Lust: When is it a sin?

The Peace of the Lord,

Warning: *I’m going to make it detailed. *

When is lust considered a mortal sin? I know everyone who looks at a woman with lust will have adultery in his heart, which means that you’ve done a mortal sin?

Example 1: What if I was watching a sexual prank video and there are women there but there is no nudity. Like a “Would you make out with me” video. So if I watch such things, I have committed a grave sin?

Example 2: When I saw a woman doing lustful actions(like flirting or seducing) and I was really tempted. Have I sinned?

Example 3: When I accidentally saw a woman in a bikini and took a 5 seconds look (with a slight lust).

I know that I’m being scrupulous but I just can’t identify if I have done a mortal or a venial sin.

Thank you and God bless us all

Well, there you go.

Then you need to be having a conversation with your pastor, not random strangers on the internet.

You need to learn a method of discernment, not ask an endless string of “is this a sin” questions. Learn HOW to tell, that takes working with a real spiritual director.

Talk to your pastor.

:thumbsup:

:thumbsup:

Since yours is a trial membership, I will tell you first that this question of lust (and masturbation) comes up so often that most posters are probably tired of responding and don’t bother. That said, I’ll give you an opinion and understanding distilled from over 50 years of talking to priest, pastors, retreat masters, and other clerical authorities.

Human desire is normal and natural. We are wired that way, and guess who did the wiring. The God who gave us our sexuality to begin, the same God who saw everything that he created was good.

I think the simplest definition I could offer is this; when normal, natural human appreciation and desire becomes corrupted with malice and intent, a willful, directed, malicious intent to abuse oneself or another, that is lust. That malice is what I understand Christ to be condemning.

Flirting, inadvertent attention to attractive members of the opposite sex, “pranks”, and the normal encounters we daily experience that can move one to appreciate, are not in and of themselves sinful, unless you allow them to become malignant with a disordered purpose.

My :twocents:

From the Catechism:

2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

  • this post could prove useful.

OP, it is not just the lustful attraction - a perversion of human thinking - which is the mortally sinful part; reason being, that as humans, grace fights such things, normally over time, as lust, or any negative response or emotion can build up over time, in the sense that lust can be an habitual response. If one sinned mortally every time one lusted, then, seriously, the length of the line of people at confession would be heeeouge! As this poster said, it is the indulgence of such thoughts, which is where Mortal Sin kicks in. That is not to say that one cannot apologise at confession for having briefly looked at a woman lustfully (maybe when out and about, for example) and not having disciplined the eyes. Yet, entertaining lustful thoughts and looks etc…is the very sinful part, ranging in degrees of seriousness. I do think that prayer is important for discernment in knowing what is and what is not, mortal sin. Sometimes, we are just attracted to people. Sometimes, something might come up on a film or something that we weren’t expecting and maybe didn’t look away for the whole time. Mortal sin is quite deliberate: I want to be excited about thinking how sexually attractive this woman is and am going to play with this idea in my mind even though I don’t know her (kind of thing), and will deliberately carry on watching knowing that it is winding me up - especially if said-woman is greatly in need of some clothing. Even then…as another poster said, maybe seek a confessor who knows you.

My confessor (a Dominican monk) told me that in my case (being unmarried and all) I should remember to thank God for his gift to me, that being the gift of sexual pleasure and for all his beautiful creation.
I was told to do my best not to fall into masturbation to often and to do my best not to watch pornography.
I asked him if I could take communion when if I fall into this sin and he ensured me that I was permitted to do so.

This is a living example of why you must talk this over with father and not just read and interpret the catechism on your own. Get spiritual guidance.

Pax Christi

imo, ‘lusting’ is looking upon a person and fantasizing about sex with them, desiring their body for the sole purpose of sex, looking at them like a piece of meat so to speak.

However, I also think someone has successfully resisted the temptation to sin if they do not take steps to attain physical sex with the person they are lusting after, like approaching the person, asking for their number, asking out on a date, flirting with them, in hopes of them having sex later. Trying to make their lust come to fruition, that is what lust is after all.

Lusting is basically a temptation, it is not a sin TO BE TEMPTED, its what choices you make upon being tempted that matters, Jesus himself was tempted in the desert by Satan, yet he committed no sin, so this implies simply being tempted is not a sin in itself.

Its kind of like thinking about robbing a bank, having all that money sounds great, but stealing is wrong and the consequences are not worth it, so everyday I avoid robbing a bank, I am successfully resisting temptation.

Like Ive said in another thread like, if Gods views our temptations to sin, AS ACTUAL SINS…well we are all in trouble then.

I don’t think the second paragraph above - following up on something - is necessarily more serous than the first. The second would surely come under venial. And it is relative to the situation and content, in the sense that, one could purposefully view something far more vulgar compared to someone who watched something a little bit vulgar but who then went and arranged a date, or something i.e:- the first example could in some cases be more serious than the second.

Lusting is basically a temptation, it is not a sin TO BE TEMPTED, its what choices you make upon being tempted that matters, Jesus himself was tempted in the desert by Satan, yet he committed no sin, so this implies simply being tempted is not a sin in itself.

Jesus being tempted is not a good example. His temptation came from Satan as a one-off event.

Jesus said that if a person looks at a woman lustfully then he has committed an act of adultery in his heart. Therefore, what does “temptation” mean? If a person looks at a woman and she is half-naked, let’s for the sake of argument say unintentionally, but find no attraction because one just sees the woman in simplicity, as a natural being, then this is seeing with a pure heart. And therefore, the word ‘temptation’ ceases to exist.

Its kind of like thinking about robbing a bank, having all that money sounds great, but stealing is wrong and the consequences are not worth it, so everyday I avoid robbing a bank, I am successfully resisting temptation.

The ‘temptation’ exists because you are finding a bank with money in it, tempting, because to some others, that will not be tempting. Humanity is fallen which is why people are tempted. And the reason one might be tempted to rob a bank is because Satan is tempting that person to make them think it is tempting, as well as OS.

Like Ive said in another thread like, if Gods views our temptations to sin, AS ACTUAL SINS…well we are all in trouble then.

The sin occurs when giving into temptation. But this does not negate the requirement in life to try and gain a pure heart in order that we are not tempted.

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