the three meanings intended by God is called a mortal sin by this theologian in this publication.
Given that marital act requires the deliberate use of sexual faculty, and applying the above premise to an infertile couple having otherwise “natural marital relations” results in the conclusion that they are not actually having “natural marital relations” but instead are engaged in a mortally sinful, intrinsically evil act because they are incapable of one of the intended meanings intended by God for the marital act.
Since he does not define or point to a reference definition for “natural marital relations” or “masturbation,” any deliberate use of sexual faculty becomes intrinsically evil according to what was posted.
This is not what the Church teaches. The Church teaches there are three goods of marriage (unitive, procreative, good of the spouses). These goods are present in the intention of the spouses engaged in the marital act who are open to children, and freely give themselves to each other. The spouses do not have to be capable of having children, just open to it if that miracle happens (this includes infertile couples, post-menopausal couples, couples not currently in the fertile part of the cycle, etc.).
Always keep in mind, theologians propose many things that are not church teachings - that is their job, to read scripture and tradition and propose interpretations and meanings. The Magisterium puts forth the teachings of the Church, not the theologians.
When I was young, I did it because it felt good. Now, when I do it, it’s because it’s a compulsion. I’ve been actively trying to overcome it for around three years now. Like you, I frequently find myself failing, almost weekly. My confessional promises don’t stick for very long, and after each failing I feel terrible.
In spite of all of that, I make absolutely sure to go to mass every week, and go to confession each week. There are three reasons for this:
#1: As Catholics, we are required to go to mass each week. If we don’t, it’s grave matter and could easily be a mortal sin. While you may think, “What’s the big deal, I’m already in mortal sin?” or, “Why go if I can’t receive the Eucharist?”, keep in mind that, apart from reception of the Eucharist itself, there is no better way to strengthen your will than to be in the direct presence of our Lord, which we are at every Mass.
#2: The sacraments are the normal means of receiving God’s grace. Through frequent confession, we humble ourselves before God and beg his forgiveness. Through reception of the Eucharist, we are literally taking the fullness of our Lord and Savior into ourselves. This is the greatest gift conceivable, for God to literally nourish our bodies and souls. Through this nourishment we are filled with his grace, and can better act on His will.
#3: You always want to try to be in a state of grace, even if you don’t know how long you’re going to be able to stick with it. Keep in mind, in order for a confession to be valid we have to be contrite in our desire to improve and follow God’s will. His forgiveness is not stipulated on how long we’re able to stick with it, it only matters that, at the point of confession, we have an earnest desire to stop whatever bad habit we’re confessing. You could walk out the door of the Church and be overcome with a sinful urge, but your confession, and the removal of your past sins, would still have taken affect.
Think of sin like tar. Each time you sin, you add more tar to your soul. Eventually, there’s so much of it that your soul can’t move. It’s bogged down, trapped, suffocating. Confession wipes away all that tar, regardless of how much of it there is. You could have a single drop, or enough to drown a Mammoth, it doesn’t matter. When the priest utters those words, the greatest words a sinner can hear, “I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” your soul is clean, free from all the sin that was suffocating it. God has poured his grace into you, and if you allow yourself to rely on it, he will lift you up out of the tar pits and place you on solid ground.
I understand why you stopped going, I did the same thing for quite a while. Having returned to the faith, I can tell you that there is no greater feeling than that absolution. It doesn’t matter if I’m going to confession once a month, or three times in a week; every time I hear those words it is music to my soul.
Do not be afraid to approach God in the sacraments. Remember, there is greater rejoicing in Heaven over one soul who repents, than over a hundred souls who have no need of repentance. It will take time, but you will find healing from this sin, from this addiction. I am currently doing the best I’ve done in over a year. I’m on day eighteen, and I couldn’t be happier about it. It’s not easy, but it is possible; and it is worth it. Last year I was clean for almost two months. I have never felt such freedom. I know it sounds cliche, but don’t give up. You might ask your priest if there’s a men’s group in your area. I found one in my area and it has been invaluable to my healing.
Please don’t give up, that’s what Satan desires, for you to despair. Keep fighting, God only asks that we try, and repent when we fail. He doesn’t demand success, he supports us and lifts us up after our failings.
“Learned theogian?” I believe Mr. Conte has a Bachelor’s degree only - which a “theologian” does not make.
Don’t let Ron Conte get you down. He spills quite a bit of ink on the alleged “heresies of Jimmy Akin” so yeahhh…
I have heard the rosary helps with lustful sins. And cleaning up your mind. There have been times I would not be able to go to Mass. And some I was ready and counting on it. Then I just give up. Like sloth or something. I think the rosary fights sloth too.
Your comparison of sin with tar is if I am understanding you correctly, not what I’ve heard anyway. Sin is sin and Grace is Grace. You are living or dead. Sins don’t pile up. You are just in sin. Am I understand you correctly?
Ok so I should disregard this. Would the Catechism answer my question as to marital relations and what is or isn’t sexual sin. This guy says too two people that are married and in the unitive act there, well is no masturbation allowed. Orgasm or not. I have read the unitive act is to be completed inside the female. I don’t know what I’m quoting. Maybe Humane Vitae. I know primates like monkeys Gorillas and Bonobos “masturbate” too. I wonder why. I know that has nothing to do with us. But it’s an interesting comparison.
Why do people masturbate? So do a lot. Others never. Anyone know ?
Just because animals do something doesn’t make it good or ok for humans to do. Animals kill other animals sometimes just for fun, that doesn’t make it acceptable for humans to do the same. Animals don’t know what the purpose of their sexual organs are, they simply act out of feelings or instinct. Humans can know the primary purpose of the sexual organs are, and thereby can know that using them in a way that is not for that purpose is a misuse of the body.
The primary purpose of eating is to nourish the body and is ordered towards maintaining the life of the person. The primary purpose of the sexual organs is ordered towards creating new life. Masturbation is kind of like chewing good tasting food for the pleasure of it, and then just spitting it out. It never nourishes the body. It never even has the possibility of fulfilling the primary purpose of that act. The acts of chewing food and then spitting it out, or masturbating in my opinion would be intrinsically disordered because neither action is ordered towards the fulfillment of that action. One denies nourishment to the body, and the other denies nourishment of the species. Not a perfect analogy, but I think it works.
There can be a variety of reasons why people do what they do. I would suggest it often starts because it feels good. Later it develops into a habit and even when you now want to stop, it is an addiction. Like all addictions, it is easier to never start, than it is to try to stop after many years.
As a person sins more and more their conscience will become deadened to the reality of what that sin is. This is visible in pretty much any type of sin; and especially with sexual sins like masturbation. A child may feel bad the first time they do it because they have an instinctual understanding that it’s not right; but as they do it more and more it becomes commonplace they stop thinking about it, and stop caring about it. This could be likened to the reaction a soldier has on the battlefield. The first time a soldier kills a combatant they almost always react to it, it is a big deal. As they continue as a soldier and are forced to end more lives, it has less and less of an impact on them.
As a person becomes steeped in a particular sin their consciences can become deadened to other sins. For example, there was a man who belonged to my men’s group. He started out looking at basic pornography, but as his conscience became deadened to how bad that was his behavior escalated. He began looking for more and more extreme forms of pornography, pushing the limits of what his conscience would allow. Eventually, he was arrested for possession of child pornography. He went to jail and, ironically enough, has found freedom from his addiction. When he talked about it later, he said that when he started he never would have dreamed of viewing child pornography, the thought of it disgusted him. Over time he reached a point where it was just another type of porn, no better or worse than any other.
This is what I’m talking about when I say that sin is like tar that can destroy drown the soul. Sin escalates, it’s never happy where it is. Without God’s grace, we cannot hope to escape that escalation.
Also, sin is sin, but there are varying levels of sin. There’s venial sin, and there’s mortal sin. venial sin is bad, but the relationship with God remains intact, however damaged. Mortal sin, on the other hand, cuts your connection to God entirely. It is this latter sin that will result in damnation. When a person sins, they damage their connection with God. Venial sins can add up, and with enough of them a mortal sin might not seem like such a big deal.
All of these sins can be easily wiped clean if you go to confession. Mortal and Venial alike fall before God’s mercy!
It give guiding principles.
This guy says too two people that are married and in the unitive act there, well is no masturbation allowed. Orgasm or not.
Masturbation with intent to finish outside of the proper form is not allowed; but mutual masturbation as a form of foreplay is allowed, so long as the other partner is treated with the proper dignity.
I have read the unitive act is to be completed inside the female. I don’t know what I’m quoting.
This is Catholic teaching. Any sexual act must be between a husband and wife, and must end in the proper form. (Vaginally).
I know primates like monkeys Gorillas and Bonobos “masturbate” too. I wonder why.
Because they are animals, and lack a rational soul to distinguish between right and wrong.
So is it wrong if an animal masturbates? Most animals also don’t practice monogamy. Is that wrong for them to do, too?
Evidently not. Not at this point anyway. Maybe sometime way down the road. Not when they are “human” but when they are at a point when they can understand like we can.
Because they want to be like the apes?
People suffer from a variety of vices. What is a difficult temptation for one may barely register for another. Why masturbation appeals to some people could really be a variety of reasons, I think: it’s “safe” (no vulnerability required as you would with a spouse), you can tailor it exactly as you want (no sacrifice required as you would with a spouse), and you get a release of endorphins from it (physical pleasure).
Some people achieve the same thing with alcohol, some with drugs, some with food, some with gambling, etc. My personal suspicion is that vulnerability to addiction of any kind is probably partly genetic and partly environmental. Some habits are harder to break than others, especially the longer they’ve gone on. Masturbation may be a trickier one to break these days because it’s been normalized (as has pornography, a related but separate issue), and because it’s easy when one is idle (and modern conveniences give us lots of idle time).
Personally, I think it is the case of over stimulating the genitals. There is no need to constantly be causing blood to well up in the genitals, but once people indulge in either too much sex or masturbation they think it equals pleasure, but actually it is a kind of an itch that needs to be scratched, like a mosquito bite. Once people stop continually masturbating, the itch subsides. I’m not kidding.
While Conte’s site is not an “authorised” Catholic source, a little more discernment than that is required.
Conte has a lot to say across the breath of his web site on many issues of Catholic teaching and most of it, though not all, accords with Catholic teaching. I’ve have taken issue with him on CAF and elsewhere on some issues, but he is nothing like the heretic that some would suggest. Mainstream theologians would agree with most of what he has to say.
Good heavens Deacon, Conte does not hold that sex between an infertile married couple is illicit for any reason. Further, he does not hold that the procreative meaning is absent by virtue of infertility, and indeed it is not. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood your point , or you have expressed it poorly?
Unfortunately, later in several places he replaced the conjunction “OR” with “AND” with the result being the deliberate use of sexual faculty lacking any one of the three meanings intended by God is called a mortal sin by this theologian in this publication
All meanings intended by God must be present. Infertility does not deprive the act of any of its meanings.
Indeed he does. And in this he is entirely unconvincing, almost to the point of intentionally misinterpreting what Akin writes.