Was this giving in to the sin of lust? Was this a mortal sin?

Hello everyone, I am going to mass in a few hours and would like to hear your comments and opinions on whether this was mortal sin or not and whether I should receive the Eucharist o rnot.

I just went to confession yesterday and a few hours later I had planned to go to the movies with my friend. While I was waiting in the car to pick up my friend, I saw a beautiful girl who I was extremely attracted to walking by. I tried not to keep looking at her. Then as I kept looking away and then looking at her and struggling with myself, I tried to focus on her face. Then thoughts of “you could be doing this with her” and “you could be doing that with her” came into my mind, even though there wasn’t any way “this” or “that” couldve even happened at that moment anyway. Then I called out to Jesus that He would be with me in that moment to help me and give me His strength.

I don’t know what to make of it. Did I mortally sin or not? I admittedly struggle often with the sin of lust, it’s one of the mortal sins that I can’t get away from. The temptation is with me quite often.

Thanks in advance.

No this is not mortal sin. You can receive the Eucharist.

I keep thinking to myself though, if I wasn’t waiting for my friend in this situation, would I have tried to do anything with her, pick up on her, ask for her number, try to persuade her, etc.? I’m not really sure, I did feel kind of annoyed in this situation that my friend was headed to my car because I think I would have maybe tried to. :frowning:

But of course, you could have chosen to ditch your friend, in which case you would have been wholly succumbing to the sin. No doubt, what you did was quite wrong and unhelpful. But the responsibility you showed in waiting for your friend acted as a protection for you, in some sense. Build more of these protections into your life, wherever possible. :thumbsup:

Just because you could have doesn’t mean you did. Don’t mistake the potential sin for the actual sin. When a man sees a beautiful woman he is going to be drawn to her physically, especially if she is wearing revealing clothing. Being drawn to an attractive person is not sinful. If you read the catechism it says that the passions themselves are neither good nor bad. It is how how will reacts to them that makes them sinful. Yes it is sinful to stare at a woman’s breasts. But you are asking is whether what you did was mortally sinful. The truth of the matter is, in order for it to be mortally sinful it has to be a sin of grave matter, done with full consent and full knowledge. What you did was more like a spur-of-the-moment ogling, it was not all-out, pre-meditative voyeurism. I would say what you did was venially sinful.

If I may make a suggestion. Keep you eyes guarded. For example, if you know that across the street there is someone who would tempt you, keep your eyes on the ground and keep going. In the checkout line, keep your eyes on the floor and not on the book racks. Watching tv, quickly change channels. As you do these things over and over they will become an automatic response to a situation and it then will be much easier for you and almost done without thought. You will feel so much better when you acquire this habit.

The first phase in our life with Jesus is to get rid of mortal sins. The second phase is getting rid of venial sins. The third phase is then seeking him in even the little things at whatever the cost.

Just a suggestion.

“One thing I ask O Lord, this I seek, to dwell forever in your house.” (hymn)

Amazing how you describe the three phases of temptation and at least some of the four stages to resist it.

Phase one: suggestion. “The proposal to some evil. Our imagination or our mind represents to us in a more or less vivid manner the attraction of the forbidden fruit.”

Phase two: pleasure. “Instinctively our lower tendencies are drawn towards the suggested evil and a certain pleasure is experienced. This pleasure does not, as long as the will refuses to consent to it, constitute a sin.”

Phase three: consent. “If on the contrary, the will delights in the pleasure, willingly enjoys it and consents to it, the sin is committed.” Where is this in your story? For this is the “deliberate consent”, a necessary condition for any sin to be mortal!

Now, about the four stages:

Prevention. “Prevent the oncoming of temptations. Flee from occasions of sin.”

This wasn’t your fault, you weren’t quite looking for trouble :smiley: As someone in the same boat, so to speak, I know that patient and serene training in guarding our eyes leads to marvelous improvement. The more we train, the easier it becomes to instinctively keep our eyes from indulging on a forbidden fruit…

Resistence. “Resist temptations when facing it. Walk away.”

Perseverance. “Occupy your mind with something else in order to overcome any thoughts”.

Thanksgiving. “Once the storm has passed, humble yourself and thank God.”

I guess you’ll get a chance during Mass :slight_smile: Remember that nobody can be free from such things entirely, at least not immediately…as long as you are disgusted by sin, and do not consent to indulge in any pleasure, there is no mortal sin. Consent is a very specific moment. One in which you clearly tell yourself: “this is wrong” and then you reply “I do not care, I want this” and give up the fight entirely. If that isn’t there, don’t worry and just be more at peace. Padre Pio described the adversary as a bad dog on a chain: if you see or hear his spirit, it doesn’t mean you fell prey to him :wink: Just dislike it and don’t get close, and all will be fine - by God’s grace.

One more think worth mentioning:

That’s typical, so typical of the spirit against Christ. To strike when we least expect it and when it hurts more. Strong temptations (and even sometimes, falls) shortly after confession is something I am acquainted with - especially with the very same sins we confessed. Also, I used to struggle a lot - I mean a lot - after my Christian initiation…guess when? In the few hours immediately after Holy Communion!! And still today I sometimes get into arguments with loved ones…in the few hours after Holy Mass! Just don’t be too worried, because someone is laughing at you and me, but we must keep calm and we’ll have the last laugh :wink: Don’t forget 1 Cor 6:3: “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?:thumbsup:

Thank you all for your responses, very helpful!

Its tricky to discern the moment of consent as I am being torn in two. My body gravitates towards sin, my body consents, but my mind sometimes does not want to. Even in the moments that I do fall, I dont even receive pleasure anymore from these things but I still fall for them, but, in the bigger picture I in fact want to be a servant of God’s.

After these encounters and temptations i feel like I have let Jesus down. I feel far away from God and its hard to think straight when I feel that way.

I will keep all the phases in mind now and i think I have a better idea.

Again, thank you all.

Taken from a very reputable book from the 19th century called *The Way of Interior Peace *by Fr. Eduard Lehen, pg. 99:

“To a mortal sin belong three points: 1st. Weighty matter; – a jesting lie, for example or a vain, self-conceited thought, is not sufficient for a mortal sin. 2d. Full knowledge of the evil; that is, the deliberate consciousness that what one does is a mortal sin. This excludes all cases in which the sin proceeds from surprise, or in which the soul is not full master of her powers; as, for example, in half-slumber, and the like. 3d. Full consent of the will to that which the understanding knows to be mortal sin. As long as the consent remains imperfect, or we are conscious of a certain hesitancy, a deferring, or a reproach of conscience in consequence of our neglect in combating the temptation, the sin is only venial.”

I hope this helps.

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