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  #1  
Old Aug 5, '11, 6:59 am
Angel7 Angel7 is offline
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Default I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Recently, 1 night, I had a temptation of a sexual nature. Normally such temptations are resisted as soon as I realize what it is that I'm thinking. However on this 1 occasion it lasted longer then usual and I allowed it to develop in my thoughts (maybe even adding to it). At the time I think I felt it to be wrong (that feeling when you feel guilty about something you don't realize is completely wrong). I stopped, but now I'm worried that I might really be guilty of lustful thoughts.

1 thing I say to myself to reassure myself in times of worry(like about sins and culpability) is "I have never, since my last confession, sought to offend or hurt My Dearly Beloved Lord".

This is true, I didn't, but I'm afriad i allowed the thought to develop and even encouraged its development before fully saying no to it, after remembering it to be really wrong. I hope I didn't enjoy the thought, because I'm disgusted now, and I hope I didn't have full consent or knowledge to the thought.

Thank You for your help.

May The Lord Our God Bless You All!
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  #2  
Old Aug 5, '11, 8:25 am
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Irishgal49 Irishgal49 is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Thoughts are not sin, they are thoughts. It's when we act on them we sin. Granted having lustful thoughts can lead to sin. When I have lustful thoughts I try to remember to say a Hail Mary and replace the thought but I've had them lead me to sin so I have to be careful. When I allow the thoughts and even add to them or encourage them then I can fall into sin but if I stop it and distract myself with prayer, Catholic TV, Rosary, etc then I am usually OK and they leave.

If you are totally unsure, ask your priest in Confession. I just drop in and wait my turn, ask if it's a sin and if it is confess it. Most of the time he tells me while my thoughts can be an occasion to sin, they are not a sin in and of themselves.

God Bless--hope this helps

Lorrie
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  #3  
Old Aug 5, '11, 8:38 am
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

I do not agree with the blanket statement, "thoughts are not sin". Thoughts certainly CAN be sinful. Jesus makes this quite clear in Mt 5:28 dealing with lust, in fact all of Mt 5 deals with not just how we act, but how we think and feel.
However it IS important to distinguish for "random thoughts", things that pop into our heads, are not sinful until we consciously encourage them.

That said, in this case I don't think there was much sin, if at all. Best thing is to say an act of contrition now, and mention it at your next confession.

Peace
James
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.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
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for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #4  
Old Aug 5, '11, 5:33 pm
Angel7 Angel7 is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

I still feel anxious, Im not sure if it was consented sin, because it was a bit past "temptation". i think it began as random but I hope it didn't go further into consent.
It makes me worry because I do feel genuinly guilty and cant say for sure that it didnt cross the line of tempttion into sin, but I feel like it did.I can't recall everything 100%, but I do recall the "unconsentingly enjoying" the thought. (Not a decision to enjoy it, but it "felt good" bodily)

thank you for the help so far guys!
__________________
Evil conquers when Good lays Dormant

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  #5  
Old Aug 5, '11, 6:10 pm
Oruwaith Oruwaith is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

When you said "allowed," I think that would be considered consent. Also, the fact that you may have encouraged the thoughts makes it sound more like you could be guilty of lustful thoughts. You also mention that you may not have been aware of just how wrong an action may be. This leads me to think that you committed a venial sin, not mortal.


Keep in mind, this is my opinion and I am 17 years old. I don't have much experience in these matters. The person you should really listen to would be the priest.
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  #6  
Old Aug 5, '11, 7:44 pm
francisca francisca is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Jesus spoke about "If a man look at a woman and have lust in his heart, he has commit adultery in his heart"-- Jesus was talking about the law (Thou shall not commit adultery). The massage He wanted to convey was

Nobody can be holy according to the law. If one is guilty of one, he/she will be guilty of all.

Now, if we think about it, who can judge the heart? Only God. As for humans, they can only see outward sign of it. Thus usually people would see "thoughts" as not guilty yet.

So Jesus said those things to show to which extent the holyness is expected by the law, and that it is not the law that save us, rather the "perfect" fulfillment of it. The thing is nobody can fulfill the law perfectly, only Jesus can do that. Thus Jesus said "Do not be affraid, only believe" Mark 5:27. This is righteousness according to faith : "That you believe in God and in He whom God send" John 6:29.

So what can you do to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? By worrying about your thoughts that wanders once in a while? NO, iwhen you fall you hope for His mercy.

God bless you.
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In Him (Jesus) all the promises of God have come to be a YES, and we also say in his name : Amen! giving thanks to God. 2 Chorinthians 1:20.

Last edited by francisca; Aug 5, '11 at 7:50 pm. Reason: add word "perfectly" in paragraph 4
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  #7  
Old Aug 5, '11, 7:47 pm
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel7 View Post
I still feel anxious, Im not sure if it was consented sin, because it was a bit past "temptation". i think it began as random but I hope it didn't go further into consent.
It makes me worry because I do feel genuinly guilty and cant say for sure that it didnt cross the line of tempttion into sin, but I feel like it did.I can't recall everything 100%, but I do recall the "unconsentingly enjoying" the thought. (Not a decision to enjoy it, but it "felt good" bodily)

thank you for the help so far guys!
Everything you write above only reinforces that you should mention this the next time you go to confession.
It also demonstrates that the sin (if any) was venial...

Please do not be troubled. Just accept that in this case you were not perfect...
And as the old song says...
"Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Start all over again"

Peace
James
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.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #8  
Old Aug 5, '11, 8:00 pm
francisca francisca is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

You do not need to go to confession room for venial sin. Thoughts are venial. You only need to go to Mass. During the Mass there is this part

"I confess to Almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in thoughts, in words, in the things I have done, and the things I failed to do... and so on"

If only "thoughts" one must go to confession room, then the priest will have no time to minister about the good news.
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In Him (Jesus) all the promises of God have come to be a YES, and we also say in his name : Amen! giving thanks to God. 2 Chorinthians 1:20.
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  #9  
Old Aug 5, '11, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by francisca View Post
You do not need to go to confession room for venial sin. Thoughts are venial. You only need to go to Mass. During the Mass there is this part

"I confess to Almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in thoughts, in words, in the things I have done, and the things I failed to do... and so on"

If only "thoughts" one must go to confession room, then the priest will have no time to minister about the good news.
I must disagree with the statement, "Thoughts are venial", as though this is an automatic... It is not.
Thoughts always precede action (with the possible exception of automatic responses).
Therefore a thought might be venial or it might be Mortal.

A person who deliberately lusts after a woman in mental thought, fantasizing all sorts of acts, is just as guilty of mortal sin as the one who actually acts on the thoughts.
A person who deliberately plans, in fantasy, the murder or maiming or rape or any other heinous act is just guilty of the act as if they carried it out. See Mt Chapter 5 on Anger, on Lust etc...

I don't say this is the case for the OP because obviously he/she attempted to resist, and just isn't sure whether a line was crossed between a random thought and accepting and harboring the thought.

Peace
James
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.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #10  
Old Aug 8, '11, 10:23 am
francisca francisca is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
A person who deliberately lusts after a woman in mental thought, fantasizing all sorts of acts, is just as guilty of mortal sin as the one who actually acts on the thoughts.
A person who deliberately plans, in fantasy, the murder or maiming or rape or any other heinous act is just guilty of the act as if they carried it out. See Mt Chapter 5 on Anger, on Lust etc...
I'm not sure about the above.

Jesus said this to Pilate when Pilate told Him that he has power to release/ crucify Him:
John 19:11 Jesus replied, "You would have no power over Me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you commits greater sin"

I think to have fantasy of an act is not as guilty as doing the act.



Quote:
I don't say this is the case for the OP because obviously he/she attempted to resist, and just isn't sure whether a line was crossed between a random thought and accepting and harboring the thought.

Peace
James
If only a mere thoughts OP must go to confession room, the priest will have to sit all night and day listening to people thoughts. I can assure you there are more worse thoughts than the OP's.

Penitential Rite in a Mass is enough for such thoughts.

The Mass itself is more than enough.

Confession is meant to help people with their conscience, not to make them scrupulous. The Mass is enough to heal.

For OP Angel7, if you still feel guilty, why don't you share your problem with your parents and ask them to pray for you. Here I give you a quote from the Epistles of James

James 5:16 There will be healing if you confess your sins to one another and pray for each other.

May God bless you.
__________________
In Him (Jesus) all the promises of God have come to be a YES, and we also say in his name : Amen! giving thanks to God. 2 Chorinthians 1:20.

Last edited by francisca; Aug 8, '11 at 10:26 am. Reason: typo
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  #11  
Old Aug 8, '11, 7:49 pm
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Post Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by francisca View Post
I'm not sure about the above.

Jesus said this to Pilate when Pilate told Him that he has power to release/ crucify Him:
John 19:11 Jesus replied, "You would have no power over Me unless it had been given you from above; therefore the one who handed me over to you commits greater sin"

I think to have fantasy of an act is not as guilty as doing the act.
Perhaps, but then Jesus said that he who "looks" at a woman with lust is guilty of committing adultery with her.
Jesus reinforces this concept when He says in regard to anger that anyone who is ANGRY (that is, harbors evil thoughts) is liable to judgement - not just the person who acts on his anger.
This is further reinforced in Mt 15:19, "...For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man...

As to the quote from John when Jesus was in front o Pilot, there are several factors that must be considered. Pilot did not go seeking Jesus to punish him. In fact we know that Pilot found no guilt in Him. So Pilot was not acting out of anger or malice toward Jesus. His actions were purely political.
Those who handed Him over to Pilot were the ones acting with hatred, anger and malice toward our Lord. So obviously their sin was greater - in fact it was a different sin. The Chief Priest, the Sanhedrin and to some extent the crowd, were sinning against the Holy Spirit of God. Pilot's sin was more one of ignorance and fear (of the crowds).

Quote:
If only a mere thoughts OP must go to confession room, the priest will have to sit all night and day listening to people thoughts. I can assure you there are more worse thoughts than the OP's.

Penitential Rite in a Mass is enough for such thoughts.

The Mass itself is more than enough.
I fully agree with this based on what the OP has told us. It is not my intent to cause the OP to worry unduly.
Random thoughts, are one thing - and not sinful. Thoughts that are recognized and dwelt upon though ARE sinful. In most cases I'd say that these are venial sins (such as the case presented by the OP). However, if one is concerned, it is a good idea to run it by one's confessor.

Quote:
Confession is meant to help people with their conscience, not to make them scrupulous.
Precisely. And since the OP has expressed concern over this, it appears to me that she might do well to take it to her confessor for just the kind of help you mention here.

Quote:
For OP Angel7, if you still feel guilty, why don't you share your problem with your parents and ask them to pray for you. Here I give you a quote from the Epistles of James

James 5:16 There will be healing if you confess your sins to one another and pray for each other.

May God bless you.
Good advice...Though this might not be something a child is comfortable sharing with a parent.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #12  
Old Aug 9, '11, 10:58 am
francisca francisca is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
Perhaps, but then Jesus said that he who "looks" at a woman with lust is guilty of committing adultery with her.
You forget to add "in his heart" to the above sentence, thus it shoud have been

Mat 5:28 But I tell you this: anyone who looks at a woman to satisfiy his lust has committed adultery with her in his heart

To commit adultery in his heart and to commit adultery in action are two different things, but both break the law, thus the man has broken the law even by fantasizing so said Jesus.

Quote:
Jesus reinforces this concept when He says in regard to anger that anyone who is ANGRY (that is, harbors evil thoughts) is liable to judgement - not just the person who acts on his anger.
This is further reinforced in Mt 15:19, "...For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man...
"Out of the heart" means "NOT in the heart" anymore. in other words, they are actions, no longer fantasy. As for "thoughts" they come from the heart and it defile a man, but it doesn't say that thoughts and actions are of the same weight.


God bless you
__________________
In Him (Jesus) all the promises of God have come to be a YES, and we also say in his name : Amen! giving thanks to God. 2 Chorinthians 1:20.

Last edited by francisca; Aug 9, '11 at 11:04 am. Reason: add last sentence
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  #13  
Old Aug 9, '11, 7:34 pm
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by francisca View Post
You forget to add "in his heart" to the above sentence, thus it shoud have been

Mat 5:28 But I tell you this: anyone who looks at a woman to satisfiy his lust has committed adultery with her in his heart

To commit adultery in his heart and to commit adultery in action are two different things, but both break the law, thus the man has broken the law even by fantasizing so said Jesus.
I agree they ARE two different things. In such a case one commits two sins. The sin of adultery in the heart (the lustful thoughts), and the sin of adultery in the flesh (the lustful act).

Quote:
Quote:
This is further reinforced in Mt 15:19, "...For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man...
"Out of the heart" means "NOT in the heart" anymore.
in other words, they are actions, no longer fantasy. As for "thoughts" they come from the heart and it defile a man, but it doesn't say that thoughts and actions are of the same weight.
I disagree.
You were nice enough to correct me on my quoting earlier...Allow me to do the same here.
Look at the verse...It says, "Out of the heart come evil thoughts..." as well as actions. So right here you have Jesus stating that thoughts can be evil and we all know that "evil" is sin.

As an aside, I disagree with your reading of, "out of the heart" meaning it is "NOT in the heart" (emphasis yours). Rather, "Out of the heart comes..." means that these things originate IN our hearts. When a person commits a grave, premeditated sin, such as murder, it is because they have sin, evil, in their heart at that time.
Likewise when a man (or woman) lusts after another "in their heart" they are "defiled" guilty of the sin of adultery.

The thing that we all need to remember is that Jesus did not set an easy goal nor is the bar set low. The Gate to Hell is wide, the Gate to salvation is narrow. We are to be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect.
Under the old covenant great emphasis was placed on externals and less emphasis on thoughts. You could hold a grudge so long as you did not act on it. You could lust in your mind as long as you did not act on it.
Jesus changed this. He is calling us to deeper change. Not just in action but in thoughts and attitudes.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #14  
Old Aug 10, '11, 10:47 am
francisca francisca is offline
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Hi James,

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRKH View Post
I agree they ARE two different things. In such a case one commits two sins. The sin of adultery in the heart (the lustful thoughts), and the sin of adultery in the flesh (the lustful act).
In Mat 5:28 the person who lust in his heart break one law: to commit adultery in his heart (the person in Jesus example did not commit the action of adultery). So it was only one of the two forms which basicly break the same law.

Quote:
I disagree.
You were nice enough to correct me on my quoting earlier...Allow me to do the same here.
Look at the verse...It says, "Out of the heart come evil thoughts..." as well as actions. So right here you have Jesus stating that thoughts can be evil and we all know that "evil" is sin.
Yes. No issue there (that evil is sin). The issue is whether all sins are of the same guilt, whether sins carry the same weight of punishments.

Quote:
As an aside, I disagree with your reading of, "out of the heart" meaning it is "NOT in the heart" (emphasis yours). Rather, "Out of the heart comes..." means that these things originate IN our hearts. When a person commits a grave, premeditated sin, such as murder, it is because they have sin, evil, in their heart at that time.
Likewise when a man (or woman) lusts after another "in their heart" they are "defiled" guilty of the sin of adultery.
Yes, but if somebody changes his mind in executing his thoughts, then he commits less sin. He will be guilty of his thoughts but not guilty of the respective action. I am pretty sure that even the old testament have many definitions weighing guilt, because not all sins carries the same guilt, eventhough all sins defile.


Quote:
The thing that we all need to remember is that Jesus did not set an easy goal nor is the bar set low. The Gate to Hell is wide, the Gate to salvation is narrow. We are to be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect.
And how does the confession room makes one perfect? Supposedly a man rob me of one million dollars, he then go the confession room without returning my money. Come out from the confession room he feels perfect, but is he really perfect because of the confession room?

Let's change the amount of money. Let's say the man rob me, but my old wallet did not carry much money, it was only ten dollars. So he bought his meal for himself and his familiy on that day with that ten dollars. Then he go to the confession room. Come out from the confession room, he feels OK. Are the two cases the same? The only difference is the amount of money, or is there any other differences?

Quote:
Under the old covenant great emphasis was placed on externals and less emphasis on thoughts. You could hold a grudge so long as you did not act on it. You could lust in your mind as long as you did not act on it.
Jesus changed this. He is calling us to deeper change. Not just in action but in thoughts and attitudes.
Yes.

God's love for you, francisca
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  #15  
Old Aug 10, '11, 7:28 pm
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Default Re: I feel guilty over a "sin", but I'm not sure if I'm really guilty

Quote:
Originally Posted by francisca View Post
Hi James,

In Mat 5:28 the person who lust in his heart break one law: to commit adultery in his heart (the person in Jesus example did not commit the action of adultery). So it was only one of the two forms which basicly break the same law.

Yes. No issue there (that evil is sin). The issue is whether all sins are of the same guilt, whether sins carry the same weight of punishments.
This is good that we are clear on the idea that thoughts can be sinful if encouraged and pondered over (as opposed to random thoughts).
As to weight of punishment it's only fair to say that the punishment would be the same for the thought as for the action. Just as there are differences in gravity, and also possible mitigating circumstances, of sinful acts, so to will there be variances for sins of thought.

Quote:
Yes, but if somebody changes his mind in executing his thoughts, then he commits less sin. He will be guilty of his thoughts but not guilty of the respective action. I am pretty sure that even the old testament have many definitions weighing guilt, because not all sins carries the same guilt, even though all sins defile.
Well - I don't want to get into a hair splitting contest. Such matters are best talked over with a priest.
However, if a person "changes his mind in executing his sinful thoughts", then what we have is repentance, or at least the beginnings of repentance. Repentance brings forgiveness and so whether it was a big sin or a small one, really doesn't matter. Turning back to God is the key.

Quote:
And how does the confession room makes one perfect?
Well - The confessional makes the "truly repentant" (perfectly contrite) perfect by the forgiveness of sin and by their commitment to sin no more and to make amends when and where possible...
The perfection lasts as long as we are able, by God's grace, to remain pure in thoughts words and deeds.

Quote:
Supposedly a man rob me of one million dollars, he then go the confession room without returning my money. Come out from the confession room he feels perfect, but is he really perfect because of the confession room?

Let's change the amount of money. Let's say the man rob me, but my old wallet did not carry much money, it was only ten dollars. So he bought his meal for himself and his familiy on that day with that ten dollars. Then he go to the confession room. Come out from the confession room, he feels OK. Are the two cases the same? The only difference is the amount of money, or is there any other differences?
Such cases are impossible to judge with the information provided. As I stated above, the perfection of the confessional requires a perfect contrition on the part of the penitent, which in this case, would mean that the person desires to return the money. Whether he can or not...might be another matter..

The main thing that I was trying to get across is that - too often on the boards here I see people trying to say that thoughts are not sinful. That is what began our exchange here.
We agree on this point, so degree, punishment, venial or mortal are all questions I prefer to leave between the penitent and their confessor.
The bottom line is that if a person is reasonably sure that they accepted and "entertained sinful thoughts, then they should confess it and then be guided by their confessor.

Peace
James
__________________
.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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