Breaking a small promise to God

If someone makes a small promise to God (such as “I promise I won’t use the internet and will read a book for an hour”), and then breaks it, is this mortal?

I want to say no, that it is not a grave matter to break a small promise, assuming of course that it wasn’t a promise to not commit a mortal sin. It is certainly venial at least, on account of Jesus saying to let your “yes mean yes and no mean no”.

I ask as I did break such a small promise today, after only going to confession this morning, and I want to know if I can receive communion at mass tonight. I imagine there will be differing opinions. I am in the “not a mortal sin” camp, but I would be interested in hearing what you all think.

We ought not make vows or promises to Jesus except under the advice of our spiritual director. Ask your priest.

We shouldn’t play games with God. My prayers are with you.


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