For background, I am a teenager and have been failing at purity for many years. Things I’ve done include are porn, masturbation and fantasizing. I went to Jason Evert when he was in my diocese and it was very eye opening. I’m very anxious though about the future and have questions relating to forgiveness. All these presuppose I am able to shape up my behavior and live how I ought to.
Can I ever have a relationship with a girl if I’ve looked at her with lust? For background, I’ve been in youth group with several people I’ve liked in the past or that I like right now, so not only have I done a terrible thing by objectifying them through lust (which I feel so wrong for having done), but I’ve also done it while I was acting to the world like I loved God and was a good person when I knew I wasn’t. I’m sure this is cowardice, but I don’t see how I could ever look somebody in the eye and tell her I lusted over her at a time when people presumed me to be Catholic. I feel ashamed about it and I don’t see how any sane girl would forgive me for having objectified her ever and I certainly don’t feel I should ever be forgiven.
Secondly, how will I ever tell a spouse about my past? I want to be married someday but I know that before I am even engaged, I’ll have to tell the woman, whoever she will be, about my past. It wouldn’t be right to do otherwise. I’m terrified of that as well because I don’t feel like I should be forgiven for my actions and I don’t know how any girl could love me after hearing how I’ve lived.
If anybody out there has a spouse who was once like me, your input is especially appreciated. Thanks a ton.
I can’t speak directly to your situation (Forum rules actually don’t allow me to - we can’t offer specific moral council because most of us are not qualified to do so, so it’s a good rule. You never know what wack-job might chime in).
But, generally speaking, I can say that Our Lord’s words about “lusting after her in his heart” have been widely misinterpreted (and, I believe, mainly by protestants).
Our Lord is not saying that we cannot see someone and recognize that she is attractive, even sexually so, and want to be with her (even sexually). That’s not lust if it is done within the context of Christian relationships, which means you want to marry her. Anticipating and desiring marital sex with her is not sinful. A desire to hurry your wedding day is not sinful, even if the desire is mainly sexual. And, if the marriage never happens, it was not lust, because you were interested within that context (your intent was proper).
Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes. [CCC 2351]
There is such a thing as an ordered desire of sexual pleasure, which is NOT lust, even if you are not married. The Church does not say that a groom must feel no sexual desire for his bride until their wedding night. That would just be silly.
And, to answer the title of you post, “Will I Be Forgiven For My Sins,” you will always obtain full forgiveness of any and all sin in Sacramental Confession.
Your situation is not unusual. If you looked at a girl in a demeaning or objectifying way but caught yourself and cleared those thoughts then you did NOT lust after her. There is no sin. However, if you intentionally kept her in your mind in that fashion then the sin is there. Also, if you then fantasize and take further actions while thinking of her the sin becomes more and more serious.
DF’s response was right on. I would add, go to adoration and show yourself what other kind of good thoughts you are capable of dwelling on. Also, you must go to confession and tell the priest not only t he sins but how you feel about committing them and how bad you want help. He will recommend some options. Bottom line, you want to see progress in becoming more and more pure. It may be a very long even a life long battle but each time you go to adoration, Holy Mass and Reconciliation you will find it easier and easier to trade those thoughts for the Love of Christ.
You are so young that you should not feel like you are failing or a bad Catholic. Starting this thread makes you one of the better ones. As far as telling the future fiancé, well I’m sure she would be more shocked and concerned if you told her you never lusted after a girl in your life. Your not a grave sinner. Your in love with your Church and in battle for her.
God Bless you buddy!
My friend, you will always be forgiven for any sin that you repent of. Jesus Himself has told us this - Matthew 12:31:
“Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (by the way, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is actually the sin of refusing to ask for His forgiveness to the point of death).
You may feel as though you are not deserving of forgiveness, but the truth is, no one deserves it. Forgiveness is a gift given to us by Jesus Christ Who came to die to save each one of us.
I just want to make sure that you understand the difference between sexual desire, lust, and love:
Sexual desire - a normal, holy, God-given desire for sex with a member of the opposite gender
Lust - Using one’s sexual desire outside of God’s plan. i.e. pornography, premarital sex, deliberately thinking impure thoughts (accidental or unwilled thoughts are not sinful) etc.
Love - Doing God’s Will and doing what is good for the other i.e. waiting for marriage
I really think that this is something that you should seek help for from someone you can speak to face to face. Not only because you are struggling with sexual sin, but also because you are doubting Christ’s gift of forgiveness.
Keep fighting, the battle against sexual sin will always be there, but it will get easier. Pray often, and read the Scriptures. These two ways of spending time with God help with all sin. Pray to our Blessed Mother and to St. Joseph. You said that you were inspired by Jason Evert. There are videos of him on Youtube. Use any advice that he gives that applies to your situation.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of they womb, Jesus;
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
We are all fallen sinners. The key to success is to get up one more time than you fall down. Teenage years are full of “raging hormones” and the sins you’ve committed are understandable. Just go to confession – a lot if you keep having the trouble. Satan will try and keep you away by making you feel “unworthy”. Well, we are all unworthy but that’s WHY we go to confession!
As to what your future spouse may think there is no need to go into graphic detail. A simple “When I wast a teenager I really had difficulty with chastity.” Should do it. Who knows, she may even answer “Me too!”
“30 He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.c] 32 And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”
Jesus established the sacrament of reconcilliation for a reason. THAT’S where He says every sin is forgiven.
“Whatever sin you forgive is forgiven, whatever sin you retain is retained” John20:23
The sacrament is required because one’s contrition on its own, is not always perfect.
“By itself, **imperfect contrition **cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance” see 1453