Am I in mortal sin?

I have some serious sins and I am not sure if I am in mortal sin and if I should refrain from receiving the Blessed Sacrament. What do you think?

  1. I do not love God. For if I loved Him, then I would be constantly thinking of Him with heartfelt satisfaction; every thought of God would fill me with joy and delight. On the contrary, I think more and with greater eagerness about worldly things, while thoughts of God present difficulty and aridity. If I loved Him, then my prayerful communion with Him would nourish, delight, and lead me to uninterrupted union with Him. But on the contrary, not only do I not find my delight in prayer but I find it difficult to pray; I struggle unwillingly, I am weakened by slothfulness and am most willing to do anything insignificant only to shorten or end my prayer. In useless occupations I pay no attention to time; but when I am thinking about God, when I place myself in his presence, every hour seems like a year. When a person loves another, he spends the entire day unceasingly thinking about his beloved, imagining being with him, and worrying about him; no matter what he is occupied with, the beloved does not leave his thoughts. And I in the course of the day barely take one hour to immerse myself deeply in meditation about God and enkindle within myself love for him, but for 23 hours with eagerness I bring fervent sacrifices to the idols of my passions! I greatly enjoy conversations about vain subjects which degrade the spirit, but in my conversations about God I am dry, bored and lazy. And if unwittingly I am drawn into a conversation about spiritual matters, I quickly change the subject to something which flatters my passions. I have avid curiosity about secular news and political events; I seek satisfaction for my love of knowledge in worldly studies, in science, art, and in methods of acquiring possessions. But the study of the law of the Lord, knowledge of God, and religion does not impress me, does not nourish my soul. I judge this to be an unessential activity of a Christian, a rather supplementary subject with which I should occupy myself in my leisure time. In short, if love of God can be recognized by the keeping of His commandments -”If anyone loves me he will keep My word,” says the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:23), and I not only do not keep His commandments but I make no attempt to do so - then in very truth I should conclude that I do not love God. St. Basil the Great confirms this when he says “The evidence that man does not love God and His Christ is that he does not keep His commandments.”
  2. I do not love my neighbor. Not only because I am not ready to lay down my life for the good of my neighbor, according to the Gospel, but I will not even sacrifice my peace and my happiness for his good. If I loved my neighbor as myself, as the Gospel commands, then his misfortune would grieve me also and his prosperity would bring me joy. But, on the contrary, I listen with curiosity to accounts of my neighbor’s misfortune and I am not grieved but indifferent to them and I seem to find satisfaction in them. I do not sympathize with the failings of my brother but I judge them and publicize them. My neighbor’s welfare, honor, and happiness do not delight me as my own; I am either completely indifferent to them or I am jealous or envious.

I was not able to describe all my sins in one post so here is the rest
3. I do not have faith in spiritual realities. I believe neither in immortality nor in the Gospel. If I were firmly convinced and believed without a doubt in eternal life and in retribution for out earthly actions, then I would be constantly thinking about this; the very thought of immortality would inspire me with wonder and awe and I would live my life as an alien who is getting ready to enter his native land. On the contrary, I don’t even think of eternity and I consider the end of this life as the limit of my existence. I nurture a secret thought within and wonder, “Who knows what will happen after death?” Even when I say that I believe in immortality, it is only from natural reasoning, for deep down in my heart I am not convinced of it and my actions and preoccupations with earthly cares prove this. If I accepted the Holy Ghost with faith into my heart as the word of God, then I would be constantly occupied with it; I would study it, would delight in it, and with deep reverence would immerse myself in it, Wisdom, mercy, and love hidden within it would lead me to ecstasy, and day and night I would delight in the lessons contained in the law of God. They would be my daily spiritual bread and I would earnestly strive to fulfill them; nothing on earth would be strong enough to keep me from this. But on the contrary, even if I sometimes read or listen to the word of God, it is either out of necessity or curiosity; I do not delve deeply into it but feel dryness and indifference to it and I receive no greater benefit from it than I do from secular reading. Further, I am eager to give it up promptly and go to worldly reading in which I have greater interest and from which I get more satisfaction.
4. I am full of pride and self-love. All my actions confirm this. When I see something good in myself, then I wish to display it or brag about it to others, or interiorly I am full of self-love even when outwardly I feign humility. I ascribe everything to my own ability and I consider myself more perfect than others, or at least not worse. If I notice a vice in myself, then I try to excuse it or justify it; I pretend to be innocent, or I claim that I couldn’t help it. I am impatient with those who do not show me respect and I consider them incapable of judging character. I am vain about my talents and cannot accept any failure in my actions. I grumble and am glad to see the misfortune of my enemies, and my intention in doing anything good is either praise, self-interest, or earthly comfort. In a word, I continuously make an idol of myself, to whom I give unceasing service as I seek sensual delights and try to nourish my carnal desires.

Thank you for sharing all that you feel. If you are not putting us on, you are one of the most insightful people that has ever posted. If this is really you, I would strongly urge you to get a good Spiritual Director. Your diocese might be able to direct you a professional Director. Some time back I attended a talk by a professional Director. She gets many people that feel as you do and she guides them to finding answers from deep within themselves.

May God bless you in your faith journey,
Deacon Tony


While I think that you have some serious issues that need to be addressed, I think that you are coming to the wrong conclusions.

To begin with, you say that you don’t love God because you don’t “feel” like you love Him. Well, you are in good company. Some of the great saints experienced times of great “aridity” in their spiritual lives and felt abandoned or otherwise despaired when they though of God. Therefore, I think that you are merely suffering from an extreme form of what we all go through. These difficulties do not necessarily mean that you do not love God.

In regard to numbers 2 and 4, these are things that all humans undergo. The overwhelming majority of us are self-centered and otherwise selfish. We are envious and proud. We all need to work on these things.

In regard to number 3, this represents a serious issue of faith. Not because you rely on natural reasoning; Thomas Aquinas did the same. The issue comes from the fact that you say you doubt. There is a very distinct difference between a doubt and a difficulty. I have difficulty understanding many aspects of the faith but I do not doubt any teaching. I suggest that you spend time reflecting on this difference and coming to a true conclusion on where you stand; do you actually doubt the faith or do you merely have difficulties with understanding and living it out?

In either case, I think your questions would best be handled by a spiritual director; someone with whom you can meet and discuss these issues at length. Someone whom you respect as a good and faithful person and whom you feel can help you to gain a better understanding of the faith and how it applies to you and your life. Because you are wondering if you should abstain from the Blessed Sacrament, you should consider asking a priest to be your spiritual directory or to recommend someone for you.

I think that part of what you are describing is the “spiritual desert,” or , as St. John of the Cross put it, “the dark night of the soul.” Don’t feel that you are in morta. sin. If all that were moral sin, then we are all in trouble!!! :eek:

The answer to your question awaits you in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Go and encounter Him.

I’m not sure if your posting is to be taken seriously; i.e., are you really being sincere or are you being mischievous?

The reason I ask is because you claim at the beginning to be worried about being in mortal sin and receiving the Eucharist – yet you claim in #4 to not even believe in the Gospel or immortality.

If you have no belief in the Gospel, you have no belief in Christ, so why would you worry about being in sin – mortal or otherwise? Why would you care about receiving Christ – whom you do not believe in – in His Eucharistic presence?

I have to believe this is a put on.

If am grossly in error – then you do, indeed need to seek out a spiritual advisor ASAP. In any event, whatever your real intent, you have assured yourself of my prayers this day.

The sin I am guilty of is plagerism and would that I had one tentfh of the conscience of this great saint. This is a direct quotation from the spiritual classic The Pilgrim Continues His Way. The man was never canonized because he shunned recognition as a true spiritual giant. This display of this great tender conscience has deeply moved many to repentance for hundreds of year. Among you, only Christy Beth was able to recognize the tender conscience of a great saint. This is not someone who needs a spiritual director - If I ever met someone like this, I would ask them to be MY spiritual director. As for the rest of you, YOU need to go to confession, YOU need to learn how to examine your conscience. Perhaps all of you should take this great spiritual work and your remarks and bring them to YOUR confessor.

:eek: huh… :confused: what the…???

[quote=socrates8972]This is not someone who needs a spiritual director

Can you fill us in on how the anonymous pilgrim came to believe in the Gospel and immortality and how he resolved all of his doubts and so on without any spiritual guidance? (not being contentious, serious question)

[quote=socrates8972]As for the rest of you,


[quote=socrates8972]YOU need to go to confession, YOU need to learn how to examine your conscience. Perhaps all of you should take this great spiritual work and your remarks and bring them to YOUR confessor.

I’m sure we’d all agree that we – and, yes, even YOU, friend – would do well to always take time to examine our consciences and take advantage of the healing of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. No argument there. I’m not sure, however, that my confessor would appreciate my taking this book into the confessional with me then telling him to read it and then tell him about your passing this passage off as your own, getting our responses, then revealing it wasn’t really you after all but the anonymous pilgrim who wrote those words and then telling him my honest response to same. Besides, it wouldn’t be necessary to do so since there is no sin in my – or anyone else’s – response to “you.”

Where is the sin in questioning the authenticity of the post? It comes from a complete stranger whose initial question seems to make no sense given the subsequent self-disclosure. My response was an honest reaction to that seeming contradiction. No sin there.

Where is the sin in recommending the poor soul get some much needed spiritual guidance? This shows caring concern and evidence that the responder “gives a darn” what happens to this person. So, unless you can show where seeking spiritual guidance is not to be countenanced, there is also no sin there.

Where is the sin in assuring the poster of our prayers? We are, after all, only doing what Scripture has told us to do – to pray for one another. No sin in that, either, friend.

A soul in deep trouble is in need of guidance – yours, mine, and the pilgrim’s.

Soooooooo, what was your real intention in posting this? What were you hoping to see in response?

A soul in deep trouble is in need of guidance – yours, mine, and the pilgrim’s.

I see that my wording was misleading. I didn’t intend to say a troubled soul was in need of the guidance of you, me, or pilgrim, which is what it looks like I’m saying.

What I meant was any troubled soul needs guidance, whether that soul be you, me, or pilgrim.

(There, I feel better having made that clarification!)

There are two kinds of morality one is a great rush of adrenaline and “knowing you are right”. This morality, in my humble opinion, probably belongs more to kinky sex than to good spirituality. Good spirituality, as exemplified by the saints and by the Good Samaritan, is when one is “troubled” by seeing something wrong and trying to do something positive about it. This particular passage has for hundreds of years deeply troubled great spiritual people and encouraged them to a more thorough examination of conscience and moved great spiritual people very deeply. When I see things that used to move great spiritual people and I see people today unmoved by it this is a problem. Excuse me. I SHOWED you how a saint examines his conscience, you are unmoved by this and then you have the gall to tell me how to examine MY conscience. I understand that “self-esteem” and “loving oneself” are quite in vogue, but the good old spiritual ideas still work and when the mentally ill, whom I worked with for 10 years, are given a choice between good spirituality and this pop psychology so many of you have sold the faith out for, they ALL choose good spirituality and flourish with it.

[quote=socrates8972]I SHOWED you how a saint examines his conscience, you are unmoved by this and then you have the gall to tell me how to examine MY conscience.

“you are unmoved” – “you have the gall”??? My dear friend, if you look back over these exchanges, the gall is all yours. YOU are the only one claiming a superior spirituality; everyone else has offered empathy, their suggestions and offer of prayer.

Remember this?

As for the rest of you, YOU need to go to confession, YOU need to learn how to examine your conscience. Perhaps all of you should take this great spiritual work and your remarks and bring them to YOUR confessor.

And as for being unmoved – if we were unmoved, we wouldn’t have bothered to respond to your post at all.

I think it would have been helpful to have explained that you were quoting the pilgrim; instead the way you posted it led us to believe these were your own thoughts and that you were seeking our advice (given the title of your post). If what you were looking for was commentary on this person’s self-examination, you should have said so and avoided any confusion.

[quote=socrates8972] I understand that “self-esteem” and “loving oneself” are quite in vogue,…and this pop psychology so many of you have sold the faith out for, they ALL choose good spirituality and flourish with it.

And there you go again with the “so many of you” – no one here has “sold the faith out.” There is nothing we have said that is contrary to the faith or anywhere near approaching pop psychology. You are the only one who has brought up the “self-esteem,” “loving oneself” language.

I posed a few questions to you in my last post. Rather than answering them, you chose to shower more condemnation and judgment on perceived sins where in fact none exist.

Your intent in posting this is pretty clear now.

Thank you to all those who have participated in this discussion. This thread is now closed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit