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Old Oct 15, '07, 3:34 pm
francesco920 francesco920 is offline
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Default Sins of omission: mortal or venial?

I've been thinking about sins of omission lately because I want to make sure I'm making a good examination of conscience. My question is what types of sins of omission are mortal and which ones are venial? I know sins of omission like not going to Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation and not keeping the precepts of the Church are mortal. However, what are other mortal or venial sins of omission? Would neglecting to pray daily be a mortal or venial sin? Also, when does neglecting your responsibilities become mortal? For example, would failing to study for a test or to do a homework assignment be mortal sins?

"What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful."

- Pope Benedict XVI

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Old Oct 15, '07, 4:49 pm
brigid12 brigid12 is offline
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Default Re: Sins of omission: mortal or venial?

To me I would look at the reason for that omission-for example"what I want to do is more important than talking/listening to God" - I'd call the base reason for that as pride and if it was me I'd consider it serious matter, or on the other hand, "well I could have been more charitable but there wasn't much time and the other person seemed in a hurry"-if that description were true (and not a rationalization) I'd say it was venial. It never hurts to go to confession and get absolution anyway-only get more grace not to omit that again!
"Jesus does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, or even at their difficulty, as at the love with which we do them"
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"...and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8
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Old Oct 15, '07, 4:58 pm
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CarrieH CarrieH is offline
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Default Re: Sins of omission: mortal or venial?

Originally Posted by francesco920 View Post
For example, would failing to study for a test or to do a homework assignment be mortal sins?
It depends on the circumstances. To fail to do an occasional assignment or to study might lower your grade, but if it's not enough to make you fail the whole course, I wouldn't think this was sinful (just lazy). But say that you had to pass a licensing examination for your chosen career and you had a family to support, and you failed to study and then flunked the exam, and by failing lost your means of providing for them. That would be sinful, maybe even mortally so.

Most of the sins of omission which aren't directly related to the Church's precepts would have to harm another person in order to be mortal, IMHO. If you deliberately failed to provide proper care for your children or your elderly parents, that could be a mortal sin. If you failed to put in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, you have stolen from your employer. If you have failed to recognize when you had too much to drink and go driving the car, you have sinned against everyone else on the road by potentially endangering their safety. If you fail to stand up for someone when others are falsely accusing them, you have sinned against the innocent person. And of course, in all of the above instances, you have sinned against God most of all. But once again, whether or not these are mortal vs. venial sins would likely depend upon the circumstances and the amount of harm done by your failing to do what was right.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you. Save souls!

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Old Jan 17, '08, 3:31 pm
showtime1019 showtime1019 is offline
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Default Re: Sins of omission: mortal or venial?

Originally Posted by CarrieH View Post
It depends on the circumstances. To fail to do an occasional assignment or to study might lower your grade, but if it's not enough to make you fail the whole course, I wouldn't think this was sinful (just lazy).
Not doing a homework assignment, because I am lazy is a sin. It is a sin of sloth. But I am not sure the gravity. I am a teacher and my students ask me all the time. If I am not doing an assignment, because I am being lazy that would be a problem. If I was swamped with stuff to do then I would say it might not even be a sin.

However the post above mentioned that if I could not provide for my family etc. etc. that it would be seriouse, but our schooling does influence our carriers.

I teach Religion and I told the students that to be disruptive in my class was serious business, because the content being taught faithfully and accurately is of the most importance. The fate of many souls is in my care. Our conscience convicts us on sins of omission the same way that it does on active sins. For example, by pulling a trigger I am actively murdering somebody and by not feeding my baby I am passively commiting murder. NOt doing homework because I am lazy is extremely similar to doing a terrible job on my homework because I am lazy. When I have the means and knowledge not acting when I am called to do something is still an act of the will.

Here is something to think about!

Priests who don't talk about the Eucharist and Confession. People in the pews might be playing gameboy or texting, because they don't know that is Jesus. Those who leave the faith for whatever reason most of the time don't know that the Eucharist is Jesus ALIVE!! SO they go sing songs and hear sermons and hold hands at some other church, because why not it is more enjoyable, but when the people know JESUS is HERE then they have a reason to stay despite all the controversy. NOw in my oppinion that is a grave sin of omission on the priests part or on the catechist's part when they don't teach the truths. It really boils my blood, because they might as well be teaching lies. To distort the truth and to withold the truth is two sides of the same coin.

Last edited by showtime1019; Jan 17, '08 at 3:42 pm.
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Old Jan 17, '08, 7:29 pm
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default Re: Sins of omission: mortal or venial?

"According to St. Thomas, in order to live spiritually man must remain in communion with the supreme principle of life, which is God, since God is the ultimate end of man' s being and acting. Now sin is a disorder perpetrated by the human being against this life-principle. And when through sin, the soul commits a disorder that reaches the point of turning away form its ultimate end God to which it is bound by charity, then the sin is mortal; on the other hand, whenever the disorder does not reach the point of a turning away from God, the sin is venial."

Mortal sins deserve eternal punishment, if the individual never repents; venial sins are not deserving of eternal punishment. Mortal sins are in a matter serious enough to end one's friendship with God.

As for mortal sins of omission, these would have to violate the positive precepts, i.e. commandments that require us to act, rather than to refrain from acting. Examples:
Worship God, keep holy the Sabbath, honor your father and mother, love your neighbor, prayer, self-denial (especially during lent), works of mercy

One is not required to fulfill positive precepts continually, whereas one must continually avoid violating negative precepts. While the Church currently requires attendance at Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation, the Church could change that requirement; the obligation under Divine Law to worship God and keep the Sabbath holy can be fulfilled in many ways.

All the positive and negative precepts can be summed up by two rules:
love God
love your neighbor.
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