Struggling with lustful thoughts and masturbation

I swore off masturbation almost seven months ago, and I was doing just fine until last week. I could not overcome temptation, and I caved in. I’ve caved in three more times since. I pray the daily Rosary and I admit I am ashamed to be addressing Our Most Chaste Mother. Regardless, I still pray it and ask for strength. I cannot overcome this on my own. I’ve also been praying to St. Philomena, and before her to St. Joseph, Padre Pio, and St. Jude. I am not sure why I suddenly stumbled into temptation, and I feel so guilty and empty and in disgrace afterwards. I don’t know what else to do.

I am in my prime childbearing years, so how do I resist the impulses of biology when my will remains feeble? One time I gave in even after praying three Hail Marys…

Please, pray for me. I hate nothing more than to be displeasing in God’s eyes. I do not want to be alienated from Him. And, no, I haven’t talked to a priest about this. I am too embarrassed.

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Go to confession - as often as it happens as many times as it happens. I get that’s it’s embarrassing and awkward for you but trust me when I say that this is actually one of the most commonly confessed sins. Allow yourself to be helped by the grace of the sacrament to do what you cannot do by yourself.

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Hey friend. So a male in these years temptation is great. When we fall it’s time to take stock… look around, get to confession and get back up. I think it’s normal to feel embarrassed or guilty…that’s sin. However here is what else I heard… it’s been 7 months… sounds like progress for sure to me. In terms of prayer, I’ve found a “Jesus I trust in you”” prayer to be most helpful. The name Jesus seems to make bad things run off. I just keep repeating it until I regain composure… seemed to work. Best regards mate, keep at it!

Fast. Start small, then progress steadily. Unite your fasting to prayer.

She’s a woman.

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This is all totally normal and natural. Please don’t be so hard on yourself.

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I’m sorry op my apologies

Right, naturally we can’t do it on our own, we need God’s grace. Regular confession, maybe weekly, and daily mass as best as you can should nip this in the bud.

Unfortunately, I can’t attend daily mass for now. And I don’t want to always be asking for forgiveness – I should be avoiding the sin in the first place. Yet I am weak. As St. Augustine said, “So tiny a child, so great a sinner!” I am an infant in God’s eyes, an infant who can’t restrain herself.

And I am about to pray the Rosary, but I feel ashamed before Our Blessed Mother. She’s so chaste and pure and blessed that I struggle to address her while I am the complete opposite.

I have to be. If I can’t subject the disordered passions to the will, then I am doomed. I went seven months without sinning to that effect, and now I’m back to square one.

I get this, I really do, but it should be both, not either/or. I know it’s hard to keep going to confession about something like this, but you must. Yes, you need to do what you can to avoid the sin in the first place. I advise you to become aware of what the triggers to the behaviour are. As soon as you get any inkling that it’s going to happen, do whatever you have to do to get away from the situation. Go for a walk, phone somebody up. Distract yourself in whatever way you can. Trust in God to help you. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a great verse to focus on.

You’re not at all back to square one. You know you can go for seven months without this temptation getting the better of you. That’s great. Let’s try for longer next time :slight_smile: just do whatever you can to keep it going. Oh, and avoid letting yourself linger over any impure thoughts or imagery. You can do this. You’ve already proved you can.

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Hello @gg995,

Your desire for holiness is awesome and exciting to hear. After sinning gravely against God, pray for the moral courage to reconcile properly by finding deeper roots of your sins through an examination of conscience, followed by confessing all unconfessed mortal sins in reconciliation.

And as an added assistance to overcome physical sins that require your hands to act, grasp your scapular as though your life depends on it, and do not let go until the temptation subsides. Furthermore, if you do not have a scapular on at the time, begin to make wearing your scapular as a habit.

I wear a Brown Scapular all the time, and I still fell. If God is sending me trials, I am failing spectacularly.

This is two of the Devil’s favorite lies rolled into one: that God is going to get tired of you begging forgiveness, and that you should be able to fight sin on your own. God never, ever gets tired of helping us and victory is not learning how to stand without Him, it is learning to ask Him for help more often.

She’s so chaste and pure that everyone looks the complete opposite next to her. Good on you for praying the rosary despite (and because of) your grief.

Do you think the Virgin Mary still accepts Rosaries that are imperfectly said? For instance, I get distracted a lot during the Rosary, but I think that may be a coping mechanism – instead of beholding her for the duration of it, it’s almost like turning my face away from her in shame.

Of course she does. None of us can pray perfectly. What matters is that we pray. Just our desire to pray is pleasing to God and to our Blessed Mother.

It sounds like you’ve got a lot of anxiety and shame about these kinds of issues that may be magnifying in your mind just how severe they are. On the one hand, sexual sin needs to be avoided, on the other hand, we can’t let it lead us into despair, as though it’s the worst sin we could ever commit. There is forgiveness and there is hope. The devil doesn’t care what sins we commit, he just cares that we come to identify with them and fail to see our own God-given goodness.

God has made you in his image and you are precious to him. Always give thanks for the good gifts he has given you, and focus less on your sins, so that you don’t come to see yourself only as your sins.

-Fr ACEGC

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There is one person you are going to have to forgive gg, and that’s yourself.

This 4 part series by Fr.Ripperger is amazing for those looking to forgive and not despair.

Sirach:

My child, when you come to serve the Lord,>
prepare yourself for trials.[a]>
2Be sincere of heart and steadfast,>
and do not be impetuous in time of adversity.>
3Cling to him, do not leave him,>
that you may prosper in your last days.>
4Accept whatever happens to you;>
in periods of humiliation be patient.>
5For in fire gold is tested,>
and the chosen, in the crucible of humiliation.

Chastity is a virtue, and God in his wisdom is allowing you opportunities to practice chastity.
A virtue is the practice of the thing. It take work, and lots of it. And patience. Looking for a quick fix for this spiritual issue will frustrate you quickly. Prepare yourself for a long battle, and you faith will grow.
And keep in mind that sacramentals and prayer are not magic. They are essential parts of our faith life, but they will not make struggle go away.

Let the verse from Sirach accompany you on this long journey. I am 59, and I have struggled with lust for about 45 of those years. When you fail, get back up in the love of the Lord. Because at the end of the day, this struggle can help you to grow in service to others.
I can’t tell you how many times in my younger years I berated the Lord for my thorn in the flesh. I demanded answers from God as to why this was ongoing, and He gave me an answer: "learn how to suffer, and put others first. "

And that’s the whole point of the Christian life: to love the Lord and serve others, on good days and bad.
Look up Matt Fradd’s Strive. 21 days to porn detox.

Keep up the good fight. We need warriors like you to show the way through this.

Watch Father Mike’s video (ascension presents) on facing temptation.

There are three ways to handle temptation: namely restraint. The third way is to surround yourself and fill your mind that which is beautiful and comes from God, e.g. scripture or a hymn. If you fill your mind with what is pure then it is a much more powerful defense against falling to temptation to what appears to be attractive but is only a farce or imitation.

Pray everyday, will to have a change of heart and behavior and go to confession.

I will pray for you in my rosary today.

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