Frequent Mortal Sin

Who else finds themselves committing mortal sins every single week? Given the Church’s understanding of “grave matter” I can honestly say I have never once gone a single week of my life without committing a mortal sin. Quite often I don’t even go a single day. It seems so extraordinarily easy to damn your soul through sin, I honestly don’t know how any of you are ever able to receive the Eucharist or be in a “state of grace”.

Its like any sin that is fun, at all, is mortal. I sin like that all the time. I don’t like this fact, but its true. How on earth do you people stay free of these mortal sins? It seems that every single thing I love to do will damn my soul to Hell. Do you guys really not sin like this? How’s that even possible? And what is someone like me supposed to do? Just go to confession every single week without fail?

It would help us to get an example of the type of sin you’re struggling with. Most people have certain sins they are more attracted to than others, which we are encouraged to struggle to resist.

Hello ALoveDivine. You’re not alone, I struggle with habitual sin, mortal and venial as well. I’ll share what I’m doing to improve.

  1. Establish a devotion to Jesus’ Divine Mercy. I say the Chaplet every day, and reminding myself of the death Jesus paid for my sins, I’m learning to love and trust Him more and more. Trusting that God is blessing your efforts and will help you along the way has been huge for me. Discouragement in pursuing sainthood only comes from the devil.

  2. Swallow your pride and go to Confession frequently. Jesus loved you so much He died for you, don’t feel afraid to come to Him often. I go around every 2 to 3 weeks, and my best friend goes weekly. I’ve been blessed to have a wonderful pastor who in getting to know me has supported me and counseled me in overcoming my struggles, and I actually love going to Confession, because it’s so freeing. Sure, it can be hard to say you messed up again or did this embarrassing thing, but just talk yourself into it. Jesus put nails in His hands–you can do this! It’s been my experience that my pastor has been amazing in encouraging me and not making me feel like an utter failure in my habitual sins. Because scheduled Confession times are hard to fit into my schedule, I often just ask Father to hear my Confession after Mass when I know I need to go, and he’s always been kind enough to offer me the Sacrament.

  3. When you’re not in mortal sin, go to Communion as much as you can. It really strengthens you against temptation.

  4. Spend time in Adoration. Sit with Jesus, share your heart, your struggles, ask Him how you can help Him, thank Him for what He’s given you. Jesus is the ultimate BFF. If you tell Him you’re struggling with mortal sin, ask Him for help, and tell Him you trust Him to get you through this, He will. He’s just that incredible.If you don’t have local Adoration, or can’t make it, do it online: fortheloveofgodworldwide.org/prayer-practices/24-hour-perpetual-adoration-24-hour-online-rosary/

  5. Identify one thing to focus on improving at a time, Really ask yourself, maybe in Adoration, why you keep doing it. I myself, for example, struggle with relying on fantasy for haven from my problems instead of God. In recognizing I seek the fantasy of an affectionate, supportive boyfriend when I feel alone or unloved, I can start working on the core issues, and reduce my temptations.

  6. Ask for prayers. Prayer is so powerful, so ask for prayers. You’ll be in mine. I have a daily devotion of praying for the souls in Purgatory, asking them to pray for me in return. It is a beautiful traditional teaching I’ve heard that the souls in Purgatory will never forget those who help them and will fervently pray for their intercessors, I’d encourage you to pray for them also, if only for humanitarian reasons. We have the power to relieve the suffering of these souls who cannot help themselves. Please do.

  7. Ask your Guardian Angel for help and intercessory prayer. Don’t forget to thank them for their 24/7 assistance!

Hope this helps!

If you’re at a point where you think you are in mortal sin every day, you need to talk to a priest about if and when what would be a mortal sin for you.

Grave matter is not enough for mortal sin. Full knowledge and full consent are also required.

It would help us to get an example of the type of sin you’re struggling with

All manner of sexual immorality. Its so bad I think I can honestly say i’m enslaved to it. If its not premarital sex (usually is) then its personal, if you catch my drift. The only thing I can think to do about this is to pursue marriage, which I am working on. But I’m so hard-hearted in this area that abstinence until that day sounds worse than death to my ears. I pursue chastity sincerely for no more than a day or two before it gets thrown out the window completely. I think I could succeed in the Christian life wonderfully if it wasn’t for my sexuality.

I also struggle with other things but they are not nearly as domineering as the above. And again, I can honestly say not a single week has gone by in well over a decade that I haven’t committed sexual immorality.

When you’re not in mortal sin, go to Communion as much as you can

The only time I’m ever not is immediately following confession. My parish offers confession every Sunday before mass and I do take advantage, at least when I’m single. If I have a gf then I don’t because I know we won’t stop having sex. My repentance is usually lacking. I can’t honestly say I want to give up something I’m frankly addicted to.

Grave matter is not enough for mortal sin. Full knowledge and full consent are also required.

So how do I know what’s a mortal sin and what’s not? Does a crack head commit a mortal sin by smoking crack, even though he’s totally hooked? Or is that not full consent? What about me and my addictions, is that full consent? What if I continually commit sins but I don’t want to? I have a love-hate relationship with my sins. I hate them to the deepest core of my being and yet I love them.

If we can’t discern whether a sin is “mortal” or not, then what is the point of the distinction at all? I wish it didn’t exist at all, I’d be a much happier person if I thought I wasn’t loosing my salvation every single week of my life.

You say you’d be a much happier person if you didn’t think you were losing your salvation every single week of your life. This isn’t the Church’s fault for describing some sins as mortal, it is your own, for habitually committing sins you know to be mortal. You have made a decision that your own desires are more important than your life. Same decision any crackhead makes. Is that who you want to be? Addiction/ habit lessens culpability but that doesn’t absolve you of trying to change. It just means it will be more difficult.

Our sins reveal our priorities. Believe me, I’ve been there and it’s not pretty. We can say the right things but in our lives we SHOW where our hearts lie. What do you really think sin will get you in the end? Do you truly believe in hell? The consequences need to be real to you before you’ll change any aspect of your life. Think of someone quitting smoking. They need to want to quit more than they want to indulge.

A poster above has already given some splendid advice on prayer and penance can also be helpful in curbing appetites. These days we don’t often say no to ourselves. Learn to discipline your eating, your sleeping, the way you spend your time.

Find the things that make you weak and cut them out of your life. If I love chocolate then I know I can’t keep it in the house. Same goes for porn and relationships. If you know you can’t stop kissing then don’t START kissing. Start telling girls that you’re not looking for a relationship right now. I know you want to be married but is dating helping you right now or leading you into mortal sin? Make a rule that you will never, ever be in a private place with a girl. It won’t end the temptations but it will remind you that you need to keep a curb on yourself. If your girlfriend loves you she will support you. If she wilfully leads you into sin then decide what matters more to you.

Remember that making an insincere confession is also a MORTAL SIN and quite frankly that would terrify me. Don’t mess with God’s mercy. Not cool.

The Christian life is hard. If you conquer this sin I guarantee another will take its place. We only stop struggling when we die. The saints struggled and threw themselves into thornbushes or the snow to take their minds off temptation.

Decide today whom you will follow. I mean it. People die unexpectedly all the time and no one knows when the Lord will return and show in the daylight what we did in the darkness. When you fall, get up and keep going, don’t sit there and complain how hard the ground is. We all fall. Get up now and follow the Lord!

If this is the case, then just start with your relationship with Jesus. Tell Him what you’re telling us (I like to write Him letters), and He will give you the grace and make a path for You. God is already working in you. He has given you the desire not to sin and the will to seek out help. Take heart in that!

Also, if you believe you have an addiction, you may not be committing a mortal sin. One of the three requirements for mortal sin is full consent, and addiction effects full consent. It can be hard to know whether a sin meets the mortal requirements, so when in doubt, ask a priest and in the meantime wait with Communion. I do know there are programs out there to treat sexual addiction, so please do some online searches, and consider the options in your area.

Please see my post (#4).

Talking about this on-line likely won’t give you satisfactory answers.

It’s clear to me that you are at least trying to see what is a mortal sin for you, and that’s really something only a priest in person can help you with to start.

My friend read 2nd Corinthians 12 verses 1 through 10

Wear the cord of St. Philomena; ask for her help every day; and ask St. Philomena, Our Lady and St. Joseph to help you make 33 days of reparation to Our Lord in honour of His love and mercy, as revealed in the 33 years He suffered and laboured for your salvation. As Jesus said to St. Bridget: He died for us that we might keep or souls pure for Him. “You are a tabernacle constructed by Divine Hands.” (Bl. Alexandrina).

If you fall, start again. This 33 days of reparation will strengthen your will, your confidence (when you realise that it is achievable), and your love. It will help to form new habits, such as having recourse to Our Lady and the Saints when you are tempted.

There are all manner of pious considerations to help us overcome sin (the eternity of Heaven and Hell, merit, the malice of sin etc.). You must adapt these considerations to meet your own needs. If you lack holy fear, for example, then you might profit from reading the words of St. Alphonsus Liguori on habitual sin and impurity. If you lack confidence, read Sr. Benigna Consolata, Sr. Josefa Menendez…

Ultimately, confidence in God is what you need. Without confidence we cannot love. You have every reason to place your confidence in Him. He has sought you out from among many, bathing you in His Precious Blood time and time again. Many are likely damned for fewer sins. Don’t put your confidence, therefore, in self; rely on God, Whose grace can conquer these faults if you seek it, trust in it and correspond with it as best you can. If you fall, humble yourself and get up. This act of trust and humility attracts so much grace that it is essential to perseverance.

Sins of impurity are very captivating to the flesh and the intellect. I am not free from these temptations. But I promise you that these sins will become less of a problem for you if you persevere in making use of the means at your disposal (prayer, spiritual reading and meditation, manual labour, fasting etc.).

Uproot this vice as soon as soon as you can and as often as is necessary. Let the Divine Gardener do His work in your soul, then it will be capable of bearing fruits of incomparably greater value than sexual pleasure, namely, delight in God, wisdom, peace etc.

Bl. Alexandrina, to escape a rapist, and thereby preserve his soul from mortal sin, was willing to put herself at considerable risk of getting hurt. For her efforts she fell from a window and was bedridden for the remainder of her short life. Her love for God and souls was so great that she willingly accepted a lifetime of suffering for the salvation of immortal souls. What can you do to imitate her? To be men we must submit our passions to reason.

Please accept my feeble prayers, and I ask you to pray for me.

Pax Christi!

I think you really want to overcome this my brother. But now think with me here. Where does temptation actually come from? Its really from an enemy who wants to destroy us. But here’s where we need some knowledge or we will always be subject to this enemy and always defeated. We need to know how he operates and how to have power against him. God has not left us without defenses. He has given us a full spiritual armor to defend us. You can learn to defend yourself. Its called spiritual warfare. The bible says “My people are lost for lack of knowledge” Hos4:6. There is a young prophet dude I just found on YouTube who really tells it like it is. I think he would really help. youtube.com/watch?v=TDDwr_sSrnU&feature=youtube_gdata_player I selected this one teaching for you to start, but there are a lot more on spiritual warfare because it is so important.

Bless you man. You can overcome this. Its not hard with the right knowledge.

In ALoveDevine’s defense, but not to excuse his actions, could a psychological addiction play a role in this and perhaps mitigate the sinfulness? If so, perhaps in seeing a Mental Health professional in addition to spiritual counseling might be in order.

Just a thought.

Man, you really need to repent. From your posts it really sounds like you don’t care about whether you are sinning against God or not. It sounds like you are using addiction as an excuse for not repenting. It also sounds like you seem to think that this sin you’re dealing with would be OK if it were venial. Venial sins are not OK to commit either, dude… You need to repent of all sin altogether if you want any shot at getting into heaven. If you keep going to confession with no intention whatsoever of stopping your sin, then you are committing sacrilege and your confession is invalid. Jesus says to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him. He also says that if your right hand causes you to sin, then cut it off and throw it away. If you are in a relationship that constantly leads to sex, break up. If you are addicted to strip clubs, take another route home and avoid that part of town. If you are addicted to Internet porn, then set up a content filter or get rid of the Internet altogether (this is what I did). If you are addicted to masturbation then choose instead to exercise and also immerse yourself in hobbies or other interests in order to develop alternative outlets for the emotions that lead you to act out sexually. If your addiction is as bad as you say it is, you may need a therapist or at least an online recovery program (like the fortify program from Fight the New Drug).

More than anything else, you need to start spending more time with God than with sex. A LOT more time. Spend time in front of the blessed sacrament in an adoration chapel. Read a book on theology of the body, it will help you change the way you think about women.

I’ve been there and sometimes I’m still there. Everyone here is giving you sound advice, I’m going to borrow some for myself.
For both of us:

Lord, inflame our hearts and our inmost beings
with the fire of Your Holy Spirit,
that we may serve You
with chaste bodies and pure minds.
Through Christ our Lord.
Amen

Yeah I should probably just hurry up and get married, at least then my sexuality is licit. This seems to be what St. Paul encourages in 1 Corinthians 7, for those of us who can’t control ourselves.

Thanks for all of the advice, but I think I’m more likely to succeed with God’s blessing on my sexuality, rather than struggling to repress it.

I understand what you are saying. But think about it. Do you think you’d be committing the sin if you found no pleasure in it? Obviously you see some good in the sin you commit otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. Every temptation is like this. St. Thomas Aquinas and others explore the idea that we do everything for what we perceive is a good. I agree with that. You need to examine yourself and really consider what it is the motivates you. You need to really think about your deeper thoughts and patterns of behavior.

The challenge with sexual sins is the great pleasure in sex. But God has given us our sexuality to be used only in certain ways. The struggle against sin is lifelong. Don’t give up.

No, you shouldn’t get married until you get better control of yourself. You will most likely just bring your problems into the marriage.

Your last paragraph is very concerning. The issue isn’t repressing sexuality. Rather it is learning to use your sexuality properly. You want God’s blessing? You are looking at this wrongly and it might be why you struggle. You already know what God wants from you. You know God’s will. It is no doubt hard to live constantly for God. But that is what you are called to do. You are called to deny yourself not have God confirm you in sin.

Yeah I should probably just hurry up and get married, at least then my sexuality is licit.

Yes and no. Yes, it is no longer fornication, but there can be other problems. It is certainly possible for a husband to lust after his wife. And problems with self-abuse and pornography are not fixed by getting married - in fact, it can make the problems worse. That’s not to scare you, but it is dangerous to think of marriage in such terms.

The only safe method of avoiding these sins is to run away from what occasions them. Set limits and barriers for yourself. Take cold showers. Keep the computer in an open place or by the window. Defer every act of self-abuse by saying you will make a decision after praying a rosary, or some such act of piety that will make you so disgusted by your desire for these acts that you can’t possibly commit them. Stay away from easy girls, and if you insist on being romantic at all with a woman (which seems like a bad idea at this point for you), then have someone who you can check in with periodically throughout each time you are with her (send a text every hour, for instance, to keep you accountable). Set the limits up with her before ever going on a date. Etc. You will probably have to use these kinds of tactics if you are serious about walking the narrow path.

One must have a firm purpose of amendment for confession and to avoid the near occasions of mortal sin.

Now for readers - if one plans to commit mortal sin …that makes for a “bad” and invalid confession. If one does not resolve to avoid mortal sin (such as part of ones contrition) that too can make for such.

It is one thing to have a struggle and keep falling -while resolved each time not to commit a mortal sin and to avoid the near occasion of mortal sin – and quite another not have such a needed resolve.

But just because one repeated falls does not mean that one has not repented sincerely.

I would suggest having a “regular confessor” (the same Priest to guide you in confession) to address all of this.

Let us remember Jesus of Nazareth is The Lamb and the Good Shepherd …

"Jesus is called the Lamb: He is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. Someone might think: but how can a lamb, which is so weak, a weak little lamb, how can it take away so many sins, so much wickedness? With Love. With his meekness. Jesus never ceased being a lamb: meek, good, full of love, close to the little ones, close to the poor. He was there, among the people, healing everyone, teaching, praying. Jesus, so weak, like a lamb. However, he had the strength to take all our sins upon himself, all of them.

“But, Father, you don’t know my life: I have a sin that…, I can’t even carry it with a truck…”.

Many times, when we examine our conscience, we find some there that are truly bad! But he carries them. He came for this: to forgive, to make peace in the world, but first in the heart. Perhaps each one of us feels troubled in his heart, perhaps he experiences darkness in his heart, perhaps he feels a little sad over a fault… He has come to take away all of this, He gives us peace, he forgives everything. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away sin”: he takes away sin, it’s root and all! This is salvation Jesus brings about by his love and his meekness. And in listening to what John the Baptist says, who bears witness to Jesus as the Saviour, our confidence in Jesus should grow. Many times we trust a doctor: it is good, because the doctor is there to cure us; we trust in a person: brothers and sisters can help us. It is good to have this human trust among ourselves. But we forget about trust in the Lord: this is the key to success in life. Trust in the Lord, let us trust in the Lord! “Lord, look at my life: I’m in the dark, I have this struggle, I have this sin…”; everything we have: “Look at this: I trust in you!”. And this is a risk we must take: to trust in Him, and He never disappoints."

~Pope Francis

vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/homilies/2014/documents/papa-francesco_20140119_omelia-parrocchia-sacro-cuore-gesu_en.html

"Jesus is the “Good Shepherd” who goes in search of lost sheep, who knows his sheep and lays down his life for them (cf. Mt 18:12-14; Lk 15:4-7; Jn 10:2-4, 11-18). He is the way, the right path that leads us to life (cf. Jn 14:6), the light that illuminates the dark valley and overcomes all our fears (cf. Jn 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 12:46).

He is the generous host who welcomes us and rescues us from our enemies, preparing for us the table of his body and his blood (cf. Mt 26:26-29; Mk 14:22-25); Lk 22:19-20) and the definitive table of the messianic banquet in Heaven (cf. Lk 14:15ff; Rev 3:20; 19:9). He is the Royal Shepherd, king in docility and in forgiveness, enthroned on the glorious wood of the cross (cf. Jn 3:13-15; 12:32; 17:4-5)."

~Pope Benedict XVI

vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/audiences/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20111005_en.html

"I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.[1] The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.

Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”. How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost!

Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.

Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven. Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders.

No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!"

~ Pope Francis

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
EVANGELII GAUDIUM

w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html#I.%E2%80%82A_joy_ever_new,_a_joy_which_is_shared

You can choose to fight this in the natural if you want, but its really a spiritual battle. Maybe your stronger than I am, I can’t do it myself. I need the whole armor of God.:rolleyes:

I don’t think that Paul is necessarily encouraging people to use their wives as sexual outlets, like you are suggesting. That is a recipe for disaster. If you are currently struggling with disordered sexual behavior, and then you find yourself a wive and act all that out on her, she will be hurt by it and you will still be sinning against God. Also, just so you know, when you get married your desire for porn/masturbation/other women does not magically disappear. You still have to fight these.

You need to lose this idea that you either can’t or won’t survive a single day as a chaste individual. And in fact you ought to be chaste before you ever get married. There are lots and lots of people who have become chaste after having been addicted to sex. Take St. Augustine as an example. He went from praying “Lord make me pure, but not yet!” to praying “Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

You need to repent and go to the Lord. Like I said before, you have to come to the point where you are spending more time with the Lord than you are with sex. You need to love God more than sex. When you reach this point, you will be ready to start your journey toward chastity.

I fought sexual temptations for seven years and still have them now from time to time. Never did I once think that I couldn’t live without acting out sexually. In fact I hated my sins. Every time I fell I got back up, went to confession, and kept trying until the falls became less and less frequent.

The problem with you, man, is that you love sin too much. That is the first thing you need to change.

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