Dying in a state of mortal sin...

Hi, I was just reading online about what is a mortal sin.
It said on this page saintaquinas.com/mortal_sin.html
The three things that define mortal sin. I also just found this vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm
But I must say there is this friend of mine who seems to be trying to get into my head who said she found a canon that said a mortal sin is anything that gives you a guilty conscience. As soon as I start to feel peace she takes it away with making me feel guilty. She said what is written in the Catechism is lax or something,
Anyway but that’s not the point of this post my point is what if we are to die in mortal sin it says we definitely go to hell. It makes me feel bad because according to this girl I don’t really stand a chance for Heaven. I have been to Confession twice this week and after reading a message a Priest sent to me I feel like I have to go again I am starting to feel like it’s all too hard I feel like I have to be perfect but perhaps I am starting to tend towards scruples. I feel like I will never be at peace due to my numerous sins. I have even started to wish I was a Protestant as it seems they focus on the mercy of God rather than His judgement. So please can someone provide me encouragement. I have also just listened to something Ven Sheen said “few will be saved” and I feel like I dont stand a
chance. Feeling sad :frowning:

Honey, I feel for you–I really do–as I am definitely scrupulous. But your friend is WRONG, and I think you need to reconsider her friendship if she is upsetting you this much. Or at least don’t talk with her about spiritual things. The catechism CANNOT be wrong. Holy Mother Church is there to guide us–we can trust Her. To say otherwise is leaning towards heresy, and we definitely don’t want to go there. If you are uncertain that you have met the 3 conditions for mortal sin, then you haven’t. I know this intellectually, but emotionally sometimes I don’t grasp it. Someone who is really trying hard to live a good life and partaking of the Sacraments regularly is not likely to fall into mortal sin so quickly. It’s always a possibility for anyone; yet, as St. Thomas Aquinas says, “Although grace is lost by one act of mortal sin, it is not easily lost, because it is not easy for someone who has grace to do such an act, on account of his inclination to the opposite action.” I link you to the entire article. pathsoflove.com/blog/2012/01/living-without-mortal-sin/ Please don’t listen to your friend–listen instead to Holy Mother Church.

Your friend is wrong. To address the other parts of your post: Sometimes I find myself thinking, “How can anyone as weak and messed up as I am be saved?” But I reject that thought, telling myself that God wants me to saved even more than I myself want to be saved, and as I long as I keep willing it and doing my best, Divine Mercy will surely do the rest. It may be helpful to repeat this to yourself occasionally: God wants to save me more than I want to be saved. God is our ally in the fight for Heaven, not a bystander.

As alluring as the Protestant attitude towards salvation may seem, it’s at odds with Scripture, which tells us in many places to keep fighting, running, persevering, watching and praying, until we’re saved, lest we fall away. The Protestant attitude becomes presumption, which mocks the holiness of God. The opposite error is despair. The right way is hope and trust in the mercy of God. :slight_smile:

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?

1862-1864
1875

One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html

In addition, not everything that makes us feel guilty is even a sin! Some of us feel guilty if we have the “wrong” answer to a question, or if we are unable to make a good defense of our faith. Others of us feel guilty when we see a homeless person and are unable to help them at the moment. At the same time, I often feel guilty after being told a few days (or weeks) after I did an action that was not a good action; however, since I thought it was the correct action to take at the time and was ignorant to what was wrong with it, I didn’t sin (though if I did the action again in the future, I would have). Remember, if you are confused as if something is a mortal sin, it is NOT a mortal sin for you that particular time (due to lack of knowledge that it was a mortal sin). However, if you repeated that particular sin, after finding out that it was a mortal sin, it WOULD be a mortal sin (in addition, if you are in doubt and deliberately do not find out if a particular sin is a mortal sin, then it is a mortal sin).

First of all, a guilty conscience does not necessarily mean a mortal sin. And God is not bound the sacraments.

Secondly, I think you need to stop reading all this stuff on-line and listening to this friend.

Third, you really need to find a spiritual director to talk this over with.

Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?

1855-1861
1874

One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

It seems to me that the key word in the definition of Pope Benedict is deliberate consent.
The verb, to deliberate, means to think carefully about something, to reflect on it. So a mortal sin can only be committed with grave matter, full knowledge, and giving our consent after having thought carefully about it.

I would not quite put it that way. Such sort of makes it sound like in order to commit a mortal sin one has to go sit in ones “thinking chair” like in “blues clues” :wink: (which would not be the case)

Here this can help more -from the Catechism which the Compendium is the “Compendium of”

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#IV

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

and

1859 Mortal sin requires* full knowledge* and* complete consent*. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice…

That is not the case.
If you know a particular act is a sin of grave matter and go ahead and do it anyway (assuming no coercion or mental incapacity) then you commit a mortal sin.
You do not have sit and carefully think about it. That is how people try to justify continuing to gravely sin by saying oh well I didn’t sit and carefully think about what I was going to do so I I’m okay because I didn’t commit a mortal sin. That’s just nonsense.

What canon? Vagueness isn’t good enough here. I suspect that the canon in question (perhaps from Trent?) is not speaking of feelings of guilt, but rather of precisely what the Catechism is talking about–deliberately doing something that you know is seriously wrong. In the modern world, we have come to think of guilt as a “feeling.” The premodern term for that would be something like a “troubled conscience.” A “guilty conscience” would be a conscience that knows you have deliberately committed a serious sin.

That would be my reading, but since we don’t have the canon in front of us (through your friend’s fault) we can’t go beyond that (well, without my doing your friend’s research for her, which I’m not inclined to do at the moment!).

Edwin

I think I will talk to my local Priest about my thoughts. It gets so stressful when you start to feel everything is a sin I admit I believe that kind of thing is an illness in itself

Quote:

Originally Posted by dividus
The verb, to deliberate, means to think carefully about something, to reflect on it. So a mortal sin can only be committed with grave matter, full knowledge, and giving our consent after having thought carefully about it.

I would not quite put it that way. Such sort of makes it sound like in order to commit a mortal sin one has to go sit in ones “thinking chair” like in “blues clues” (which would not be the case)

Yes, my reply was probably somewhat ill-thought-out (made it last thing at night!) and thanks for the link. Even so, I still think that the gravity of the sin depends very much on the forethought which precedes it.

                                              To take one example, a financial fraudster may decide to contact a number of likely marks.He carefully prepares a convincing letter, weaving a tissue of lies about how much they may make in some fictitious “investment”. The whole intention of course, being to steal whatever he can persuade them to send him.
                                                                                                 He prepares the letter which he then mails out.He receives, say, five or six replies.He persuades each of these people to send him $10,000 dollars.He is totally unconcerned that  his victims may be, for instance, pensioners sending him their life savings or others who could not be described as being well off. He makes an easy $60,000 dollars and thinks no more about it.
      Now consider the case of someone who comes across a wallet or purse containing $60,000 dollars. The name and address and telephone number of the owner is in the purse or wallet, but the finder decides to keep the money anyway.
         Both mortal sins but my voice of conscience, at any rate, would tell me that the first sin is far graver.

We all agree that some mortal sins are graver than others. However, at death that makes no difference. If you die in a state of mortal sin (no matter what the mortal sin is - even if its the least grave) you go to Hell.

I think I will talk to my local Priest about my thoughts. It gets so stressful when you start to feel everything is a sin I admit I believe that kind of thing is an illness in itself

You sound a little sad and unsure! Believe me, there are many of us who are afflicted to some degree by scrupulosity.Maybe you don’t know this but those who do are in exalted company, as both St Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, and St Alphonsus Liguori both were sufferers. I bought a book – Understanding Scrupulosity , written by Father Thomas M.Santa which I have found to be very helpful and I recommend it.From St Alphonsus comes one sound piece of advice, namely to obey as best you can the instructions of your confessor.

                                       God bless, will pray for you.:)

If one struggles with scrupulosity -the age old practice in the Church is to have a “regular confessor” who will know you and your scruples and can then direct you.

There are yes degrees in mortal sin…some mortal sins are worse than others. But all are mortal.

If one struggles with scrupulosity -the age old practice in the Church is to have a “regular confessor” who will know you and your scruples and can then direct you.

You’re being too scrupulous and I guess you could say it’s an illness.

Be sure to talk your priest, and until then I’d stay away from reading about moral laws on-line (including this site) and avoiding religious conversation with your friend.

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