Impure thoughts - help appreciated!


This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock. I remember turning it off, and then closing my eyes again. Shortly afterwards, I began to have impure thoughts. I don’t remember if I was awake, or half-dreaming. The thoughts went on for about 10-15 seconds, and then I remember opening my eyes and suddenly realizing that the thoughts I was having were sinful, (while I was having them, I didn’t realize that they were sinful, which is what makes me think I was half-dreaming. If I had been fully awake I would have pushed the thoughts out of my mind right away) and I sent out a quick prayer for God to get the thoughts out of my mind. I know that if you’re dreaming, no mortal sin can be committed, because you can’t give deliberate consent to any sin in a dream, but I’m not sure if I was dreaming or not. I know that it is a mortal sin to entertain impure thoughts, but I’m not sure if all the requirements for the sin to be mortal have been met. For example, as I was having the thoughts, I didn’t have full knowledge that they were sinful, but when I “woke up”, I knew right away that they were. Does this mean that the mortal sin requirement of “having full knowledge of the sin you’re committing” was not fulfilled? Also, I only entertained the thoughts for 10-15 seconds, so does it even fulfill the mortal sin requirement of “grave matter”? I’m just very worried about the whole ordeal, and I have mass in a couple hours, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to receive Eucharist, because I can’t tell if this was a mortal sin or not. Any opinions or help would be much appreciated.


Religious scrupulosity does come to mind. OCD. I sometimes think that the words “mortal sin” and “eternal damnation” do us more harm than good. It is OK to have fear of the Lord, but not to be obsessed by it. I think “fear” is more respect anyway.


A mortal sin that bars you from Eucharist is something you KNOW you did as an affront to God. It’s not an errant thought you got stuck on for too long. Eucharist is the most powerful spiritual weapon we have to overcome sin in our lives, so Satan will accuse or do whatever he can to make you feel unworthy to participate. A sin which bars you from Eucharist is something you know through and through was done to be an affront to God that you fully and willingly did anyway. When the thought to stop entered your mind, you did it. You didn’t say “oh, I guess this is wrong. Bah, I’m doing it anyway.”


Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe any thought can actually be a mortal sin.

Having “impure thoughts” for 10-15 seconds without realizing what you were doing is definitely not a mortal sin and is probably not even a sin at all, given you stopped as soon as you recognized it and turned towards God.


Alright, thank you all for the help! :slight_smile:


You can be day dreaming and thoughts come into your head. As soon as you realize, like you said, push the thoughts out of your mind. No sin. For thoughts to be sinful, you really have to dwell on it, like planning an evil action.


A thought can indeed be a mortal sin.


Saint Augustine said that impure thoughts are grave matter. Also murderous thoughts and stuff like that are also sinful.


@YIRI-U-RIHO “ Fully consenting to a sexual thought is MORTAL SIN. Also, wear the Cord of Saint Philomena!


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