Too embarrassed


#1

I’d rather die than tell some priest that I’ve pleased myself. This is keeping me from confession. The thought of sharing something so intimate and private makes me sick. Can I just call it “impurity” and leave it at that?? I do not see how being specific with an elderly man about such acts is helpful.


#2

The "standard" way to put it is "I committed impure acts with myself x amount of times". He'll know what that means and you don't need to go into any further detail. Also, from the amount of posts by people with the same question, I think they must hear this a lot so don't worry!!


#3

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:304798"]
I'd rather die than tell some priest that I've pleased myself. This is keeping me from confession. The thought of sharing something so intimate and private makes me sick. Can I just call it "impurity" and leave it at that?? I do not see how being specific with an elderly man about such acts is helpful.

[/quote]

This is a sin that 90% of all men and about 70% of all women commit at some point. Most commit it more than once. It would have to be the most commonly confessed of all mortal sins.

No priest will not have heard it confessed countless times - and most will have had to confess it themselves as well. Besides which, you are also confessing to Christ.

Yes it is embarrassing - and it should be, sin is embarrassing and worse than embarrassing. Use that embarrassment as an incentive to never sin in that way again.

Would you go to a doctor with some highly embarrassing illness and just vaguely point in the general direction of the affected part and say 'there's something wrong over there?' Of course not - such vagueness is most unhelpful to the doctor and unlikely to result in an effect treatment of your illness. You would at least be a little more specific about what is wrong with you!

Having said all that, you do not need to use the word masturbation. If you really must you can say 'sins against purity by myself' or something like that. You could even use the old-fashioned term 'self abuse'.

But I tell you what, calling a spade a spade, be it in regard to sin or any other problem, goes a long way towards helping solve that problem.

God bless, though, be sure to confess it with sufficient clarity - and the number of times you have committed that particular sin as well (or your best estimate)


#4

You just told us:shrug:


#5

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:304798"]
I'd rather die than tell some priest that I've pleased myself. This is keeping me from confession. The thought of sharing something so intimate and private makes me sick. Can I just call it "impurity" and leave it at that?? I do not see how being specific with an elderly man about such acts is helpful.

[/quote]

Just call it impurity. He is not interested in the details and only wants to know that you are sorry and will strive to not do it again. Agree he's heard this one thousands of times, from every age that you can imagine.


#6

Well, I suppose you could always go commit a bunch of other sins, so that one is kinda lost in the shuffle. Also, if you compare it to murder, for example, it doesn't look nearly as "bad," right?

In seriousness, the priests I've known have pretty much heard everything by this point, based on conversations we've had (not specifics, but the point that there's not much new under the sun when it comes to sin and human nature). Maybe the first time or two they hear confessions, things are eyebrow-raising, but I'm sure that doesn't last long. What they seem to care most about is the chance to facilitate the cleansing of sin from people and helping people get back on the right road, not hearing what secular people might see as gossip.


#7

[quote="Porknpie, post:5, topic:304798"]
Just call it impurity. He is not interested in the details and only wants to know that you are sorry and will strive to not do it again. Agree he's heard this one thousands of times, from every age that you can imagine.

[/quote]

Agreed.

And he could be young and physically fit too: they aren't all elderly.


#8

Obviously, priests don't keep statistics - or share them if they do - but I'd be mighty surprised if the priest did anything but yawn at that particular sin because of it's prevalence.

It also wouldn't surprise me any if the priest doesn't ask someone who didn't confess it!

I recommend listening to the talk on Confession here: catholicity.com/cds/confession.html


#9

These are all the Sixth Commandment: adultery, birth control, fornication, sins against nature, self-abuse, immodest dressing, impure touches, looks, kisses, dancing, reading, looking at impure pictures, dances, shows, or movies, and keeping company with people who are a temptation.

The priest needs to know enough to help with the particular sin.


#10

But we’re not elderly - and I am speaking strictly for you. :smiley:


#11

I have a couple of suggestions: Go to a different parish where you don't know the priest. Stay behind the wall thing. Really it only takes a second and you will be out of there. I am sure that priests hear this frequently. This may also give you incentive not to repeat it!!

Prayers for you to overcome this.


#12

From the catechism:

1852 There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."

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.

If you desire to stop it, confess it. Rather than using a euphemism, I would let your yes mean yes, and your no, no.


#13

[quote="po18guy, post:10, topic:304798"]
But we're not elderly - and I am speaking strictly for you. :D

[/quote]

LOL thanks;)


#14

[quote="triumphguy, post:4, topic:304798"]
You just told us:shrug:

[/quote]

Yeah, but this forum is anonymou... oh wait. :doh2:
I guess you have a point don't you?


#15

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:304798"]
I'd rather die than tell some priest that I've pleased myself. This is keeping me from confession. The thought of sharing something so intimate and private makes me sick. Can I just call it "impurity" and leave it at that?? I do not see how being specific with an elderly man about such acts is helpful.

[/quote]

I would (do) say when I confess this, is I have committed as sin of the flesh in self gratification - they have heard it all so don't let it bother you OP


#16

He’s heard it before, he’ll hear it again, and he’s heard worse. There’s no need to worry.


#17

I understand completely that it is embarrassing for you. Why not just say I gave in to impure thoughts and actions or something similar? When I confessed this, I said this first as it was the more serious sin (in my mind anyway) then other mortal and some Venial sins after. That way, I had said it and wasn’t dwelling on it for ages in the confessional.

I know it’s easy to get caught up in the fact the priest will have to hear you say it, but remember, be is in persona-Christi. You are confessing this to Christ, who already knows and understands your embarrassment. He would want you to return to the sacrament, and the priest is going to be impressed by such courage. He will not think badly of you, his job is to absolve not judge as Christ’s representative. If you feel better, as others have suggested, go to a priest you don’t know.

Good Luck!


#18

Thank you. I need to find a parish where confession is anonymous or at least can be. Last time I went (years ago) there was no option like in the movies where you could be behind a screen or drape. You walked in and the priest was just sitting there. It would definitely be better not to have to say these things face to face.

What if I have loads of mortal sins? Should I write them all down? I'm talking years and years of missing Mass, cursing, gossiping, disrespecting my husband, ignoring my duties, questioning the existence of God, attending invalid marriages, occasionally drinking too much.... Birth control, self pleasure. I'm going to be in there forever!


#19

[quote="JackieMom, post:1, topic:304798"]
I'd rather die than tell some priest that I've pleased myself. This is keeping me from confession. The thought of sharing something so intimate and private makes me sick. Can I just call it "impurity" and leave it at that?? I do not see how being specific with an elderly man about such acts is helpful.

[/quote]

Two things: First, Jesus himself gave the mandate to the apostles (and their successors - bishops and priests) to forgive sins, or to retain them. It follows that they need to know what the sins are. Whether the priest is elderly or young matters not. It is very helpful for him to know what the sin is. No need to go into details, but he needs to know the sin and anything that could make the sin more or less serious. Just "man up" and state what you did. You are telling it to Jesus (who knows exactly what you did, anyway) through the priest, so there is no sense in trying to make it seem vague and imprecise.

Secondly, and far more important - You'd really rather die than confess that mortal sin? Really? So, you'd rather go to hell???? I don't think so.

Anyway, sin is not private. We do not live alone. We are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Each and every one of our sins affects the Body of Christ. That is why we must confess our sins, so as to receive absolution, to return to a state Sanctifying Grace, and to reconcile to Christ and to His Mystical Body.

Go to any priest who has faculties to hear confession and get rid of that horrid blot that is on your soul. Do not allow human respect (what other people might think about you) to continue in sin a moment longer than necessary. The devil loves it when you allow yourself to squirm away from telling the priest your sins. He does not want you to restore your soul to Sanctifying Grace. Don't let him win.


#20

[quote="JackieMom, post:18, topic:304798"]
Thank you. I need to find a parish where confession is anonymous or at least can be. Last time I went (years ago) there was no option like in the movies where you could be behind a screen or drape. You walked in and the priest was just sitting there. It would definitely be better not to have to say these things face to face.

What if I have loads of mortal sins? Should I write them all down? I'm talking years and years of missing Mass, cursing, gossiping, disrespecting my husband, ignoring my duties, questioning the existence of God, attending invalid marriages, occasionally drinking too much.... Birth control, self pleasure. I'm going to be in there forever!

[/quote]

Sure! Bring notes, get it all out. Just be sure to shred/burn them ASAP. Print this out. You might want to make an appointment with the priest, though. You might take 20 or 30 minutes and there will be others waiting in line at the regularly scheduled time. Which will blow the anonymous thing to pieces, since you made the appointment. But that's only going to be one priest, who has to keep quiet, whereas you don't know how many people will be waiting in line wondering who had half an hour's worth of sins to unload! :o

I went 25 years between Confessions once. Not recommended, but it is what it is. The priest was very gracious about it all. Just as an aside, he was also really old and forgetful. I doubt if he remembered me two days afterwards.


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