Need Guidance: Sins of Impurity & Doubts About Faith

I’m not real sure as to how to go about discussing this or if this is even a question, but it is something that weighs on my mind quite a bit.

I have a problem with committing “sins of purity” against “myself”, if you get what I’m saying. I know that it is morally wrong and I do feel guilt about it, in fact, I take time to apologize and ask forgiveness. It’s NOT like I do this to directly defy my faith, I think I do it purely for the release/calming feeling felt afterward. I have a huge problem with anxiety and have been feeling lonely and I feel that it provides a little relief to that, but I know deep down it just makes me feel worse. The thing is, I’ve sort of built a habit of doing this when I’m feeling my loneliness or just overall feeling really horrible. I know I need to go to confession and confess this, but it’s rather embarrassing. I could die tomorrow and have this on my soul, but I think, that besides this one thing I’m an entirely good person have been thinking “why would someone so forgiving send a person to eternal damnation for this one thing?”

I don’t know, I guess I’m struggling with faith as well. I believe in my heart that there is definitely a higher power, but if he is all-knowing, wouldn’t he understand that struggle? I mean, I go to church every Sunday, I pray regularly, I do absolutely all I can to help someone in need if it is within my power. I just don’t know why someone would consider people like me (and me) struggling with the same thing eligible for damnation. I read through some of the posts here, dealing with similar things and I just found the responses very fear mongering. I don’t want “fear” put into me, I just want real help. I don’t think God would want someone to worship him out of fear anyway, because then it wouldn’t be coming from the right place. (Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to insult anyone or anything.)

Don’t get me wrong, I was raised Catholic, I still practice it for the most part, but every time I go to church I can’t help but feel really cr*ppy or that I don’t belong because these questions I have make me feel artificial. I enjoy the homilies the priest gives, but communion seems just like a ritual to me. I attend church with my mother and I go to communion more for her than for me, because I just don’t want to disappoint her. I also don’t want her to feel like it’s a sin on her soul when I don’t get because she feels she should have taught me better or something. I feel awful for her.

I need some guidance. If someone could just offer me a little guidance I’d greatly appreciate it.

P.S. I’m sorry that my post is everywhere, my thoughts are a bit wonky right now.

God does understand your struggle. That’s why He created the sacrament of confession. Go there- as frequently as needed.

Attend daily mass if possible. Beg God daily, hourly, to give you the grace needed to overcome this.

Don’t know if this will help. But it is the other side of the coin. The world’s census police are terrified of what would happen if all of the Catholic values regarding sexuality were adhered to. Population explosion big time. Ironically, these same instigators, are busy procreating at alarming rates of their own.
Chances are you will meet someone special and or find peace.
God Bless.

First of all, welcome to the club. Second of all, I sense you’re a good sort so don’t worry about the angry mob coming to get you routine. Here we have what is pretty much an honest confession. Now all you’ve got to do is say it to a priest. Done deal.

Not so easy? Well just say it to a priest in a church you don’t normally go to. Or disguise your voice. Or if you don’t have the screened confession booth then you’ll have to wear a strange hat. So that’s all the priest will be able to focus on. That’s all he’ll remember about you after you leave. I mean you’ve got to work the angles.

Look. There’s a serious side to this. And no, I’m not going to tell you what you already know. What I’m going to say is that I’m in the same situation. The only difference is that I don’t know the cure for what I have. I mean I used to drink a lot to try to mask the problem. Later I took drugs to help with the drinking I’d gotten into. Now I’ve set both habits aside, but, ah, I still have a lot of time to myself. I still have the original problem to deal with.

Now I’m not going to tell you that I’m a strong guy. I’m not. I mean I’ve got two bad habits cleared (7 months clean as of a couple days ago), but this one I’m afraid of letting go of. This one is the only thing that seems to keep me quiet in my thoughts.

But with some effort I’m going to talk to a priest about the root cause of this. I’m supposed to go tomorrow. For the first time I’m going to deal with this straight up.

So what am I saying to you? I’m telling you that a guy who’s afraid of his own shadow is finally going to face his problems. A guy who’s been into some bad stuff. Into a really bad scene.

So maybe someone as sweet as you should think about doing the same? I mean there’s no shame in being ashamed. It’s when you do this stuff and no longer feel bad about it that you’ve got the problem. And I mean the priest doesn’t want all the details. Just say it was a sin against the flesh committed 100 times and he’ll get the idea.

Peace faithfuldreamer.

You’re not alone. We’re all in this together.

-Trident

Dear faithful,
I understand where your coming from. But your problem is that you’re looking at yourself and not at Jesus. He is your shepherd. His promises do not fail. Look to His word. It contains the truth. The truth will make you free. That is a guarantee.

God doesn’t want you to live in fear, but in victory. We all have problems with sin. Read Rm7, then read the victorious answer in ch8.

While it is true that sin is death, because of the cross it has been done away with. Sins do not
damn you to hell. Who told you that? Anyone who thinks that is living in the old Testament.
Now, the only thing that sends one to hell is refusal to believe in Jesus through the Gospel.

There are many helps for you to learn truth. May I suggest reading “The battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer.

God Bless

You’ve been lucky to have received such good advice, faithfuldreamer. Even from Eazydusit, a pentecostal. We have pentecostals in the catholic church too, the charismatics. Everyone should believe in the Holy Spirit a bit more.

So, yes. put on Jesus and wear Him like a coat. He’ll protect you from all. If you’re sorry for your sins, God is willing and able to forgive you.

Jesus came that you might have life, and life more abundant. Fear is not part of the mix.

Eazyduzit mentions reading Romans 7 & 8. My favorite book. Read the whole book, you’ll understand everything a lot better (if you haven’t already).

God bless you
Fran

Hi faithfuldreamer,

Keep seeking God in prayer and spiritual reading; this is the advice of all the Saints.

One day, St. Mechtilde (a great mystic, whose revelations are very beautiful and consoling) said to Our Lord: “O my sole Beloved, what do you desire that men should know of You?”
Jesus replied: “My goodness and My justice: My goodness which makes Me wait for man so mercifully until he is converted, to which I continually attract him by My grace; but, if he absolutely refuses to be converted, My justice demands his damnation.”

I know that some people do in fact use fear-mongering; this is not good. But on the other hand, it is necessary for us to know the malice of sin. Sin can separate us from God, and that is the greatest tragedy.

Try not to fixate on sin, but think of the infinite love of God, which sustains you and draws you to Paradise. The closer we approach Him, the better we will know our weakness and His goodness. He loves us so much that words fail to describe it. The Sacrament of Confession and the Adorable Eucharist are evidence of God’s personal love for us.

Prayer and the Sacraments will sustain you in moments of temptation.

You are in my prayers.

ps. Here are some revelations to St. Mecthilde, to encourage you. The words are Our Lord’s words:

“The bee does not fly with greater eagerness to the green meadows than do I to thy soul when it calls Me.”

“O My Father, I will answer for all that is brought against each one of them, for My Heart is pierced for love of them.”

“Reflect on this. Every desire that a soul has ever had to possess Me is inspired by Me; it is like the Holy Scriptures and the words of the saints which proceed, and ever shall proceed, from My Spirit.”

I have been “clean” now for 9 months - and counting. So, I hope you will take my words as from someone in your situation, as I was there not so long ago.

I have a “step-by-step guide to abandoning addictions”. It is not fool proof, specially if you are going to follow it by yourself, since YOU are your biggest enemy here.

I mean, not that you are THE enemy, just that your own mind will keep trying to fool you into giving up all the time.

Ok, First step: recognize the problem. You already did that!

You fell into a cycle. You are anxious and lonely, so you do what you do to relieve that anxiety and loneliness, and then you get more anxious (because of the guilt) and MORE lonely (for realizing how alone you are in this) for what you have done, and then go back into doing it again to relieve THAT anxiety and loneliness, and get more etc etc.

Recognize your problem. Do not try to place the blame on anything other than yourself, for now. It is not the free time that makes you sin. It is not the lack of a girlfriend. It is not your nature, the weather, the day. The problem is your mind, incapable of leaving a cycle it KNOWS is bad for you.

Second step: leaving the cycle!

The good thing about cycles is that ONE step to the side and you are already out - seriously, ask a math teacher! A tangent line touches the circle in only one point (tangent point), and one point before or after and the line is already outside of the circle. Funny, huh?

Math aside, what I mean is, people think that they need to be at least “1-3 months clear” to be considered chaste, and that is SO not true. You only need one day, even less.

So, step out of the circle. Cycle! Right now you tell yourself: I am going to choose chastity.

Ok, step complete! Welcome to the Chaste Road!

Final step: stay on the road!

So, you are on the tangent line, on the Chaste Road. From here on, you can keep walking or go back. We strongly recommend you keep walking.

What do I mean by that?

Remember the vicious cycle? There were things you did BEFORE you had to break your chastity. There were videos you saw, either by will or by accident. There were books you read. There were people you met, or sounds you heard. Getting in contact with ANY of those is what we call “step back”. Going a day without any of those is a “step forward”.

I used to be “triggered” by stories. I’m a girl, never needed much image, just my imagination. This was hard on the first days; whenever I felt like reading those stories, I had to remind myself that I was clean, and shouldn’t corrupt myself. So I put the stories down (or closed the window, as they were online). I was also triggered by some games (like Skyrim, I kid you not), and had to put them down as well.

So, put it all down. You get an itch? Go make a sandwich. Go talk to your mom, ask what she’s doing. Pray the Rosary - Sorrowful Mysteries, that’s a real mood killer (you think you know suffering? Think again!). Recognize the first symptoms of the “Cycle”, and step away from them.

You know the symptoms. Don’t give that “I can’t avoid it” - you CAN. I know you can. If you feel like you can’t, it’s because you didn’t avoid it when you could. Next time you open a porn video or image, that is the moment where you lost your chastity again. So, recognize the symptoms, and jump out of that circle.

That was day one.

Day two and so on, will get harder. Your mind, that silly thing, is dead set in getting back into the cycle. There you found comfort, that’s all your mind remembers. It doesn’t remember all the anxiety and loneliness it brought. And your mind WILL try to get you back in. Your body will feel the withdrawal symptoms: you’ll get cranky, you’ll blame God for making you feel like what you did was wrong, you’ll feel like the pain is not worth it, etc etc.

It is worthy.

I can’t tell you how much better life gets once you step out of the circle. Once you can say “I’ve been clean for 9 month”. “10 months”. “1 year”. Once you can say to yourself “I am in control”.

It is a wonderful feeling.

Special step: what if I misstep back into the cycle?

Easy: you step aside again.

Do not feel like all your trouble was for naught. Be it 1 day or 1 month you stayed chaste, it was 1 day/month you stayed chaste. You did wrong going back into the cycle? You did terrible. But it can be saved.

Just step out, and try again.

I recommend Confession. Find a Priest (in another State if needed), and stick to him for your confessions. He’ll help you in your struggle, he’ll understand.

Leave the cycle and try again. And keep trying until the day you can come here and say gladly that you are chaste. I guarantee, there is NO regrets in staying chaste.

Now, for the Faith problems. I recommend reading the CCC.

I mean, not just reading the Bible. People recommend that as if that alone will give you insight… sometimes it does, but not always. Sometimes you read for reading, and get nothing out of it.

So, I recommend you seek other reading materials. Find out WHAT the Church understands from the Bible.

He does! That’s the thing, He completely DOES.

I mean, take me for example. I understand the struggle drug addicts have, having worked with them (nurse here). I DO understand them. I don’t blame them - like you, they fell into a cycle and don’t see a way out.

But just understanding doesn’t mean they will be saved. I want them to leave that cycle. If they don’t leave… am I condemning them? I am not condemning them to a life of addiction: they are the ones who won’t leave their addictions and look for a better life.

That’s what God is about. He wants us to leave our mortal “wants” and seek Him. Hell? Hell is not staying with God. God is not going to throw us into there: WE are walking down the stairs to Hell willingly. God is up the stairs calling us back. So, it’s your choice if you’ll keep on suffering or not. Me? I’ve been trying to walk up (fell into another cycle called laziness, but I’m working it out)

Let’s see MY addiction: I’m lazy.

I am currently not working, but seeking work. I have to study for exams (to be admitted into a hospital). My routine is: wake up early (7am or 8am), eat, wash dishes. Clean the house. Study. Have lunch. Study. Rest (around 5-6pm). Sleep (around 10pm).

Looks good, right? Except I’m not studying right now (8:50am). And have yet to go down have breakfast. And wash the dishes. And clean the house. By the time I’m done with those activities, I’ll be tired, and will decide that resting is better than studying (can’t concentrate anyway).

I mean. God isn’t going to condemn me for staying in bed most of my day, right? I’m not hurting anyone (besides myself) for this. And yet, I know deep inside that this is a bad choice. This is wrong.

I could be working. I could be helping people, who are suffering in hospitals, helping co-workers, saving lives. I could be talking about God to patients in need of spiritual guidance, I could be company they desperately need.

But I’m not. Because I’m too lazy to study and pass an exam.

You? You could be finding a nice girl, helping her grow in grace. You could be using the time you spend getting up, done and cleaned helping your mother. Volunteering, bettering your own curriculum AND helping others in a meaningful way.

To which brings us:

That is what some atheists believe when they try to NOT understand God. “I am a good person (in general), why would God condemn me? :(”.

You know what you aren’t? A completely, perfectly, good person. You are hurting someone, and terribly so. You are hurting this person so much, YOU are condemning them to a life without God.

That person is you. Your masturbation addiction is hurting the person that should be worth the most to you: yourself.

You said so yourself: you masturbate to relieve anxiety and loneliness. And you know that masturbation will cause you to feel more anxiety, loneliness and guilt.

You are a good person? Nah. You are hurting a good person due to a misguided sense of “relief”. Thinking that “helping others” will clean the slate off your addiction is thinking like a politician: “I’ll give them healthcare and education, and they will HAVE to forgive all the public money I stole on the side”.

Atheists don’t get this. You ARE good, but you could be so much better. Atheists don’t believe in this, they think whatever ****** existence they live is enough already.

I am a great person, according to friends and family (hah!). I pray, I love animals, I like children. I dote on elderly people! I have donated (no money now), I do give old stuff. I never smoked, was never into drinking (only wine, 1 small cup a day is good for health). No tattoos, if that counts for something (I don’t think it does, buuut). I’m a virgin! Been 9 months without masturbation. What else? I went to the best University in Latin America, the best University south of USA. I graduated with great grades. I went to study abroad. I know Portuguese and English fluently, and a basic level of German and Spanish. Only time I was called by the Principal it was because I threatened a boy (a friend!) for picking on my other friend (she was fat, and he kept making fun).

Am I perfect? FAR from it. I could be doing sooo much better!

Don’t YOU want to be better than you are?

No worries. Think of the fear mongering like this: a mother is looking at her children walking towards a cliff; she will scream her head out telling them not to go there. That’s the source of the fear mongering. (and this is thinking charitably of others: assume ALWAYS that other people have the best of intentions for you, even if it feels like not. Assume the best ;))

:thumbsup: Very heartfelt and awesome suggestions, NovusFidem! There are many here with various and sundry bad habits that will benefit from your points.:slight_smile:

Wow is all I can say, I did not expect this much support and kind words from all of you. All of your suggestions and advice have really made me feel better and pushed me more toward confessing this, even though I’m still really ashamed about it.

I think that it also felt better just writing it out and getting honest opinions about how I was feeling. I don’t feel so much alone about it as I did before.

The thing with confession is, I’ve always just did the face-to-face thing. I’ve confessed “sins of impurity” before but had to look down the entire time because I felt so embarrassed. - I am female, so I already feel more awkward confessing this because I feel there is more an association that males confess this, but not as many females. I don’t know for sure, I’m probably wrong. I do know that it’s very difficult and that is why I just never confessed it again.

Also, I realize that I need to change my thinking on some things, at one time I didn’t do this for a long while (several months). Then I was feeling pretty lonely and did it again. Then I started thinking “wow you already messed up and condemned yourself, you may as well just not try anymore”. I still managed to feel extremely guilty and pray an act of contrition. I know what’s right, but I also know I’m going to mess up sometimes. All I can do is try my very best not to and if I slip up, just try harder next time.

Thank you again everyone, I really appreciate everything that you all have said. :slight_smile:

So, we are both girls. Then I understand your problem better than I thought :stuck_out_tongue:

Joking, joking!

But, really, our biggest problem is in our own heads. Last time I slipped was in January 5th. I had just completed 6 months “clean” and, while thinking about how strong I was, I slipped. It is not good to focus on those thoughts, we are really weak by ourselves :shrug:

Confess. Pray. Fast. Repeat.

Seriously. This is my struggle too; I speak from experience. And it really is a struggle, and sometimes a very difficult one - but struggle is the essence of the spiritual life. Keep fighting.

It also helped me when I sought out and found a good spiritual director and regular Confessor, a priest who was not only able to help me with encouragement, but who worked with me to identify a regimen for prayer and fasting.

Many many prayers for you.

sa.org

Make the call. Go.

-Tim-

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