Do we all sin? (Sin and forgetfulness)

Do we all sin? And if so, what if one does not remember any sins, the outcome would be he sins and forgets, or he has not sinned. Does that mean that, if the latter, he is at that point sinless?

Is there any way to live a sin-free life? And if not, how do we cope with such lives? What about Mary, St. John the Baptist, etc.?

If one does not recall any sins what should they think when mass begins and the priest says to call to mind your sins?

I myself suffer much forgetfulness, so I do not always remember my sins at mass, I want to prove to myself that the only reason I don’t see droplets of sin is because I am, in fact, drowning in sin. What can I do to recall better my downfalls before mass, confession, acts of contrition, etc.?

Wow, that is a lot of Questions. I’ll try to go in order.

  1. No, not all sin.
  2. If you forget a sin you are not “sinless” but if you truly forget but try to remember and confess the sins you do remember all sins will be forgiven.
    3)Yes, people can live sinless lives past baptism. It is what we should strive for and if it were not possible then we would be praying in vain when asking God to help us sin no more. And God would be asking the impossible when he directs people to “go and sin no more”
  3. Mary was sinless. small t tradition indicates John the baptist may have lived a sinless life outside of original sin.
  4. venial sins. I can call to mind venial sins from my drive to Mass usually.
  5. I have no idea why you have the idea you are drowning in sin. But then I don’t know you. you might be you might not be. It is your job to form your conscience. Be mindful of your thoughts and your will and align them with God and what His will is. Wherever that differs, there is sin.

I think you would benefit to read the Catechism on sin. If you google sin and the catechism of the catholic church it will take you to the correct section.

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He sins and forgets.

No, see above.

Yes, by co-operating with God’s graces throughout ones’ lifetime.

We do our very best to not commit mortal sins, followed by doing our very best to not commit venial sins. It is part and parcel of being human in this life, on earth, due to concupiscence to sin. We have to struggle against temptations, rely on and ask God to grant us the graces we need and do what is humanly possible, apply effort ourselves. By going to the Sacrament of Penance/Confession even for venial sins, as our resolve to avoid these is strengthened as well as forgiven and of course receive Holy Communion as often as we are in a state of grace.

Mary was granted a special grace from God at the time of her conception was preserved from the stain of original sin The Immaculate Conception #490 onwards

Nothing in official Church documents about this that I’m aware of. But with that said according to Catholic Encyclopedia - St John the Baptist " Then was accomplished the prophetic utterance of the angel that the child should “be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb”. Now as the presence of any sin whatever is incompatible with the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the soul, it follows that at this moment John was cleansed from the stain of original sin."

The Catechsim of the Catholic Church has this to say about St. John the Baptist.

Was John the Baptist born free of original sin?

Then think of some sin you have committed at some point in the past, if you can’t think of any since your last confession.

Use an examination of conscience - Examination of Conscience by Fr. Robert Altier under the linked word Read More - opens a pdf file which you can read. As it is copyrighted, and you want a copy then you can buy one from Leaflet Missal Company.

We sin. All of us. And all the time.
If one doesn´t remember their sins, they have still sinned, but forgot about them. In order to bring them up for Confession, one is encouraged to spend time using an Examintation of Conscience. That´ll help most people remember at least a fair part of their sins. God understands that we may be forgetful but He desires that we repent of the sins we´re aware of. See this link for Examinations of Conscience (

There are no way to live a sinless life in this world. We can, through the help of God, receive graces to avoid sin and overcome vices, but we won´t ever get rid of sin during this life. This doesn´t mean that we´re not supposed to try to stop sinning. I recall a quote from someone, I don´t know exactly who said this but it´s very on point; A saint is a sinner that keeps on trying. Speaking about this St. Augustine came to my mind. He lived a very sinful life, but had a conversion. So, we need to try as best as we can, and let ourselves grow close to God.

However, our Blessed Mother was different. She was conceived immaculately and lived her life without sin. Also, our Lord was without sin.

So basically, every other saint have sinned, the difference between them and others were that they ran to God each time.

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One should work harder on examining one’s conscience, or else just accept that the just man sins 7 times a day and that you have a poor memory so have likely sinned 7 times a day and just aren’t remembering it.

I could honestly sin 7 times a day just feeling impatient with stuff I read on the Internet.

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You nailed it. :slight_smile:

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I don’t know if it is possible to lead a sin-free life.
I think our challenge it to try to limit our sins, but to know that we need only confess our sins to receive absolution.
God asks us to try. But not to be dismayed, if we fail.

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Specifically to living a sinless life.

Scripture says “be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect”. If this were impossible, it would not be stated that way.

Yes, it is possible to grow in grace to a point where one does not commit sins.


Yes, and God is not cruel, nor does He ask the impossible. When he tells the woman to go and “sin no more” it is a command that he intends her to follow.

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I disagree. As humans, we will always sin. We can reach a state where our sins are very small or minor, but we are not going to be sinless in this life, and it would be presumptuous to think we could reach that goal. The great saints who we would see as examples of “a sinless life” would be the first ones to tell you what sinners they are.

I do agree it is quite possible to avoid mortal or grave sin. But avoiding all sin while here on earth was only ever accomplished by one human being: Mary, Mother of God.

If anyone disagrees with me, please provide an example of a human being in history, other than Mary (and of course Jesus who was also divine), who was sinless.

This does not mean we should just give up and say “it’s impossible to be perfect so let’s go sin.” Our goal is to come as close to sinlessness in this life as possible. We can do that while acknowledging that because of our human frailties we sometimes fall.


Do you believe in full indulgences?

If I never sinned, why would I need an indulgence?
An indulgence is to remove the temporal punishment for the sin I committed and repented of. Basically so I don’t have to go to Purgatory upon death.
And possibly to remove venial sins I didn’t get a chance to confess/ be absolved of before death (we’re discussing that on another thread).

(If you’ve ever read any of my posts in the indulgence threads, it’s pretty obvious I believe in plenary indulgences, if that’s what you mean by "full indulgences’…they are granted by the Church and have nothing to do with sinlessness, rather the opposite.)

My understanding is this.

We all have sin (original sin)
4 people were born without original sin. Adam, Eve, Mary, Jesus. Adam and Eve committed the first sin and became the first sinners. Part of why we refer to Mary as the “new Eve” is because she, of course, did not sin, and Christ rights Adam’s wrongs. Scripture captures this with the idea that through one man sin and death entered the world and by one man it was conquered.

It is indeed accurate to say we are all born sinners, and we are. Through the stain of original sin. Which baptism clears us of. Then, there are millions of people alive right now who are baptized, yet lack the ability to sin. A baptized infant who dies was born into sin (original) but once that was cleansed (baptism) if that child dies before the age of reason which is sadly common for many, they would die sinless having never committed a sin.
In a state of grace, (which we are all called to be in) we are free from sin. Sin is not our identity in a state of grace. But in a fallen world the stain of sin (temptation) remains, meaning we can fall into sin and out of a state of grace.

So here is the rub. Protestants love to point out how sinful we are. It is almost prideful to see who can be a bigger sinner. It is a false sense of humbleness.
As Catholics we can say this. "I was born into sin, then I was a sinner, (now here we will have different answers. But I will continue with the assumption that the Catholic stating this is in a state of grace and free from attachment to sin.) I was cleansed of sin, I am currently NOT a sinner, and even though I MAY become a sinner again, I also MAY NOT. And the goal (and it is attainable) is to remain sinless.

In short, you can add to your list of Mary and Jesus, for sinless people, children who were baptized and died, anyone in the state of grace and free from attachment to sin currently, Baptized people who lack the mental capacity to sin even in adulthood, Anyone who has ever died obtaining an indulgence and fulfilled the requirement to be free from attachment to sin.

So, billions of people. You could say they were sinners, but you cannot say they all sinned or that any one person WILL sin in the future thereby making them a sinner.

The goal is to become and remain sinless.

It is ultimately attainable because when we enter Heaven we will be perfected and sinless.

The question is whether it is attainable on this earth.

To say on this earth that we are sinless, apart from maybe for the one minute we’ve just come out of making a good confession, is presumptuous.

There is always room for improvement in our spiritual development, right up to death; always a way we can become more holy and more perfect, especially since we are challenged daily with new opportunities and new temptations.

Since we can also sin by omission, then assuming we even manage to achieve the “not doing bad things” part (sinning by commission), the question would be, did we do all the good in the world we possibly could have done today?

The goal indeed is to be sinless…and hopefully we achieve it when we die and God sends us to heaven (either after Purgatory or without Purgatory)…not while we’re alive.

Edited to add, when holy people like St. John Vianney and St. Bernadette Soubirous worried about the state of their souls, I’m not going to be the person who goes around saying I’m not a sinner.
We’re all sinners. Jesus came to save sinners, not those who weren’t in need of a “physician”. To define myself as not a sinner would be excluding myself from Jesus’ salvation.

Consider obtaining a good examination of conscience. This one is one of the best and it is a buck and a quarter. Shipping is a killer unless you order something else along with it.

Spend $25 here and you get free shipping. Certainly you have a copy of Thomas á Kempis’ The Imitation of Christ? Aside from scripture and the catechism, it is one of the best of the best.

The Church asks us to be sinless. And it offers a route to get there.
What do you make of the command of Jesus to the woman “Go, and sin no more” Is he asking the impossible? Is he just talking about the minute after her forgiveness. Isiah 1:18 speaks to the future remission of sin correctly when it states “though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.”
Psalm 103: 12 also speaks of the remission of sin and the sinless.
“as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
A good Catholic can and probably should be able to say. I was a sinner. I am not currently a sinner, I hope to never be a sinner again.

Each day before Communion I pray, “Lord, I reject sin, I don’t want to sin, help me not sin.”

I also pray, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

I also say the traditional Prayer for Daily Neglects, which is an offering to God to expiate all the sins I have committed that day and during all my life, purify all the good I have done poorly that day and during all my life, and supply for all the good I could have done but neglected to do that day and during all my life.

Making a sincere effort to “go and sin no more” (as we are pretty much expected to do after every Confession) and acknowledging to the Lord that one is a sinner, are not mutually exclusive.

Fr. Heilman addresses this very well using the words of St. Paul and Vince Lombardi.

If your point is being a packer fan is putting you in the state of perpetual sin, then ok, you win.


No one besides the Blessed Virgin Mary and our Lord Jesus was completely sinless here on Earth. We know that for certain because the rest of us had the stain of Original Sin on us and even after our baptism it’s probably safe to assume just about everyone ever born and baptized committed a sin after being baptized.

That said, I do believe it is possible — if we truly desire it — to live a sin-free life going forward because God will give us all the graces to do so if we ask Him and so desire it. As others have already stated, Jesus wouldn’t tell someone to do the impossible when he told people in the Bible “to sin no more”

Anything is possible with the help of God, including living a sin-free life going forward.

(Not that I myself have achieved it yet. I still struggle with a number of sins I have difficulty of letting go of. But that’s on me and my unwillingness to turn away completely from these sins. I do know if I fully commit to Jesus and His Way I too could live a sin-free life going forward and experience all the joys and blessings that go along with it.)

I’m a Browns fan, which is more like being in a state of perpetually offering up reparations :slight_smile:

(if not actually crying out “How long O Lord, how long?” and “Out of the depths…”)

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