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Anonymous Annabella wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am 22 year old student.

  • Is reading erotic literature mortal sin; and did I commit another mortal sin when I received Eucharist before confessing it?

Thank you in advance,


  { Is reading erotic stuff a mortal sin and did I commit another one by receiving without confessing? }

Bob replied:

Dear friend,

Thanks for the question.

Reading erotic literature is virtually the same as watching porn -- the difference is that with porn you don't need to engage your imagination to be stimulated. This kind of material is trash and you should avoid it. It is written for the purpose of titillating its audience and, yes, it can draw you into mortal sin because as Jesus said, if you look at a woman lustfully you have already committed adultery with her. (Matthew 5:28) The eyes of the imagination apply here. Sex is meant to be holy, to be shared in the context of marital love and fidelity, and letting our imagination take us into someone else's bedroom is dangerous to our soul; to go there willingly is a betrayal of our chastity.

I know it is difficult to avoid every instance of sexual provocation, as our Ads, T.V. shows, magazines, movies, and just about everything else in the culture, is saturated with it.

That doesn't mean that we should just surrender the fight and throw in the towel. We need to stand vigilant and be careful guardians of what our minds are exposed to. If you need motivation to purify yourself and avoid this stuff, think of a 10-year-old that is tempted to look at porn or other trash that will draw him into a life long struggle with a sex addiction or other sin and troubles.

  • Would you offer up your fight for his sake?

Each time we take up the mantle of resistance to evil it becomes a benefit which God can apply to more than ourselves. When we unite our cross with Christ it blesses others. So when I am tempted to entertain rubbish in my brain I ask God for the grace to resist and then offer it on behalf of some struggling individual who needs help right in that moment. I think of same-sex attracted people that are miserable and unable to change their life; they need God's help to live at peace and chastely. I want to be a source of help, not condemnation. This is how Jesus taught us to act. He didn't come to condemn, but to heal, but he also taught us the danger of sin left untreated, so we must act (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9). Our salvation, and that of others, depends on our willingness to pursue holiness. In this way, we are all connected.

So the next time some social justice warrior tells you how they think you should live (and that is what your generation is inundated with), know that by following Jesus, pursuing holiness, and fighting the good fight within your own soul, you are bringing justice to the world.


Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Anonymous,

I just wanted to answer your other question.

You said:

  • . . .; did I commit another mortal sin when I received Eucharist before confessing it?

If you were aware of the gravity of this sin (a mortal sin), yes, it was a mortal sin.
If you were not aware of it, no, it would not be.

If you, like many, struggle with sins of the flesh, just go to Confession. Most, if not all, Catholic parishes have Confession times every Saturday.

If you have an instance where you were not able to get to Confession before attending Sunday Mass, don't receive Communion but instead say a Spiritual Communion in the pew. If someone asks you why you didn't receive Communion, just tell them that you were not properly disposed to receive that Sunday; the rest is none of their business.

Also, the sacraments bind us to God but God is not bound to the sacraments. For this reason, when I come across times where I am not properly disposed to receive Holy Communion, after I say my Spiritual Communion (below), I ask that He provide me with the needed graces for the coming week, that I would have received sacramentally, spiritually, until I can get to Confession.

Spiritual Communion

O Lord Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.
I love you above all things, (with all my mind, with all my heart, and with all my soul).

I love you because you are infinitely good and worthy of all my love.

Since I cannot receive You now sacramentally, at least come spiritually into my heart.
I embrace myself entirely to You and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.

Come Lord Jesus and glorify Yourself through my weak, broken body.


I hope this helps,


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