Is wishing a form of idolatry?


Full Question

I have friends who insist that it is okay to make a wish at 11:11 since they are not taking it seriously. But I believe wishing is sinful because it breaks the commandment, “Thou shall not have false gods before me.” Am I correct?

Answer

Basically, the definition of wish is a desire for something. Under that definition, even Jesus Christ expressed wishes at times: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (Lk 13:34).

Sometimes people express the hope that they have that certain wishes will be granted by stating the wish while doing some specific act (e.g., blowing out candles, watching a shooting star, pitching coins into a fountain). Unless there is a belief that the action will magically bring about the wish, which most people do not entertain, there is no superstition involved (cf. CCC 2111). Certainly, there is no idolatry.


Michelle Arnold