[quote=Lazerlike42]OK here is my problem. I have been trying to figure this out for quite some time. My understanding is that Original sin is not enough to condemn a person to Hell, but only a willfull turning from God, in other words, mortal sin. Also venial sin is not enough.
If therefore, a person were born and never commited a single mortal sin, then that would seem to make Jesus pointless! Jesus would have done nothing for that man (aside from giving him Grace to avoid mortal sin, but I am looking at things from a different angle, in a more final/eternal way in this question). If I went through life never committing a mortal sin, and never all it seems I’d get is a long time in Purgatory for all those venial sins.
Also, what is the point of having venial sins forgiven? Clearly the forgiveness of mortal sin keeps us from Hell. The forgiveness of venial sins gives us Grace, yes, but eternally, does it do anything at all? If I lived my life free of mortal sin, then it seems like at my death bed I’d either need a plenary indulgence (in accordance with all that requires) or to confess all my venial sins. What would be the difference? These questions are really bothering me.
Remember that we cannot pay the price to cover the effects of Original Sin. Only the infinite God could make satisfaction for the infinite offense against him through Orginal Sin. The gates of Heaven were closed before Christ’s sacrifice that untied the knot of Adam. Hence, God/Jesus is not irrelevant at all.
That said, it is true that God gives sufficient grace for salvation to all. This does not mean that none will reject that grace.
There are many reasons for seeking the forgiveness of venial sins. If you truly love God it is right and simply just to seek complete reconciliation to the all-perfect God. Also, when we fail to seek forgiveness for venial sins, we are rejecting grace that works in us to seek at-one-ment with God, even in lesser matters. Further, seeking such forgiveness shows maturity, and prevents you from developing bad habits that can lead to more frequent and more grave, even mortal, sin. Seeking forgiveness of venial sins also allows the temporal effects to be dealt with via indulgences (see Catholic Answers tracts). It all comes down to love of God.
Keep in mind that there are different levels of blessedness in Heaven, such that people like St. Francis or St. Ignatius have the capacity to contain, say, an ocean of God’s joy, whereas lesser souls, like me, might only be able to have the capacity to contain a cup (so to speak) of the beatific vision.
It’s not an advisable approach to life to see “how little can I love God, and not go to Hell.”