Blasphemy

I am just starting the RCIA and have a question about blasphemy. Prior to my conversion I developed the very, very bad habit of having a very foul mouth (all sorts of bad stuff including a certain variation of gosh darn it). I have been working for a long time to fix it (with progress) but still am far from completely cleaning up my act. Sometimes I blasphemy without even thinking (its sort of reflexive). Does this always qualify as mortal sin? Does it meet the criteria of full consent? I am not asking so I don’t have to feel guilty about it- I know it’s very sinful but if it were always a mortal sin I fear that I would rarely be able to receive communion (when I am able).

Thanks,
StatCrux

First, welcome home! I am quite happy to hear that you are coming into the Church. May God bless you and the Holy Ghost guide you through the process.

I am also glad to see you are trying to amend your ways. This is, perhaps, the most important aspect of getting sins forgiven. You see, you cannot just sin then go to confession. You must really want to change and not commit the sin anymore. That is what you are doing here.

While using the Lord’s Name in vain and other forms of blasphemy are always grave sins, the Church has recognized that there is some mitigation when a grave sin has become habitual. Just because something is habitual does not make it okay. What this does mean is that your culpability for the sin is diminished in some degree.

If you recall from your RCA, a mortal sin requires 3 things to be true. (1) Grave matter, (2) knowledge of the seriousness, and an (3) a conscious act of will after considering 1 and 2. (I know this is not exactly the language the Catechism uses. Please correct me if I mis-stated it.)

When something just “falls out of your mouth”, it is reasonable to think that number 3 above is not always met as you did not consciously consider it.

On the other hand, names are very powerful. There is no other name in Heaven and Earth that is higher, more sacred and more powerful than the Name of God. I have come to believe that this particular sin is so serious and so offensive to God that any mitigation is slight. Because of this I would say that using the Lord’s Name in vain is virtually always a mortal sin. (I will probably get hammered hard for this…)

I say this as a convert myself. I spoke, I suspect, much like you did, every 3rd word was, well, offensive to God (and probably many people around me.) My conversion was sudden and miraculous. One of the gifts of my conversion and a sign of its miraculous nature was that I was instantly cured of this particular habit. The last time I used profanity of any sort was before my conversion. I have not had a single slip up since. This was the change that people noticed in me right away. When I hear someone speak this way, even in movies, I experience physical pain in my ears.

May God grant you peace and healing.

I do not mean to hijack this thread, but I also don’t want to clutter up the forum with similar threads. A mod may split this if he/she deems it to be better.

Anyways, I was wondering, what is the level of sinfulness of one who blasphemes as part of a theatrical production, or allows others in the cast to imilarly blaspheme, because it is in the script?

May I recommend:

DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS

This ancient and venerable Catholic practice is rooted in the representation of the face of Christ said to have been left on the towel or veil used by a holy woman thought to be named, Veronica. An Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established in Tours, France, 1884; its members make reparation for the blasphemies hurled at Christ.

From:
catholictradition.org/Christ/holy-face.htm#DEVOTION

You could say a Rosary of this kind:
catholictradition.org/Christ/holy-face2.htm

Of course, you should do your best to make a good confession of this when you are at that point in your RCIA – it will help you a lot (I, too, speak from 1st hand experience.)

I am pretty sure it isn’t a mortal sin, yet it still is wrong to do, and can lead to mortal sin. You are not doing it to offend God, nor reject Him, and it might be part of the plot in a story that glorifies God. So it all depends on the circumstances.

Even as actors people have some liberty to choose parts that do not insult God or their own dignity. Such as nudity, etc…

Just because it might pay well to get naked, I should look for another job, as a Catholic even our job description has to respect God, or we have compromised our faith and our dignity for money.

Hope that helps,
God Bless
Scylla

The Golden Arrow Holy Face Devotion is a prayer in the Catholic Church which is believed to have been dictated by Jesus to Sr. Marie of St Peter and of the Holy Family, a Carmelite nun of Tours, in 1843. It is an Act of Praise and Reparation for Blasphemy.

Words of the prayer:

*May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable,
most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God
be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored
and glorified in Heaven, on earth,
and under the earth,
by all the creatures of God,
and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Amen. *

from Wikipedia

I’ve read into exorcism stories in Malachi Martin’s Hostage To The Devil and amazingly almost all the time the possessed person uses the F word indefinitely; and one would wonder where we inherit such profanity! I would highly suggest do away with the profane words and PRAY.

:gopray2:

The Church’s teaching on blasphemy:

CCC 2148 Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God - inwardly or outwardly - words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. St. James condemns those “who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called.” The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.

Blasphemy is contrary to the respect due God and his holy name. It is in itself a grave sin.

I completed my RCIA classes in April and my teacher said it is blasphemous to say Oh, G. and OMG even if we aren’t angry. However, since that time, I’ve heard two priests say this. One was our own pastor and the other was my son’s pastor. Neither was angry or disrespectful. I think this expression has become such a common expression that it’s hard to avoid. However, since my conversion, I quit saying GD (I’m very ashamed that I said it in times past) and even now say oh, my gosh instead.

I accidently let the other (OMG) slip the other day. I was attending an all-day technology workshop and people behind me talked loudly and nonstop and I finally lost it and said to my tablemates, 'OMG are these people ever going to stop talking?"

I am now wondering if I need to confess. It really slipped out and I wasn’t really angry…just frustrated and couldn’t believe the rudeness of these people.

Any feedback?

In fact, my teacher also said it is blasphemous to even write OMG, but I don’t know how else to express it here.

Thanks for the replies. I especially like the Golden Arrow prayer. I will most certainly mention this sin among others during my first confession.

SC

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