Catholic Dictionary




A drawing of the mind away from a predetermined subject to another. Distractions in prayer may be voluntary or involuntary. they are voluntary when not enough effort is made to keep one's mind on the presence of God. Otherwise, no matter how frequent or prolonged, they are involuntary. voluntary distractions are venially sinful. the essence of a sinful distraction, however, is not in the mind's attention being withdrawn from any particular thought in prayer, by in not paying attention to God. (Etym. Latin distrahere, to draw apart.)