I was talking to them tonight about the Sacrament of Reconciliation (which they had last week) and the conversation led into confessing certain types of sins, namely sins of impurity.
Well, he comes up to me after class and asks for a private talk. Okay, no problem; I wait until my other students have left. He then asks, quite uncomfortably, about impure thoughts. I told him that the thoughts themselves weren’t necessarily “bad”–after all, we’re human and prone to those thoughts sometimes. It’s the possibility of what they might LEAD to that can be sinful and/or problematic.
Clearly, this didn’t answer his question. Stumbling further–I could tell he was searching for the right words without just spitting it out–he said, well, what if they’re ones you can’t control?
The Holy Spirit opened my eyes–this kid was asking about dreams and, uh, nocturnal stuff when he was asleep! Assuring him, I said that whatever happened in his dreams–thus, out of his control–was NOT sinful and that he shouldn’t worry too much. I told him to put his dreams in the Hands of Jesus in a “sweet dreams” prayer, and that should help him. Relieved, he left.
Bless his heart. :o