if im confronted with a desire to do something forbidden, would it be better to just commit a sin and feel a sincere desire to repent afterwards? or abstain from committing a sin but the immoral thoughts continue to exist in almost every minute for several hours a day? ok i won’t make you guess what this act is. i’m talking about a sexual act. thanks in advance for the help.
I’ve been there and done that. Prayer can counter any immoral thought. If you’re tempted, or continuously thinking about committing this act, say a simple Hail Mary, or some other prayer. Know that no one can force you to sin, not even yourself. As it says in the letter of James, “Resist the devil and he will flee.”
I struggled with impurity for about 15 years. Currently, I’ve avoided the sources of my impurity for about a year and a half, and I blame a few people. First, is our Mother - I joined the Association of the Miraculous Medal, and they said a novena for me for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Secondly, I blame my wife - she was a source of great support and encouragement, and also a source of chastisement - she was never afraid to tell me when I was wrong (she’s still good at that, and I thank her for that all the time.) Also, I blame Blessed John Paul II - his Theology of the Body really opened my eyes and allowed me to see the truth of human sexuality. Last, but not least, is the rosary - If you’re chained to sin, pray the rosary, and Mary will free you from sin’s chains, and wrap you in Hers.
If you commit sin to rid yourself of immoral thoughts, you’re only going to be addicted to both the act and the thought. So, get help. See your priest, and get a confessor and spiritual director. You cannot fight the battle alone - when a soldier is wounded in battle, his comrades help him get back up. I will pray for you.
No, a thousand times no. When those thoughts come distract yourself. Get up and do something, take a walk, do some vigorous exercise, then open the Bible and start reading any where. You must get a regular spiritual life going, regular daily prayer and the sacraments. Avoid anything that may be causing these thoughts. Have you read the new Catechism yet. God is definitely warning you that you need to change.
You need to discuss this with a priest or your confessor.
The current conditions in our society subject people every where they turn with the opportunity to have immoral thoughts. Even the commercials on tv are now becoming so sexually suggestive during prime time that you have to have the remote in your hand to change the channel at the drop of a hat. If I were a younger person it would create a very difficult situation for me. You are on the right track, ask for help from people who will pray, follow the great advice I know you will receive here and find some ways to minimize the opportunities to be tempted. This is not meant as a joke, but staying as active as you can with activities that are healthy will go a long way towards helping you overcome temptation and achieve the moral standards you want to maintain. I will pray for you too.
NO - - -
- The thoughts are unlikely to go away - and if they do it will only be for a short while and you’ll be back to square one.
- Thinking it over and making this decision increases the free will choice of the act and increases culpability. In short it makes the sin more serious.
- Sinning with the intent to repent later adds a second sin - presumption - to the first.
Struggling with the immoral thoughts strengthens one. Giving in, weakens.
Fight the good fight. Do not give in.
And as others have said, enlist the help of a good confessor. He’s heard it all before.
Ask yourself would Satan propose such as you are thinking or would God propose you sin to avoid immoral thoughts? Then do what God would have you do. Steps that can help. Frequent confession (once per month at least), frequent receiving of the Eucharist, Adoration, praying the rosary daily. Do these things with a sincere heart and watch your immoral thoughts fade. God bless.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18
Do not sin. Simply turn towards the Lord
and good things in life -what one is doing at the moment – and ignore any unsought temptation that comes.
All sorts of thoughts can happen to us out of the blue…
the fact that a though happened to one- does not mean per se there was any sin.
And for mortal sin one needs not only grave matter, but full knowledge and deliberate (complete) consent…
(And some need some medical/professional assistance in this area…such as medication etc and often a regular confessor )
For the next few moments --try real hard NOT to think of Apple.
then scroll down.
What did you think of?
Even though your will was against it -you did not want to think of an apple.
Now back to unwanted thoughts…
The best thing to do with such thoughts is not to fight them directly --not fear that they will come…do not consent and simply and calmly turn to something else…(or it may be best to keep doing the good thing one is doing…like they come out of the blue when your at work …keep working …etc)
Ignore such unwanted thoughts like one would ignore a hissing goose or a barking dog. One does not stop to argue with a hissing goose or a barking dog does one? No one keeps on walking…and at most laughs at them…
(as noted above the image there comes from a Carthusian Monk from centuries ago…)
It is never ok to commit a sin willingly…you ARE able to control yourself to not commit this sexual sin…it seems like you are looking for somebody to say its ok to do it if you repent so that you have the greenlight to do whatever sinful sexual thing it is…im sorry to disappoint you…but if its a sin avoid it…dont do it deliberately knowingly, and willingly…to deliberately,willingly and knowingly commit a sin is to go against god and to side with evil…
It would be better to die than to commit sin.
Sadly, I often do just what you describe, and sin rather than put up a good fight and wrestle with the temptations.
St. Escriva once wrote:
To defend his purity, Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow, Saint Benedict threw himself into a thornbush, Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond . . . You . . . what have you done?
St Paul said: “I chastise my body and make it my slave.”
Truth is, we are often quite gentle with our flesh. No good. We need mortification. And by that I mean inner mortification above all else. Ready obedience, sticking to our schedule raising up in time, etc, consistent prayer even when “we have no time”, fasting (best weapon against lust) and mortifying every meal (come on, we can always leave something out). Fasting on Friday (and possibly on Wednesday) works miracles in favor of purity. And if things are rough, some extra mortification of the exterior kind can be added…such as praying on our knees for some time, or praying with extended arms, or even just running for half an hour in the morning or evening when we really don’t want to…
St Paul says:
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
This is true. We must be, like so many saints of the past, more willing to die than to commit mortal sin. Having this disposition already drives away many demons and helps to quench the flesh. It also makes us be more careful of worldly things.
Sometimes it is also an issue of addictive behavior. In any case, if you put up a tough fight and still are literally overpowered and crushed by the temptations, it is time to talk to a priest in spiritual direction, for a change is needed in the spiritual life.
I advise you try to read the sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori. I attach two. Today we often hear about divine mercy, and we often risk to abuse God’s mercy. We must also learn about the gift of the Holy Spirit called fear of God, which we receive in Baptism and in Confirmation, and grow in this holy, filial fear of offending God. This defeats many temptations. And if you - like me - consider sinning and repenting, remember these words of St. Alphonsus:
for a transitory enjoyment, for the gratification of revenge, for a beastly pleasure, which lasts but a moment, you risk your eternal salvation, saying: I will go to confession after I commit this sin. And when, I ask, are you to go to confession? You say: On tomorrow. But who promises you tomorrow? God has promised pardon to all who repent; but He has not promised to wait until tomorrow for those who insult Him. Perhaps God will give you time for repentance, perhaps He will not.
The inevitability of sin seems to be a great lie that the enemy would use against us.
“I’m going to sin anyway eventually even if I can resist now. Might as well sin now.”
The moment we believe this is the moment we are greatly weakened.
We are weak in nature, but the devil can never overcome our free will. That is a guarantee that the devil tries to make us not believe.
May God bless you and give you strength!
Nope. Won’t work.
You’ll feel a sincere desire to repent until the next time…
One of our strongest instinctual drives is to reproduce. It’s what makes us part of the animal kingdom.
Our ability to control that drive is what makes us human. (among other things, like opposable thumbs, and Starbucks.)
The only way to win that battle is to not give in.
Failure in the face of unrelenting temptation that requires heroic virtue (which is often the case for some young men) to succeed is nowhere near of the same gravity as failure in the face of a short-lived temptation that requires the usual level of virtue to be exercised.
The above of course assumes, as others note, that you are doing all you can to avoid circumstantial “inputs” (and doing other positive things) that may be contributing to this unrelenting internal sexual temptation.
We are human, so in the face of constant temptation our strength wanes, esp with loss of sleep and concentration. If that happens do not be too hard on yourself as it is possible to be awake and yet sort of “sleeping” from fatigue at the same time. If we are not ourselves then free will can reasonably be presumed to be lacking to various degrees. Hence sinfulness is lessened or even eliminated under those conditions.
However, sexual sins are always to be considered objectively significant therefore you should be under the regular direction of a single Confessor. Do not get obsessive about going to confession after any particular failure if this happens regularly.
Just make a sincere act of confession and promise you will go to your normally scheduled Confessional visit. Under these conditions Communion may be received even before the actual Confession. Your confessor should explain all these practical considerations to you.
Good luck, it gets easier in the medium to long term