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This is a strange question for me to ask, because I unfortunately have had issues with purity. I know when to recognize impurity when it's accompanied by other sins, but not so much if it's an isolated case. For example, if I'm being affectionate and have a certain type of physical response, I'm not pursuing the affectionate actions because I want that type of response, but because I want to show affection. I can recognize impurity when it's a pursuit of certain physical feelings, but not when I'm actively rejecting blatantly impure thoughts but perfectly innocuous things elicit responses. I'm guessing that's because of my past history, but I don't know where to draw the line in an isolated case.

Help on this would be greatly appreciated, because I don't want to get scrupulous over it (that's, thank goodness, getting under control). Smile
I recommend How to Resist Temptation, by Fr. Francis Remler. It has been a huge help to me.
Anything that makes your soul impure is an impurity.
(10-01-2015, 05:58 AM)Clare Brigid Wrote: [ -> ]I recommend How to Resist Temptation, by Fr. Francis Remler. It has been a huge help to me.

2nd this recommnedation
Impurity is extremely difficult to deal with.

I would highly recommend joining the Angelic Warfare Confraternity. It's helped me a lot, although I'm still by no means completely cured.

My most major issue at this point is custody of the eyes. However, I have had other issues with purity that the Angelic Warfare Confraternity helped me with quite a lot.  Wearing the cord of St. Thomas Aquinas is a huge help. When I don't wear it (and only keep on the medal), there's a big difference in how much I can resist lustful thoughts and actions.  Obviously the prayers are also quite important.

Here's the link:
http://www.angelicwarfareconfraternity.org/

If you need to find some Dominicans in the US to induct you into the Confraternity, see this link:
http://dominicanfriars.org/locations/

If there are none nearby, you could always get a local priest to get permission.
Thank you all for the resources! Smile

Where I am running into confusion is determining when I am getting out of hand with things. Obviously visualizing sexual acts in my thought life would be wrong, but I tend to still react bodily to things that are not of themselves impure. Certain natural processes (pre-menstrual symptoms) exacerbate this and I know that's okay because it's a natural thing, but I'm sort of confused about how to figure out when it is a sinful thought process. In the past, I could clearly determine, "This was a mortal sin and I am going to confess it" because I would feel a healthy sense of remorse. When I am talking to someone or having thoughts that I would not be the slightest bit embarrassed about others seeing and I still have the physical responses tied to past behaviour, it's strange to me. Do you all think this is a result of the past behaviour and not the present? This has happened lately, but my conscience feels clear and I am at peace, which is not something I feel when I am in a state of mortal sin. The Holy Spirit is really good about convicting me when I am in a state of mortal sin.

Since I'm getting over scruples, I don't want to throw in a statement like, "I had affectionate thoughts about a loved one, not sexual and not to bring myself any kind of response, but I still had one involuntarily, and maybe I should say this," etc, because affectionate thoughts are healthy and normal signs of love, and involuntary things are just that, involuntary.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that sin is in the will.  The exercise of the will is key.

The book I recommended is excellent because it is both very traditional and very frank.  I found the frank counsel in that book to be a tremendous mercy.  It covers situations where, for instance, one is tempted to sins against purity while caring for the body.  Fr. Remler also goes into the stages of temptation and clarifies when it is that sin comes into play.
My general rule: I don't dwell on overly affectionate (even non-sexual) thoughts about a man unless he's my husband or a family member. For non-family, he has to be young enough to be my son or old enough to be my grandfather  LOL or a canonized saint and, of course, Our Lord.  We should always have affection for Him!  You're right to be cautious about your thought life because the enemy will definitely play with a woman's thoughts of affection and use them against her if he can. If you're dating/courting, of course it's normal to have thoughts of affection, but just take care not to let it go too far to where you've given your heart away too soon.
I definitely haven't wanted to commit a mortal sin! sad That's why this is tricky for me. I should definitely look into that book, Clare.

Jacafamala - I am involved with a really wonderful man and all these  thoughts are strictly affectionate. He's on my mind all the time and I am very careful to make sure everything is filtered properly. I do think, not to get too blunt, that I am in the pre-menstrual area of the month, so things are reacting in certain ways to tell me I am fertile.

Do you guys think I am okay with continuing to keep watch over my thought life and not feel it necessary to go to Confession? I want to make sure I'm not misusing the Sacrament for "maybe" sins, and I certainly do go when I am alerted of mortal sin(s).
Don't do teh Devil's work for him. Stay away from all the near occaisons of sin.
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