Dear Fr. Bloom,
I am a practicing Catholic and am having a tough time with an issue, actually an addiction. I have been masturbating probably once a day and cannot seem to stop. I know it probably has a lot to do with stress in my life, ie new move, job and marriage, but I feel terrible. It has got to the point where I am afraid to fall asleep sometimes because I am afraid I might die and go to hell because I have been doing this act. I have been trying to increase my relationship with God but obviously not much head way is being made with my inability to stop. I know a key point is "fearing" God and I do but obviously not enough to scare me straight. This issue is really starting to hamper my life and would appreciate any information or leads you could provide. Thank you and God bless.
Sorry I am slow in getting back to you. I know about addictive behavior in my own life. I have found great help in reading St. Therese of Lisieux. Have you read her Story of a Soul? The important thing is not that we fall - or even that we sometimes stay down for the count - but that we recognize our utter dependence on Jesus - like a small child who would die without their father. I tried to write something about masturbation and confession in response to an earlier question. It also has some links which you may find helpful. Let me know.
Once again, C, my prayers. Please also remember me in yours.
Fr. Phil Bloom
From Grace MacKinnon at Catholic Exchange: Masturbation: Mortal Sin?