Can you still pray if you're in mortal sin?

Mortal sin means that one’s soul is not in a state of grace. So if one chooses to commit a mortal sin and is truly in the state of mortal sin, can he beg God for forgiveness and be once again in a state of grace without going to confession, but with the intent to go to confession? For instance, if one commits a mortal sin on Monday and the next confession time is not until Sunday, if he in mortal sin until he can get to the confessional, or can God grant some sort of “advance” on forgiveness until he gets to the “bank”, aka the confessional?

and one more question: if one is for sure in a state of mortal sin and knows he is, is it of any value to pray? or is he completely separated from God until he sacramentally confesses?

thanks and God bless.

Hi Kentucky,

Nice try, but no cigar! To be in mortal sin is to be without sanctifying grace. It is a very serious matter because it leaves us on our own and on our own we don’t have squat. It is only by God’s grace that we are able to desire to love Him. But until we again have sanctifying grace, we can’t do any spiritual good for anybody.

Should we be faced with the immediate danger of death, we can try to make a perfect act of contrition, i.e., repenting because of our complete love for God and not to protect our own hides. Otherwise we had better get ourselves to Confession immediately, if not sooner.

It really is not like banking. It’s more like completely betraying a friend’s trust. You wouldn’t go to a friend you betrayed and ask him for an advance on an apology until you get around to making one. Sin is a personal thing. It is looking at Jesus, gasping for breath on the cross and laughing at Him. If it hurts to think of this, then you have a little taste of what mortal sin is. It also means that you have some love in your heart for Him. We all have a certain facility to love Him because we were designed for it. But we must not underestimate the evil of mortal sin.

Happy Easter!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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