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Re: Impure Thoughts vs. Desires
Question from Ed on 8/13/2001:

Dear Father Levis,

First of all, I also want to thank you for all the great work you do on this forum. For most of us, it is the only way we have a chance to really ask detailed questions about our Faith or other areas that may be of concern.

My question refers to the two questions you answered for John regarding Confession of Voluntary Impure Thoughts.

You said that the details of voluntary impure thoughts need not be confessed. (This is also what I have always been told by priests I have asked in confession because they have said we all have the potential to have all varieties of impure thoughts at one time or another).

You also said, however, that the details of impure desires must be confessed.

I guess I'm confused.

What is the difference between a VOLUNTARY Impure thought, and an impure desire?

I know that involuntary impure thoughts are not sinful because we don't entertain them and we try to get rid of them.

But Voluntary Impure thoughts, which we all have had at one time or another, are sinful because they are entertained.

How are impure desires different than impure thoughts, and what makes impure desires more serious than impure thoughts?

Thanks for your help in clarifying this difference for your readers.

Take care and may God Bless You.

Ed

Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 8/14/2001:

Dear Ed, Yes, there is a difference between impure thoughts and impure desires. Remember here we are talking only of voluntary thoughts and desires.'With thoughts impure pleasure is the object of the will, it is what is enjoyed, the pleasure itself. With impure desires, the object of the will is the doing of an evil action. E.g. to desire to have sex with a single woman is different than to have sex with a married woman, fornication is different from adultery. God bless. Fr. Bob Levis

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