Sin Anxiety


#1

Hi.

I’m a 15 year old boy, and close to a year and a half ago I fell into the sin of masturbation. At first, I did not know it was wrong, but even when I did, somehow I have still ended up doing it every now and then. The thing is, I’ve heard a ton of conflicting info about whether it’s a mortal sin, and though I have gone over the three requirements many times, I’m mostly anxious about the “full consent of the will” part. I find myself arguing that I have not committed a mortal sin, since I don’t think I’ve ever both known it was a grave matter and completely consented to it at the same time.

I still struggle with this and I tend to fall into it around once a week. I fully detest the sin and have no wish to ever commit it again. It’s just that sometimes when I take a shower, one thing leads to another and even though I try not to, my mind just shuts out the fact that God doesn’t want me to do this, and I end up doing it. I cannot honestly say that I fully consented to the act… At least I think so… I have trouble even knowing if I fully consented or not. I have found that the best way for me to avoid it altogether is to try and challenge myself to a certain time limit in the shower. If I’m under a time constraint, I’ll

I know I should confess it whether it is mortal or venial, and I usually do so before receiving Communion, but at least once or twice, I didn’t get a chance to go to confession before mass, and while I doubted that I had committed a mortal sin, I still had a nagging feeling in the back of my mind, but received communion anyway; partly because I was embarrassed about what others would think.

This is causing me a lot of anxiety, and I just can’t seem to be sure one way or the other. Also, I have come across discussion of scruples a lot when researching about this, and I feel like I almost have it but at the same time might be lax, because I don’t find myself super-analyzing any other situations, just this issue of masturbation. I also never find myself constantly thinking I’ve abused the Eucharist or anything. In fact I may be a bit lax in most areas except this. My mind wanders a lot when praying, and I find it extremely hard to concentrate, though I still do try to daily. That’s another topic completely, though.

Any reply will be hugely helpful; please pray for me.


#2

Once you know that masturbation is grave, in most cases, it becomes mortal sin when done. That said, it is true that addiction, habit and other factors can mitigate ones ability to consent to sin. It’s very difficult sometimes for us to understand that in ourselves though. I’ve struggled with that issue as well, I understand the temptation

What got me eventually was, I just got TIRED of having to go to confession eeevery week for the same sin. that filled me with greater shame than the sin did. You need to do all you can to keep busy and not allow yourself the opportunity to indulge in this sin


#3

First of all, it is so courageous. that you are willing to put your situation out there like that. I have had the question posed to me on so many occaisions. (most of the time people testing my faith)

There isnt a male out there who hasnt fallen in the same way. All I can suggest is that you continually pray. When you get distracted call satan a liar and deceiver, re-direct and keep praying. God knows a contrite heart, and He knows you’ll fall, but He’s also never going to give up on you and He’ll ALWAYS be there to pick you op again.

Sometimes thats a hard concept to grasp. But our God is truly AWSOME!


#4

Hi who,

I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles with both this sin and anxiety. I will pray for you. Rest assured, although you are right to view this as wrong, many men struggle with this sin and I want you to know you are not alone.

In regards to whether or not you have full consent, good examples of that would be if it happened in your sleep, or you were absent mindedly doing it for a few seconds and then stopped. It doesn’t sound like that was the case with you, but I’d consult with a priest and ask him for good guidelines to follow.

Finally, the fear of other people knowing is a common one. I’ll say this: It is no one’s business to ask or confront anyone about why they didn’t go to receive communion. If you are approached by a loved one, you may try to find a way to politely explain that to them. Another option is you can go up to receive and cross your arms over your chest. That’s a symbol that you just want a blessing. But if you think you have committed a mortal sin, don’t receive. It’s not worth it and although it can be embarrassing, it will ultimately help fuel your desire to break free of this sin.

Now in regards to actually combating the sin itself, since you mention it happens in the shower, have you tried taking cold showers? Cold showers help distract you from the temptation, shorten the overall time you are in the shower, and are a good source of penance.

Beyond that, here are some other suggestions that you might find helpful:

**1. Frequent Confession: **Go to Confession as often as possible. Once a week would be a good start. Even if you haven’t committed a mortal sin, it’ll help you get in the habit of nipping it in the bud early.
**2. Daily Examination of Conscience: **Like above, this will help you to identify sins early. Mortal sins start out as venial sins. If you can identify the little sins and stop them, you will prevent the mortal sins from even happening. Each night say a prayer to the Holy Spirit and then make a good examination of conscience. This will help you make better confessions as well.
**3. Daily Rosary: **Mary is a great mother to turn to for purity. A rosary every day will help strengthen your resolve to beat this sin. Ask her to pray for your purity.
**4. Frequent Communion: **If you can do it, mass every day would be awesome. For the times when you are in the state of grace, it will help you stay that way. If you commit a mortal sin, going to mass and not receiving helps to reinforce the idea that your sins are separating you from God. It will help you to see the ugliness of sin better.
**5. Hail Mary for every impure thought: **Lust always starts with a thought. Again, stamp it out the second it occurs. Whenever you have an impure thought, or start getting the temptation, immediately make the sign of the cross and say a Hail Mary. This will help to psychologically reinforce purity in your mind. If you’re in public, just make a small cross on your forehead with your thumb and say the prayer silently. Or make a mental note to say one later when you’re alone.

Please feel free to post again for further advice and welcome to CAF! Be at peace and know that God loves you.


#5

Can you get a regular confessor? If so, then you should ask him whether masturbation is mortal or venial for you. Also do the advice that the others above tell you.


#6

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