Confirmands learn what the Church teaches on masturbation

Understanding the meaning of masturbation is important for our young adolescents and youths, especially for those who are preparing for their Rite of

Aug 12, 2017

By Stephanie Cheong
Understanding the meaning of masturbation is important for our young adolescents and youths, especially for those who are preparing for their Rite of Confirmation. Dr John Wong, who is a member of the Family Life Commission of Penang Diocese and teacher of the Billing’s Ovulation Method, looked at the Catholic Church’s teaching regarding masturbation and shared it with the students.

On July 2, Dr Wong walked the Form 4 and 5 students of the Church of the Risen Christ, Air Itam through the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) No. 2352 to understand what masturbation means and how it is an offence against chastity.

Is Masturbation Wrong? Yes, It Is.

Masturbation is always morally wrong. Sex is intended to be an expression of love for a sacramentally married couple and a beautiful means of procreation. Being powerful, special and valuable, sex should be properly used only within marriage. Catholic teaching, without doubt, says that masturbation is a grave disorder.

Dr Wong stressed that masturbation is radically self-centred and un-Christian, as it turns us and our sexuality away from God and towards ourselves. Thus, such behaviour leads us towards self-indulgence and diverts us from the full nuptial meaning of sex namely, union and procreation. Delving further into the CCC, the students discovered other sins that are gravely contrary to chastity: fornication, pornography and homosexual practices.

It was reiterated by Dr Wong that there is no evidence to prove that masturbation prepares an adolescent or young adult for the complete gift of self in the vocations of marriage, priesthood or religious life.

The final part of the talk was, undoubtedly, the most important. What does one do if one is inclined to masturbation? Dr Wong suggested the following:

(i) surrender one’s life to God because for God, all things are possible. One can stop masturbation with His help;
(ii) get into an accountability group where one can find someone to share ideas and who is sympathetic and will help one break the habit;
(iii) carrying out restitution which means some cleaning-up of every aspect of one’s life;
(iv) eliminating selfishness and dishonesty;
(v) solitude and prayer;
(vi) staying close to the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Holy Communion;
(vii) avoiding temptation which equates to staying away from racy scenes in movies and You Tube; and
(viii) absolutely no indulgence in pornography.

Before the talk ended, the students were reminded that it is imperative to take measures that would lead to the overcoming of masturbation, bearing in mind the sacred Scriptures in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “… your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, and whom you received from God. You are not your own property …”

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