Vocation Question re: Masturbation


#1

I am 45 y.o., seriously discerning a religious vocation. I have a spiritual director whom I meet with regularly. Unfortunately I fall in the sin of masturbation approx. 3-4 times a year. Is this something that would prevent me from entering religious life? Am I expected to never fail in this area, or, should I not even consider relgious life unless this particular sin has been "conquered"?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.:confused:


#2

[quote="anonymous_in_fl, post:1, topic:211335"]
I am 45 y.o., seriously discerning a religious vocation. I have a spiritual director whom I meet with regularly. Unfortunately I fall in the sin of masturbation approx. 3-4 times a year. Is this something that would prevent me from entering religious life? Am I expected to never fail in this area, or, should I not even consider relgious life unless this particular sin has been "conquered"?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.:confused:

[/quote]

No, it should not prevent you from following your vocation.

There was once a young monk who had a problem with temptations in the area of purity, as you describe. He went to an old hermit monk who was considered very holy and asked him, "Father, at what age does a man stop having these sort of temptations?" The old monk thought for a while, then said, "Well, from what I understand, about two or three days after he's in the ground." :)

Seriously, you can beat this problem. Here's a couple of good .mp3 talks that may help:

alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/Conquering_Lust_by_Father_Kenneth_Dean.mp3

alabamacatholicresources.com/Downloads/The_Poison_of_Pornography.mp3


#3

Do not let this get you down, God does call sinners to religious life (remember the Apostles ;)) Pray and ask the Lord for help fighting these temptations (praying a Hail Mary when you feel the urge also works). If you were not expected to sin, you would not be human and you don’t have to be perfect in order to seek out your vocation. Don’t get discouraged, keep on discerning but instead trust that God is with you and will help you along your journey.


#4

[quote="miniquedoes, post:3, topic:211335"]
Do not let this get you down, God does call sinners to religious life (remember the Apostles ;)) Pray and ask the Lord for help fighting these temptations (praying a Hail Mary when you feel the urge also works). If you were not expected to sin, you would not be human and you don't have to be perfect in order to seek out your vocation. Don't get discouraged, keep on discerning but instead trust that God is with you and will help you along your journey.

[/quote]

Truth in this; however, I would be discussing it with my spiritual director and/or in Confession in connection with a potential vocation. In discerning a religious vocation, one needs to exhibit that one has the capacity to keep the vows of religious life, i.e. the evangelical counsels, of poverty, chastity and obedience and masturbation is a serious disordering of chastity. And if God is calling one to religious life, then He* will* provide what is necessary. If you are discussing it with your spiritual director, then be guided by him or her and try not to second guess unless you have reason to doubt your director and then it is probably time to look for another - or at very least to discuss your doubts with your director honestly.
Catholic Catechism:

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." "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."

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.

To be tempted against Chastity is one matter, to consistently and regularly (should this indeed be the case) fail in Chastity is another matter and as the CCC states, there could be affective immaturity, acquired habit, anxiety or some otherpsychological or social factors involved. Whether God is calling you to religious life or not, it is a matter that needs to be addressed by spiritual direction if it is indeed regular and consistent failure.

Don't get discouraged, keep on discerning but instead trust that God is with you and will help you along your journey

I really underscore the above. Do not be discouraged, but do address the matter and in connection with a potential vocation with a spiritual director and/or in Confession. Be assured that God does indeed call sinners to religious life, since we are all sinners without exemption. You are on a journey of discernment re religious life and chastity is one of the vows to God, hence the matters must be addressed.

TS


#5

Only 3 or 4 times a year?

Wow.

You’re doing well.

If you lined up 100 men who claimed to have never made that mistake, I would point you to at least 99 liars.

This is what the sacrament of Reconciliation is for. Avail yourself of it when you need to and just trust in the mercy and love of Our Lord.

Good luck in your vocation journey. God bless.


#6

Now If you masturbat with out thinking of anything sexual, it is for the feeling of doing it No more. Then what? is that a sexual sin?:eek:


#7

[quote="popsep, post:6, topic:211335"]
Now If you masturbat with out thinking of anything sexual, it is for the feeling of doing it No more. Then what? is that a sexual sin?:eek:

[/quote]

Yes. Even if you don't 'think of anything sexual' it is still gravely disordered and immoral.

To the OP

Don't stress, friend. With the help of Christ you can conquer your temptations, and what a joy that we have the Sacraments available to us when we fall. It seems that you are striving to be holy and pure.

I cannot speak, however, for a particular Order or congregation on whether or not this will be an impediment. I have a feeling it won't be, but that's my feeling. I do know, however, that religious orders usually select people [poor choice of words, but its early for me and you get what I mean!] who do not fall into mortal sin often. Is 3-4 times a year often? I can't say. More than once for mortal sin is too often right.

In any case, good luck and I pray that you are able to follow the will of God!


#8

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