The reason I ask, is that in the past when I sinned whilst a ‘cafeteria’ catholic, the fact that some action was a mortal sin would not have occurred to me, and in some instances I would have been ‘praying’ to God assuming my action / sin was ok, whilst sinning.
What I have found through life, of my old self and others, is that once someone goes down the road of sinning, they always reason with themselves that it’s not a bad thing; for example: they’re in love with someone else and that God would understand this and possibly annul their current marriage; they undercut someone’s livelyhood - but reason it is only business dealings; they tell lies - but they’re not hurting other people and actually protecting others by not telling the truth, - and so on, the list is endless.
Is this a defence mechanism built into to all humans by God? How many people do you know would get up in the morning and say 'Right, I am going to commit the sin of adultery today as I know it’s a mortal sin and offends God" They would more likely say ’ Oh I’m so in love with ABC, i cannot help it, my wife does not understand me, God would want me to leave my wife and annul my marriage and to marry this other woman" etc…
Obviously, when I became a better catholic, not a cafeteria one, my attitude changed totally and I recognised every ‘little’ sin I had committed throughout my life and went to confession.
My query is. When I was the old me, cafe catholic, I genuinely did not think I was an immoral person, I went to mass each Sunday, lived morally, etc… So, if I had died at that point in my life, before becoming a staunch catholic, would I have been ignorant of my sins being mortal?
Coming back to my original point, does anyone ‘knowingly’ commit a mortal sin, i.e. through malice and to hurt God - I would say practically no-one, we can all make excuses for our actions that we believe at the time to be sound reasons. Hence, would such people be seen as not committing a mortal sin? Obviously, once their sins are pointed out to them and they then wish to repent, the sinner is fully aware that his/her sin was mortal, but not usually at the time of commiting it.