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Is Wishing a Form of Idolatry?


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?


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.

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