I have a big problem and I would really like you to help me if you can. And please don’t say “Talk to your local priest”, because if that’s going to be answer to any question, then why does this forum even exist. When (sexualy) sinful thought came to my mind, I sometimes haven’t rejected it. There were the times when I haven’t accepted that thought and fully enjoyed in it, but Iwas passive and I haven’t prayed to God to get that thought out of my mind. I enjoyed sinful thoughts, even thought not fully. There were times that I even considered sinning and stoped just because I didn’t want to go to confession. There were times when I have looked for temptations. But the thing is that I haven’ t ever considered it possibly sinfull until today. I never confesed any of those and I recieved eucharist regurarely. “If that was sinful and if I was departed from God by partialy accepting these thoughts, why haven’t fully accepted them and done sinful act (masturbation)?” I thought. Because God is only one that keeps us from sinning. Were thoughts I had and delibaretly left in my mind, though not accepting them fully, sinful? Were they mortal sin? Was considering sinning sinful itself? Was that mortal sin? Is the mere fact that the reason that I haven’t sinned avoiding guilt and confesiion sinful? Was that a mortal sin?
That is exactly what you must do. Spiritual guidance of this nature is best accomplished with your pastor or regular confessor, and when in doubt about sins in the confessional.
For those questions that are of a nature other than “did I commit a sin”. We cannot help you with your spiritual issues, that needs guidance of your pastor.
These sorts of compulsive and intrusive situations can be symptoms of other spiritual issues such as scrupulosity or possibly OCD-related issues. You sound overly worried about whether you had a thought, wanted the thoughts, stopped the thoughts, the thought became intrusive, etc. These are situations that need a priest, not an internet forum.
And please don’t say “Talk to your local priest”, because if that’s going to be answer to any question, then why does this forum even exist.
There are many many types of questions that can be and are discussed here. However, when it comes to questions like yours…1ke nailed it. You really need to work these things through with a spiritual director and/or a regular confessor.
When (sexualy) sinful thought came to my mind, I sometimes haven’t rejected it. There were the times when I haven’t accepted that thought and fully enjoyed in it, but I was passive and I haven’t prayed to God to get that thought out of my mind. I enjoyed sinful thoughts, even though not fully. There were times that I even considered sinning and stoped just because I didn’t want to go to confession. There were times when I have looked for temptations. But the thing is that I haven’ t ever considered it possibly sinful until today.
God has given you a great grace today.
I never confessed any of those and I received Eucharist regularly. “If that was sinful and if I was departed from God by partially accepting these thoughts, why haven’t fully accepted them and done sinful act (masturbation)?” I thought. Because God is only one that keeps us from sinning. Were thoughts I had and deliberately left in my mind, though not accepting them fully, sinful? Were they mortal sin? Was considering sinning sinful itself? Was that mortal sin? Is the mere fact that the reason that I haven’t sinned avoiding guilt and confession sinful? Was that a mortal sin?
The act of accepting, embracing and enjoying the thoughts is itself a sin yes. Jesus was quite clear on this point. The fact that you did not realize this fact greatly reduces the culpability. Thus, based on what you have written, you have not sinned mortally.
That said, God has given you a great grace by showing you that this is indeed sinful and displeasing to Him who we love above all else. So now - moving forward, the seriousness of the sin, the culpability, increases greatly if you were to embrace and enjoy such thoughts again.
Again - we cannot stress to highly that you need to discuss these matters with your confessor.
You have a “schoolmaster” in learning to persevere in turning to God, in trusting God. God gave you this “schoolmaster”.
The “schoolmaster” is your desires. Now, desires want satisfaction. and there are two ways to satisfy them, or so it seems. First, you go and take care of it yourself. Second, you tell someone else of your desire, then let it go, knowing the “someone else” will provide for you.
The second way is what God wants you to learn when you experience desire (sexual, companionship, etc.). He wants you simply to tell him, “I am hungry”, then go on with your stomach growling to do the works he has put in front of you to do (after all, he is your “Lord”, and you, then, are his “subject” by implication), so your whole life is to come when he says come, go when he says go, and eat when he says, “take and eat”. So, you tell him “I desire”, then you go about his business joyfully, knowing he knows your desire.
The first way, getting it yourself, happens this way. When you desire, your own mind begins thinking of scenarios that could or would lead to successful satisfaction of your desire. You visualize images, have imagined conversations, etc. This is a kind of “pre-thinking” that is an automatic occurrence in the human animal. St. James described it as being “lured and enticed” in the moment of his desire. Then, when the “pre-thinking” has been “conceived”, at some moment you begin to physically act out the pre-thinking. James’s solution: Stop the pre-thinking when you realize it is happening and recall to your thoughts that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights”. That is the source of the satisfaction in your desire. He gave you your desire to make you grow strong in trusting him and turning to him. This “pre-thinking” St Paul called “the Flesh’s Forethought”. “Put on, clothe yourself, with the Lord Jesus Christ - don’t do the pre-thinking (forethought) of the flesh in the midst of desires.” (my translation, from the Greek). Your “schoolmaster”, the desires God gave you are for “testing” you, a proving ground in making you “steadfast, perfect, and complete” in persevering in trusting in Him.
The pre-thinking we do in our heads is not real; the satisfaction is not satisfaction. Look at yourself - in the thoughts you have, you imagine everything is, in a way, “good”, but after, you are fully dis-satisfied with yourself. The pre-thinking, the imaginations, etc. were an illusion, and their satisfaction also vanished like an illusion. When God provides your companion and for the other desires, you will humbly smile and whisper or shout “thank you” to Him. Put away the thoughts. Put on the Prayer. And then do the deeds your Lord sets in front of you as his “lifesoldier”
Should I confess these kind of sins that I have done before last confesion in case they were mortal after all (maybe I actualy knew this thoughts are sinful and tricked myself…)? I have had a lot of thoughts when I immagined what I would do if I would sin… Can I be sure God wil forgive me since I have no way of knowing how often I sinned? It could be 1000 it could be 1000000… I always thought about it as examination of temptations… My priest never tells anything during confesion and, to be honest, although I can’t really know that, doesn’t seem interested by theese isues…
Yes go ahead and confess them. At the very least it will give you peace of mind. There might be many reasons for your priest’s seeming lack of interest in the confessional so do not read too much into that. Since these issues are bothering you quite a bit, see if you can make an appointment to speak with him privately outside of confession. Then he will have time to just focus on you.
Alternately you might consider going to a different confessor. Many people do this.
I told my confessor once (this summer, in fact) that there were sins I had forgotten about in the past and never confessed and asked him if it would be right to confess them (and they were mortal sins, in so far as I did them willingly at the time and they turned me in a direction away from friendship with God). Yet prior to this particular confession I had again come into friendship with God, talking to him, hearing him, being willing to do his will at his desire. My confessor knew this, yet he understood I needed to be upfront with God and let him know what I really did so that both God and I knew that we both knew. My confessor also knew that confession and penance are part of letting go of self-taken life, so that I only live by God’s gifts. He heard my confession, and, in the Person of Christ, he told me he forgave me my debt of stolen self-life.
I suffer from intrusive thoughts, where most of the time I know that they are not my fault and not sinful.
However, at times I get the “urge” to think bad thoughts and for a few seconds (about 5 seconds) I would knowingly think the thought but finally manage to stop. I do not in any way enjoy or agree with these thoughts.
I don’t know whether this falls into partial or full consent as I have never dwelled on the thoughts for any lenght of time. However, feel I have some level of control over the situation, so they are not fully intrusive.
Has anyone experienced this.
When I went to the confession for this thoughts, my priest told me that I was flirting with Devil and that that is sin. Now I know that he was right… However, if you don’t enjoy these thoughts at all, than you probably don’t want them so they probably aren’t. sinful at all… Maybe venial, but probably not even that. On the other side, I don’t know how much.control do you have…
Hi. Thanks for coming back to me.
Interesting question. That is my whole problem. As I do genuinely suffer from intrusive thoughts, I’m not sure whether this type of thought has just become a bad habbit, or if I have complete control over it.
It’s a bit of a difficult one, as with intrusive thoughts, but more you try to stop them, the stronger they become. However, as I’m not sure these thoughts are fully intrusive, it may be a case of just mind over matter.
I find myself constantly refraining from communion because of this.