Friday 23 July 2021

Overcoming Sinful Thoughts - Thomas G. Morrow - How to Realign Your Thinking and Defeat Harmful Ideas

Overcoming Sinful Thoughts: 
How to Realign Your Thinking and Defeat Harmful Ideas
ISBN 9781622826308
eISBN 9781622826315

This was an incredibly powerful read. I wanted to read it as soon as I heard about it. I was incredibly impressed by and blessed by read the companion volume Overcoming Sinful Anger, published under the name Rev. T.G. Marrow. There are still prayers from that book that I pray daily 5 years later. And this book is just as good. This is a book any Catholic, any Christian would benefit from reading. I do not believe you could read this volume and not be changed. The first book I needed, and this one landed on my tablet at a very opportune time as well. The description of this volume is:

“Satan is constantly at work disturbing our peace, corrupting our thoughts, demoralizing us in our weaknesses, and diverting our attention away from God. His goal: to paralyze our spiritual efforts and mire us in a life of sin.

Sin begins in our minds, so we must train ourselves to root out evil thoughts before they take hold—or deter them from entering in the first place. In this powerful, life-changing book, Fr. Thomas Morrow shows us how the devil uses our thoughts to throw us off balance and draw us into sin. He also explains how our thoughts can dissuade us from doing good and even inhibit us from developing intimacy with God.

The root cause of sinful thinking is a misunderstanding of the world God has created and the Truth His Son has revealed. Ultimately, the precept that every Christian must accept is that nothing in this world can satisfy our longing for happiness—other than God and the Life to which He calls us. This book reveals that Life and shows you how to claim it.”

And the chapters are:

“I Am the Best”
“I Need to Succeed at All Costs”
“I Deserve Everything I Have”
“God Doesn’t Hear My Prayers; Why Bother?”
“I’ll Show Her How It Feels”
“I Can’t Be Forgiven for Such a Sin Anyway, So I’ll Stop Practicing the Faith”
“I Always Commit the Same Sins; Why Bother Going to Confession?”
“Go Ahead, It’s Only A Venial Sin”
“I Don’t Feel Forgiven, So I Guess I’m Not”
“I Don’t Believe Everything I Read in the Gospel or in Church Teaching”
“I Don’t Have to Help the Poor Because They Don’t Help Themselves”
“Go Ahead! Everyone Is Doing It”
“Since I Already Committed a Mortal Sin, I May as Well Commit Some More”
“I Can’t Control My Feelings; That’s Just Who I Am”
“There Can Be No God in a World with So Much Suffering”
“God Is Not Fair, So I Need Not Be Fair”
“I Gotta Be Free”
“I Can Find Heaven on Earth”
“Nothing Can Help Me Break That Sinful Habit”
“I Don’t Have to Love My Enemies Because They Are Clearly Doing Evil”
“I Can’t Help Acting on My Temptations, So I’m Not to Blame”
“I Will Do Anything to Avoid Loneliness”
“My Life Is Hard; I Deserve Some ‘Compensation’ (A Little Sin Now and Then)”
“My Way or the Highway” 
“Going to Confession Is Too Embarrassing; I Don’t Remember How; It’s Easier Not to Go”
“I Don’t Think There Is a Hell”
“I Pray a Little Every Day and Attend Sunday Mass; That’s Enough”
“I’m Just Aiming for Purgatory”
“Heaven Sounds Boring to Me”
Common Threads
Appendix: Indulgences
About the Author

I typically read about a book a day. But with this one I took my time. Read a few chapters and put it down. Then I came back to it the next day. And I kn ow that it is a book I will return to in 6-10 months and read again. And having stated that I should likely return and reread the companion volume. I highlighted almost 20 passages in this book on my first read through. A sampling of them is:

“What is a sinful thought? A wrong thought. Well, it’s more than that. It’s a wrong thought that makes a difference in your spiritual journey. Thinking that America was discovered in 1498 is a wrong thought, but it is not likely to affect your chances of being saved. Or thinking that Alexander the Great never existed is wrong, but it isn’t likely to hurt your chances to make it to the kingdom.”

“On the other hand, thinking that there is no hell, or that we deserve everything we have, or that we need not be concerned about venial sins could very well hamper our spiritual progress. These are the sorts of sinful thoughts we will be considering.”

“That is, it is something that is wrong, but the person who embraces the thought is invincibly (blamelessly) ignorant. A material sin causes harm even though it does not willfully go against God.”

“To reach satisfaction in everything, desire satisfaction in nothing. To come to possession of everything, desire the possession of nothing. To arrive at being all, desire to be nothing. To come to the knowledge of everything, desire the knowledge of nothing.”

“Pride is mentioned 138 times in one way or another in Sacred Scripture — nearly always as something to be avoided, as in Proverbs 16:5 at the head of this chapter. Humility, humble, and similar words appear 106 times, always as something to strive for.”

“Anyone who has ever sought a loving relationship should know that one must place oneself beneath the beloved to achieve oneness. We offer our love and hope it will be returned.”

“Even displeasure at our own behavior can be a matter of pride. “Fits of anger, vexation, and bitterness against ourselves tend to pride and they spring from no other source than self-love, which is disturbed and upset at seeing that it is imperfect.””

“But God is not nearly so concerned with our success — even in our prayer life — as with our effort, made in and for Him. According to the well-known phrase of St. Teresa of Calcutta, our primary goal is “faithfulness, not success.””

“John Gottman, marriage researcher at the University of Washington, wrote that, to ensure a healthy marriage, couples must have five positive interactions for every negative. Negative interactions would include hot arguments, criticism, rolling of the eyes, complaints, or put-downs. Positives would include praise, hugs, thank-yous, warm smiles, and sharing laughter. A thank-you, as we have seen, is a blessing for both the thanker and the “thankee.””

“Everyone should have a favorite saint whom they can call on for special needs. I pray to St. Anthony, not only to find things (and he is amazing at that) but for everything, including to remember things, to make my phone work, and for good weather.”

“The difference between a saint and sinner is this: a saint is a sinner who never stopped trying.”

I hope those few quotes will inspire you to pick up this book and give it a read. I am certain you will benefit from the reading.  This book also contains the Prayer of Humility appears in this volume as well as the companion book, as does the Prayer of Thanksgiving. Both are prayers I have prayed almost every day since reading the other book by Morrow. There is also an incredible prayer, Prayer of a Single Christian, that I felt lead to send to two different friends. Both of whom were blessed by it.

If you are looking to track this book or others by the author down search both T.G. Morrow and Thomas G. Morrow or you will not find them all. This is an excellent volume, I highly recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Father Morrow:
Achieving Chastity in a Pornographic World
Who's Who in Heaven: Real Saints for Families in Plain English
Christian Courtship in an Oversexed World: A Guide for Catholics
Christian Dating in a Godless World
How to Master Your Emotions and Bring Peace to Your Life

Prayers from Father Morrow's books:

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