Question About Teenage Masturbation

I am 14, and for the past 7 months I have been struggling with the sin of masturbation. My church had its big confession day for Easter on this past Monday (which I went to) and there will not be anymore confessions heard until after Easter. Unfortunately, I committed the sin today and have felt horrible all day, and even say an act of contrition every time I walk into my room. I am not sure if this qualifies as a mortal sin, and would REALLY not like to miss communion at all during Holy Week. If it is a sin, is there any way I can still receive holy communion? I have read that you can say an act of contrition before receiving, as long as you go to confession as soon as possible (which in my case would not be until After Easter). Any replies before tomorrow (I will be attending Holy Thursday mass, and Good Friday liturgy). Sorry if this is not posted correctly, I am new to this website.

God bless!

The qualifications of a mortal sin:

  1. It has to be a grave matter.
  2. You have to know it was a grave matter.
  3. You have to have done it willingly.

Masturbation (1) is a grave matter and (2) I think, based on your post, that you know it was a grave matter. I can’t comment on (3) and some would argue that if this has been a habit for a long time, you may not have had full willingness or control over your action, which may mean you are not as culpable as someone who knew it was a grave matter and decided to do it anyway because they felt like it.

However, I personally would not feel comfortable receiving Communion with that sin on my conscience.

PLEASE contact a priest and make an appointment for confession, saying you must confess before you are able to receive Communion on Easter. Go to other parishes if necessary (I realize this may be troublesome considering your age but if you could find someone to take you, that would be an option). I doubt a priest would deprive you of absolution if it means you wouldn’t be able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ otherwise.

Prayers for your discernment…I’m sure this is difficult because at 14, you have no choice but to rely on others for transportation, and I pray that you are able to find a solution. God Bless.

ETA: There is this…if you ABSOLUTELY CANNOT get to confession no matter how hard you try - a priest will not see you, you can’t get a ride to confession, etc. - maybe this would apply to you.

The requirement for sacramental confession can be dispensed if four conditions are fulfilled: (1) there must be a grave reason to receive Communion (for example, danger of death), (2) it must be physically or morally impossible to go to confession first, (3) the person must already be in a state of grace through perfect contrition, and (4) he must resolve to go to confession as soon as possible.

(full text can be found here)

I think that there are realer reasons for masturbation than we would care to believe in. Please look at yourself in the mirror often, but never for too long. Please trust your true instincts; they just might be screaming at you this very moment.


I concur. Huh?

1 Like

I would certainly not receive Communion until you have confessed this sin. To do so would be to commit another sin; that of sacrilege. I know it will be difficult not to receive our Lord on the very night he instituted this wonderful Sacrament, but make a spiritual act of communion instead.

Or better still as you say you are attending Mass on Holy Thursday, try to ask father if he will hear your confession before Mass. Arrive in plenty of time because he will probably be busy organising things. Or try to catch him after Mass.

God bless.

Hello, Othius. You should not receive communion until you have gone to confession. The only real, clear exception is if you are in danger of death and cannot make a confession.

It’s unfortunate that your parish is not offering more confession times during holy week. I am very blessed that my parish has several times this week, even on Saturday morning. Like 1Love said, perhaps there is another parish nearby that you can get to with some confession times this week? You can also try to make an appointment.

Like FAH said, you can also try to arrive nice and early for a Mass and make a confession then. I recommend at least 15 or 20 minutes before it starts, if not more. Certainly the last 10 minutes before Mass begins, Father will be super-busy getting ready.

Worst case, you can still participate in the full Holy Week and Easter liturgies without receiving communion. I know that’s not ideal – I really hate it when I can’t receive! – but it is better to make a spiritual communion rather than committing a sacrilege (and adding a new sin to confess) by receiving. You can treat it as a penance for your sins.

Best wishes. I know this is a struggle for many men; you are not alone. God bless!

A couple of comments:

a) A priest should hear your confession. He is obligated to do so, provided a convenient time can be found. So call and try to make an appointment.

b) There are reasons why it *may *be acceptable to receive Eucharist even if you cannot confess beforehand. Along with danger of death, some consider a sufficiently grave reason to include “serious embarrassment if Communion is not taken”. See here:

This may be particularly relevant for a teenager who may be going to mass with his/her family, and not receiving could be seriously embarrassing. It does not remove the requirement to seek sacramental confession, which should still be done as soon as practicable. But calling your priest is the first step. If you cannot find a convenient time to confess, perhaps you could ask about whether you have a sufficiently grave reason to receive anyway.

And here is an article you may find helpful in general:

There is a resource just for kids like you. It is called youcat. It is a catechism written for people who cannot process the intricacies of the faith. You know, teens.
From youcats own website.

YOUCAT 409: Is masturbation an offense against love?

Masturbation is an offense against love, because it makes the excitement of sexual pleasure an end in itself and uncouples it from the holistic unfolding of love between a man and a woman. That is why “sex with yourself” is a contradiction in terms. [2352]

The Church does not demonize masturbation, but she warns against trivializing it. In fact many young people and adults are in danger of becoming isolated in their consumption of lewd pictures, films, and Internet services instead of finding love in a personal relationship. Loneliness can lead to a blind alley in which masturbation becomes an addiction. Living by the motto “For sex I do not need anyone; I will have it myself, however and whenever I need it” makes nobody happy.

So you can see that masturbation is not necessarily a sin but is rather not a logically healthy thing to do and it can lead to bad feelings.

When you are an adult however. The chatechsim of the Catholic Church will apply.

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."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

here we see it called grave and intrinsically disordered. When you are no longer a teen you will be able to understand what those words mean.

Does anybody see a problem with what I posted?

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