By: Rev. Fr. David Okolie

Dearest friends, the above is a serious issue in our world today; which is largely marked by *an unbridled quest for FREEDOM.*

However, *inasmuch as our bodies belong to us, we are not free to treat it in ways that are contrary to the Will of God, who has given us the body.*

Thus, it is the Will of God that our bodies be treated with DIGNITY and HOLINESS, just the same way the soul should also be treated. Do you know why?

The primary reason is that Jesus Christ took the same human body (Incarnation), thereby raising the nature of the human body to something HOLY and REDEEMABLE. Hence, it is against the Christian understanding of the human body to begin to *EXPLOIT* the body *LUSTFULLY* for sexual gratification through *MASTURBATION.*

*The only sexual gratification that God has Willed for the human person is that which is achieved between husband and wife (i.e conjugal act – coitus) and should always be open to new life (Procreation); without any artificial effort to evade it through the use of CONTRACEPTIVES* (Cf. CCC n. 2370).

Another reason why MASTURBATION is GRAVELY SINFUL is that it leads to the destruction of the *Seed for Procreation*: which was the very sin that made God to destroy Onan in the Bible (Cf. Gen 38:9-10).

Now, apart from the above, Masturbation also has great NEGATIVE psychological and marital effects in the life of anyone who allows himself/herself to be trapped by the vice. Indeed, when one marries another person who is addicted to masturbation, the marriage would really suffer because the addicted partner would not really have any need for sexual intimacy with the partner since he/she derives sexual gratification from himself/herself through *MASTURBATION*.

The Church lists Masturbation as one of the *offences against Chastity* and maintains that it is an *Intrinsically and GRAVELY disordered action* (Cf. CCC n. 2352).

But, please, have you already been addicted to MASTURBATION? If yes, please, do not despair. It is still possible that you would be freed from it. Just always avoid lonely moments/places. Always engage your mind with reading, writing, mental prayers, etc. Avoid watching pornography, sexually saturated comedies, films, television shows (e.g Big Brother Naija), etc. Avoid engaging in chats or calls that are capable of leading you into masturbation. Again, always recourse to the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary through a daily prayer of the *ROSARY*; you will surely testify very soon just as others have testified. Finally, while you are still struggling to totally overcome the vice, always approach the Sacrament of *CONFESSION;* wherein God forgives and strengthens us with his GRACE.



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