Shame and guilt

Ok…so I am a little scared to ask this question on here…and a little afraid I will get booted off…but here goes, I have heard MANY opinions about this from different Priests and at this point I don’t know what to believe, I have asked about it in confession and face to face in an everyday conversation…I have received more answers than I care to tell you about, I am simply confused…and scared…I do not want to go to hell, and I have worried about this and felt hopeless for long enough…so here I am and afraid or not I am going to ask…Is it a Mortal Sin to masturbate?..I have been told that it depends on your disposition, on what you are thinking about at the time, on how you were raised, on if you were abused as a child, and so on and so forth…at one point I had the pastor of my church tell me it was ok…not a Mortal Sin, and that I did not need to go to confession before receiving the Eucharist if I had done that recently, that I could just go to confession the next chance I was able and to make an act of contrition to God before I received Communion, I went and asked another Priest of the same parish his opinion and he told me it was a Mortal sin, and then I told him that the Pastor had told me that is wasn’t and that I was confused and didn’t know what to believe and he told me that I needed to listen to what the Pastor had told me and not question it…I have beat myself up and felt worthless over this issue for a long time now and I would just like to know the truth…this is not something that I do every day…maybe once a week, I feel like I can’t control myself…the feelings that I have are overwhelming…they are very strong…and once they start I have a very hard time not touching myself, I am fairly young, I am over 20yrs but below 30yrs I do not want to reveal my identity that is why I am so vague about my age…I am embarrassed and I feel humiliated and hope no one ever finds out who I am… but I had to ask someone, I am scared of going to hell for masturbating.:blush:

Firstly, welcome!

I wouldn’t say you should feel scared to ask the question at all - i’m sure your not the first person who’s mind it’s crossed.

I think you’re right in what you say about “personal disposition” on the matter - I’ve heard some Catholics refer to it as “self-rape” and know other Catholics who don’t have a huge issue with it.

From a Catholic who also happens to be a Scientist (well, studying scientist anyway :smiley: ), it is actually beneficial for the sexual organs as it releases pressure which builds up on the nodes and glands (depending obviously upon the gender!)

Mortal Sin, definately not - I hardly think masturbation is on a par with Murder, Rape or Adultery…I don’t exactly view it as something God would approve of right enough, but it’s definately not a hellworthy trespass.

The beauty of asking these questions on an online forum, is that annonymity is pretty much guarenteed, so don’t worry about it.

I may not speak for the vast majority of Catholics, but that is my take on it (as a combined man of Science-Faith)…don’t think it’s something the Catechism covers to be honest :wink:

this question has been discussed quite frequently on the Morality forum, where you will find more help and more honest help than previous poster has given

the advice you have been given is sound

yes masturbation is a mortal sin if done with full knowledge, full consent, and full intention.

no it is not a mortal sin if there are factors that limit an individual’s culpability. the only one who can advise you on your own spiritual state is your own priest in confession

it is not going to be helpful for you to seek personal spiritual direction on this issue on an internet forum.

see your priest, confess all your sins, take his advice, cultivate sound spiritual habits to combat this and all temptation: daily prayer, regular Mass attendance and recourse to the sacraments, penance, and works of mercy.

Waaaaay up at the tippity top of the Catholic home page their a tab with a link to pure love club or something-or-another. Whatever, its link says chastity. Anyhow, there’s a boatload of questions (most of which disturbed me:rolleyes: ) some of which pertaining to the act, and all of which, I felt, provided good answers.

Or, you could try the Catholic Encyclopedia at that site, what is it? New Advent? I don’t remeber, but they’ve got all sorts of answers and things.

sigh Isn’t it wonderful (And by that I mean terrible, yet altogether entertaining in the cosmic and dramatic sense) That we have absolutly no control over ourselves? How increadible that our will can not even overcome ourselves, how feeble of mind are we! Isn’t impotency frustrating?:rolleyes:

Hmmm, I think a weakness of will should be dispised more greatly than a weakness of the flesh. The flesh is naturally flawed, but a weakness of the will implies a lack of devotion, methinks. And the flesh will surely perish, but what of the soul? Will the Lord find it lacking? Should damnation not be sought in such a case?

Vanity, I suppose, is any thought of nobility and honour, amongst mankind. If we’ve not the steele to tame our own beasts, we should consider ourselves no higher than they.

Yes it is a mortal sin to masturbate. Read what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about it and then rest assured you have the correct answer.

Deacon Ed B

Yes, definitely read the Catechism of the Catholic Church and you will find how the Church sees this activity. I disagree with Deacon Ed that is IS a mortal sin. It IS grave matter but only a mortal sin if the three necessary components that make up a mortal sin are present. If you do not have immediate access to the Catechism here is a quote:

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 **To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.” **

So take the advise of your confessor. Try to stay with the same confessor as he will know your individual struggle with this. I have struggled with this for decades and continue to struggle. But I have come a long way and with prayer, Reconciliation and most of all the Eucharist, we can all overcome this sin. God Bless you and you remain in my prayers…teachccd :slight_smile:

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