Father, I am a new Catholic and I’m struggling mightily to overcome a past life filled with pornography. Sometimes I fail the day after a confession. Some Priests have told me not to go more than once per week or to go only every other week to confession. Is it possible to go more than once per week to confession, or should I wait? Will going to mass and not receiving because I have mortal sin be helpful in finally ridding my life of this filth?
When attacking a deeply-entangled habit of sin, or when rooting out sinful behavior, recourse to a regular confessor can be very beneficial.
Follow the advice of one, good, trusted confessor. This can help you move forward and leave not only the sin behind, but the remnants of and attachments to sin.
Scrupulosity is a spiritual disease that often develops in a person who is trying to overcome past bad habits. Satan and fallen angels can spur memories to entice the repentant sinner to dwell on past sins in an unhealthy way or to feel extreme guilt about mere temptations. The area of sexuality is a favorite of Satan in ensnaring souls because it goes to the very heart of one of our most primal urges, the urge to procreate. All too often, that primal and good instinct is perverted and twisted. It leads souls down dangerous paths away from the loving God who constantly calling us all to a life of chastity and integrity.
Find a good confessor and stick with him. Adhere to his advice. If he suggests confessing weekly, or biweekly, monthly, or daily – follow his advice.
If, after trying, you find that you can’t live with the schedule that he sets for you, and if you think it’s too frequent or not frequent enough, talk it over with him. He may have good reasons for his proposed schedule. We follow a medical doctor’s orders to recover from a physical sickness with greater speed. So too we follow a good confessor’s direction to recover from spiritual sickness more quickly, and to minimize the danger of falling back into old vices or – quod Deus avertat – into other, more dangerous traps for your soul.
NB: If he suggests never going to confession again, find a different confessor.
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