Yet another Confession concern

Like many young people, I am struggling with chastity. To be blunt, I am trying to break the habit of masturbation. Sometimes I do well for a couple of weeks, but other times I’ll fall twice in just a single week. I feel best Confessing this mortal sin as soon as possible after it happens, particularly since I attend daily Mass a few days a week and want to take Communion at Mass.

If I have a bad week, is it OK to go to Confession twice in a week? Or even just a couple of days apart? It doesn’t seem like any of my friends go to Reconciliation so often, even though they probably all struggle with this sin as well. I also went to a priest once to confess this sin, and he made it sound like it wasn’t a big deal (but I know it’s a grave matter from the Catechism). The same priest also gave the impression that it was an abnormally short time since my last Confession (it had been a little under 2 weeks). After that experience, I’ve gotten more confused. I know it’s serious and I need to Confess it, but do I need to do so after every “slip”? I’m pretty sure I do, but I wanted to make sure. Unfortunately, Confession at that Church is convenient, and it’s where I’m planning on going today.

Aren’t there other people who struggle with this rather addictive sin? Why do I feel like the only person who needs to go to Confession so often?

I admit I sort of shop around for various priests since I need to Confess the same sin quite often. Is this OK to do? Is it OK to go to Confession twice in a week when needed?

I guess I’m just looking for some thoughts, advice, and support. I feel like I’m the only person who needs to Confess so often, and it’s making me quite self-conscious. :frowning:

Jesse

Good for you for taking seriously the battle against sin.

Yes, it’s OK to go to confession more than once a week if you need to.

Yes, it’s OK to go to different priests, but it might be even better to go to the same one all the time, one whom you really trust and who has given you the best advice on how to overcome this sin. It’s like going to a doctor who understands your medical history; he’s in a better position to give you good advice.

I would NOT choose as my regular confessor a priest who makes light of what I know to be a serious sin. Nor would I choose a priest who says or suggests that I am going to confession too often, unless I were someone suffering from scrupulosity.

I don’t find anything wrong with going to confession often, I’ve been taught that you should go AT LEAST once a month, if not more. I also struggle with chastity myself. I’m going to confession today in fact.

Thank you. I’ve really been feeling like it’s “wrong” for me to go to Confession more than once every week or two, even when I need it.

I have a couple of good places to go Confession normally, and my normal priest knows the things I struggle with. The place that I don’t like as much is the most convenient on Saturdays. I only went there once, so I’m hoping that when I go today there will be a different priest. If I have a similarly negative experience, I will avoid going there again, but maybe I just misinterpreted him last time.

Jesse

You say you go to daily Mass. That is great. If you are in the state of Mortal sin before Mass, call the priest and ask if you can see him before Mass for Confession. Explain what you are struggling with and ask him for help. If he minimizes it, find another priest who will be willing to give you the Sacrament of Reconcilliation when you need it. Maybe you need a priest who will be willing to give you some spiritual direction and help. God Bless you for caring so much.

Many struggle with masterbation. Just keep doing what your doing-that is keep getting up. Another thing try to avoid the things that set your mind up it could be watching a movie with a sex scene, porn on the web, magazines, and music videos or even listening to music and daydreaming. Hopefully, by now you know your triggers-try to avoid the triggers. Do something else instead, say little aspirations throughout the day and ask God for help. One of the things that always goes through my mind when I am trying to overcome something are the three falls of Jesus. The third fall signifies the fall into mortal sin and how hard it is to get up. Think about how hard it was for Jesus to get up after he fell the 3rd time-but He did get up.
I know that this is an embarrassing situation for you but God is allowing you to struggle with this for a reason and only God can relieve you of this, and He can & He will, you can’t do this by your own power. Don’t get discouraged (easier said than done I know)

Thank you, Cathryn and Lainey. The priest at my home parish who celebrates daily Mass is wonderful, and I’ve asked him for Confession right before or after Mass before. I’m just embarrassed to confess the same sin to him so often, especially since I see him most days of the week. Whenever I have gone to him for a quick Confession, he’s told me I can come back anytime, so he’s great and welcoming, but I’m still embarrassed. The other thing is that I know he personally prefers anonymous Confession, and our very small Church isn’t set up for that. I think I will try to go to Confession with him more often, though.

In general I’ve been improving a lot with this sin. I no longer view any porn or explicit material in any form, and I try to keep my mind pure. I’ve started praying the rosary right before bed, and I keep my rosary beads by my bed, which helps a lot. I also try not to get discouraged when I fall, though that’s sometimes difficult.

Thank you.

There was a different priest there today. Confession was very quick. There was no line, he didn’t say any prayers, didn’t give me advice, and didn’t even give me a penance. He simply gave me absolution, which is all I really needed at that visit. I stayed and did a rosary before the tabernacle. I didn’t feel judged at all for my sin or for confessing twice in a week. It went well. Thanks again.

I have a hard time with this sin also, along with fornication ( with my fiance, but that doesn’t make things better ).

I know exactly what you’re going through and I’m on the exact same boat as you.

You are not alone. As Christians, we’re in this together bro.

God Bless.

Yes, I would say go to confession as often as needed. Here’s something to discuss with a priest (and only with one who takes your struggle seriously): If you attend daily Mass, you can probably receive Communion even if you haven’t gone to confession in a couple of days.

This is because – while the sin is mortal, objectively speaking – it sounds like you are in a habit such that one of the conditions for a mortal sin might not be met. Paragraph 2352 of the Catechism speaks about this. Someone caught up in such a habit might be guilty of only a venial sin, since full consent might be compromised. This is not a free pass to do it, obviously, but don’t beat yourself up about whether or not to receive Communion.

Again, run this by a trusted priest first. Hang in there!

:tiphat:

hey mate,
I am in the EXACT same boat as you. I go to weekly confession and do my best to overcome this sin. My priest thinks its odd that I come to confession as often as I do but I need to. The sin is serious and I am sorrowful and I do not want to receive the Eucharist when I could have gone to confession. Some priests have made it seem like a big deal others have written if off but I know it is very selfish and against the kind of life I am being called to live. Never give up! Good luck!

Pax tecum

Ask your confessor whether or not the compulsiveness of your actions removes the degree of free will required for a mortal sin and whether or not something more in addition to regular confession is in order. You have to be in possession of your will in order to commit a mortal sin.

That doesn’t mean you don’t keep struggling with it, or that confession is not in order. That means that if you have been a regular penitent for some time and still commit the same serious sins several times over the course of a week, you may be more of a candidate for the 12-Step approach to that particular temptation.

“I’m not that bad!” you might say. How bad do things need to get before you admit you have no control over this problem? A ruined marriage? Let’s face it: if you had a friend that was getting drunk twice a week, you’d want him in AA, wouldn’t you? Consider it, anyway…if not going to the meetings, at least working the steps.

I actually thought about going to a local chastity group based on the 12 steps, but after talking to the leader, I decided it wasn’t for me. It sounded like the attendees have more extensive problems than what I’m dealing with (issues with their marriages, come from broken families, problems with hiring prostitutes, etc.). I may go in the future if I’m still facing the same struggles, but for now, I’m working by myself on aligning my will with the Lord’s will for me. I am going to pray a lot and keep on going to daily Mass and Confession whenever I need to.

I’ve thought about the mortal vs. venial sin question before. Since I have on occasion gone through periods up to 10 days where I am chaste, I do think I am fully culpable when I fall multiple times in a week. I know that I can do better than that because I’ve done it before!

I do think I’m going to try to Confess more regularly with my primary priest instead of “shopping around.” He takes the sin seriously, but he also doesn’t look down on me at all for struggling with it. Though it is a little embarrassing to confess it to a priest I know well! :o

Thank you all for responding. I will pray for all of you who struggle with these issues, and you also have my prayers for your upcoming marriage, Wintersdemise.

If you could only stay clean and sober for 10 days at a time, I’d say you had a problem, wouldn’t you? If you really believe masturbation is a mortal sin, then treat it like a mortal sin. A plane crash. A train wreck. Something that matters.

Denial kills. How many times do you get to crash a plane before you are convinced you are not a reliable pilot? I don’t think I’d be that much consoled by the fact that so far you have only wrecked the landing gear on the runway, instead of taking out neighborhoods and killing all onboard. Wrecking your plane once every two weeks is a bad record. There are no little plane wrecks, and there are no little mortal sins.

Consider working the 12 steps, even if you don’t go to meetings.

JD88:

Try to get over the embarrassment of frequent Confession. Even if it is the very next hour or day. If you go to the same priest, he is much better able to help you. When you spread it out among many different priests, none really get the whole picture.

This is part of how a priest gives spiritual direction. They see what sins are being continually repeated and they can help with that. You are blessed to have a priest that has told you to go to Confession to him anytime. It sounds to me like this priest is willing to give you some spiritual direction with your problem. It sounds like your embarrassment over frequent Confession is keeping you from making real progress with mastering this sin.

I am very blessed to have a good priest who sees me every two weeks for Confession and spiritual direction. If I need Confession inbetween I know I can ask him for it at any time, and I have. Like you I go to daily Mass, and he never wants me or any of his parishoners to not receive Holy Communion because they are waiting for a scheduled Confession time. He has told me how he looks to see a pattern and frequency in the type of sins that are confessed, and that is how he knows what to work on. God Bless you.

You are not alone. I once had a friend in my CCD class go back into the confessional in under 2 minutes. :shrug: Go as often as needed. Yes we all wondered about that but since the seal of confession is in place there is no way to know why.:extrahappy:

The best advice for this as well as for my type of depression is the advice I got on this Ash Wednesday. He said that …and sexuality are normal, strong, primordial urges in our human nature and lives. He told me I must remember the root of the cause for my problems. He mentioned that being around people or other activities such as sports or even just going out to the movies is helpful but to always look at why the urge is present at that moment and deal with the source when we masturbate we are only dealing with the symptoms and not the cause. Also prayer is helpful. In the short time that I have received his advice I have been able to deal with it and have felt stronger, happier, and peaceful. And have been even able to resist temptation!!! Out of all the advice I got this was the best and the blessing he gave me was a very powerful.

On the priest worried issue I sympathize and even seen the priest shrike ( I could see him jump out of his skin). But the sacraments are given to us to strengthen us go as often as needed. The formula for going to confession is if needed; go ASAP and only care about what God thinks not about others think. I am sure the friend I had back then in CCD didn’t think or care what everybody else thought when he got back in line for confession despite all of our hushed mumbles.

Know your not alone. Know people on this board are praying for you and be at peace.

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