Please Help! - Teen

To start off, I have been battling SSA and masturbation - always going to confession when I fall into sin, though I am unaware if it has become canonically “habitual.” I go to Mass at least 4 times per week, confession once a week, and adoration 2 hours a week. I am a teen discerning the priesthood (FSSP, diocesan, SJC Canons regular and Institute of CK) and the only Catholic in my family. I have a regular confessor but no spiritual director yet. (do you recommend I get one?) Here is my dilemma: today, I engaged in oral sex and masturbation with a friend of mine who is a guy too. I though about these and was striving to engage in them yesterday, but didn’t. Today, I did. It just hit me, before saying a word about it, my friend showed he wanted it - but, I guess I just didn’t think about it in the moment, possibly because of anxiety, habit, etc. Was this sinful? I have been very stressed lately and anxious possibly. Please help me decipher if this was mortally sinful or not. I feel it wasn’t because it all just happened. I am very confused and troubled that I may be in a mortal state of sin. I sometimes suffer from scruples. Please help me and God Bless! Thank you!!

If in doubt, I’d confess.

Your priest would be able to guide you better than us random people on the net.

Good day.

Firstly, I commend you for your willingness and your humility to speak of your troubles and your difficulties that have arisen in your life. This is not an easy task, and I’m sure it was not easy for you.

I would first like to answer your question regarding seeking a spiritual director. In sort: yes. Get one, in fact many Vocational Directors will be very hesitant to recognize your discernment as legitimate and mature without one. I think that this could assist you not only in your day by day walk with Christ, but also with your family issues, your struggles with your attractions, and could help with connections and developing a trusting relationship with the clergy.

As far as whether or not the act you committed today was sinful, I’m sure you know the answer to that question. I certainly don’t know the circumstances, and reiterate a previous poster in encouraging you to seek a confessor posthaste.

If there is anything I can help with, or if you have any further questions about the Seminary application process or anything else, please feel free to PM me.

Take care.

My brother in Christ I truly will pray for you. It seems that more and more these days these types of sin are getting more and more common. For advice whenever you have these feelings stop what you are doing, pick up a rosary, go for a walk and meditate with the Blessed Virgin on the Holy Mysteries. If not pray just take a jog or run, listen to Christian music: latin or contemporary. I myself am dicerning the holy priesthood in the Tridentine Form. It is a true and holy reminder of Christ passion. I forgot which saint quoted this but it kind of goes like this: When we make the sign of the cross Satan will flee. I would encourage you to do this when the feeling of temptation comes. God bless! Please contac me if you need any help!

As am I.

If you have SSA, then the norm for being accepted into training is that you should have had a significant period of time where you have not been troubled by or acted upon your SSA desires.

The fact that you are clearly tortured by them would indicate that you are not psychologically stable enough to to proceed into training.

However, I note that you are still in your teenage years. Quite apart from the likelihood that you’ve probably got some time before you would be able to start priestly formation, it is said that all (or most) young men, heterosexual or homosexual, experience wild fluctuations in hormones as they are maturing which magnify their sexual desires and have them thinking about ‘it’ practically every other second. The experience of these apparently ‘obsessive’ desires will settle down over time.

As for your actual activities, well I’m sure you know that we all have the choice to act or not act in individual circumstances. One does not accidentally engage in a sexual act. And I’m sure you know what the Church requires of us when we do such acts outside marriage.

What it seems to me that you need the most is not just sacramental absolution, but the ability to accept that absolution and forgive yourself. To me it looks like you might be allowing your attractions to become an obsession and by doing so you allow them a power over you that is unnecessary.

You are not responsible for that over which you have no realistic control - it’s time you left it alone. You are responsible for what you DO. You need to leave THAT alone too, if you want to live by the Church’s rules and succeed in following your vocation. If you don’t, you will not succeed: the pain will be too much for you and you’ll drop out of your discernment process.

I hope you find a settled good path in life, whether that be priesthood or not.

Be at peace.

One other thing, I somehow overlooked the same sex attraction on your post. You don’t want the priesthood to be the only option because you have a false feel of atraction. Never do get confused with the worlds view on attraction. You are never “born that way”. No one is born with sexual attraction we are born to love not sexualy, at birth, like our mother and father. It is perfectly right to love someone of the same sex, like our brothers and sisters but not sexually; this is confusion. I would try to start with, if you do, masterbasion. Also start with not engaging sexualy with the same sex. Try not to be with or hang with same sex males diring this time; it will only create a temptation. Tell them that you do not want to engage in these activities becuase you know the activities are wrong. Try to get a religous or priest who follows the traditional views of the Church. Discern during this time to see if you are called just to celibacy or the call to the Holy Priesthood. Say the prayer to St. Michael during difficult times.
Pax Christi
Ave Maria

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