Quick Confession/Reconciliation Question

I just had a question, that however fast, might end up being very complex :stuck_out_tongue:
I, sadly, have had troubles with purity, and I have gone to confession whenever I do anything I think I shouldn’t. I got into this problem, and I knew it was wrong, because my conscience, thankfully, was well formed since my youth. However I didn’t really know what I was getting into at first. My question is, sometimes it seems like I don’t want to, but I sin anyway. I pray everyday for purity, and go to confession often, but while I am working on this problem, I am not perfect. I was wondering, do you think it is a mortal sin
(mortal being, 1 full consent, 2 serious matter, 3 understanding)
when I really don’t want to, but I can’t seem to control myself(I was very addicted) and do anyway?
Thanks in advance for your replies, I should go to confession anyway, because it is something that is key to breaking this habit, but I was looking for more opinions.

Only your confessor can tell you this- we do not know the situation well enough to give you advice, and this isn’t a subject to discuss in too much detail here.

Develop a good, simple, daily devotional practice- 3 Hail Mary’s every day for purity, or something like that. More would be nice- but don’t burn yourself out- start small. Do something that you can do every day- any time of the day.

Find a good confessor, and go to confession as often as you can- no less than once a month. You can go every week or even every day if you need to.

Think of the situations you are in when you commit this sin, and try to change them. Spend less time laying awake in bed, or sitting alone doing nothing. Try to spend more time with other people. boredom and loneliness are often triggers for this.

I just listened to a cd on confession and compunction of heart by Father Basil Nortz.

Interesting how true so many words are in so many of our lives.

If you were going to a wedding and you fell into manure would you not go home and change?
Sometimes in our lives we sit in that manure for so long that we don’t even mind the smell anymore. We rationalize every thing and lose track of the sin in our lives.
It take three things to make a mortal sin as you stated. You know it is wrong so why do it. If you look at everything you do as a hammer that put that nail in Christ’s hands maybe we might think before we act.

I believe in many cases of habitual or addictive sins, where self control is easily lost, the culpability lies in the near occassion of sin…the willful putting onself at risk, or in the environment where one knows the sin is likely to occur.

We are great rationalizers, we humans. We can say “I was just [whatever]…nothing wrong with that…” when in reality we know just doing that or just being there would lead us close to the sin we’ve had so much difficulty with.

Regarding the lack of control though. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. If I know I lack the ability to resist a certain kind sin, I cannot claim innocence because of my weakness. I must change what I **do ** have the power to change…the near occassion of sin. And I need to train myself so that in the time of need, I will be inclined to ask for strength from the One who does have the power I need.

A good pracitce is to not over think the issue. Treat it like a mortal sin even though it may objectively be something else. This will help you fight your compulsion and help form habits of purity.

Go for a jog, Read a spiritual book, Like the other posters mentioned; Do things that will build strength spiritually, keep active, maybe volunteer some of that extra time, avoid things/situations that would put you in a near occasion to sin. Don’t give up, time has a way of healing as long as the time is used wisely and faithfully.

Anyone can keep from touching themselves if they really want to.

As Coach Roy used to say, “Our want-to has to be bigger than their want-to.”

So…which want-to is bigger: Want-to follow God, or want-to pleasure oneself? Want-to love Christ by following His commandments, or want-to succumb to base animal passion? Want-to achieve closer union with our Creator, or want-to take oneself in one’s own hands, so to speak?

Every action we take starts with a thought. Therefore, the key to nipping this problem in the bud is to cut the thoughts off before they have a chance to fester. When assailed, pick up the bible or Catechism and start reading. Start praying the rosary. Find someone who plays golf and have him regale you with his latest exploits on the links. Not only will this last drive away impure thoughts, it likely will make you drowsy enough that you can take a nap.

I would suggest fasting and other small mortifications. And, as mentioned, 3 Hail Marys morning and night for purity.

Also, unplug the tv and filter your internet if that’s a problem.

Forget the three Hail Marys – 15 decades of the Rosary!

Make it a PRIORIDY to say 15 decades of the Rosary EVERYDAY – that should eat up whatever free time which you presently have and are using for other [sinful] activities. It should also give you the graces that you need to help resist this temptation. If you still find yourself with free time on your hands to perform sinful acts, perform charitable works – another great source of graces & blessings and a great way to occupy your time so that you do not have the free time to do other things.

Remember the old saying … the devil finds work for idle hands – is not just a saying but based on actual fact! Don’t give him that opportunity. And don’t forget about the fasting suggestion which was mentioned earlier. Jesus, Himself, said that some evils could not be driven out by prayer alone and required fasting as well.

Don’t give up the fight. Satan has found a crack in your armor and is going at you with everything that he’s got and the prize is our immortal soul! Our Blessed Mother has revealed to us that more people lose their salvation due to sins of impurity than for any other reason.

Prosit!

[quote=Sir Knight]Forget the three Hail Marys – 15 decades of the Rosary!

Make it a PRIORIDY to say 15 decades of the Rosary EVERYDAY – that should eat up whatever free time which you presently have and are using for other [sinful] activities. It should also give you the graces that you need to help resist this temptation. If you still find yourself with free time on your hands to perform sinful acts, perform charitable works – another great source of graces & blessings and a great way to occupy your time so that you do not have the free time to do other things.

Remember the old saying … the devil finds work for idle hands – is not just a saying but based on actual fact! Don’t give him that opportunity. And don’t forget about the fasting suggestion which was mentioned earlier. Jesus, Himself, said that some evils could not be driven out by prayer alone and required fasting as well.

Don’t give up the fight. Satan has found a crack in your armor and is going at you with everything that he’s got and the prize is our immortal soul! Our Blessed Mother has revealed to us that more people lose their salvation due to sins of impurity than for any other reason.

Prosit!
[/quote]

WOAH!

15 decades!

Thats intense.

But amazing good for your soul.

I say go for it.

5 in the morning, 5 in the day, and 5 in the evening.

DO NOT try and do all 15 in one go.

It doesnt work, at least not straight away.

In Christ.

Andre.

Best advice i ever got for overcoming habitual sins (especially aginast purity) is to find a good confessor and go to FACE TO FACE confession twice a month. It really keeps you accountable if you always go to the same priest and it is always face to face. You may not want to do it, but do it anyway. Priests have heard worse.

This thread has raised a number of practical questions in my mind. All of the advice that has been given is certainly good advice for overcoming attachment to sin. But, on a short-term practical level, if one has developed a habit and gives in to the force of that habit, is it a mortal sin? Clearly, one should strive to overcome their addiction assisted by the grace of God, but should a person not receive the Eucahrist without prior sacramental confession, as is required when one is conscious of mortal sin.

Section 2352 of the Catechism, for example, identifies “force of acquired habit” as one thing that can “lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.” If a person regularly goes to confession, and confesses the sin to which they are addicted when they go (if they have committed it since their last confession), should they, when they do commit it, choose not to receive the Eucharist until after their next confession?

Anyway, I believe that is what the OP was trying to get at, and something I’m curious about myself.

[quote=Quicky]I just had a question, that however fast, might end up being very complex :stuck_out_tongue:
I, sadly, have had troubles with purity, and I have gone to confession whenever I do anything I think I shouldn’t. I got into this problem, and I knew it was wrong, because my conscience, thankfully, was well formed since my youth. However I didn’t really know what I was getting into at first. My question is, sometimes it seems like I don’t want to, but I sin anyway. I pray everyday for purity, and go to confession often, but while I am working on this problem, I am not perfect. I was wondering, do you think it is a mortal sin
(mortal being, 1 full consent, 2 serious matter, 3 understanding)
when I really don’t want to, but I can’t seem to control myself(I was very addicted) and do anyway?
Thanks in advance for your replies, I should go to confession anyway, because it is something that is key to breaking this habit, but I was looking for more opinions.
[/quote]

If you are addicted/can’t control yourself, how can you be giving full consent?

Romans 8:5 “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”

When tempted, put your Bible in your lap and read it.

[quote=JDHallKY]This thread has raised a number of practical questions in my mind. All of the advice that has been given is certainly good advice for overcoming attachment to sin. But, on a short-term practical level, if one has developed a habit and gives in to the force of that habit, is it a mortal sin? Clearly, one should strive to overcome their addiction assisted by the grace of God, but should a person not receive the Eucahrist without prior sacramental confession, as is required when one is conscious of mortal sin.

Section 2352 of the Catechism, for example, identifies “force of acquired habit” as one thing that can “lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.” If a person regularly goes to confession, and confesses the sin to which they are addicted when they go (if they have committed it since their last confession), should they, when they do commit it, choose not to receive the Eucharist until after their next confession?

Anyway, I believe that is what the OP was trying to get at, and something I’m curious about myself.
[/quote]

Problem with Section 2352 is that, human nature being what it is, some people will use it as an excuse to continue the sinful behavior (“I’m addicted to this sinful behavior, so I’m not fully responsible and therefore the blame is not completely mine because I can’t break the habit”). One has to be careful not to use section 2352 as a loophole to continue sinning.

Also, there ARE ways to break sinful habits of inpurity. If the works of charity and the daily 15 decades of the rosary, which I suggested above, doesn’t do it. There is always the example of St. Francis, who, in order to escape sexual temptation, took off all of his cloths and rolled around in the snow. And if that doesn’t work, there is also the example of St. Benedict, who, in order to escape sexual temptation, took off all of his cloths and rolled around in a thornbush. (ouch!)

[quote=JDHallKY]This thread has raised a number of practical questions in my mind. All of the advice that has been given is certainly good advice for overcoming attachment to sin. But, on a short-term practical level, if one has developed a habit and gives in to the force of that habit, is it a mortal sin? Clearly, one should strive to overcome their addiction assisted by the grace of God, but should a person not receive the Eucahrist without prior sacramental confession, as is required when one is conscious of mortal sin.

Section 2352 of the Catechism, for example, identifies “force of acquired habit” as one thing that can “lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.” If a person regularly goes to confession, and confesses the sin to which they are addicted when they go (if they have committed it since their last confession), should they, when they do commit it, choose not to receive the Eucharist until after their next confession?

Anyway, I believe that is what the OP was trying to get at, and something I’m curious about myself.
[/quote]

No, because of the nature of complusion it cannot be a mortal sin. However, it is a sin to not try to correct the habit - sloth.

As far as the reception of communion is concerned that is a matter for the individual to discuss with their spiritual director. I know one person that suffered from compulsive masterbation and also scrupulosity and so the persons spiritual director obligated the person to only confess twice a month and to always receive communion (unless another sin that was not complusion caused a true mortal sin) under strict obedience. This direction helped my friend a lot with some of his problems and is a common practice among good spiritual directors.

First of all, addiction does relieve culpability. Those who have never been addicted to anything have no idea what they are talking about. You are not completely free.

The best advice I ever heard is don’t get discouraged at your situation. Keep going to confession, let your confessor lead you. When the devil can’t get us with temptation, he will get us with discouragement. He will use that to keep us down and lower our self worth, which will lead us to seek a destructive outlet or escape, ie lust, anger or substance abuse. Remember, you are made in the image and likeness of God. “God don’t make no junk” is the best way to put it. Trust in his mercy and trust in his help and Our Lady’s help. It may take time, remember, it takes a long distance to turn a ship around. I will pray for you.

Excellent question. While I haven’t had trouble with purity, I don’t intentionally sin which leads me to wonder whether or not “full consent” is present at the time of the sin.

Welcome to CAF. Stick around and contribute more of your questions and thoughts.

Ladies and gentlemen, have you noticed this is an antique thread? The OP asked this question two years ago and never returned.

Betsy

I don’t have a problem with antique threads. I had the same question a year ago. Just because it’s an old question doesn’t mean that someone on the website today can’t learn from it.

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