Anything that inhibits your ability
to make free choices will reduce
your culpability. A trusted priest
once told me that in seminary they
are taught that anything that happens
in the heat of passion is automatically
excluded as a mortal sin (a *mortal*
sin, mind you) because there was
a lack of full consent.
This is not an excuse for not fighting
the good fight. Most young men have
a tough time with masturbation. By
manfully persevering and exerting
increasing levels of self-control,
they are able, in time, to gain dominion
over their bodies rather than being
led about and made a spectacle by
Your thinking should not be "my
libido made me do it" or "my
libido excuses me from Christian
morality", not that you expressed
this. Rather, considering your libido
should cause you to have mercy on
yourself when you are tempted to
condemn yourself, and should allow
you to evade despair and discouragement.
There are two errors to avoid:
- One is to excuse yourself, concluding
that it is too hard to obey, and
- is to condemn yourself, and fall
Confession is a marvelously powerful
tool for overcoming masturbation.
Yes, I know it's hard.
Yes, it's embarrassing.
- Go to another parish. or
- go to Confession anonymously,
if you wish or
- just find a priest and stick
with him; once he knows your "secret" (which
isn't really a secret to him anyway)
then there is much less embarrassment.
Remember, the good solider is not
the one who never falls, but the
one who gets up and fights again
after he falls. Another thing to
remember is that the true man is
the one who exerts
self-control over his passions. Any
yahoo can give in to his libido and
masturbate. Invalid mentally disabled
men have been known to do it. It
takes a real man to gain mastery
over his body
— and he'll be in a much better
position to please his wife when
he gets married.
Without Christ you can do nothing.
Keep this in mind and totally rely
on His grace. Often God allows these
struggles to teach us this or other
I've written some other lengthier
replies on this topic so if you do
a search for "masturbation" in
our search engine you may find it.