Questions about pornography and circumstances, sexual thoughts and dreams

Hi everyone,

This is my first time making a topic on here (I’m also a new account). Just to let everyone know in advance, I am very over-scrupulous so please bear with me.

Questions about pornography; I suffered from it and masturbation for almost a decade (it’s been 1 month and a week since I’ve done any of that stuff, which I am thankful for god for helping me with this addiction). I confessed these sins 2 weeks ago and I was so focused on confessing these sins to the priest and to leave that life behind me and start living the ways of Jesus, I forgot to mention the circumstances if they had made any of those sins worse in severity.

I plan on confessing these circumstances this upcoming week to my priest, but it feels much more stressful and anxious to confess exactly what I had watched than just saying “I watched pornography x amount of times and committed impure acts with myself y amount of times”.

I know some of the basic circumstances that can increase the severity, but just how many other circumstances can affect it? I’m also afraid of giving scandal to the priest if I become too specific but also don’t want the confession to remain too vague. Is just stating what it was without going into detail ok enough to avoid this scenario?

Also I still suffer from sexual thoughts and, on a few occasions, sexual dreams during sleep or when I wake up and am still in a hazy state.

The thoughts I often try to let them pass without focusing on them, though some of the stronger ones tend to grab my attention in trying to prevent them. Very Rarely will I briefly entertain them, but the ones that worry me are the ones in my sleep and when I wake up hazy. I don’t think of any of these thoughts when I’m falling asleep (granted some pass by my mind as I sleep but I reject them right afterwards and focus on sleeping), but in the case one occurs during sleep, or especially when waking up hazy (these I tend to dwell on much longer until I’m wide awake and realize it’s wrong), am I giving full consent?

Once again, sorry if I’m being very scrupulous, I plan on seeking a priest for spiritual advising to help me with this. Thank you for your answers and contributions to this topic also!

Since you are scrupulous, you would be well advised not to ask questions of a moral nature on the internet. You will get a variety of conflicting opinions from people who may not be qualified to answer you. This will only drive your anxieties. You should seek the help of a priest and maybe a counselor in dealing with these issues. Matters of conscience are neither appropriately nor effectively dealt with on public internet forums.

You are in my prayers.

-Fr ACEGC

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Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums!

It sounds like you are doing very well resisting temptation and kicking those habits. Keep up the good work, and God bless you!

It’s not surprising that you still have sexual thoughts and dreams. There is not much you can do about dreams, but you have some control over thoughts when you are awake. Of course, try to avoid circumstances that bring those thoughts to mind. If those thoughts occur anyway, try to avoid dwelling on them. Maybe there are things you can do to distract yourself or lead your thoughts in a different direction.

I noticed that you didn’t ask a question. How can we help you?

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Ah yes sorry, typing this on a phone so it auto submits by itself at times, I’ve completed the topic now though so it should be good to go.

I’ve noticed that about the anxiety. Before I had made an account, I’d often look over topics in moral theology and, while there were some that did help in providing concrete answers, often they would just lead to more confusion and to me viewing life and sin in technicalities (very stressful). I am planning to visit my priest at my local parish for spiritual advising to help me with this though.

Okay, now I see your questions. In view of edward_george1’s reply (he is a Catholic priest), I’m going to avoid giving you my opinions as just an average Catholic dude.

You could ask the priest in Confession about how much detail to confess. You could also ask the priest your question about full consent when you are waking up hazy. Those are good questions.

My mind operates on a different schedule than yours. My weakest time for lustful thoughts is when I go to bed. When I wake up in the morning, my mind is clean and free! I think that’s because most mornings I am just too busy and there ain’t no time for lust.

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