Distraction
Distraction
Distraction (Lat. distrahere, to draw away, hence to distract) is here considered in so far as it is wont to happen in time of prayer and in administering the sacraments

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Distraction
    Distraction
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Distraction
    Distraction (Lat. distrahere, to draw away, hence to distract) is here considered in so far as it is wont to happen in time of prayer and in administering the sacraments. It hardly needs to be noted that the idea of mental prayer and mind-wandering are destructive of each other. So far as vocal prayer is concerned, the want of actual interior attention, if voluntary, will take from its perfection and be morally reprehensible. Distractions, however, according to the commonly accepted teaching, do not rob prayer of its essential character. To be sure one must have had the intention to pray and therefore in the beginning some formal advertence; otherwise a man would not know what he was doing, and his prayer could not be described even as a human act. So long, however, as nothing is done outwardly which would be incompatible with any degree whatever of attention to the function of prayer, the lack of explicit mental application does not, so to speak, invalidate prayer. In other words, it keeps its substantial value as prayer, although, of course, when the dissipation of thought is wilful our addresses to the throne of mercy lose a great deal of efficacy and acceptability. This doctrine has an application, for example, in the case of those who are bound to recite the canonical Office and who are esteemed to have fulfilled their obligation substantially even though their distractions have been abundant and absorbing. Voluntary distractions, that is the conscious deliberate surrender of the mind to thoughts foreign to prayers, are sinful because of the obvious irreverence for God with Whom at such times are presuming to hold intercourse. The guilt, however, is judged to be venial. In the administration of the sacraments their validity cannot be assailed merely because the one who confers them fails to, here and now, think of what he is doing. Provided he has the required intention and posits the essentials of the external rite proper to each sacrament, no matter how taken over he may be by outside reflections, his act is distinctly a human one and as such its value cannot be impugned. Such as state of mind, however, when it is wilful, is sinful, but the guilt is not mortal unless one has thereby laid himself open to the danger of making a mistake in what is regarded as essential for the validity of the sacrament in question.
    JOSEPH F. DELANY
    Transcribed by Christine J. Murray

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • distraction — [ distraksjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1316; lat. distractio 1 ♦ Vx Action de séparer, de distraire (I, 1o) d un ensemble; son résultat. ⇒ détournement, prélèvement. Mod. Dr. Demande en distraction, présentée par un tiers dont le bien a été compris à tort dans… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Distraction — Dis*trac tion, n. [L. distractio: cf. F. distraction.] 1. The act of distracting; a drawing apart; separation. [1913 Webster] To create distractions among us. Bp. Burnet. [1913 Webster] 2. That which diverts attention; a diversion. Domestic… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • distraction — DISTRACTION. s. f. Démembrement, séparation d une partie d avec son tout. On a demandé distraction de cette Terre. On a fait distraction du Fief. En ce sens il ne se dit qu en parlant d affaires.Distraction, signifie aussi L inapplication d une… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • distraction — Distraction. s. f. v. Demembrement d une partie d avec son tout. On a demandé distraction de cette terre. on a fait distraction de fief. En ce sens il ne se dit qu en parlant d affaires. Distraction, signifie aussi, L inapplication d une personne …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • distraction — mid 15c., the drawing away of the mind, from L. distractionem (nom. distractio) a pulling apart, separating, noun of action from pp. stem of distrahere (see DISTRACT (Cf. distract)). Meaning mental disturbance (in driven to distraction, etc.) is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Distraction — Distraction, lat. deutsch, Zerstreuung, Unachtsamkeit; Veräußerung; Distractio pignoris, Pfandveräußerung. Distrahiren, zerstreuen, achtlos machen, veräußern …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • distraction — index confusion (ambiguity), confusion (turmoil), preoccupation, turmoil Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • distraction — [n] having one’s attention drawn away aberration, abstraction, agitation, amusement, beguilement, bewilderment, commotion, complication, confusion, disorder, dissipation, disturbance, diversion, divertissement, engrossment, entertainment, frenzy …   New thesaurus

  • distraction — Distraction, Distractio, Auocatio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • distraction — ► NOUN 1) a thing that diverts attention. 2) a thing offering entertainment. 3) mental agitation …   English terms dictionary

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