How do I break the habit of masturbation ? This is a question we only ask when we find ourselves in this situation. Here is some concrete advice, whether you are a Christian or not.
Prayer, patience and perseverance. As soon as you start fighting this battle, know that God rejoices in your desire for holiness and his grace is working in your life: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).
Come to him in prayer and ask him regularly for the gift of purity to specifically get over this addiction. You can also ask us for the prayer of deliverance through the intercession of Carlo Acutis via the live chat’:
The first and best prayer you can offer is that of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There is enough grace in the Eucharist to make you a saint. Draw from this fountain of virtue! Then, spend more time in personal prayer and talk openly with Jesus about your difficulties. Also pray a Hail Mary three times a day for chastity of spirit, body and heart; go often to the Sacrament of Reconciliation; read the Scriptures; pray the Rosary; follow the Stations of the Cross; and develop a devotion to Saint Joseph. This will establish a truly great arsenal of weapons for fighting against any sin.
When confessing that we masturbate, it’s understandable that numerous people feel too awkward to talk about it. But know this, there is no sin that priests haven’t already heard. It’s not like you’ve discovered and broken an eleventh commandment! Whether you’re a man or a woman, you are not the only one to be in combat with this vice.
If you end up confessing the same thing regularly, don’t hesitate to do so! The Devil will try to discourage you by saying: “Well, well, you’re back in the confessional with the same sin everytime. Why not just abandon it all? You’re never going to win anyway. You’re fighting a losing battle.”
Realise that detrimental thoughts like this are temptations from the Devil, and turn yourself to prayer immediately. Remember, in order to heal, the patient has to show his wounds to the doctor. The confessional is like a medicine cabinet: through the intermediary of the priest, Christ is the doctor, and so it’s the last place the Devil wants to see you go to. You are on the winning team and the Lord won’t let anyone tear you out of his hands. You can’t do it alone, but with the grace of Christ you can do anything: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).
Of course, if you’re in possession of pornographic material, nude posters or obscene music, get rid of it straight away. In the name of true love, protect yourself against contamination. Replace it all with Christian music, and put pictures of the saints in your bedroom and especially in the places where you habitually fall into sin. If you’re in the habit of watching lots of television, find something else to do, like gymnastics… this will help relax the tensions in your body and make it easier to control it. Television is just laziness filled with temptations which ignite the fires of lust. St. Robert Bellarmin warns us: “Flee idleness, because no one is more exposed to temptation than him who has nothing to do.”
To help yourself grow in self-control, fix yourself objectives which are achievable. For example, make a commitment to not masturbating for three days, one week, one month or whatever length of time you feel is reasonable. Once you’ve managed it, you’ll have more confidence in the ability to control your body. Then, without falling, lengthen the time and abstain for longer. Continue like this until the vice is overcome.
During this trying time, make other little sacrifices. For example, put less salt on your chips, or knock off a few minutes from your mealtimes. These little sacrifices will help you to better control yourself, meaning you’ll grow in self-mastery. After all, we are only slaves to what governs us. It’s the same difference between a jockey who doesn’t have control over his horse, and is left to wildly gallop across parks and gardens, and a jockey who is in control, who can stop his horse on demand and win races. You’ll become a person who is truly alive.
This kind of self-control is difficult, but with the grace of God, anything is possible. If you ask for purity, you will not be left wanting, not even one grace. Be patient with yourself, and don’t let yourself be discouraged. According to Gospel of St. Luke, “By your endurance you will gain your souls” (Luke 21:19). The prize of real love is waiting for those who are truly free, because they are the only ones capable of giving and receiving.
Lastly, it’s useful to identify the factors which contribute to your masturbation habit. Often, we think it’s simply lust, when there are often other causes (like stress, loneliness, boredom, etc.)
We are available to talk and pray with you, talk to us via the chat (anonymous and free).
If you too want to break your masturbation habit, know that God is with you in this combat!