CCC 2094--sins against charity

CCC 2094 lists the following as mortal sins:

"One can sin against God’s love in various ways:

  • indifference neglects or refuses to reflect on divine charity; it fails to consider its prevenient goodness and denies its power.
  • ingratitude fails or refuses to acknowledge divine charity and to return him love for love.
  • lukewarmness is hesitation or negligence in responding to divine love; it can imply refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity.
  • acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.
  • hatred of God comes from pride. It is contrary to love of God, whose goodness it denies, and whom it presumes to curse as the one who forbids sins and inflicts punishments."

The last one is quite clear, but I’m not entirely sure what the others are talking about. What constitutes “refusing to acknowledge divine charity,” or “refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity,” for example? I would really appreciate some knowledgeable insight.

They may be sins of grave matter but that does not necessarily mean they are mortal sins.
Mortal sins require three conditions to be fulfilled:

  1. Act must be of grave matter
  2. Full knowledge
  3. Full consent of the will
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I understand that they are of grave matter, and can be mortal sins. I’m just not sure exactly what kind of “indifference,” “ingratitude,” or “lukewarmness” would constitute grave matter, or exactly what is meant by these terms.

Maybe you saw this link somewhere other than the actual CCC website. If you look at the actual paragraph there, you will not find anywhere that it is a mortal sin. Here’s the actual wording, beginning with #2093 that starts the section on charity:

2093 Faith in God’s love encompasses the call and the obligation to respond with sincere love to divine charity. The first commandment enjoins us to love God above everything and all creatures for him and because of him.

2094 One can sin against God’s love in various ways: (here begins the list you posted)

What constitutes “refusing to acknowledge divine charity,” or “refusal to give oneself over to the prompting of charity,” for example?

The story of the ten lepers comes to mind, where only one came back and acknowledged Jesus’s goodness in healing him, and gave him thanks. The other nine may have just been indifferent and did not deliberately refuse to acknowledge his gift to them.

As for refusal to respond to a prompt of charity, there are times when we know we should do something positive for another, but out of selfishness, we chuck that desire aside and follow our own whims instead. This could be serious is it involves the call of duty deliberately set aside for personal pleasure. (Like going golfing instead of attending mass on Sunday.)

Divine charity is God’s love for us.

God created us, gave us life and allows us to continue our lives as a gift. We earned none of it and owe him everything because of it. God even became one of us and died a horrible death to save us from Hell which we deserve because of our sins. God’s love is love in it’s truest form - love in which God himself sacrificed everything so that we might live with him forever.

We are to acknowledge that divine love (indifferent), be grateful for it (ingratitude) and not respond to it negatively. We are not to curse God (hatred of God) as an angry taskmaster. When other human beings need help, we are to respond promptly(acedia, lukewarmness) with gifts of our own to help them because other human beings are created by God and everything we have is really God’s anyway. This we should do in a spirit of joy and not begrudgingly (acedia). We shouldn’t deny God’s power (indifference) or assume that just because we don’t get our own way that God can’t do something. We shouldn’t take God for granted (ingratitude).

We are to be grateful for God’s love for us and respond accordingly.


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