about 3 times now I’ve had impure thoughts where i seem to willfully think them and at the time i seem to be giving full consent. they have only lasted about an 1/8 of a second though, there’re basically a flash, because i firmly put an end to them. The problem is this initial choosing, or what it least totally seems like it. two seconds before i have no intention what so ever to think any bad thought, but then it’s like i choose to think (sometimes with super strong temptation) them and then i stop thinking them right away. i’m trying to figure out if i need to go to confession today, i just went two days ago though. any advice would be great, thanks!
Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI
- When does one commit a mortal sin?
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.
- When does one commit a venial sin?
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.
Note each aspect in the quote above.
Note too that some can often confuse temptation with consent (or at least complete consent).
Lots of thoughts can “happen” to one out of the blue – without any sin.
- when one realizes what the thought is -they are rejected.
Discuss the matter with your confessor --he can assist (ask questions etc).
It seems that the strong temptation is taking about 1/8 of a second for you to firmly overcome it. I would not count that as a sin. If you were to dwell on the impure thoughts, then it might be a sin. Keep fighting the good fight and God bless you.
If you reject the thought as soon as you realize it is against chastity it is not even a sin. Even venial sin needs some consent of the will (which in venial sin can be vewry minor, I kicked by buddy in soccer because I was playing a little too agressively - I didn’t will to kick him but to play agressively).
The will needs a little time to react.
Such thoughts also bring with them a second, and more dangerous temptation: that you will get all worried, loose your peace and stop focusing on God.
However if you start dwelling on such thoughts for longer, you are probably consenting.
I wouldn’t worry if you are fighting the thoughts. Like the others said, it’s only if you consent and dwell or act on it. Stay strong in your faith.
If these thoughts are as fleeting as you suggest, then I can’t see any sin in them because you are despatching them almost as soon as you are aware that you are thinking them. Certainly nobody could dwell on anything for the length of time you recount, so it doesn’t sound like anything more than a momentary distraction. I wish my willpower were as strong as yours!
It may be that you suffer from an over-abundance of scruples and you might need to mention the subject to a priest if only to be given the authority to give yourself some peace in the matter. Personally I would say you’re fine.
At the end of the day we are only human and are bound to have bad thoughts that appear from time to time. Depends if one lingers on them and enjoys those thoughts or not.
If you try to remove those thoughts then i dont see a problem as you are aware they are of no good etc.