Bad language in thought

Hi there

I was at confession today. I suffer from scrupled and have been instructed to go to Communion unless I am absolutely certain that I have committed a mortal sin - even if I have doubtful mortal sins and I am doing my best to obey this instruction.

However the priest I went to today had very little experience and I did not think that some of his advice was as helpful as other priests - nothing majorly negative. However while expessing the thought in my mind I used a curse although the sentiment behind the thought wasn’t too bad. On reviewing the thought I thought more bad language. Is the use of bad language in thought in relation to a priest in confession mortal sin.
Thanks

Just looked up the sin of blasphemy and it is the use of profanity in relation to God but also includes priests. The bad language was used in relation to the advice the priest gave me and not actually in relation to the priest himself.
Any thoughts…

If you didn’t say it out loud, than in isn’t blasphemy.

If you have to ask, then you aren’t certain. Take the benefit of the doubt.

ICXC NIKA

What do we call someone who graduate from Medical School, whether it was yesterday or 25 years ago? Doctor

What do we call someone ordained yesterday or 25 years ago? Father

Just as the new Doctor is legally qualified to practice medicine, your “newbee” priest is canonically qualified to act in the person of Jesus Christ when administering the Sacraments.

When it comes to the priesthood, we really have to get over the age and experience hangup"…especially those of us who are seniors…most of the priests we are served by are younger than we are!:smiley:

Thanks for your feedback. One of the main problems I have is that firstly I am very scrupolous and secondly most priests I speak to give me varying advice on what a mortal sin is. In almost all cases it differs in that it is more liberal than the information on this forum and Ewtn. E.g I understand the general concept of full consent to impure thoughts being a mortal sin but two priests have told me that you cannot sin in your thoughts at all. I do try to go to the same priest(s) but it is often difficult to fit in with their schedules.
I began to think about some advice my regular confessor gave me about something that is not in line with advice I’ve seen on this forum about something that is a mortal sin. It was a long time ago and doesn’t apply anymore. However i trust him completely but keep thinking back on this issue. So I wouldn’t be tempted to judge him (lol) I began to rationalise his reasons for giving me this advice. The question I have is:
I understand that it is wrong (mortal sin) to judge the state of someone’ s soul and I’m not sure if this differs from what I’m doing - trying to work out the reason behind the advice as only God knows.
Any thoughts?
Also I was told recently that I was possibly comniting a mortal sin by not going to communion and I was told categorically to go to communion unless I am absolutely certain I committed a mortal sin. I find this very difficult as my most serious sins are in thought only and the most accurate assessment I can make is most likely a mortal sin as only God understands our thoughts. However I have to make some decision on this.

This answer may help you, from the Apologist forum here.
To the extent that such word choices are used abusively toward other persons or toward God, it may constitute grave matter;** to the extent that such word choices are used unthinkingly, for lack of more refined and considerate expressions, it is rude but not necessarily sinful.** Rude, in this case, is being used in the sense of either “lacking social graces” or “lacking education in civility.” If one is purposely rude (i.e., ill-mannered, impolite, even though one knows better), it may constitute sin depending on the gravity of the offense.
I have mentally cussed whenever I deal with provocative and unforeseen difficulties with my chores - like tripping and hurting my knees, missing the nail and hitting my thumb, spilling food - you get the idea. Yes, it is rude and “lacking social grace.” I used to confess it, though, thinking that my real problem was impatience which provoked my rash utterance.

Just recently, within a couple weeks, Fr. Trigilio’s Web of Faith on EWTN dealt with this by a questioner. To my surprise, he said just about the same thing as above - not a sin, not even venial.

I still want to break the occasional slip into this habit, lest I forget myself and do this in public. :eek:
I still also want to break my impatience with myself and find a better way of expressing it. May like Scarlet in Gone with the Wind, I can say “fiddle-ee-dee!” :smiley:

Thanks for your input. The main problem is that the thought was about a priest in confession.
The thought was about what I thought about his advice and included a swear word. There was no contempt meant with the thought. It’s just that he was not as helpful as other priests.

I was told in confession that the only sin I’m committing is not going to Communion and that unless I’m certain I committed a mortal sin I’m to go to Communion.

I’m not certain I committed a mortal sin but I could have and I would hate to receive Communion in mortal sin. However I do not want to disobey the priest - particularly when he said it could be a mortal sin.

Common sense tells me that based on this dilema that either option would be ok as there is no clear cut solution - although I feel that actually going to Communion is the best option as it is putting my trust in God and also obeying the priest.

Any thoughts…

This is something every scrupulous person should keep in mind.

Now you’re clearly detailing the matter. Once again, I refer you to AAA’s advice, referenced in the link above.
Again, please keep in mind the three requirements for mortal sin: grave matter, full knowledge, and full and free consent of the will. If any of those three requirements are missing, there is not a mortal sin. So the question is not “Is profanity a mortal sin?” but “Is profanity grave matter?” This holds true with just about every questionable action to trouble the human conscience:
Since you meant no contempt, it sounds to me more like annoyance at his advice, coupled with your bad habit of crude language, even though it was just in thought.

I was told in confession that the only sin I’m committing is not going to Communion and that unless I’m certain I committed a mortal sin I’m to go to Communion.

Hopefully, you misunderstood him, or he was not clear enough in his counsel to you. There is no sin in omitting communion, but he probably sensed your scrupulosity and tried to steer you away from it, recognizing that communion is the strength you need to overcome your weaknesses, as it is for all of us!

I’m not certain I committed a mortal sin but I could have and I would hate to receive Communion in mortal sin.
Any thoughts…

Listen to your words, friend! Do you remember the 3 conditions that make a sin mortal?

  1. Was this “grave” matter? no.
  2. Did you have knowledge that it was grave matter? no.
  3. Did you make a decision to do it anyway? no

It seems that you did this spontaneously, without much forethought or weighing whether or not it was serious, and then gave your consent anyway. :shrug:

May God give you peace. :gopray2:

Thanks for your very kind and helpful response.
Also do u have any thoughts about the issue I described in my earlier post about judging my confessor’ s motive for giving me advice that may have been contrary to traditional teaching.

Well, priests do have the power to bind and to loose. So if he “loosed” you from your sins, they are gone. If his advice causes you doubts, that in itself is not a sin either, but an invitation to seek more counsel to alleviate your mind and settle in truth. It is not “judging” to doubt, or in your humanness, to disagree. But it is best if you settle it with more advice.

I myself was given wrong advice by a monk in a monastery who was referred to me. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit continued to plague my conscience until I got more advice that proved he was wrong. It happens, unfortunately, and I believe the Spirit will disturb us into seeking more counsel until we finally resolve the issue.

Sometimes, too much advice will complicate our minds. Be careful not to listen to too many differing opinions, but settle with a good spiritual director.

Thanks but by judging someones rationalle or motive for giving the advice the same as judging someones soul which only God can do.

Also any feedback on my thoughts about chosing to obey my confessor’s advice and going to communion in a state of doubt about being in mortal sin. Note. This is standard advice for the scrupolous but I feel that while scrupolous people see mortal sin where there is only venial they can still commit mortal sin.

Priests are not perfect or infallible. It is not wrong to question whether their advice is solid. Questioning or considering the possibility that the reason somebody, even a priest, had for giving advice had an ulterior motive, may be lacking in charity depending on the particular situation, but it is not the same as judging somebody’s soul at all.

Judging a soul, is deciding that somebody is in a state that would currently send them to hell or heaven. It doesn’t sound like that was what you are or were doing at all.

We can’t always control the thoughts that pop into our minds. As a poster below said, you need to also have intent of something you knew to be of grave matter. You didn’t intend for the bad word to pop in your mind, so it really does sound like you are just being scrupulous.

Priests are not perfect or infallible. It is not wrong to question whether their advice is solid. Questioning or considering the possibility that the reason somebody, even a priest, had for giving advice had an ulterior motive, may be lacking in charity depending on the particular situation, but it is not the same as judging somebody’s soul at all.

Judging a soul, is deciding that somebody is in a state that would currently send them to hell or heaven. It doesn’t sound like that was what you are or were doing at all.

We can’t always control the thoughts that pop into our minds. As a poster below said, you need to also have intent of something you knew to be of grave matter. You didn’t intend for the bad word to pop in your mind, so it really does sound like you are just being scrupulous.

You have not committed a mortal sin.
As a scrupulous person myself I sympathize with you right now. I have been where you are and it is no fun to live with the constant guilt and fear.
Praying for you.

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