Is it a sin to have an impure thought/fantasy and then remove it when you realise it's severity?


One time, I found myself day dreaming, drifting off. At first I began to think and picture a woman. At first it did not seem in a lustful manner at all, justa slight attraction however more impure thoughts crossed my mind. Once I realised that this was developing into some sort of potentially lustful fantasy I immediately removed these thoughts from my mind, and refused to dwell on these previous thoughts. Is this sinful?


Baltimore Catechism No. 3Q. 1317. What is forbidden by the ninth Commandment?
A. The ninth Commandment forbids unchaste thoughts, desires of another’s wife or husband, and all other unlawful impure thoughts and desires.

Q. 1318. Are impure thoughts and desires always sins?
A. Impure thoughts and desires are always sins, unless they displease us and we try to banish them.


Just for clarification, when I realised the potentially sinful nature of these thoughts I expelled them.


In my opinion you did not sin, one of the qualifications necessary for sin is that you willingly participate in it. As soon as you realized what you were doing you rejected the impure thoughts, so you didn’t participate in what could have become sinful.


I believe you did well, and it is likely that you did not commit a sin at all.

This is because temptation itself is not sin, and what you went through appeared to be simply a temptation.

There is another level to this, however. You are now armed with the knowledge that you are prone to impure thoughts when you picture a woman in your mind. That is an occasion of sin.

Going forward, you should be aware of this occasion of sin, and therefore avoid trying to “picture” the female form in the context that it can lead you to sin.


Your posts all deal with worrying about sins relating to sexual thoughts and activities. It would be helpful to speak with a priest about these things. I’m sure he will ease your mind so you can stop worrying so much.


How does one expel thoughts? If you know the secret, please let me in on it.

I’m only half joking. The other half is honestly curious.


I know. I share your frustration.

I don’t think you can expel thoughts. You can only replace them. Whenever I am tempted with a sin of thought, whatever it may be, I replace it with prayer, such as the St. Michael the Archangel prayer, Hail Mary, or Our Father.


For me, I just start saying the Hail Mary and asking our Holy Mother to help me remove any such thoughts, and normally after one or two of these, I have cleared my mind of its garbage and I am thinking pure thoughts again.


By replacing it with a different thought.


When this happens to me I just say, “Jesus, take it and throw it away!” and I think of something else. If it keeps happening I shake my head and say, “Nope, I will not fall to this, away from me devil!” (or something similar) and think of something else. If it keeps coming still, I keep saying, “No” and persist to think of something else and say an Our Father or some other prayer.



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