Catholics/mortal or venial sin?
My husband is struggling with some demons and is going to confession on a regular basis as he goes through a struggle with addiction. He went to confession and while in confession he had a violent thought of hurting the priest. This is NOT in my husbands character and he is scared. He did not and would not wish any hurt or pain on anyone, let alone our parish priest. He is deeply troubled by this. Is this venial or mortal? Should he mention this at next confession? I think he should. To clear his soul and conscience. What do you say to this?
I am currently in a RCIA program with my husband who is baptised catholic to renew my faith and his. I understand this to be venial sin but, unclear on it.
God Bless You
ANSWER: Dear Aprile:
This sounds like transient demonic ideations... the flux of working of evil spirit(s) on your husband's imagination, trying to trigger his emotions to influence his intellect and will do lash out and do harm to another. If your husband is scared by this, and it keeps him away from the Sacrament of Confession, then the power of evil has won a victory of sorts.
I encourage you to pray for and with your husband, and that you would pray AGAINST the incursions of the Devil and Satan, and all fallen, apostate angels; by the Authority of the Holy Name of Jesus, and in the Power of His Most Sacred and Precious Blood.
Cast out the thoughts of evil - dismiss them; but at the root of it all, and most importantly, you must CAST OUT FEAR. Remember Jesus said so many times when His Disciples encountered Him: Do not be afraid. So I echo the same words: Do not be afraid.
Keep practicing the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith, making regular Confession and reception of Holy Communion; and do not neglect to pray to God (look in the Book of Tobit) to bless your marriage, your Sacrament of Matrimony, and stir up the graces of that vowed conjugal life you undertook on your Wedding Day. Many blessings upon you in 2013!
Fr. Timothy Johnson
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QUESTION: Fr. Timothy
Thank you for your quick and powerful answer.
I was wondering if the thoughts my husband had are mortal or venial sins since he did not entertain/act on them?
He told me tonight that he has had a thought of hurting me when we were arguing and then quickly shut it down by telling the thoughts to "go away." He has never laid a hand on me and I have never felt threatened by him either.
He has had a bi-sexual past and has occasional thoughts and dreams of these things still. He does not want this anymore. The thoughts or the acts. I was wondering as was my husband if it is possible to have a demon attatched to you due to these past evils? If so, can it be forced out by prayer in general or do we need a specific prayer for this. ?
He is in process of dealing with the sexual addiction and past issues. He is striving for a good christian life.
He and I pray morning and night. We are both committed to living and practicing a good christian life.
We love each other and are hoping that you can help with this so we can better understand what has come into our marriage at this time. I see it as a obstacle BUT not one that cannot be overcome.
He is going to confession this weekend to confess this evil thought. He in no way ever intended to act out this or any other violent act. I can assure of this.
How can a demon be so powerful? Does it truly take over when we are at our most vulnerable? Is it doing this
because he is struggling to over come it and its hold on him ? I can only hope that as he grows stronger with the
grace of Jesus that he will be able to push this demon back to where it came for good.
You have given us hope here with your first response. Thank you so much.
Bless you and your kindness.
The questions you ask are actually very deep and complex; and so it is difficult to give short and simple answers that can do them justice. At most I am tending only to summarize matters, and describe general parameters... I hope that I do not seem remiss in terms of giving or not giving Scripture quotes and such. For that I do apologize.
Sexuality, from anything I have ever seen or read on the subject, or had conversations with other people, is one of those very complex things in life, as well. I am convinced that most everyone is on a sort of "scale" of a continuum between heterosexual and homosexual on either side of the extremes. If you mean to say that your husband's "bi-sexual" past includes experiences or experimentation with both heterosexual and homosexual acting out, then I would say that he has had struggles more common than most people are willing to admit.
As to the power and influence of demons: Yes. This is a very real sort of thing, not to be dismissed. Even SAINT Paul, who is a SAINT complained of an angel of satan that was a thorn in the flesh that beat him mercilessly; he begged for God to take it away, but the LORD answered him that HIS Grace was sufficient for him... I think we learn a lot from this: Even Saints have to continue in the spiritual fight against temptation, right along with everybody else. So encourage your husband to persevere and stay in the Battle with the well founded hope and belief that God's Grace will always be SUFFICIENT for his salvation...
Demons are powerful because the very nature of the kind of beings they are is superior to human beings... They don't have bodies; so they take delight in getting us puny little bodily beloved creatures of God to sin with and against our own bodies. They intice us into the worst delights and internal fantasies, and then slap us in the face by throwing the shame back at us in order to instill fear in our souls so that we despair, and turn away from God, and give up on the belief that HE (God) always loves us and desires always and only that which is BEST for us in order to experience eternal life.
Evil Spirits are SO intelligent, and know our personal human weaknesses SO well that they are absolute EXPERTS in striking us famously at our weakest and most vulnerable points - YES.
Demons do these things because they hate GOD; they do it because they want to drag as many human souls away from God and into hell as they can; and they will often fight harder and in proportion to the degree to which the human soul fights against evil and temptation.
But ultimately, a man finds the liberating freedom of the TRUTH when he knows himself as he is, and realizes the power of his free will, strengthened by his cooperation and response to God's Grace, and chooses to avoid sin because of his fear of hell, but mostly because as a son of God, he no longer wishes to offend and displease God Who is his creator and loving Heavenly Father.
The Lord Jesus Christ will push away the demons - we need only ask and beg by prayer.
Fr. Timothy Johnson