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Doyle Edogawa wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • If one tries to stop committing sexual sins (like masturbation, lustful thoughts, etc.) however fails to fight the temptation, will God still forgive them if they ask for forgiveness again and again?
  • . . . even for the rest of their lives?

Doyle

  { If one tries to stop their sexual sins but fails again and again, will God continue to forgive them? }

Paul replied:

Dear Doyle,

The short answer is yes, God forgives the sincerely repentant person.

If someone rejects their own sin, is truly sorry, and genuinely resolves to sin no more, then he or she has opened their heart to receive God's forgiveness and love in the sacrament of Confession, even if it is a habitual sin.

Vices, obsessions, and addictions are not easy to overcome however, one must do whatever it reasonably takes to leave them behind, with God's grace. For example:

  • an alcoholic should not hang out in bars
  • a shopaholic should avoid department stores, and
  • those that have continuous problems with sexual sins should avoid as much as possible situations that would inevitably have them fall to sin.

This would include taking active custody over one's eyes, mind, and heart regarding images, fantasy, etc., and utilizing one's computer or other medium only within situations where it would not be easy to give into temptation.

Do what you can to avoid these situations, what the Church traditionally calls near occasions of sin.

And lastly, one of the greatest virtues in the Christian life is perseverance. Never give up.

Pray, hope, and persevere and God will help you overcome.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Hi Doyle,

In addition to Paul’s fine answer, you may want to check out the advice Eric and I have given in the past.

You will find them in a set of postings in our FAQ page. Follow Paul’s advice and do the best you can. The Lord will always be there helping you along because He understands.

He Himself said: The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38) so He understands the mini-crosses we have to bear.

Mike

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