Living in the 21st century with things like Twitter/Facebook/ Snapchat/ Instagram, it is common to come across immodestly dressed girls on the internet (not meant to mean nude photographs, just suggestive clothing) . My question is, if you happen by the photos, is it a mortal sin that needs to be confessed if you willingly look at them? Even if they don’t inspire sexual or lustful thoughts? Or do you have to willingly allow sexual thoughts to manifest for it to be a mortal sin? Thanks (also note I understand either way it’s best not to look at all regardless, but I’ve had this situation occur a couple times and want to know if I need to confess it)
You always have to willingly allow mortal sin. Even if you unwittingly came across such pictures and experienced a perfectly normal psychological and physical reaction to those pictures, if you rejected sinful thoughts that popped into your head, there would be no sin.
If this becomes a continual problem, however, it should become obvious that this is a near occasion of sin and you should avoid those accounts where this is most likely to happen. It is usually predictable.
This needs to be taken up with your confessor not unidentified individuals on the internet.
While custody of the eyes is great and sure, as a general rule structuring your life so as to avoid excessive exposure to immodesty seems reasonable… Chastity speaker Jason Evert has a great piece of advice for what to do when you come across immodest (or overtly sexual) photographs, etc:
Pray for the person.
It’s a pretty good approach, I reckon, because then we don’t become neurotic about trying to avoid ‘seeing’ something, and we don’t have to feel guilty or self-doubt afterwards. Plus, we’re ‘acting against’ what could have been an occasion to sin, by turning it into an occasion for holiness, by offering up a prayer for the person (dressed immodestly) that they might not have received if you didn’t see them and choose to pray. Similar deal for animated immodesty: pray for the animators.
Pretty soon, the enemy stops proposing provocative images to you, haha. Once he realizes he’s just provoking you to prayer and holiness, not wickedness.
If you come upon something by accident, just ignore it and scroll on.
If you pause to admire it, or go seeking such things, a trip to Confession may be in order.
I to twitter and IG. The things I see are the things to which I have subscribed. Have never had a lewd photo just randomly show up. The only place that has happened to me was when I installed “What’s App” and was hit by disgusting photos within the first 12 hours, deleted that app immediately.
Learn how to manage your social medial feed.
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