I have read a lot of the posts on this site about Masterbation but was hoping for some advice and for your prayers. I am 18 years old and thinking about the Priesthood. I am also struggling greatly with Masterbation and lustful thoughts.
I find that I don’t want to do it, but that I do slip. I find that it damages my prayer life and it makes me a bit upset that I can’t recieve communion in this state, untill I confess it.
I am going to see my Spirichal Director about this tomorrow, and am very nervous. (I do confess it, but this is not really helping so I feel I need some direction). I have slipped so many times and am very imbarised. I also feel that I should not be applying for the Seminary while I’m in this position.
Any advice and comments would be greatly appreciated. Your prayers as well.
Thank you in advance.
You are not alone in your struggle with this, you must know that. We all have our own personal crosses to bear. I try to stay grateful for mine because, like St. Paul, although it is like a thorn in my side, it keeps me humble, and close to God and Our Lady. You can not out-sin God’s forgiveness. Just go to reconciliation and ask for strength to refrain from this sin. God knows your struggles and is mercy indeed so do not worry about future sins. Fall in love with God, for He will always take care of you.
Thank you Misha68.
CHAPTER 13 – On Resisting Temptations [The Imitation of Christ]
So long as we live in this world, we cannot remain without trial and temptation: as Job says, “Man’s life on earth is a warfare.” We must therefore be on guard against temptations, and watchful in prayer, that the Devil find no means of deceiving us; for he never rests, but prowls around seeking whom he may devour. No one is so perfect and holy that he is never tempted, and we can never be secure from temptation.
Although temptations are so troublesome and grievous, yet they are often profitable to us, for by them we are humbled, cleansed, and instructed. All the Saints endured many trials and temptations, and profited by them; but those who could not resist temptations became reprobate, and fell away. There is no Order so holy, nor place so secluded, where there are no troubles and temptations.
No man can be entirely free from temptation so long as he lives; for the source of temptation lies within our own nature, since we are born with an inclination towards evil. When one temptation or trial draws to a close, another takes its place; and we shall always have something to fight, for man has lost the blessing of original happiness. Many try to escape temptations, only to encounter them more fiercely, for no one can win victory by flight alone; it is only by patience and true humility that we can grow stronger than all our foes.
The man who only avoids the outward occasions of evil, but fails to uproot it in himself, will gain little advantage. Indeed, temptations will return upon him the sooner, and he will find himself in a worse state than before. Little by little and by patient endurance you will overcome them by God’s help, better than by your own violence and importunity. Seek regular advice in temptation, and never deal harshly with those who are tempted, but give them such encouragement as you would value yourself.
The beginning of all evil temptation is an unstable mind and lack of trust in God. Just as a ship without a helm is driven to and fro by the waves, so a careless man, who abandons his proper course, is tempted in countless ways. Fire tempers steel, and temptation the just man. We often do not know what we can bear, but temptation reveals our true nature. We need especially to be on our guard at the very onset of temptation, for then the Enemy may be more easily overcome, if he is not allowed to enter the gates of the mind: he must be repulsed at the threshold, as soon as he knocks. Thus the poet Ovid writes, “Resist at the beginning; the remedy may come too late.” For first there comes into the mind an evil thought: next, a vivid picture: then delight, and urge to evil, and finally consent. In this way the Enemy gradually gains complete mastery, when he is not resisted at first. And the longer a slothful man delays resistance, the weaker he becomes, and the stronger his enemy grows against him.
Some people undergo their heaviest temptations at the beginning of their conversion; some towards the end of their course; others are greatly troubled all their lives; while there are some whose temptations are but light. This is in accordance with the wisdom and justice of God’s ordinance, who weighs the condition and merits of every man, and disposes all things for the salvation of those whom He chooses.
We must not despair, therefore, when we are tempted, but earnestly pray God to grant us his help in every need. For, as Saint Paul says, “With the temptation, God will provide a way to overcome it, that we may be able to bear bear it.” So, let us humble ourselves under the hand of God, in every trial and trouble, for He will save and raise up the humble in Spirit. In all these trials, our progress is tested; in them great merit may be secured, and our virtue become evident. It is no great matter if we are devout and fervent when we have no troubles; but if we show patience in adversity, we can make great progress in virtue. Some are spared severe temptations, but are overcome in the lesser ones of every day, in order that they may be humble, and learn not to trust in themselves, but to recognize their frailty.
It comes down to your priorities. It is simple to overcome the sin of lust if you learn how to control yourself and your base urges. Frequent confessions and reception of the Eucharist are a must. Do not receive the Eucharist unworthily. As you train yourself to love God more than physical pleasure, you will realize that it is more important to receive the Eucharist than it is to fall from a state of grace.
For me, the embarrassment I would face in the confessional having to tell the priest what I did, again and again, evantually became greater than the urge to sin. Frequent reception of the Eucharist will preserve you from future sin. I receive twice a week and I confess every 4-8 weeks, and I frequently find that I have retained my state of grace for that whole stretch.
You should also observe a life of active prayer. If you pray instead of sinning then God will win every time. Devote yourself to the Rosary or the Liturgy of the Hours morning and night. It is only 10-20 minutes of your day. Who else would we rather spend time with than the Lord who loves us so much?
It is particularly important for someone called to the priesthood that he overcome his propensity to sin because a priest must celebrate Mass worthily. Imagine your chagrin to need another priest confessor just an hour before Mass because you were not able to contain your urges, or worse to go on with the Mass sacriligeously. A healthy fear of God and a spirit of obedience to the Church are effective tools against the temptation of sin.
God bless you and you will be in my prayers.
It’s a very common sin …any priest will tell you.
Our society is so highly sexed and offers us ways to tap into lust on tv, movies, internet, our phones secretly and has become a breeding ground perfect for someone to fall into these types of sins and persist in them until they become habit forming and leaving the victim wondering “what the heck happend! I’m in chains!”
Know its a very common sin…and a very EASY sin to fall into slavery for because it’s so connected with our physical bodies workings.
You fall into it over and over because a few reasons:
- It may take some time…but if you are serious, you should see the time range between sins getting farther apart.
2.you have not made a sincere act of willing to change your life…meaning u are willing to maintain some changes:
a, staying away from pornographic sources ( you know where they are ! …if that means putting content blockers on tv or internet…or even being willing to get rid of them altogether…then that’s what it will take or you should not be willing to go to confession until you are willing to do so.
- You are probably supressing your pent up energy and feelings and desires and not redeeming them. You need to understand why your body acts the way it does. I suggest looking into “Theology of the body” …there is a reason God made us the way He did and why we have the desires we do! The devil has twisted a beautiful thing within you! Here’s the good news…if you permit God to untwist it…you can focus and direct this great power within you and your spirituality will soar! You will have an amazing spiritual growth spurt fighting and overcoming this!
Christopher west teaches about theology of the body…HES AWSOME! This website has LOADS of info on it. There is a 20$ DVD called “winning the battle for sexual purity” BUY IT! I’ve also found a 10 CD set breaking down the popes teaching on theology of the body for like 3$…it’s amazing… if its something that interests you…I suggest finding it.
a GOOD confession…one at which you are willing to rework your entire life. When you get home…you get rid of everything that tempts you (because this sin begins at the level of thought).
This is going to sound silly …but trust me. How you live your daily life needs to change: If you have a messy room/ home…clean and organize it, start keeping track of appointments on a planner, plan out your day and plan a day in which you can keep busy (lazy, sloppy and unorganized life sets u up to fall especially when you have lots of time on your hands ) .
Exercise! believe it or not…exercise burns off lots of our pent up energies
Lastly…start to practice fasting. If you can begin to permit your will to tell the body what to do…your will will get stronger and your body will listen to you more.
If you can start studying theology of the body so you understand why we have the urges and what they mean…the untwisting can begin (along with the sacraments and DAILY praying about this) and use my above suggestions… I can gurantee results.
Remember this is going to be a process…AND it’s a process that will allow you to come closer to God through all of it. Every day at the begining of your day say a little prayer asking God to give you strength and to conqure your temptations and to not treat his daughters in such a demeaning way and to help purify your heart. And thank him every night and rededicate your entire body , and feelings, thoughts to His service.
Oh, also…when temptations come… try saying a prayer like this: "Lord I offer this temptation to you and I’m willing to suffer it in atonement for my sins and for the conversion of all my brothers and sister caught in this trap of slavery "
lol, its spiritual jujitsu…you’re taking the devils temptation and causing him to lose souls!
Good luck to you . If you need to talk…don’t hesitate!
Masturbation in general is a mortal sin.
Not to make it mortal would be thinhgs that you exasperated. WHen you have the feeling, than try too do something else.
After being in the seminary, having a habit can relegate your spiritual life, in essence, it is being very immature and can become a psychological problem.
The priest can give you advice, but if it is not working, than, professional help is needed.
I can see a teenager doing this because he is espresing is body, but if you are 18 and if you are looking at impure books or movies, than of course this is a mortal sin,remember I said IF you are doing these things; I am not implicating it.
It could become an O CD where you have no control; in rfegards to sin, see your pastor.
God bless you.
I’m sorry…one last thing.
Just to give you a little courage.
Remember when Jesus game to take Peter into His friendship and discipleship…
as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. 3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat.
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”
5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
Like Peter you have faults ( and like Peter…you will have faults if you do enter the priesthood). You have 2 awsome graces like Peter rooting for you:
- You recognise who and what you are
- You have the sense that what you do is wrong
Have Peters faith who after recognizing his faults and acknowledging what he was…was able to get off his knees “forsake all” and follow Christ simply because you trust that Christ who will lead you can do amazing things.
I hope your meeting goes well.
ANd don’t let the devil shake you up like this again! He’s known as the “accuser” for a reason. He shows you the fruit " pleasing to the senses and good to eat" …and when you bite… He stands as prosecutor , points his finger and accuses you!
Don’t let it cripple you from going forward at looking into the priesthood. I gurantee you the walls of hell are lined with the vestments of would be priests and religious he crippled. As a priest or if you entered the married life…YOU MUST BE A FIGHTER AND COME TO KNOW YOUR ENEMY AND HIS STRATEGIES!
Everyone has stated some great advice…yr 18 y/o…hormones are sugring…not meant to be an excuse…and I’m not trying to make excuses for you…I was on wkend retreat some years ago (SJ). Igantian excercises, and , confessed this sin to the priest…he suggested I read Confessions/St. Augustine…great read…I was soo ashamed…he told me to ‘let it go’. move on’…stay busy and continue to pray…by golly it worked…I was somwhat preoccupied with it…and this really helped me…pray pray pray…I have a great Marian devotin and the Holy Rosary helps me…frequent reception of the Sacraments, confession/Holy Communion…stay busy stay busy stay busy…get out of the house…volunteer at yr Church Parish…you mentioned you were discerning the Priesthood…stay involved…I will remember you in my prayers…Pax
Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers.
Please keep me in your prayers, tomorrow I will make my confession knowing that you have strengthened me. Thank you.
I’m sure that this one thread has changed me.
Please see the following thread for additional insight and advice:
*] List of Catholic Websites for Battling Impurity
*]Specific Questions About an Old Topic: Masturbation