Mortal sin?

Im a female and have been masturbating now for 8 years. I have been trying really hard to stop and have had some small victories (a month or so before im back into the bad habit). I went to confession last week, but then last night I wasnt thinking…I was tossing in my head whether i should or shouldnt masturbate. I touched myself down there for say 30 seconds but then i stopped. so my question is: did i masturbate? ive googled the definition and got “the stimulation or manipulation of one’s own genitals, especially to orgasm; sexual self-gratification”. I didnt orgasm, so i dont think i did. Idk im just confused. Really sorry if this is too much detail, but its been on my mind know ever since it happened. If i did commit a mortal sin, how would i go about telling the priest?

You just tell him–“i masturbated.” or if that’s too hard, you could say something like “self-pleasure”–he will know what that means. It’s embarrassing, yes, but trust me, any priest has heard this confessed many, many times. Go to confession behind the screen if it is easier for you, and/or in a parish that is not your regular one.

Masturbation does not mean an orgasm has to happen.

CCC 2352 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.” “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.”
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.

I would mention it in Confession but I do not believe you have committed mortal sin.

For a sin to be mortal it has to be 1)grave matter (2)you need to have full knowledge that the act is sinful and (3)you need to freely consent to carry out the act.

Now, there is no doubt you fulfill criteria 1 and 2, but I have serious doubts about 3.

In fact, since you stopped doing it after 30 seconds, and, from what I can gather, it is somewhat a habit for you to do it, it seems you did not give FULL consent. If you had given full consent, it is likely that you would have gone through with it.

Having said thus, it is also true that only you know, deep down in your heart, whether you fully consented to act in that way.

In answer to your question, there is no doubt that you did, in fact, masturbate. If you know you fully consented to it, even though you stopped, you NEED to go to confession for it is mortal.

I’d go to confession anyways. It is fundamental for your salvation.

God bless, I am praying for you

Having suffered the same addiction for more than 30 years I would suggest you take it to confession anyway, even if it was venial. I was able to overcome it, finally, about 10 years ago and have been completely clean ever since, only with the help of God.

My final conversion came only after having left the church for 8 years and falling further into worse sins. The Sacrament of Reconciliation has opened up a river of healing mercy in my life since then. I can only recommend that you turn to that river to drink often.

I will pray you will be released from your bondage to this particular sin and soon.

Thanks everyone for your comments and prayers :slight_smile: I will mention this sin in confession. God bless you all!

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