What is this?


If I put myself in a situation where I am likely to have sinful thoughts (e.g anger, sexual, envious, etc., any sin) that pop into my head, but I do not desire or consent to them and usually don’t, is that a near occasion of sin? I know we can’t control all our thoughts, but if we are in a situation where these annoying and undesired thoughts are going to be more common than usual, is that a near occasion of sin because I know the thoughts will be had (albeit unwanted) or still a remote occasion with just more temptations?


It’s a near occasion of sin.


St. Faustina.

1641 At adoration during the Forty-Hours’ Devotion, the Lord said to me, My daughter, write that involuntary offenses of souls do not hinder My love for them or prevent Me from uniting Myself with them. But voluntary offenses, even the smallest, obstruct My graces, and I cannot lavish My gifts on such souls.






If it is a near occasion of sin (per JamalC), then putting myself in that situation would be a voluntary sin. So the quote confuses me because I am unsure of which one you’re saying.


As a moral point, I’m knot certain on the criteria for near occasions of sin to be something we must all together stop. It might be another question all together for the moral theology forum. It seems to me that sometimes there is a commensurate good that is obtained… There have been times in my past, for example, when I felt like my job was a near occasion of sin.


This is true. But I’m not wholly convinced that it would be a near occasion of sin. If a near occasion of sin is a situation in which you are certain or likely to commit a mortal sin, then if you don’t desire the annoying thoughts (lack full consent) it wouldn’t be a mortal sin. OTOH, maybe it is because you are willing (consent) to put yourself in a situation where there will be thoughts that you know are grave matter, even if you don’t desire them.

So I’m on the fence right now…I wonder if there is some moral theology book that answers this question…or if someone has credentials in moral theology that would probably suffice as well…


Your priest should be able to answer this question. And it may require more details on your part.

There is a good book that may be onlne by a dominican theologian, I think…His name is Auden or something like that I thought but I’m not getting his name right probably.

New Advent might be a good place to research “Near Occasion of Sin.”

God Bless.


Yes please talk to a priest about this; this is the kind of question that may have many individual aspects too… I am not sure though.


Yes. There’s really not a lot to go on in the original post to offer comment. Your priest/confessor will be the best person to advise you on particular occasions you should avoid.


Right, but I’m asking if this general scenario would of itself be a description of a near occasion of sin or not?

I’ll concretize it a bit (hypothetical scenario…not real)…

Say I’m watching the news, and when I do so I get thoughts that make me want to kill politician XYZ. This is something I don’t desire (or rarely would), as in I don’t want to get those thoughts, but they come regardless. These thoughts, which don’t happen if I don’t watch the news, or at least are rare, are a relatively common occurrence when I watch the news.

Now, regardless of whether or not this would be justified if it was an occasion of sin, I’m asking if the above scenario is an occasion of sin. Is it an occasion of sin because the thoughts will come and willingly I put myself in that situation (in which case whether or not I want the thoughts to be there is irrelevant), or is it not because I don’t consent to the thoughts that come up?




This is still not enough to go on. Thoughts in themselves may or may not be sinful, so discussing this with your confessor will be neccessary.

We can also note more broadly that occassions of sin may be near or remote, and may be voluntary or involuntary, and may be neccessary or not. From your vague descriptions so far no one can really offer the sort of understanding you seek. But your own confessor can delve into the details with you and properly advise.


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