Sin and Impurity

Hi, I’m sorry if this is posted in the wrong place. Also, my first question contains sexual references, and I’m sorry if this is offensive to anyone - I would be more than happy to delete it if it causes offence.

I just wanted to ask a few questions about impurity and sin, I think more for my peace of mind than anything.

  1. Recently, I’ve been constantly dealing with temptations regarding impurity, and I’m fairly sure I’ve been successful at dealing with them. Despite this, I’ve been having a lot of unwanted arousal, which I have been trying to ignore. A little while ago, I read a section of a story which featured romance/love - nothing explicitly sexual, except a small reference - but, as usual with everything recently, it caused sexual arousal. However, I can’t stop worrying that I committed a sin. Usually I’m reassured by the fact that it is unwanted thoughts or feelings which cause this, but I feel as though I’m responsible this time because I purposely read what caused it. I know that I did not read the story in order to become aroused - it was for the fluffy ‘warm fuzzies’ of reading something romantic (if that makes any sense…) - but I knew that it would likely be a result of reading it, and I intended to ignore it as usual. After a short time, I stopped reading because I was worried that God might be offended. Would this be considered a sin?

  2. If I am ever unsure over whether a sin was Mortal or Venial, and I decide after evaluation that it must have been Venial, but I was wrong and it was actually Mortal, would I be faced with this for the rest of my life and after I die? Or, in other words: I believe that the above was Venial at the most (which is still awful, I know), since I am unsure about it, did not put sufficient thought into what I was doing, ect., but if I was wrong and it was actually Mortal, would this mean that I would spend the rest of my life unknowingly in Mortal Sin?

I’m sorry if my post was confusing, and I’m thankful for any input at all.

Not a sin. For you to sin, you have to intend to sin. You have to have full knowledge and consent that what you’re doing is a sin. Not the case in your situation. And sexual arousal is not a sin. It’s perfectly normal and healthy. But we are called to have temperance and not let things get out of hand.

If you go to Confession, and confess your sins, all will be forgiven by the priest. Thru the priest, Christ forgives you for all the sins you mentioned, and ones you didn’t mention. After confession you don’t have to worry if you brought up all your sins. From there go and praise the Lord giving thanks, and try not to be scrupulous. Jesus loves you. Try to do good and love and pray. And remember that He loves you and He was crucified to forgive your sins and grant you eternal life.

We women go through a lot of hormonal changes and sometimes uncontrolled feelings that pop up in the middle of nowhere! Grocery stores even! Menopause (sorry guys) can make us feel like a comet burning up in space… just part of being a human. But say prayers during these outbreaks, they really, really help. Ask Saint Michael the Archangel to protect you…

Save your passion for your husband and it isnt a sin if its your husband. My priest helped me through this and impure thoughts about a co-worker, someone else’s husband, lust for someone…those are sins. The actions with these thoughts outside of marriage is bad.

Talk to your priest… Some priests have emails and can explain things by email if you are too embarassed to discuss in confessional, or face to face.

I just want to make a correction to what abon12 said. If you thought that reading the romance literature would be an activity that would likely lead you into temptation (this is called a “near occasion of sin”) then that itself would be a sin, even though the activity itself is not sinful and may not be a near occasion of sin for most people.

As far as mortal vs. venial,

  1. personally this does not sound like a mortal sin to me.

  2. with any mortal sin, only if you intentionally hide it when making a confession is the mortal sin unforgiven. If you completely forgot about a mortal sin and didn’t confess it when going to confession, it is my understanding that it is forgiven. When going to confession one is not obliged to confess every venial sin that they are aware of, but to intentionally omit a sin of grave matter not only retains the sin, but is also a mortal sin in itself.

Lily, be assured that experiencing arousal that you didn’t seek out for your own pleasure is not sinful. Arousal can happen reading a book, holding hands with a boyfriend, watching TV or in any other number of proper daily activities.

It is not correct to view an occasion of arousal, which is an ordinary and often involuntary event, an “occasion of sin”. It is not a sin, even if you undertake an activity (eg go on a date) which you anticipate may cause arousal, so long as that is not your goal, and you are resolved to manage the situation responsibly.

Rau, yes you are correct. Merely experiencing arousal as it occurs in normal daily activities is unavoidable and is no sin. What I would say is that each of us needs to know ourselves and what are the things that put us into temptations, and to either avoid these or at least be very careful amidst them. Knowing that one is putting oneself in significant temptation can be a sin in itself. For me personally, going to a pool or beach and seeing scantily clad young women is a significant temptation to lust. There’s nothing wrong with swimming, but it’s an occasion of sin for me, so I don’t go swimming in situations where there are likely to be women in bikinis. Certain activities are reasonable and necessary even if they sometimes cause arousal, such as taking a shower or getting to know a potential marriage partner. These things have to be done and can’t be avoided in fulfilling our duties, so in such cases extra care may need to be taken for certain individuals. Other activities are not so necessary and can simply be avoided if they are problematic.

Thank you everyone for your replies. I feel a lot less anxious about it now :).

And, I realise that placing myself in a near occasion of sin would be terrible, but I truly wasn’t particularly tempted or believing that I would be tempted when I read the text. I’m just obsessed with the thought that I’m lying to myself sometimes. :o

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to reply. :slight_smile:

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