Is it sinful to involuntarily wish harm upon someone that wronged you?

Here is the scenario.

Say a loved one of yours is hurt or killed as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. If you find yourself involuntarily thinking “I hope the person responsible gets in an accident”, than are you committing a sin by your thoughts? If so, what type of sin is it (mortal or venial?).

That is not involuntary. That is deliberate and in my view deliberately wishing harm on a person is a sin of grave matter.

Well we learn from the bible, jesus feels the thought is as bad as the action. However, its natural to feel upset, just dont let yourself be tempted to think it again, but yes, technically its sinful. im going with venial, to be mortal,you’d have to carry out the action.Otherwise, we would all be going to hell,because lets be honest,thoughts pass through your head you cant prevent everyone…

Our thoughts matter, so yes, we can commit sin with our imagination.

Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,
or the Lord will see and disapprove
and turn his wrath away from them. (Proverbs 24:17-18)

Yes it a grave sin to wish harm on another person. Pray asking God to heal your anger and hate for them

Involuntary wish is a bit of an oxymoron. I understand what you are saying. A friend of mine is going through that now, as his wife has filed for divorce, and has (through her attorney) effectively brought vengeance to bear through custody issues. The custody issues were the means of getting even for old hurts.

You should definitely discuss this with your confessor.

I would hesitate to say that if the thought flashed into your mind (and it will repeatedly), that it was seriously sinful; but dwelling on that thought most certainly can be. In addition to seeking reconciliation, you need help in working through the anger that backs this. Professional counseling would not be out of the realm of suggestions. Matters which have wounded us deeply are not simply going to go away on their own; and it is grossly insufficient for someone to recommend “Just say a Hail Mary” (and I have more than once heard such advice). Forgiveness is not easy, but is possible.

As you describe it as “involuntary thinking”, meaning they did not realize what they were doing, then it isn’t a sin. They were lost in thought and were not aware of it.

But once a person wakes up and becomes aware of having an immoral thought, then they must think about something else and stop thinking about revenge.

Someone said in this thread that you can’t commit sins thru thought, but only by carrying it out. That is not correct. Sin always begins in the will, and if the person willingly thinks about revenge, then that definitely would be a sin of thought.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

The line becomes blurred, it is not always clear, where we pass from having a thought occur to us, to willfully engaging in this thought. Drive them from your mind and pray as soon as you are able to. Sometimes you need to pray something continuously, something simple like the Jesus prayer of our Eastern friends (Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner) so that you can avoid such thoughts.

Actively engaging your will, even for a moment, to wish harm upon another is a sin. Whoever thinks lustfully about a woman has committed adultery in his heart. Again, are you perfectly knowledgeable of exactly when you are engaging your will in a thought? God, however, knows all that is in our hearts.

Thoughts passing through the head are not the same as wishing evil on someone. There are crimes of passion for which the culpability is mitigated because we don’t have full control of ourselves, but at the same time, our Lord said:

You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. . . . But I say to you, . . . whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. (Mt. 5)

Clearly mortal sin is not limited to the carrying out of the Ten Commandments in their most literal sense.

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