Impure & OCD thoughts


Recently I have been extremely struggling with impure thoughts, specifically intrusive, and sometimes telling myself I did nothing wrong. On a scale from one to ten on how bad it’s been, it is probably no joke above 10. I go to confession, I talk to my priest, and also mother but nothing seems to help. Today I had a sports talk show on and I was doing something else but overheard what they were talking about. Recently an NFL Quarterback has been dating a porn star and I overheard them talking about what they thought. This got me to think of another athlete that was related to porn in another way, and ultimately gave me the thought/image in my head of a nude woman. I made the sign of the cross multiple times to fight it but the thought remained in my head when I did this, but eventually went away. This got me so concerned that I sinned that I later generated the thought again and kept making the sign of the cross again, for whatever reason, maybe just to show why I did it, and how I did, and why it was not effective. Now I am really scared and worried that I gravely sinned because I generated the thoughts again to redo the situation because I was not convinced the first time I did nothing wrong. I think OCD is really hurting me in these situations right now because I keep repeating the actions to try and tell myself it is no big deal. Overall is this a grave and mortal sin?


Every time you had the temptation or thought you turned it away with the sign of the cross, therefore you did not sin. Next time maybe do a hobby so your mind can be on something else.


It is only a bad thing if you do not address the underlying cause.


Have you considered speaking to a GP or therapist? I would really recommend it, they will be able to help you and give you the tools to help yourself with the obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions.


And get a spiritual director.


It’s even ok if I self-generated the thoughts again but immediately made the sign of the cross, the reason I purposely did it again was to replicate the situation? I just have a feeling I mortally sinned?


This is really a medical issue, not a moral one. Speak to a physician or counselor. Find an experienced confessor and trust him. Don’t obsess over repetitive thoughts.


Feelings can deceive. So can the devil. I think you could do with prayers said as much as some of the other suggestions, such as a spiritual director / meetings with priest, and anything else outside Catholic spiritual advice. Have you tried the prayer section with a specific intention posted for your needs?


Thank you for the advice. I have not tried the prayer section, to be honest I did not know that it existed. It seems like everyone thinks this is not a mortal sin, even the second time. Is that correct?


For a sin to be 'mortal:

…the sin must be a gravely sinful act, one must have full knowledge of the sinfulness of the act, and one must delibrately consent to it.

It sounds as if you are trying to get rid of the thoughts, not wanting them to come into your head, and not giving in to them, and so, therefore, no ‘mortal sin’ is being committed.

So, correct.

If you click on the Catholic Living category, then you will see the Prayer Intentions subcategory listed, should you choose to post there.


If you are diagnosed with OCD it’s a healthcare issue, or you may not be yet. Sounds like you are dealing. New research suggests that they are looking at OCD as a biological disorder, they found evidence that there is a mutation with the serotonin transporter gene. Certain areas of the brain function differently with people dealing with OCD. Everyone has intrusive thoughts or random thoughts and wonder “why am I thinking of this?!” They also, usually…easily dismiss them and move on. When you have OCD, trauma or other brain issues, you can’t easily do that. Physically in the brain sometimes you just can’t. They have not pin pointed the cause of OCD there are several reasons for it, behavioral, biological, genetics, learned behaviors and or a combination. But there is talk of making it a biological disorder due the shape of the corpus striatum in people with OCD causing signals to fire more rapidly.

As a male, some of these thoughts are part of who you are. I think you might need to reframe these thoughts, as a male God created you a certain way. This is a normal, this is part of you and what will help make you a father if that is your calling. I think it’s wonderful you are talking about this and going to confession. OCD might be your cross to carry but try not to be fearful. Forgive yourself and know you are trying to do the right thing, this doesn’t all have to be bad.

I can email you journal articles in the field. If you do a search for OCD and biological brain issues, you might find something in Psychology Today but sites like Psych Today are more for social media and not considered professional peer reviewed journal articles.


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