Inner potential to grave sin?

Dear all
I have a question.
I had a dream last night in which, in order to escape an uncomfortable situation, I considered doing something that would be a mortal sin. I wasn’t in the beginning aware that it would be a mortal sin, but then the awareness came to me, and I realized I wasn’t allowed to do that.

a) I think if something happens in a dream, it is not a sin, right? BUT I realized, upon waking up, that this could have well happened this way had I been awake. This same thought would have come to me.
So, the mere POTENTIAL inside of me, realizing that I could have had that thought, that INTENTION also in real life - should I take that to confession?

b) If this had happened in real life: Would the fact that I would stop the intention once I was aware it would be a mortal sin mean that I had NOT committed a mortal sin with that thought? Does “full awareness” mean that i must be fully aware that it is a MORTAL SIN, or just that I must be fully aware of what I am thinking?
So really, I would only commit mortal sin if, after realizing it would be a mortal sin, I still kept planning to carry out that intention (or even carry it out, fully)?

In general, am I in mortal sin for having had that thought/intention and realized that I could have had it also in real life?


p.s. talking about really serious sin here. One that would boil down to murder, if one was really aware what one was doing.

I was too ashamed to write down the specifics, but I think I’ll have to, in order to get qualified answers…

I was also afraid it might cause some kind of scandal, but I think the potential is bigger that it will help somebody else realize what a severe thing this is.

So, in the dream I was pregnant (not a possibility in real life. I have long decided to not have sex unless I ever get married. So, I in fact am a virgin still.)
I did not really like the thought of being pregnant, getting a big belly and all:blush:.
The sinful thought that came to me was: Maybe I will have a miscarriage, if I am not all that careful during pregnancy.

How can I have a thought like that??? That would be murder.

And I could really imagine that the same thought might have come to me in real life, because at first I didn’t even realize that it was a murderous thought.
I THEN realized that carrying out this thought would be murderous, similar to really having an abortion.

Of course, in real life, I am not pregnant, and if I ever do, I hope it owuld be in a situation where I would want the child, with a husband :). BUT IT BUGS ME that a thought like that exists in me!!! Doesn’t that somehow make me evil??

On the other hand, no, maybe it was a warning, a temptation, and then I REALIZED it would be wrong and I wouldn’t have done it.

I wonder if this makes me not in a state of grace for communion.
Since I tend to be scrupulous though I might well give myself the nenefit of the doubt and trust in God’s mercy. As it is not time for me yet to go to confession, really.

And I wonder was it wrong to post this here. Too shameful.

Your Subconscious is a very powerful thing, it can make pure fantasy turn into reality.
I’v had silly dreams too,so have most people, I came very close to phoning my parents in the middle of the night because I thought something dreadful had happened,which didn’t ,
Even during the day our mind can wander off into fantasy land,
Try not to look to closly trying to interpret your own dreams, there silly dreams with no real meaning, Try to fill your imagination with positive thoughts, such as dreaming about a trip somewhere on the back of a cruise ship, or career changes, good luck,
You can PM me if you want to talk more about it,

Phil - thank you for your answer.
I know that we, generally speaking, should not pay too much attention to dreams (of course there are exceptions, as the Bible suggests in the story of Christ’s birth, for example).
The question I have is of a different kind: Am I not in a state of grace anymore since I had that potential in me, that I would consider such a thing without even realizing at first that this TOO would be a kind of abortion?
Not in the dream, but thinking about it, that the thought might well also have occurred to me in real life, which makes me ashamed.
But then, I tell myself: 1. in real life the situation would be different if I ever do get pregnant
2. once I realized that it would be sinful, I would be very careful to not even subconsciously ACT on that thought; instead I hope I would pray about it and ask God for grace to accept the pregnancy.
But I cannot be sure.
But as I said, since I tend to be rather scrupulous, I think I will give myself the benefit of the doubt until my next confession, where I might mention it as a venial sin (grave matter, but without full consciousness?)

I NEVER would want to hurt my child if I ever have one!!!:eek::eek::eek: How can I even have a thought like that???
Yes, I repent having that thought, but does that mean I have go to confession? I think I am ok to go to communion?

(again: I know having a sinful thoguht in a dream is not a sin. The worry is the realization that in real life too, the thought might well have occurred to me, and just as in the dream probably (hopefully) I would then realize it would be sinful and NOT act on it.)
Unfortunately I have to get going now… and probably won’t be online anymore until evening mass tonight… I think I’ll have to trust in God’s mercy…

Be at peace. You have not committed a mortal sin.
We are not held responsible for random thoughts that come to us - which is largely what dreams are - and as for thoughts that come to us when we are awake, they are only sinful if we embrace them. Random thoughts are simply that - Random…

I do understand your concern over having this potential inside of you. I have had this same sort of thing occur to me. I look on such things as calls to humility. They make me know how imperfect I am.

You do not need to take this to confession, but if it is truly bothering you then do mak an appointment to talk with your priest.


Even if we step aside from your dream and place this into a real life situation, let’s break it down to the basics. You had a thought, a passing thought, that it would be easier if you did not properly care for yourself and your baby thus causing a miscarriage. This is no more sinful than any other thought that pops into our head! We are not responsible for the things that pass through our mind. We are responsible for how long we dwell on them or consider them, and what we physically do with them.

I’d like to also add, we all have the inner potential for grave sin that is never terribly far removed from our psyche. Peter himself physically denied Christ three times. When we are threatened, in danger, or in fear, our gut reaction is to protect ourselves no matter what the cost. As Christians, we feed our ability to deviate from our gut reaction with the strength of graces provided by the sacraments. But this grace that gives us strength doesn’t make us immune. :slight_smile:

No. Please speak to your priest about scruples. He can help you to conquer these thoughts that plague you. Peace.

First of all thank you all for the responses.
I dud decide to speak to somebody. I spoke to a nun who has counseled me well before, and since a priest just happened to come by too there, I threw the question at him as well… the nun and the priest could set my mind at ease.

It is as I had somehow known deep inside: Sinful (gravely sinful, i would say) would have been to, awake, HAVE the thought and, even after realizing that it would be sinful, STILL act on it.

And they also agreed, like it has been mentioend here too, that we all have that potential inside of us.

Maybe, I am thinking now (remembering hwta the nun had told me at a different occasion), this is also a call to humiliy.

Kathrin. I truly hope and Pray that you find the peace you deserve

Thank you very mnuch Phil!

After a bit of a “crisis” a little more than a week ago, I made a new brave start against the scruples… back on a very promising track now… :)) Feeling good and hopeful.

Excellent! :heart:

There is always someone around to listen .

Being in a state of grace does not mean ignorance of sin. While you may be aware of sin and have been even tempted to commit sin you CHOOSE not to commit sin.

I don’t know of the theologian who thought it up but he said that humans have three powers, intellect, emotion and will. Humans may be aware of the sin (intellect), tempted (emotion) but choose not to commit the sin (Will). Merit lies with the will.

Jesus told St. Faustina that all merit lies with the will.

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