[quote="pepipop, post:1, topic:277847"]
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.
There is no such thing as an accidental mortal sin. We can never sin outside of our free will. Free will means we knowingly choose to disobey God.