When is it mortal...?


#1

Embarassing question, but it’s been bothering me lately–and I would like to avoid any habit of scrupulosity. This primarily applies to men (graphic language!):

When does masturbation become a mortal sin? I mean, is ‘improper self-touching’ the same as masturbation, or does it require ejaculation to be a mortal sin? For example, sometimes in the shower (or bed etc.)… one may get carried away with certain lustful thoughts and engage in self-abuse, but stop before actual orgasm occurs because of guilt/fear/shame for offending God.
At what point is this a mortal sin?

Thanks!


#2

[quote=Neithan]Embarassing question, but it’s been bothering me lately–and I would like to avoid any habit of scrupulosity. This primarily applies to men (graphic language!):

When does masturbation become a mortal sin? I mean, is ‘improper self-touching’ the same as masturbation, or does it require ejaculation to be a mortal sin? For example, sometimes in the shower (or bed etc.)… one may get carried away with certain lustful thoughts and engage in self-abuse, but stop before actual orgasm occurs because of guilt/fear/shame for offending God.
At what point is this a mortal sin?

Thanks!
[/quote]

I used to be a champion masturbator, myself, so I know what I’m talking about.

Functionally, your question is you sitting in the middle of a mud puddle, splishy-splashing mud everywhere, and you’re asking for an official declaration respecting the exact moment that you qualify as “dirty.”

Your attitude is wrong. Run, run, run from your habit, or you will be damned.

Congratulations on the frankness of your post. That’s a step in the right direction. Even though this is a mostly anonymous site, it takes some courage to describe what a pig you have been. I was one of the champion pigs, so I know.


#3

Just remember, when you “get carried away with certain lustfull thoughts” that the only way out is to start praying immediately. Just start saying Hail Mary’s or a prayer to St. Joseph until the thoughts get out of your mind.


#4

[quote=BibleReader]I used to be a champion masturbator, myself, so I know what I’m talking about.

Functionally, your question is you sitting in the middle of a mud puddle, splishy-splashing mud everywhere, and you’re asking for an official declaration respecting the exact moment that you qualify as “dirty.”

Your attitude is wrong. Run, run, run from your habit, or you will be damned.

Congratulations on the frankness of your post. That’s a step in the right direction. Even though this is a mostly anonymous site, it takes some courage to describe what a pig you have been. I was one of the champion pigs, so I know.
[/quote]

Forgive me, but I believe it may be your attitude that is wrong. While I do not doubt your self-proclaimed mastery of masturbation, what I do doubt is your ability to say who is or is not damned. I don’t think it’s your place (or anyone’s, save God’s) to predict the eternal fate of someone’s soul, regardless of which sin(s) they’ve committed. Calling another person a “pig” also does NOT make my top ten list of Christ-like sayings, if you don’t mind me saying so. What a fine example of Christian love your post exudes. Can you feel the love?

It’s callous talk like this that has led (believe it or not) to more than one teenager committing suicide over this issue. I’d hope that we’d learn from it, and be a little kinder in the future…more, dare I say, Christ-like.


#5

[quote=mhansen]Forgive me, but I believe it may be your attitude that is wrong. While I do not doubt your self-proclaimed mastery of masturbation, what I do doubt is your ability to say who is or is not damned. I don’t think it’s your place (or anyone’s, save God’s) to predict the eternal fate of someone’s soul, regardless of which sin(s) they’ve committed. Calling another person a “pig” also does NOT make my top ten list of Christ-like sayings, if you don’t mind me saying so. What a fine example of Christian love your post exudes. Can you feel the love?

It’s callous talk like this that has led (believe it or not) to more than one teenager committing suicide over this issue. I’d hope that we’d learn from it, and be a little kinder in the future…more, dare I say, Christ-like.
[/quote]

No, it’s not calloused!

What is calloused, to God, is jumping up and down in the mud, splashing in the mud, asking, “Am I dirty yet? Am I dirty yet?”

I used to play this guy’s game. I know exactly what he is doing.

"Have I mortal sinned yet? Maybe I haven’t mortal sinned yet! Maybe I can not go to confession again and confess that stupid embarrassing sin again. Maybe I can go to Communion, anyway, and my family won’t ask me why I’m not going. Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., ad nauseum. (Sound familiar, Neithan?)

The whole philosophical approach is wrong.

To stop playing with yourself, you have to stop splashing in the mud. DON’T WORRY about whether or not the sin is mortal. DON’T WORRY about whether BibleReader is playing judge, when it’s God department, not his. Just RUN, RUN, RUN, RUN, RUN from the sin. Just stop checking-out what’s shaking by, and stop leering at porn, and bikini and underwear ads – period. Totally. RUN from it. ASSUME that you are damned. DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO GET AWAY FROM THE SIN, AND FROM THE REAL CAUSE OF THE SIN – SEXUAL LOOKING.

While you stop looking totally, go to a priest and confess the sin AS THOUGH IT WERE A MORTAL SIN.

RUN from the sin, because God is coming, and He is looking for purity – not somebody who’s lighting up cigarettes in a bathtub of gasoline and asking, “Do you think it will catch fire THIS time? Do you think it will catch fire THIS time? Do you think it will catch fire THIS time?” Doing that is absurd.


#6

lol it’s not a game, it’s a lack of temperance. I know it’s a sin either way, but I’m wondering at what point it is really mortal, since I’m not totally giving in to the temptations. It’s not that I’m asking so that I can play with myself to a point and then stop–the goal is total purity and holiness.

It’s a valid question because if every time you happen to touch yourself in some less-than-pure way that is a *mortal *sin, many would need to confess every single day, much like if every time one happens to have a lustful thought it is a mortal sin… confession would need to be every hour!
The force of habit which I used to have was strong and I’ve largely overcome it with the Grace of God, but in order to avoid excessive guilt, worry or anxiety–I would like to know at what point “full consent of the will” is considered to have occurred; when is ‘improper self-touch’ a mortal sin.
With lustful thoughts, if one does not fully engage them as fantasy and will them to occur, then it is venial, not mortal. This knowledge clears us of excessive burdens of guilt. So with masturbation, how do we know when it is mortal, expecially if no ejaculation/orgasm occurs?

RUN from the sin, because God is coming, and He is looking for purity – not somebody who’s lighting up cigarettes in a bathtub of gasoline and asking, “Do you think it will catch fire THIS time? Do you think it will catch fire THIS time? Do you think it will catch fire THIS time?” Doing that is absurd.

I agree with you, flee from sin! This is much more difficult in practice–*impossible *without God’s grace, without supernatural aid… You may have the wrong idea from the frankness of my question: I’m not asking so that I can get away with venial sin; I don’t want to offend God at all, but it is helpful to know how serious is the offence, and correct it accordingly.


#7

It becomes masturbation, and thus a mortal sin, when the self touch becomes for the purpose of physical pleasure through stimulation of the genital organs. Not necessarily orgasm, just physical pleasure, including that which builds up to orgasm and ejaculation.

If it is just for vanity or excitement or experimentation or titilation, but no sexual pleasure is gotten from it, then it is probably just venial and playing with temptation.

But that is still very dangerous, and I cannot really think of any situations where it would be not for pleasure but still sexual play…

But it becomes masturbation when it is done for the physical pleasure. The catechism defines it as such


#8

I apologise that this thread is in the wrong forum, I thought I posted it in Moral Theology.

[quote=batteddy]It becomes masturbation, and thus a mortal sin, when the self touch becomes for the purpose of physical pleasure through stimulation of the genital organs. Not necessarily orgasm, just physical pleasure
[/quote]

So, is it mortal the instant that one engages in it (for sexual pleasure)? What if one stops very soon afterward, much like when a lustful fantasy is thought about for only a very short time before a conscious avoidance of sin?
Wouldn’t ‘full consent of the will,’ a requirement for mortal sin, dictate that masturbation be taken to some sort of completion (and considering that stopping is due to a wilful desire not to further offend God)?

Most of us know how difficult it is to stop the rolling wheels of the sin train once it gets going–but to say in this instance that a mortal sin occurs as soon as the train is moving seems to nullify any value in stopping it in its tracks, if you know what I’m saying. It seems to me that the mighty effort of stopping it would take Grace, and that implies that one is still in such a state (i.e. mortal sin has not occurred).


#9

I don’t know that there is really a hard fast answer for your question. If this is something that you are struggling with, and you start but then manage to stop (hopefully out of love for God), then I doubt it is mortally sinful, unless of course you go into it thinking, “I can go this far without sinning mortally.” At that point, yes, it’s a grave matter, yes you have full knowledge, and yes you are giving full consent. I hope that thinking about it like that helps you.

Just remember the 3 conditions for mortal sin and apply them. After that, it should be easier to see when it is and isn’t a mortal sin. Best case, though, is for you not to even begin the action.

Eamon


#10

A priest gave me the best advice in the confessional regarding this topic. He said when you get these sexual urges…rejoice! Your sexuality is part of God’s creation. There’s nothing evil or dirty about it. Be happy about this beautiful thing God has given you. Say a prayer of thanksgiving. Then after you rejoice think about how God wants you to use that gift. Does he want you to give it to yourself? Of course not. Does he want you to give it to a woman you’re not married to? Never. Does he want you to give it to your wife who you joined in the sacrament of marriage. Ah, there you go. Now if you’re not married or your wife is not available…then you simply have to hold on to that gift and save it for the right time. In the mean time do something creative. Do something that will remove you from the cycle of thought that lustful feelings can get you into. If you slip and fall…then come back to the confessional and try again…but don’t beat yourself up too bad. Often when we obsess over a sin, we actually drive ourselves to think about doing that sin again and again…which brings back the thoughts that led to the sin in the first place.


#11

[quote=turboEDvo]Just remember the 3 conditions for mortal sin and apply them. After that, it should be easier to see when it is and isn’t a mortal sin. Best case, though, is for you not to even begin the action.
[/quote]

I appreciate this dose of good common sense. I think you’re very right in that if one looks for ‘a certain point’ at which something becomes a mortal sin and then fully engages in that sin even just to stop at ‘that certain point’ then our relationship with God is mortally wounded regardless. When grave matter such as this is concerned one can’t be too careful, and any deliberate, premeditated act to commit it is mortal sin.

[quote=StCsDavid]A priest gave me the best advice in the confessional regarding this topic. He said when you get these sexual urges…rejoice! Your sexuality is part of God’s creation. There’s nothing evil or dirty about it. Be happy about this beautiful thing God has given you. Say a prayer of thanksgiving. Then after you rejoice think about how God wants you to use that gift. Does he want you to give it to yourself? Of course not. Does he want you to give it to a woman you’re not married to? Never. Does he want you to give it to your wife who you joined in the sacrament of marriage. Ah, there you go. Now if you’re not married or your wife is not available…then you simply have to hold on to that gift and save it for the right time. In the mean time do something creative. Do something that will remove you from the cycle of thought that lustful feelings can get you into. If you slip and fall…then come back to the confessional and try again…but don’t beat yourself up too bad. Often when we obsess over a sin, we actually drive ourselves to think about doing that sin again and again…which brings back the thoughts that led to the sin in the first place.
[/quote]

Thanks, that’s great advice :thumbsup:


closed #12

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