Fighting... Mortal Sin?


#1

I am not sure where the best place to post this is, but since it has to do with my spiritual condition, I thought I would post it here.

This is the letter I sent my pastor. I got into a fight today and I havent gotten a response from him yet. Can someone tell me if I committed a mortal sin and should schedule a confession for this. Thanks:

I am sorry to bother you but I think I may have fallen into mortal sin and may need to make an appointment for a quick confession. Here is what happened:

About an hour ago, my brother told my parents that he smelled alcohol on me and that I had been drinking. My dad said I hadnt and my mom made me blow in her face. She said I didnt smell like it and my brother started freaking out saying it was obvious I was drinking. This is the same brother who we have been having problems with recently. Anyway, he started saying rude things about me and yelling about me to them. Saying stuff like, “look at him, he is obviously drunk.” After a few minutes of this, I told him to shut up or something and he came up to me and I got upset and got in his face a bit and yelled at him to mind his own business. That is when he pushed me. Without thinking I pushed him back. He proceeded to swing at me several times and hit me in the face with his fist.

At this point, I remember thinking to myself that I would be sinning if I continued to fight with him, and up til that time, I had only been pushing him back from me. But then he hit me in the face a second time and I threw him down and took a couple swings at him, and although I didnt hit him good, I accidentally hit my mom in the side.

After that I stopped and walked away from him a bit and my dad got in between us, but he still wanted to fight me and he tried to get at me around my parents. I walked a few feet away from it and after a while my dad made him go out of the room and he left saying: “This isnt the end of this”. I was angry at this point because I havent had a drink in almost two years and even if my parents believed me I would never hear the end of it from my brother. I felt as if I had been slandered and so I asked to be taken up to the police station to take a breathalizer.

So, my dad drove me up there and I blew in the breathalizer and blew all 000’s. Meaning I had no alcohol in my system. I came home and after my parents told my brother what happened at the police department, he apologized to me and gave me a hug. I said I forgave him and hugged him back but I am still pissed at him, and while I forgive him, I don’t really like him right now.

My main concern right now is wanting to know if I am in mortal sin. Because I realized I was sinning during the fight, it seems I had full knowledge and I gave consent. So if this was grave matter, I would be in mortal sin. If so, do you reccomend I make a confession appointment? This would be the only thing I have to confess as I just went to confession yesterday.


#2

This is really a question to be taken up with your confessor. A bunch of strangers are in no position to judge the gravity of your sin. Your priest can ask you the right questions to help determine that, and he can help you form your conscience so you can know in the future.

My rule of thumb is, if I even suspected something was bordering on mortal sin, I would confess it. NOTE: THIS DOES NOT HOLD FOR SOMEONE WHO IS SCRUPULOUS, WHO TENDS TO THINK EVERYTHING IS A SERIOUS SIN. THEY SHOULD OBEY THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THEIR CONFESSOR.

Even if it is not mortal, confessing something like this can give you grace to avoid doing it again.

There is an extensive examination of conscience at catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=3635#11 which distinguishes between many mortal and venial sins. This is one priest’s interpretation; your confessor, who knows you, may draw the lines differently. Click on #11 - Meekness for sins related to anger. You may find that your situation falls in the grey area between the examples he gives for mortal and venial sins. The “Helps and Counsels” may be useful to you as well.


#3

Hello,

I agree with PhilotheaZ above that no one can or *should *be the judge of how grave your sin might be. This is best left to your confessor.

However, as a quick aside, it is good that you and your brother hugged and seemed to make amends over this incident. Let there be forgiveness in your heart and thank God for such forgiveness!


#4

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