Sinful thoughts.

For a sinful thought to be a mortal sin how long does it usually need to be dwelt on?

I have a lot of trouble with sinful thoughts and they’re usually a max of around 5 seconds, a lot of times i feel like i gave full consent, but i have a pretty scrupulous conscience, so i’m pretty much never completely sure.

Would a thought usually have to be longer 5 seconds to be a mortal sin, if it seems like consent is given? or could full consent be given in just a second or two?


One can give complete consent to something in less than five seconds, but oftentimes it is very iffy when looking back on committing such sins, even if not scrupulous.

Random bad and uncharitable thoughts do float in. I’m appalled at some of these thoughts that pop into my mind. As a human, I know they do happen… even during prayer sometimes.

The thing is if you actively ‘entertain’ such thoughts then it’s a sin.

If the thought comes in, it could be 5 seconds before you detect it as a sinful thought. That’s because bad thoughts often come through a series of associations - like when you hear a story, you think about part of it, then your brain takes off on some related associated thought which could then lead to a bad thought. Sometimes it takes a few seconds to recognize what is going on.

You’ll always be ok as long as you throw out that bad thought as soon as you recognize that it is sinful. What I am trying to say is that if you actively explore the bad thought that’s where the sin comes in.

This is a good question.

I really appreciate the way you formed this reply and completely agree with your thoughts.

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