Thinking and thoughts


#1

Are thoughts that are sinful the same as commiting the sin? Do I need to go to reconcilliation? How would I word having thoughts about someone ( they are not sexual in nature just wanting to be around him as I feel deep emotion towards him)? So not sexual but I am married and he really shouldn't be someone I am thinking about, way too embarrassed to say why. Is this harmful?


#2

I am going to say this is a venial sin. But you need to pray hard to nip it in the bud. Ask God to fill your heart with love for your husband. You can confess this and it will give you strength. But according to the Examination of Conscience that I have "allowing your heart to stray from your spouse" is a venial sin.


#3

Does it make a difference if it is for one of the priests?:blush: This is so embarrassing:( And very wrong, this I am well aware of.


#4

I had to confess this same thing not long ago! Try not to be too embarrassed. I think in my case it may have had something to do with the fact that my own husband does not share my passion for religion. He is Catholic and we go to Mass together but we just don't look at life in the same way much of the time. A priest shares that love for Jesus, and for me at least, that is what was attractive. But I knew these feelings were wrong, I prayed for an end to them, and God took them away after a day or so. I confessed it like this: "I allowed my heart to stray from my husband to one who is equally spoken for in his own vocation." I'm scrupulous, and now I'm a bit worried that wasn't enough to say. Perhaps I should have said, "I allowed my heart to stray from my husband to a member of the clergy."


#5

Sin is in the will. Feelings or inappropriate thoughts that pop into our heads aren't sinful in themselves, because they aren't chosen, at least not directly. Choosing to entertain or nurture such thoughts or feelings, or unnecessarily to expose ourselves to temptations to grave sin--that's where it becomes sinful. Do you have a close friend to whom you could confide this in person? It might diffuse some of the tension and make it less intense, and also make the interruptions of your thoughts less frequent, as well as provide a little accountability.


#6

Go to confession… maybe it’ll help. :slight_smile:


#7

thanks for the help!
I don't really have a whole lot of Catholic friends but it would be helpful.
And yes I think that is it, his love for Christ, such an amazing person and attractiveness is what did this BUT I know he is spoken for by God.
That is why I want these thougths gone!


#8

In the Penitential Act, included are the words"…that I have greatly sinned in my thoughts and in my words,…" I believe if we choose to imagine or fantasize about such things, it’s harmful to ourselves and our souls. I think that’s the easy way to sin. Our sins are absolved through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


#9

Catechism:
1853 Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."128 But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#III

So yes one can commit sins is ones thoughts -- mortal sins in fact can be so committed (with the needful 3 aspects).

But also note that just cause a thought "happens" to one out of the blue --does not mean there has been any sin...for all sorts of thoughts can accost one....remember one needs consent....


#10

That is a good point.


#11

Catechism:
1853 Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."128 But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#III

So yes one can commit sins is ones thoughts -- mortal sins in fact can be so committed (with the needful 3 aspects).

But also note that just cause a thought "happens" to one (say out of the blue) --does not mean there has been any sin...for all sorts of thoughts can accost one....remember one needs consent....


#12

Quite apart from looking at this as a "sin", I think that this situation is a grave danger for the marriage as there is the risk of emotional infidelity, which IMHO can be every bit as damaging as sexual infidelity, and can eventually lead to physical infidelity. But even if it doesn't lead to sexual infidelity, we owe our spouses our undivided emotional presence, as well, and when we have a deep emotional connection with someone who is not our spouse, we may end up sharing information with the other that properly should reside between the spouses, or withholding thoughts and feelings from our spouses when we should be discussing them with him or her.

Moreover, the danger is putting the spouse in a negative light while "idealizing" the person we have an emotional connection with. The bottom line is that this sort of infidelity increases the emotional distance between the spouses and that can lead to marital breakdown in the worst case, and marital discord is almost assured.

As a result I'm not sure that confession alone can deal with this, unless this is something very new that hasn't been acted upon; then maybe confession, and not placing yourself into near occasions of sin, may nip it in the bud. If that's the case, please do address this issue before it goes too far. It can cause very great damage. If things have gone farther, then I think counseling maybe helpful, but beware of counselors who are all too ready to have you actualize your "feelings"; try to find a good Catholic-friendly or at least Christian counselor. Counseling and confession need to go hand-in-hand when these things spiral too far out of control.


#13

Well - you have my sympathy, because I have been down that road, to my immense regret.
I had a spiritual director many years ago, a religious order priest, who one day announced that he'd rather be my "friend".
Oh boy. I was flattered, shocked, attracted all in one hit, and I had never entertained any thoughts towards him before that point.
I am not married, and never have been, by the way.

So - these things can happen to us because we can be attracted by their spirituality, their pastoral concern for us as an individual, etc.

Just let the warning bells sound in your ears, and nip it in the bud!!
Go to confession (but not, I repeat NOT to this priest!) - and don't be afraid to be fairly specific about what your problem is - a member of the clergy.

I've never had a spiritual director, since, BTW.:o:o

My prayers are with you!


#14

I think it should be analysed as to exactly the nature of the thoughts. If they are not sexual - then how is it wrong? I remember st padre pio said he would seek out those who also were lovers of God - he felt a natural pull towards them. How would you react if you were thinking about a same sex friend like this? Is that cheating on your husband? Everyone would say "no’ assuming the thoughts are not sexual. Maybe God is directing your thoughts this way because the person is lonely or needs some kind of help. I dont think that material assistance is the only kind we can give to a person. Emotional
assistance should also be possible. Of course if you think something is inappropriate youcan always withdraw. I have read that priests do not really talk with one another about God or provide spiritual direction to each other.


#15

[quote="OraLabora, post:12, topic:321578"]
Quite apart from looking at this as a "sin", I think that this situation is a grave danger for the marriage as there is the risk of emotional infidelity, which IMHO can be every bit as damaging as sexual infidelity, and can eventually lead to physical infidelity. But even if it doesn't lead to sexual infidelity, we owe our spouses our undivided emotional presence, as well, and when we have a deep emotional connection with someone who is not our spouse, we may end up sharing information with the other that properly should reside between the spouses, or withholding thoughts and feelings from our spouses when we should be discussing them with him or her.

Moreover, the danger is putting the spouse in a negative light while "idealizing" the person we have an emotional connection with. The bottom line is that this sort of infidelity increases the emotional distance between the spouses and that can lead to marital breakdown in the worst case, and marital discord is almost assured.

As a result I'm not sure that confession alone can deal with this, unless this is something very new that hasn't been acted upon; then maybe confession, and not placing yourself into near occasions of sin, may nip it in the bud. If that's the case, please do address this issue before it goes too far. It can cause very great damage. If things have gone farther, then I think counseling maybe helpful, but beware of counselors who are all too ready to have you actualize your "feelings"; try to find a good Catholic-friendly or at least Christian counselor. Counseling and confession need to go hand-in-hand when these things spiral too far out of control.

[/quote]

It is something I am working with definitely. Now that I am aware of it, I would like to confess.


#16

[quote="ATeNumquam, post:13, topic:321578"]
Well - you have my sympathy, because I have been down that road, to my immense regret.
I had a spiritual director many years ago, a religious order priest, who one day announced that he'd rather be my "friend".
Oh boy. I was flattered, shocked, attracted all in one hit, and I had never entertained any thoughts towards him before that point.
I am not married, and never have been, by the way.

So - these things can happen to us because we can be attracted by their spirituality, their pastoral concern for us as an individual, etc.

Just let the warning bells sound in your ears, and nip it in the bud!!
Go to confession (but not, I repeat NOT to this priest!) - and don't be afraid to be fairly specific about what your problem is - a member of the clergy.

I've never had a spiritual director, since, BTW.:o:o

My prayers are with you!

[/quote]

Thank you!

Question you say do not go to the Priest, the problem is I never know which Priest will be doing the confessions in a given day. Now, of course, I don't have to do it face to face but this Priest was very active with my RCIA so I have been around him a lot. It would be surprising to me if he didn't recognize my voice. Though, I am sick right now so I sound like a man.lol


#17

[quote="Joy2day, post:14, topic:321578"]
I think it should be analysed as to exactly the nature of the thoughts. If they are not sexual - then how is it wrong? I remember st padre pio said he would seek out those who also were lovers of God - he felt a natural pull towards them. How would you react if you were thinking about a same sex friend like this? Is that cheating on your husband? Everyone would say "no' assuming the thoughts are not sexual. Maybe God is directing your thoughts this way because the person is lonely or needs some kind of help. I dont think that material assistance is the only kind we can give to a person. Emotional
assistance should also be possible. Of course if you think something is inappropriate youcan always withdraw. I have read that priests do not really talk with one another about God or provide spiritual direction to each other.

[/quote]

You know, it hasn't been sexual at all, it has mostly been just thinking about being around him and being near him.

Again, I do realize that it could progress down a dark path.


#18

[quote="MaryRita85, post:16, topic:321578"]
Question you say do not go to the Priest, the problem is I never know which Priest will be doing the confessions in a given day. Now, of course, I don't have to do it face to face but this Priest was very active with my RCIA so I have been around him a lot. It would be surprising to me if he didn't recognize my voice. Though, I am sick right now so I sound like a man.lol

[/quote]

You could confess somewhere else. There have been things I wouldn't confess to any priest in my parish. :blush: I took those to confession either in a neighboring parish where I am much less known or at the cathedral.

God bless!


#19

[quote="UpUpAndAway, post:18, topic:321578"]
You could confess somewhere else. There have been things I wouldn't confess to any priest in my parish. :blush: I took those to confession either in a neighboring parish where I am much less known or at the cathedral.

God bless!

[/quote]

Thank you,
Why does the idea of visiting another Parish, even only to confess, terrify me??lol


#20

I 'm a bit guilty of superimposing on your situation what happened to me (it was for a short period of time, I might add, thankfully!).:o

I guess I just felt that feelings of innocent affection and enjoying his company can sometimes lead to trouble if there is some reciprocation or response on his part that suddenly fans that liking for being around him into something neither of you had bargained on happening. I mean on the emotional level rather than explicitly sexual.

Just tread carefully… and it’s not a bad idea to get advice from another priest in another parish, because they will have faced this situation themselves, in all probability, or have been given advice about it in the seminary.


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