Dying in a state of sin


The Church teaches that the only ways mortal sins may be forgiven are confession and perfect contrition.

My guess is that almost none of us go walking around all the time with perfect contrition. We are all in a state of mortal sin at some point or another. My concern is that is seems like a matter of sheer coincidence, who goes to heaven and who goes to hell. You could die at literally any moment - you never know. And since we all have periods of time where we go walking around with sin on our souls, even the most righteous of us have the potential to die in a state of mortal sin and go straight to hell.

Where is the rationality behind this? The only way I can think to justify it is that either a) God will make sure we have perfect contrition if He knows we will die soon or b) God will postpone our death if He knows that we will reasonably make it to confession soon. Neither of these are set in stone as Church teaching. How do we know that anybody goes to heaven at all? How can anybody feel secure in salvation when they know that they could be planning to go to confession Sunday morning and die of a heart attack Saturday night?


Luke 18:22-26 22Which when Jesus had heard, he said to him: [INDENT]Yet one thing is wanting to thee: sell all whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23He having heard these things, became sorrowful; for he was very rich. 24And Jesus seeing him become sorrowful, said: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. 25For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26And they that heard it, said: Who then can be saved? 27He said to them: The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God.


First of all, God is Justice and Mercy. We can never completely understand God - He is God, after all, not just another powerful human being!

You are in mortal sin? Plan to get to confession as quickly as you can. Say many acts of contrition.

So, you intend to go to confession on Sunday morning and die on Saturday night. Well, God knows that you are contrite and that you had every intention to go to confession. He will tale this into account He is not waiting to pounce on you! He wants all of us to reach Heaven.


All the more reason to stop committing mortal sins. We choose to commit mortal sins and to cut ourselves off from God.


Either don’t commit mortal sins or if you do then get to Confession as soon as possible.
By the way an act of perfect contrition (even if you could be 100% sure that you made it and I don’t think anyone could be) is conditional upon the intent to get to Confession as soon as possible.


We do not know what happens at the moment of death… how God may communicate with us. A human may be unconscious, but that does not mean God cannot communicate with him/her. We just don’t know.

Receive the sacrament of Confession regularly, keep the Commandments, practice charity, and trust in the love and mercy of God.


I’m no theologian, but I don’t think God is as formalistic as the catechism. If he were, there would be no need for Judgment Day, since there would be nothing to judge. You were either in a state of mortal sin or not. It is our obligation as Catholics to live according to the teachings of the Church, but the merciful Lord knows our hearts, and we will be judged accordingly. Just my opinion.


You just contradicted yourself. You said their would be nothing to judge, and then, immediately afterward, listed the two states of judgment.

That judgment ( mortal sin or not) is EXACTLY what God’s judgment is about.

It falls to Him and Him alone, as only He can know the level of consent you gave, the culpability involved etc…

But yes, that IS what God is judging.


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