Have you ever found yourself worrying about the thoughts that cross your mind? Do you fear that certain thoughts might be considered mortal sins and that they might affect your salvation? Many Catholics struggle with this dilemma, wondering whether their thoughts are sinful or not. In this blog post, we aim to explore the Catholic point of view on thoughts, specifically whether they can be considered mortal sins. We will delve into the teachings of the Church about thoughts and their role in sin. Let’s discuss it!
What is a Mortal Sin?
Mortal sin is a sin of such gravity that it results in the spiritual death of the soul, excluding the person from heaven. Mortal sins are considered to be so serious that they essentially put a person’s salvation at risk.
A Mortal Sin has three conditions for it to be classified as such. It all has to have, Grave Matter, Sufficiently Full Knowledge, and Full Consent or Freedom. If any of these conditions are not met, the sin is considered a venial sin. Grave Matter refers to whether the sin committed is serious in nature or not. If the sin is not considered serious, then it cannot be categorized as mortal. Sufficiently Full Knowledge means that the person committing the sin must be aware that it is a mortal sin, otherwise, it cannot be regarded as such. Lastly, Full Consent or Freedom implies that the person committing the sin has to act voluntarily without any external pressure or influence. If not, then it cannot be classified as a mortal sin.
What are Examples of Mortal Sins?
Examples of mortal sins include adultery, murder, theft, lying, fraud, and willful disobedience to God. The Catholic Church teaches that the consequences of mortal sin are extremely serious, as it can lead to eternal damnation.
Can Thoughts Be Mortal Sins?
If your thoughts are classified as a sinful thought,(like if your thought has something to do with harm and violence) it is possible for it to be classified as a mortal sin. These thoughts can occur during times a person, in the heat of anger and fantasize in detail about harming someone. However, anger is usually an emotional reaction and a person may get angry impulsively and then calm down quickly. This may indicate that their anger lacked complete consent and full knowledge, and hence, it cannot be categorized as a mortal sin. Remember, Mortal sins need to have a grave matter, full consent, and sufficient knowledge.
How do I Overcome Sinful Thoughts?
Just as the Catholic Church teaches us, all sins must be confessed and repented through the sacrament of reconciliation, otherwise known as confession, in order to restore the soul to a state of grace.
If you’re baffled by your thoughts, you can also seek Spiritual Direction from a priest before or after your confession, to help you overcome your sinful thoughts. Remember that what’s important is you are willing to genuinely repent for your sins through the sacrament, and that you have an intention to fully change your ways and live your life as a child of God.