How should I deal with compulsive, impure thoughts?

Hello,

I thought I had a better grasp on this, i’ve come to the conclusion I am more than likey a scrupulous person. ( let’s throw that out there right now). Struggling with impure thoughts/lustful thoughts has been a bit of a struggle with me. I have been getting better, but then today I breifly entertained one of those thoughts. i stopped myself, but then went back to it. I remember thinking, I was just going to go back for a few seconds, not enough to get “fully aroused” but enough that i did enjoy the thought. I did stop it before anyhting “happened”…

I’ve read through a bunch of the threads, Trying to get better clarification. i did not have a full on fantasty but the fact that i went back to it would that be considred " prolonging" it? But I didnt let it go on for more than a few seconds. I try to recieve the Eucharist everyday, but will not if I am in Mortal sin,( obviously) But I really need so more clarification. I know there is more likely isn’t a priest here, but any advice or guidance from my family in Christ would be greatly appreciated. I am so torn up about this…it has completley changed my mood at work. Thank you so much!! God Bless you and if you have time say a prayer for me.

-Wings

Hi Wings,

Well, there IS a priest here and furthermore, I deal here with many people who have trouble with scruples. Your obsession over whether you have committed a mortal sin or not with your sexual thoughts only keeps them on your mind all the more. You mentioned that you entertained such thoughts, but what you did not mention is that the first thought came to you involuntarily. This is a major item. My friend, yours is the challenge AND the cross to not yield to the temptation to go back and evaluate your culpability over a particular thought. You do not have the luxury of such behavior. The Lord knows full well how difficult this matter is for you. After all, He has allowed you to carry this cross—and it IS a cross! It is also more of a psychological and possibly physiological matter than a religious one—even though if feels otherwise. Such obsessive compulsive behavior is all about feeling and fear.

Now I am not suggesting that you ‘white knuckle’ this by combating the matter directly. Just give the matter to the Lord and turn your thoughts to something else. The Lord is quite capable of making up for your lack. Let Him deal with it because He alone understands it. Such trust in Him is really a loving thing to do. He understands how difficult this is for you and such trust on you part is very pleasing to Him. With some time and His help, you can get past this. You are in my prayers. Feel free to contact me privately by clicking on my name above.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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