?where in the Bible does it say ......?


Where in the Bible does it say "The Thought is the Father of the Deed?. I have made several searches (via computer/Web Sites) of current catholic Bibles and even of the Vulgate with no direct finds. The closest I have come is in certain ‘lateral’ comments ref. Matthew 5 and other chapters where the commentators mention “And they say … The Thought is the Father of the Deed”, but they do not explain where to find this in the verses. I am rather confused. I like this comment and it helps me resist many temptations that start with a “Thought”. It would be nice if I could have a direct Chapter/Verse location to which I could refer. Thank you for your comments. God bless you. Ashmadai.


I can’t say that I’ve ever heard of this being claimed as a Scriptural reference. Rather, it seems more like an aphorism. Certainly, in Matthew 5, as Jesus explains that lust embraced in one’s thoughts is as sinful as adultery embraced in one’s actions, we see an application of the truism you’ve presented here… but I’ve never met anyone who claims that this proverb is literally Scriptural. :shrug:


Indeed go read the sermon of the mountain discourse by Jesus in Matthew. There you will see that Jesus teaches us that it is not enough to follow the LAW of the 10 Commandments but we need to go further.
Thinking about commiting the sin is just as sinful as actually commiting it which then can be applied to the aphorism you quoted.

Peace :thumbsup:


I’d be careful with this logic, as it contradicts several teachings of the Catholic Church. The best examples of this deal with sexual morality. Any Google search on Church teachings related to this topic, and homosexuality in particular, will include a phrase such as “the desires themselves are not evil/sinful, but acting on them is.”

For an example of this, check out this link from CA: catholic.com/quickquestions/how-can-i-defend-the-churchs-teaching-on-homosexuality


Uhmm I believe you are changing a word there. The Church speaks of “inclination” which is quite different from desire.

When you “desire” you engage the will. An inclination is a natural tendency.
Also it cannot contradict Catholic Church teaching how could it, those are Jesus’s own words.
If you “desire” your neighbor’s wife I am afraid you commited adultery.
In fact the words in the original commandment is “Covet” which means “desire”.

Peace :thumbsup:


The quote I gave is direct from the article I linked, from someone with far more experience than I have.


Yes I read the article and perhaps there was an unfortunate selection of words there.
This from the CCC should help you clarify the Church position with regards to "Desires"
It is unfortunate that we tend to associate same sex attraction with it’s end result and not it’s root cause.
Yes as a result of SSM people tend to “desire” people of the same sex. However since this attraction is NOT the result of the will that would kind of negate we are speaking of “Desire” in the first place.
Again read what desires means in the context.
You engage the WILL to wish for something.
That something is either moral or inmoral and in the latter case it would also be a sin.
Again since the SSM is NOT engaging his/her will this would not apply.
However the action of engaging in the conduct would be sinful.

I. The Disorder of Covetous Desires

2535 The sensitive appetite leads us to desire pleasant things we do not have, e.g., the desire to eat when we are hungry or to warm ourselves when we are cold. These desires are good in themselves; but often they exceed the limits of reason and drive us to covet unjustly what is not ours and belongs to another or is owed to him.

2536 The tenth commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass earthly goods without limit. It forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods:

When the Law says, “You shall not covet,” these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another’s goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: "He who loves money never has money enough."320

2537 It is not a violation of this commandment to desire to obtain things that belong to one’s neighbor, provided this is done by just means. Traditional catechesis realistically mentions “those who have a harder struggle against their criminal desires” and so who “must be urged the more to keep this commandment”:

. . . merchants who desire scarcity and rising prices, who cannot bear not to be the only ones buying and selling so that they themselves can sell more dearly and buy more cheaply; those who hope that their peers will be impoverished, in order to realize a profit either by selling to them or buying from them . . . physicians who wish disease to spread; lawyers who are eager for many important cases and trials.321

2538 The tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart. When the prophet Nathan wanted to spur King David to repentance, he told him the story about the poor man who had only one ewe lamb that he treated like his own daughter and the rich man who, despite the great number of his flocks, envied the poor man and ended by stealing his lamb.322 Envy can lead to the worst crimes.323 “Through the devil’s envy death entered the world”:324

We fight one another, and envy arms us against one another… If everyone strives to unsettle the Body of Christ, where shall we end up? We are engaged in making Christ’s Body a corpse… We declare ourselves members of one and the same organism, yet we devour one another like beasts.325

2539 Envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of another’s goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for oneself, even unjustly. When it wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin:

St. Augustine saw envy as "the diabolical sin."326 "From envy are born hatred, detraction, calumny, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity."327

2540 Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility:

Would you like to see God glorified by you? Then rejoice in your brother’s progress and you will immediately give glory to God. Because his servant could conquer envy by rejoicing in the merits of others, God will be praised.328

II. The Desires of the Spirit

2541 The economy of law and grace turns men’s hearts away from avarice and envy. It initiates them into desire for the Sovereign Good; it instructs them in the desires of the Holy Spirit who satisfies man’s heart.
The God of the promises always warned man against seduction by what from the beginning has seemed "good for food . . . a delight to the eyes . . . to be desired to make one wise."329

2542 The Law entrusted to Israel never sufficed to justify those subject to it; it even became the instrument of "lust."330 The gap between wanting and doing points to the conflict between God’s Law which is the “law of my mind,” and another law "making me captive to the law of sin which dwells in my members."331

2543 "But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe."332 Henceforth, Christ’s faithful “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires”; they are led by the Spirit and follow the desires of the Spirit.333


Peace :thumbsup:



IV. “I Want to See God”

2548 Desire for true happiness frees man from his immoderate attachment to the goods of this world so that he can find his fulfillment in the vision and beatitude of God. "The promise [of seeing God] surpasses all beatitude… In Scripture, to see is to possess… Whoever sees God has obtained all the goods of which he can conceive."343

2549 It remains for the holy people to struggle, with grace from on high, to obtain the good things God promises. In order to possess and contemplate God, Christ’s faithful mortify their cravings and, with the grace of God, prevail over the seductions of pleasure and power.

2550 On this way of perfection, the Spirit and the Bride call whoever hears them344 to perfect communion with God:

There will true glory be, where no one will be praised by mistake or flattery; true honor will not be refused to the worthy, nor granted to the unworthy; likewise, no one unworthy will pretend to be worthy, where only those who are worthy will be admitted. There true peace will reign, where no one will experience opposition either from self or others. God himself will be virtue’s reward; he gives virtue and has promised to give himself as the best and greatest reward that could exist… “I shall be their God and they will be my people…” This is also the meaning of the Apostle’s words: “So that God may be all in all.” God himself will be the goal of our desires; we shall contemplate him without end, love him without surfeit, praise him without weariness. This gift, this state, this act, like eternal life itself, will assuredly be common to all.345

Peace :thumbsup:


Ashmadai, it sounds similar to what James wrote in Chapter 1, verse 15

*Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. (James 1:15 NAB)

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. (James 1:15 RSV)

**Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death. **(James 1:15 DR)

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:15 NIV) *

Also look at Sirach 15, verses 11 and on.

I hope this helps.



You’re not finding it in the Bible because that particular sentence isn’t there (at least not in English translations).

“And they say” doesn’t sound like a reference to the Bible. You say "the commentators mention “And they say … The Thought is the Father of the Deed”. I’d read the commentary given by those commentators again and see who they mean by “they”.

I think it’s the concept/meaning conveyed by the verbal expression “The Thought is the Father of the Deed” that the commentators consider is contained in Our Lord’s teaching in Matthew 5. A typical way to indicate this would be to put a “cf” in front of the Bible reference. For example: cf. Matthew 5. That would let you know that you’d find the same idea in Matthew 5, but not a direct quote. If the actual sentence was literally present in Matthew 5, the reference would have included the verse number.

If you still have access to any of those commentaries, why don’t you go back and check to see if the Matthew 5 reference was prefaced with a “cf”.


Jerry this still leaves us with many people who don't teach desire that way. Understand I'm not disputing the words of Scripture or the Catechism. I stating the simple fact that especially when it comes to issues of sexual impurity it is often stated by priests and scholars that whatever thoughts/desires I may have are only sinful if I act on them.

If we understand desire the same way you do, that it is the action of engaging the will to want something, then I would argue we have a problem in our Church that begins at the top with the understandings of our priests and scholars and has filtered down to the laity.


Having the initial desire is not a sin., It’s the demons Job and indeed their right to tempt us. It’s our Job to reject the thought.

If a man looks upon a woman with lust in his heart then he has committed adultery. Lust in his heart is the key here. When we get the thought it has no power. If we choose to dwell on it then it gains power and becomes a sin.

some other things don’t become a sin until we speak it or do it. The impulse to do it is from the demons. The choice to reject the thought or act on it is ours.

it really is simple. With regards to habits, it gets easier to say no the more we do it.


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