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I’m F. and I’m 16. After turning away from the Lord, I returned to the path of faith with a different attitude. I stopped committing many sins, but masturbation is still tormenting me. I’m sad because I would like to stop, but I can’t. 

After committing that sin, I desperately need to go to confession and to reconcile with God. But, after a few days, I always give in to temptation. I’m trying not to use social networks, to pray more, to try to stay busy… but nothing is working. 

Confessing the same sin so frequently is a torture. I’m even starting to think that it will never end. 

The point is: how can I get rid of this problem once and for all?

I thank you for the time you dedicate me, and God bless you. 


Dear F.,

  1. You can and you have to quit autoerotism. Otherwise, this may become a plague that is going to torment you with for a long time, sometimes forever.
  1. Someone else may answer you that autoerotism is normal at your age and that it is not a sin. But you feel that it is a sin and, after giving in into temptation, you desperately need to go to confession. You said it. A lot of your mates would say: it’s true. 
  1. What am I supposed to tell you? That you are wrong? On the contrary, I think that what God said is right: “For from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Mt, 12, 34). People who tell you not to care about it, unfortunately, speak from the fullness of their heart. Unconsciously, they expose to the others what they do, the reality of their lives. 
  1. Instead, trust in the Master, Jesus, that we contemplated in His Transfiguration in yesterday’s Liturgy (Second Sunday of Lent). St. Thomas states about this event: “Now in order that anyone go straight along a road, he must have some knowledge of the end: thus an archer will not shoot the arrow straight unless he first sees the target.

Hence St. Thomas Apostle said (Jn. 14:5): “Lord, we know not where Thou go; and how can we know the way?” Above all this is necessary when the road is hard and bumpy, the journey heavy, but the end delightful. Now, by His Passion, Christ achieved glory, not only for His soul, which He had from the first moment of His conception, but also for His body; according to Luke (24:26): “Christ ought to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory.” To which glory He brings those who follow the footsteps of His Passion, according to Acts of the Apostles: “Through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.” (At 14:21) Therefore, it was fitting that He should show His disciples the glory of His clarity (which is to be transfigured), to which He will configure those who are His; according to Phil. 3:21: “(Who) will reform the body of our lowness configured to the body of His glory.” Hence Bede says on Mk. 8:39: “By His loving foresight, He allowed them to taste for a short time the contemplation of eternal joy, so that they might bear persecution bravely.” (Summa Theologiae, III, 45, 1).

  1. I am pleased to restate our life’s aim which is attained by configuring ourselves more and more to Christ and by transfiguring our life through a process of purification and internal renewal. Indeed, if we don’t understand what our aim is, discussions about good and bad do not even make any sense. This is what St. Thomas correctly said by making the example of an archer, who will never shoot the arrow straight unless he first focuses on the target. If he has no target, he can throw his arrow wherever he wants provided that it does not hurt other people.
  2. Having said that, I’ll answer your question by saying that you can stop masturbation only if you want to and thanks to the support that Jesus gives to you. I have often written about it. You only have to research our site’s browser and you will find many suggestions.
  3. Here I would like to cite a beautiful text written by Father Andrea Gasparino, who brought many young people to Christ. It is the product of his spiritual experience and his pastoral charity. You will notice the power of his words, the purity of his soul, and his great love for Christ and for young people’s souls. He knew very well that he was required to lead them high. That’s what he used to teach to become pure of heart.
  4. People who are not accustomed to purity cannot understand sexuality.
    We need: a clean language, clean eyes, clean thoughts, clean acts.  
    Let’s see.
    Clean Language. Guys, you need to get educate yourself into finding dirty talks repulsive and to avoid people who talk dirty. They always leave something inside you that makes you dirty. If you spend time with people who got mites, sooner or later you will get them too. Today, profanity is everywhere: a slur of profanities flies from the mouth even of people who appear polite and cultivated. Those who are used to cussing or to tell dirty jokes certainly have perverse sexual proclivities. Those who are always talking dirty are incapable of noble thoughts.
    Clean eyes. If you give in to your eyes’ desires every time, you cannot achieve a true and genuine sexual education. 

Today, the fight is cruel. There’s no limit to display of nudity. Commercial advertisements often include nudity. They resort to nudity even to advertise a bag of chips. Otherwise, they seem incapable of reaching their target. How can we defend ourselves from it? I’ve never known how to answer. The easiest thing is to avoid TV shows or films that are full of nudity and sexuality. It is possible! Instead, when you lead your eyes, sexual education becomes effective because you can easily become the master of your thoughts, too.
Clean thoughts. It seems that thoughts are impossible to control. It’s like locking up wind. Yet, you have to admit that you become what you think. If you don’t lead your thoughts, you don’t lead anything inside you. Thoughts lead to wishes, wishes lead to actions and you will become what you think. If you always think about luscious things, you will become luscious. If you become luscious, your heart will be corrupt and will give in to your weaknesses. Thoughts are like your breath: if you inhale insalubrious air, your lungs will certainly be infected by lethal germs. 
Clean acts. This is a sensitive topic. Let’s talk about masturbation. 

It’s selfishness that shut yourself off and isolate you. 

It is a terrible scourge for many teenagers, but also for many adults. 

It is a heavy chain that some young people cannot break. And then they get discouraged. 

Masturbation is a drug.

Just remember one thing: you can’t get married having this bad habit; indeed, you should not even get engaged if you have this addiction. It would affect your relation from the beginning. People who are addicted to masturbation suffer from a serious weakness that will kill every aspiration. People who have this addiction are not capable of having big dreams. But you can quit it if you are ready to fight.
You can quit masturbation thanks to strength given to you by Christ, and with a disciplined fight. I should immediately make it clear that you can quit masturbation whenever you want to.
If you have the bad habit of smoking, it is hard to quit. It’s easier to quit masturbation.
Christ tells you: He wants that you eradicate every disorder: “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out! If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off!”. You must apply the radical language used by Christ to every sexual disorder. Christ invites you to a harmonious life.
So, if you are fighting and you have Christ at your side, it’s impossible for you to lose. 

What should you do? Here’s a good solution that has already been tested many times.
-Brutal honesty: you have to be 100% honest with yourself, and with a priest. Choose a priest to open yourself up to, write about the seriousness of your sin (or better: be real and honest; he didn’t mean that you have to write anything on paper, n.d.r.), then go and talk to a priest regularly. Your honesty and the strength of the sacrament of the confession have miraculous effects. 

-Be honest and avoid fomenting sensuality inside you: protect yourself from luscious shows, thoughts, fantasies, talks, readings. If you follow the desires of your eyes, if you have impure dreams, you are probably weak and your will be weaker and weaker. If someone is sick and goes out to the cold, he will probably get sicker.
-Do not waste time moaning, react and do it now. Every feast dedicated to St. Mary, ask for a miracle. With the intercession of Mary and your will to struggle, the miracle will happen sooner or later.
-Fix each mistake quickly, by some act of charity. Masturbation is pure egoism, the perfect cure is charity. You can win thanks to charity. Remember: God wants us to be free and mature, masturbation makes us slaves and childish”.

  1. I suppose that after this long email you will feel reassured, with a clear target to achieve, with our Lord that is encouraging you and is smiling to you, with the presence of and the help from Mary that is fulfilling you with trust.   

I wish you a pleasant path of transfiguration, I will remember you to the Lord and I bless you. 

Padre Angelo

Translated by Giulia Leo