sexual desire

Is it a sin to have a sexual urge or desire?
Or is it a sin when we give in to it by entertaining or acting on the feeling?
Also is it wrong to ask God to take away the desire when it arises? How can someone control their sexual desire without committing a sin?

Assuming one is talking about outside of marriage…

One avoids the near occasions of such…

If the desire “happens to one” …sort of comes out of the blue as they say: one does not* consent *…but “flees” turns attention to something else…(and thus one does not sin but merits…)

If is fine to ask God to take the temptation away …but do not fixate on it…rather turn your attention elsewhere …

Mortal sin is when one has not only the grave matter …but also the full knowledge and complete consent.

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

Bookcat! I swear I’m not following you!

Uh, danielle90…what he said. The thing is, if I may put this in my own words, sexual attraction is natural. We were created by God, and the way we propogate was God’s idea. So it’s not like God doesn’t know when we’re feeling attractions, but because we are called to love chastely we do not treat our fellow human beings as objects. Pretty much. We try really really really hard. It’s only possible to do through prayer. I know.

This.

Just like an alchoholic should stay out of a bar.

I think that this depends on what you mean by sexual desire.

It is absolutely not a sin to feel attraction to someone of the opposite sex. God made us attracted to the opposite sex because it is natural and good for a man and woman to be united through Marriage.

It is, however, sinful to have lust towards the opposite sex (or the same sex for that matter). I think it is important to make the distinction that you can be attracted to someone without necessarily lusting after them.

No

Or is it a sin when we give in to it by entertaining or acting on the feeling?

Outside marriage? Yes

Also is it wrong to ask God to take away the desire when it arises?

Yes. He gave it to you as part of your human character. It is normal.

How can someone control their sexual desire without committing a sin?

Read a book, play sport, work, take up a hobby, refuse to look at others as mere sex objects, etc, etc, etc.

Part of being a mature human being is learning to control human impulses and desires. The Catholic Catechism speaks of “self mastery”. We all must learn it to fit into society and to get along with our fellow man. Otherwise, we’d be all going around raping and pillaging.

thanks for the responses thus far.

So it is wrong to ask God to take away the sexual desire; but what if you really can’t control it when it arises or it leads to do sinful things; will it the be ok to God to take it away?

I have another another question do we commit mortal sin by our thoughts or thoughts and actions.

So it is wrong to ask God to take away the sexual desire; but what if you really can’t control it when it arises or it leads to do sinful things; will it the be ok to God to take it away?

I would ask God to help me control my thoughts and actions, and to help me see the beauty in those I am attracted to while avoiding lust. You can also pray to St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of purity.

I have another another question do we commit mortal sin by our thoughts or thoughts and actions.

As I understand, it is not a mortal sin to have a passing thought of lust as you notice someone who is attractive. But it is important that as soon as you feel yourself moving toward lust you work on controlling your thoughts.

If, on the other hand, you go home at night and deliberately choose to lust after someone, this is a much more grave sin.

A good way of putting it.

:thumbsup:

No it is not wrong to ask God to remove the desire…for such is not the time for it…it is at this time a temptation to sin…

Not that you are asking God to take away our sexuality…your asking for it to be ordered properly…to take away the temptation to help you live chastely…

One can commit a mortal sin in ones thoughts, in ones desires, in ones actions, or in ones ommissions (like not going to Sunday or Holy Day Mass --when one is not dispensed or has the needed reason like one is sick).

(from previous posts of mine)

Regarding thoughts

while Jesus makes it clear that one can sin in ones thoughts…just cause some lustful thought happens does not mean that one sinned…

(and one can have a sufficiently good reason to think about sexual matters…for instance studying moral theology…but care must be taken to avoid things that would be a problem…but that is another question)

What should we do with* unwanted* sexual thoughts or other bad thoughts…thoughts against God etc? Those pesky temptations that can come …even though we are not seeking them etc…

(there are of course some things we should avoid that cause them…and there can be sin if it is something one should reasonably avoid…but often they come uninvited)

First…Relax. Do not worry.

Now are they mortal sins?

For a mortal sin one needs a grave matter …full knowledge AND deliberate consent!!!

A. If you do not want the thought…it the thought displeases you: it can be a sign actually that you did not give consent or do not give full consent.

B. Even if you felt a temptation for the thought – and were drawn to it —but rejected it and maybe even turned to God : again a sign not full consent.

C. But what if one has a tempting thought --say of a sexual nature and even hesitated for a moment…but then rejected it for one did not want to sin? : it can be partial consent perhaps (and thus a venial sin)-- or it may be no sin at all but rather a strong temptation that drew you but then you saw what was happening and turned away.

D. A temptation can even be very strong or the thoughts very often – but this does NOT mean one has consented! so worry not…even it they go on for a long time…

remember --for it to be mortal there must be that deliberate consent!

What to do? on the spiritual side–relax first of all and remember the above.

Next – know that the more one fears the thoughts the more likely they are to come… or said another way --the more a person seeks to avoid the thoughts the more likely he will have a problem with them. (but do not worry about this either!)

for example: for the next 10 seconds try NOT to think of an apple.

tick tock …

tick tock…

Ok what did you think of? Most likely an apple.

So it is best to ignore them and just not consent and then turn your attention to some other good thing…for instance whatever you are doing. Simply do not consent and move on. and do not worry

another point – thoughts can just happen --they are the stuff with which we think…it is up to us to consent and take them further or not. and just because they are REAL VIVID and almost “think themselves” does not mean per se that one has given ANY consent.

they can be annoying…but need cause no actual harm …

(Now difficulties with thoughts can happen to anyone…and has for centuries…nothing new!..but I will note too that “some” have a condition known as OCD (I knew someone with this once…it was a painful experience)…and thus should seek further professional help to work at overcoming it and to live a more peaceful life)


Another help…is the distinction between “first thoughts and emotions” (as Baur calls em) what they call the prima of the prima…“the first of the first” (as one of my Professors called em…he was a Dominican)…these are involuntary things that just come up…such are not sins. They can tempt one of course to sin…or one can then proceed to some sin…but they are the stuff of the mind and emotions which “happen to one” …and really the are opportunities for growing in virtue etc as well…

How to deal with these? First of relax…don’t scruple…don’t fear them…to try to swat them all as the come…just simply turn to other things…or the thing you are doing…or to God…(of course do not consent)…but if you are too defensive against them…they may get worse actually…and confuse you more…instead turn to God or again other good things…accept that hey…somethings wild thoughts will come to you…

(and these can happen to all of us by the way…)

There is a story from the desert of the early Centuries of the Church where a younger hermit when to an older one with the problems of thoughts happening to him all the time…the older hermit told him to go outside open his cloak and catch the wind.

The younger hermit said such is not possible…

the older hermit replied --neither is it possible to stop all the thoughts that can come to you…your choice is to say “yes” or “no”.

So relax about “unwanted thoughts”…sometimes they just come…you know like unwanted phone calls from politicitians and salepersons etc…but you can always say “no thank you” or just ignore the call and go about your business

I have found that kneeling, placing my hands under my knees, and reciting three Hail Mary’s for purity and chasity, followed by asking for the intercession of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, St. Maria Goretti and my Guardian Angel helps.

points well taken thanks

I am going to give it a try thanks

**Next – know that the more one fears the thoughts the more likely they are to come… or said another way --the more a person seeks to avoid the thoughts the more likely he will have a problem with them. (but do not worry about this either!)

for example: for the next 10 seconds try NOT to think of an apple.

tick tock …

tick tock…**

that was funny all i thought about was the apple; but i get the point you are making

I did too, but I was hungry!:shrug:

Well, you know us Southern Baptists.

I have struggled a lot with sexual urges throughout my past. Before I conversion I often gave into them freely, but once I made my full conversion I often had a hard time deciphering what was lust and what was just a passing thought.

Fr. Richards put it in terms I could understand. He said:

We are sexual beings. We are called to want love and to give love. So if we are wandering along the beach and we see a beautiful woman in a bikini and we have a sexual thought about her… well ok, that’s fine. BUT if we spend the next hour thinking about every position we could possibly put her in… you probably need to go to confession.

All that said, I usually try to pray as many Hail Mary’s as it takes for my urge to subside when they arise now.

Joshua

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