Thoughts: mortal or venial


#1

I woke up this morning and had been dreaming about people passionately kissing. I'm not sure if I was one of the people I was watching or not. But as I woke up, I was still thinking about it and something told me, "Be careful...you need to stop thinking about this. You're going to cross a line." I was now awake, and I continued to think about kissing for another couple of seconds and then I thought, "No, you need to stop now." And I did stop. I felt suddenly ashamed. I am scrupulous, so I have read that if you are scrupulous and have doubts about whether you mortally sinned, then you haven't. Still, I am worried that I may need to go to confession. Should I just go anyway? Or does this sound like partial consent/venial sin?


#2

I should add that I'm pretty sure I knew I was awake when I thought, "You need to be careful. You're going to cross a line." Then I continued to think about it for a couple of seconds longer.


#3

This is what I understand about these thoughts in general: they are not sinful per se, nor is the instinctive response of your body and mind to them (obviously they are enticing, otherwise they would not constitute a temptation at all, would they?). The issue is your choice. Do you reject them or indulge in them? Being tempted to indulge is not the same as indulging. To reject them is to be subject to such thoughts but to have an inner disgust for them as a distortion of something sacred.

Usually, also, we can always tell if we give deliberate consent to a sin - that is, we can pinpoint the moment when we made the choice between rejecting or accepting to commit a sin, the moment in which our full self said: this can be bad, and we answered: either, yes, away with this, or: I don't care, I want to enjoy this. Check this out:

then I thought, "No, you need to stop now." And I did stop.

There you have it. The critical moment. It seems to me that no sin, neither mortal nor venial, was committed.

So I would not worry. However, I usually do confess (and follow the advice of those who recommend confessing) venial sins. We should confess every one or two weeks even if we are not conscious of mortal sin.

Also it is a great blessing to be able to discern this inner voice that warns us of the impelling danger, regardless of whether it come from our mind, from our guardian angel, from the Holy Spirit...do not discard this as being scrupulous, because scrupulosity is a different matter...scruples - in my understanding - is when something is not grave matter and yet we think it is. Lustful thoughts - though as simple as the ones you describe - ultimately are, I think.

Remember that humans are made to love and be loved :) The issue is that our adversary and father of all deception brings disorder into what is otherwise holy. By choosing God above all other goods, we seek the Kingdom first :thumbsup:


#4

You thought about kissing for two seconds after you realised you were fully conscious?

Frankly, I thought about kissing for longer than that in order to write that sentence and I don't think for a moment that I sinned, not even venially.

You should relax. You can't sin in your dreams or in these sorts of fleeting thoughts. If you were in a state of grace before, you still are now.


#5

[quote="DexUK, post:4, topic:320887"]
You thought about kissing for two seconds after you realised you were fully conscious?

[/quote]

I'm pretty sure I realized I was awake and I continued thinking about the kissing from the dream. That's why something told me, "You need to be careful...you're going to cross a line." And I continued to think about it for a couple of seconds after that point.


#6

Nothing you have written suggests any form of sin. It was a memory of a dream, you came to full consciousness with that memory in your mind, you thought it probably wasn't something you should dwell on and a couple of seconds later you shooed the thought out of your mind.

Apart from 'kissing' not exactly being all that libidinous in and of itself, you did what you were meant to do with a temptation once you realised you were having it: i.e. you sent it away.

Lighten up on yourself and be at peace :)


#7

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