What have you done in your thoughts? I’ve done a lot ‘in thought‘. Every Sunday, well most Sundays, we say the Penitential Rite and the usual prayer used is the Confiteor, i.e. the “I confess”. It starts
“I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do…”
And the thought part just got me going. I mean who has control over their thoughts? It’s hard enough to remember when I’ve done wrong on spot now I gotta remember the thoughts too? Truth be told, I probably murder and disembowel some people in my thoughts. I don’t think it will ever spill over to real life but it made me wonder. Why is it so much harder to control my thoughts? Why is it so much harder to also feel sorry for them? Why confess them?
It’s true the more I dwell on a thought the more likely it manifests. I either will then say it, do it or see it. So comes in the skill of having mastery over my wayward mind. I have an extremely loud and noisy neighbour. It’s meant that I’ve been out of the house I pay rent for, more than I am in it, squatting at friends and neighbours. Midnight brawl like sounds are not unusual and so the place feels unsafe. In my mind, I tell him off and am so not charitable.
One way I’ve been trying to be a bit more in touch and to make sure that my mind better governed is by doing the Examen. The result is that I am now more aware of my thoughts when they occur, and I am more aware of the thoughts I should not be having. As a further result, I have become a bit more contrite for them.
But till the time such thoughts will no longer come to my mind, I will be one of those fervently repeating that part of the Confiteor and doing a mind cringe as I think of the person I dressed down so uncharitably in my grey matter… noisy neighbours top of the list…. in thought…