With how the world is evolving now, people normalize things that they think are right on an emotional level. They follow whatever they want regardless if it is moral or not. “Do what makes you happy” is more appealing than “Do what makes you holy”. Fornication, pornography, and masturbation to name a few become prevalent that people would talk about them as if normal parts of daily life. That said, some still think these are wrong, not engaging with them or hoping for forgiveness from God when they committed them. Although pardonable, admitting and confessing sexual sins to a priest can be awkward. In this blog post, we will discuss how to confess masturbation.
Masturbation is a Sin
Masturbation is one of the impure acts people tend to fall into. Human beings are sexual in nature thus there are really times that one would nibble at this temptation. Contrary to what some say, masturbation is a sin. Seeking sexual pleasure outside of the marital act is immoral and thus must be avoided. No rationalization could excuse this lustful transgression.
Now that we know that it is a sin, is it mortal or venial?
Before we answer that, let’s first have a recap of the definitions of the two.
The Catholic Church categorizes sins depending on their gravity. It could be mortal or venial.
A sin is mortal if the following conditions are met.
- It must involve grave matter
- Committed with full knowledge that it is a grave sin
- Committed with deliberate consent
Let’s use masturbation as an example.
If one had masturbated, aware that it is a sin but still committed it, then there is a mortal sin.
First, masturbation is a grave matter as it defies the purposes of the act of sex which should be an expression of married love.
Another one is that person committed it with full knowledge. It means there was an awareness that it is a sin.
Lastly, committed it with full consent. Despite the fact that there was a consciousness of how sinful it was, it was still intentionally carried out.
Note that all conditions must be present. If it does not contain even just one of these conditions, it will then fall as venial.
However, although venial sins need not be confessed, it is still advisable especially when the matter is grave like masturbation.
So now, let’s answer the question.
How to confess masturbation?
According to Fr. JM, CSsR, you can confess lustful sins in general even without mentioning the smallest details. In addition, you also have to reveal the frequency you committed them.
For example, if you masturbated multiple times, you just have to say to your confessor that you had committed masturbation and tell him you did it many times.
The confessor will then offer you counsel, ask for penances, and finally absolve you from your sins.
If it is your first time confessing, you can visit this Comprehensive Guide to Confession for beginners.
For a list of other mortal sins, you can check this out.
After confession, there is a tendency for people to go back to their old ways. We are human and we can fall from sin again anytime. Although it is understandable, we should still strive hard to be better!
Here are some of the resources that could help you in fighting lustful sins specifically masturbation.
Pornography and Masturbation
If you are struggling with pornography and masturbation, you can check these.
Confessing embarrassing sins like masturbation is a difficult task. You need to uncover your dark secret and fearfully hear what the priest would say to you after. It takes a lot of courage to release this guilt. But know that we all sin. At the end of the day, what matters is our conviction and drive to change for the better. To be holier than we were before. Going to confession is a big first step you could take. This is the best way to start anew and change your spiritual life. So stand up! Confess your sins, and receive God in the Eucharist.
St. Gerard Majella, Patron Saint of Good Confessions, pray for us.