Complicated impure thoughts


#1

I woke up from an impure dream this morning, was confused at first about whether it was real or not, realized it was only a dream, and that I had not consented in real life. Yet, I have a habit of examining my thoughts in order to determine whether I’ve sinned or not, and then I end up worrying that I’ve sinned in re-examining the thoughts. Later I read something written by Father William Doyle in order to reassure myself that I had not sinned in re-examining the thoughts: [FONT=“Arial”]“In other words, in order to sin mortally there must be pefect knowledge and full consent, the one clearly perceiving, the other fully accepting, the grave sin. Besides this, it is necessary that both acts be simultaneous. Is this what happens in the thoughts or liberties of pious souls against the angelic virtue? Certanily not. Nearly always they do not realize they are doing wrong; they completely forget their thought or act is sinful, even though a moment before they may have clearly perceived its malice. In such cases,** they do not **commit sin, since they are not conscious of wrong while thinking or acting. Or they only see the malice of their thought or act in a confused way, and though their may be full consent of the will, the fault is no more than venial, since the knowledge of the wrong is imperfect.” But then stupidly, I went back and read it again and recalled the subject matter of the dream purposely, thinking, “Okay, now I’m thinking about the subject matter of the dream, I KNOW it’s grave matter…THAT is mortal sin.” And then I immediately thought, “Oh no! I may have just mortally sinned!” But I didn’t enjoy thinking about it, and I didn’t dwell on the thought for the purpose of arousal. I guess my purpose was to clarify in my mind what Father Doyle was saying about needing to have full knowledge and full consent of the will at the same time. Now I’m scared that I may have mortally sinned because I thought to myself, “This is grave matter, and I’m calling it to mind…” Even though I immediately stopped at that point and thought, “Oh no! I may have just mortally sinned! I don’t want to think about this subject matter.” Does this sound like I have mortally sinned? My logic tells me that I haven’t…but my mind often gets caught up in a viscious circle.[/FONT]


#2

It would be best to talk to a priest for a complete answer, but personally, I don’t think this would be mortal.

When you’re dreaming you really aren’t controlling what is happening, it just happens. So if you have a dream like that, it’s not like you’re controlling it.

I would maybe pray to not have these types of dreams as I don’t think they would come up too often without some source in daily life, but the act of dreaming you are not consenting to so it isn’t full consent. (for example, who would chose to have nightmares?!)


#3

I’m not worried about the dream being sinful…I know it wasn’t. I was worried this morning that I might have consented to the thoughts while I was re-examining them (to figure out if it was really a dream and if I’d sinned). That’s why I read what Father Doyle wrote in order to reassure myself that I didn’t have full knowledge and full consent AT THE SAME TIME when I was re-examining what happened in the dream. What I’m worried about NOW is that after I read what Father Doyle wrote, I thought to myself, “Okay, now I’m recalling what happened in the dream and I know it’s grave matter…so THAT would be mortal sin.” I immediately worried after thinking THIS that I had mortally sinned just then, even though I wasn’t dwelling on the thoughts for enjoyment…more like just trying to clarify in my mind what Father Doyle had said that mortal sin requires full knowledge and full consent at the same time.


#4

As others have suggested you may want to consult a priest on this matter. However, I do not think you committed a mortal sin especially if there was no consent.

You may want to say the Mafnificat & ask our Blessed Mother to help you put this problem to rest.


#5

I guess I was thinking, "I wonder if that's true--that it's difficult for a pious person to have both full knowledge and full consent at the same time?" And so I called to mind the grave subject matter and said to myself, "I know this is grave matter and now I'm going to think about it." But as soon as I did that, I thought, "Oh no--now I HAVE mortally sinned!" But I only thought of it for a second or two and I wasn't thinking about it for pleasure--just to sort of test the "theory" that it's difficult to have full knowledge and full consent at the same time. But now I just can't shake the thought that I consented. I suppose I'll be running to confession again.


#6

You can ask your priest; however, I believe he will tell you, you're being scrupulous. Next time you have a dream with sexually explicit material, then leave it alone and pray for the grace to just forget about it.


#7

[quote="Veronica97, post:1, topic:323125"]
I woke up from an impure dream this morning, was confused at first about whether it was real or not, realized it was only a dream, and that I had not consented in real life. Yet, I have a habit of examining my thoughts in order to determine whether I've sinned or not, and then I end up worrying that I've sinned in re-examining the thoughts. Later I read something written by Father William Doyle in order to reassure myself that I had not sinned in re-examining the thoughts: [FONT="Arial"]"In other words, in order to sin mortally there must be pefect knowledge and full consent, the one clearly perceiving, the other fully accepting, the grave sin. Besides this, it is necessary that both acts be simultaneous. Is this what happens in the thoughts or liberties of pious souls against the angelic virtue? Certanily not. Nearly always they do not realize they are doing wrong; they completely forget their thought or act is sinful, even though a moment before they may have clearly perceived its malice. In such cases,** they do not ***commit sin, since they are not conscious of wrong while thinking or acting. Or they only see the malice of their thought or act **in a confused way*, and though their may be full consent of the will, the fault is no more than venial, since the knowledge of the wrong is imperfect." But then stupidly, I went back and read it again and recalled the subject matter of the dream purposely, thinking, "Okay, now I'm thinking about the subject matter of the dream, I KNOW it's grave matter....THAT is mortal sin." And then I immediately thought, "Oh no! I may have just mortally sinned!" But I didn't enjoy thinking about it, and I didn't dwell on the thought for the purpose of arousal. I guess my purpose was to clarify in my mind what Father Doyle was saying about needing to have full knowledge and full consent of the will at the same time. Now I'm scared that I may have mortally sinned because I thought to myself, "This is grave matter, and I'm calling it to mind..." Even though I immediately stopped at that point and thought, "Oh no! I may have just mortally sinned! I don't want to think about this subject matter." Does this sound like I have mortally sinned? My logic tells me that I haven't...but my mind often gets caught up in a viscious circle.[/FONT]

[/quote]

You sound like me. I know the Father Doyle piece very well . It is not grave matter to examine consciences even where temptation may arise especially as you were trying to please God in testing the theory. Obviously it's best not to examine too much for scrupulous souls. AT the time you were thinking the thoughts to determine whether you had sinned/ test the theory. You were not doing it for the purpose of sexual pleasure. No sin !


#8

Taken from a very reputable book from the 19th century called *The Way of Interior Peace *by Fr. Lehen, pg. 99:

"To a mortal sin belong three points: 1st. Weighty matter; -- a jesting lie, for example or a vain, self-conceited thought, is not sufficient for a mortal sin. 2d. Full knowledge of the evil; that is, the deliberate consciousness that what one does is a mortal sin. This excludes all cases in which the sin proceeds from surprise, or in which the soul is not full master of her powers; as, for example, in half-slumber, and the like. 3d. Full consent of the will to that which the understanding knows to be mortal sin. As long as the consent remains imperfect, or we are conscious of a certain hesitancy, a deferring, or a reproach of conscience in consequence of our neglect in combating the temptation, the sin is only venial."

I hope this helps.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.