How do I stay out of a state of mortal sin?


Hi everyone. A lot of times lately, I’ll go to confession but then even just shortly after I get home, I’ll fall back in to a state of mortal sin again. This has become a severe problem for me. How do I stay out of a state of mortal sin? :shrug::confused:


What really worked for me was reading “Clean of Heart” by Rosemarie Scott. There are different readings that you read each day. The one that really scared me straight was the one about Judgment Day and how all of our sins will be revealed to EVERYONE, not just Jesus. That really bothered me. It wasn’t bad enough that I wanted to quit, it was the fear of having everything revealed. I know I have some stuff that will still be hard to see, but not nearly as bad as now, since I am living my life for God alone.

I would definitely consider buying this book. Have you asked advice from the priest that you go to Confession? This also helped me. It was finding the pattern and the reason for my sin that stopped it dead. Once I found out the reason (stress and hormones), I was able to watch out for the warning signs and turn away from the occasions of sin much easier.

I hope this helps. :slight_smile:


Grace and Peace,

A Confessor once told me to remember the word “halt”…


these are the four primary emotions which tends to trigger a distraction to our watchfulness over our passions. Perhaps you are not in the condition to throw off the effects of temptation in your present state. Try to be constructive… monitor the occasions in which you find yourself before you fall into sin. Try to be more aware of our weaknesses so that you might intercept the coming on of temptations. Instead of simply confessing your sins… engage in counseling with your confessor about means of healing and strengthening to be better prepared to confront your sins with greater vigor?

I hope this heals.


Is it the same sin over and over? If yes, did you start to be sinful before you knew that it was a mortal sin? If yes, do you commit it only when one set of circumstances is in place?

Try to answer these questions and see if it is a habitual sin. If it is an habitual sin then you have to learn to catch yourself before you reach the conditions that would trigger the habit. You will fail again, but it is matter of being consistent with the fight, never give up! Go to confession and try again over and over. At one point you will free yourself of that specific sin.


Yes, it is one particular sin and it is a habitual sin. It is the sin of changing my religion frequently. See, I have borderline personality disorder (results in shifts in how I view myself) plus I have Adult ADHD (which causes rapidly changing thoughts) and major depression (which often causes me to despair). I’ll come home from confession and then I’ll say to myself “There’s no way I am going to stay out of mortal sin. I may as well just change to an easier religion.” I really don’t know what to do. I know I need to change my thought patterns but I don’t know how to go about doing that. Thankfully, I am on medication for all three mental disorders.


Well, that resignation to sin is almost as deadly as the sin itself. The burden of a sinful habit is terribly heavy.

Things like avoiding the occasion of sin are important of course, but that absence of hope needs to be addressed.

You have to trust the intense love that Jesus has for you. He wants you to live in His grace, and He wants you join Him in Heaven so desperately that he was tortured and murdered for the mere chance that you would cling to him and attain salvation.

Your Lord is not an indifferent spectator to your struggles. His desire for you is stronger and purer than you can understand in this mortal life. Your sin is not just your problem–it’s His too. Your sin stands in the way of something He wants more dearly than anything else: that His daughter should join Him in this life, and later in Heaven.

I have similarly dangerous habits. I recognize that I can’t overcome them–only Jesus can do that.

It’s no accident that the image and chaplet of the Divine Mercy came to us when it did. Our culture battles against decency morality every step of our lives. We must approach our struggles with the understanding that Jesus wants us to be with Him and that He will do everything we allow Him to do to make it happen.

I’d recommend a devotion to the Divine Mercy. Sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps me going. But the knowledge and understanding of that mercy makes everything possible. You can do all things through Christ, who will strengthen you.


I am not a priest and you should check with a priest, but I want you to understand clearly the following requirements about mortal sin:
1- It must be grave matter (leaving the Church is grave matter)
2- You must know that it is grave matter (it appears to me that you are aware of it)
3- You must give full consent to it.

The third point is what becomes tricky in the case of habitual sin and especially of mental illness. Just because you make a choice that does not automatically mean that you are freely giving full consent. Does the third condition may or may not be met.

Thinking about changing a religion is also different from really changing one. It is normal that you might be attracted by other religions or denominations because that might make some things easier and more acceptable. However, being attract to something does not mean that you are automatically pursuing it.
Just because you say that you are a liberal protestant, that does not make it true because in your heart and in your mind you still believe in what the Catholic Church teaches. My suggestion is that you cut yourself some slack. Just accept the fact that some other religions could be more attractive, that it is not sinful as long as you also accept the fact that they not have the whole Truth as the catholic Church does.


So are you saying that when I change religions, I haven’t really committed a mortal sin because I still believe in my heart that the Catholic Church is the one true Church? I know that when I change religions, I do still believe this deep down in my heart even though I may not realize it. Otherwise, why would I keep coming back to the Catholic Church?


This is for anyone out there who is reading my thread who might have a similar problem. On another thread I made which was similar to this one, someone suggested that I pray the rosary every day. Well, I have prayed the rosary once today and I am wearing my brown scapular which I was invested in a year or two ago. I intend to start praying the rosary every day. They say that the rosary is a very powerful spiritual warfare weapon. :thumbsup:


Holly, I think you need a deeper understanding of the difference between a temptation and a sin.

When you say you go home from Confession and change religions, do you actually go to another church and register and formally resign from your Catholic parish? Or do you just think it might be easier to be some other religion? Unless you actually do something about it or make a commitment to do something about it, I think you’re dealing with a temptation and a spiritual struggle.

Every time you overcome a temptation, you please God very much. There’s no sin at all in struggling like this.

And I also agree with what others have said about your not being as responsible for your thoughts as a result of your mental illness.

Have you actually talked this whole thing out with a good and holy priest? If you ask the priest how to know you have sinned in this regard, you might find it very helpful.

God bless you, Holly.



Prayer and penance. Make little sacrifices, like fasting and not drinking right away to quench your thirst; or make a sacrifice of entertainment; or make a sacrifice of praying the whole rosary. Pray often with trust in Jesus. Make offerings and aspirations, and give thanks in every circumstance, and entrust yourself to Jesus through Mary. And when you want to suffer but cannot suffer at all, know that that is a sacrifice, so offer it up to Jesus.


Dear Holly
It’s not so easy. You may have to train like an olympic athlete for years to overcome sin. It’s a very hard task for all. A holy and orthodox spiritual director is the best help.
Avoid little sins and the big ones will disappear too. May help you.
God bless:thumbsup: :slight_smile:


hope i’m not being repetitious… no time to read all posts…

the thought occurs to me: Don’t you realize the full consequences of your mortal sin? I mean, don’t you feel separated from God when you commit mortal sin?

I suppose i didn’t either when i was a lot younger & wasn’t as into Jesus as i am now… We humans tend to minimize sin & its consequences… but some things make us see this kind of thing better: the rosary, the Mass, spending time with Jesus in the Real Presence…

which by the way, is the probably the best way to get right with Jesus, aside from confession / daily Mass attendance…



I do feel separated from God when I commit a mortal sin. But sometimes that feeling of separation isn’t enough to dissuade me. The temptations can be very powerful. Of course, I immediately feel very guilty after committing the mortal sin. :blush:

When I say that I come home and leave the Church, I do not mean that I formally resign from the Catholic Church and become a member somewhere else. I have, however, done that once before. It was last year and I was interested in Mormonism. Well, I decided to convert to Mormonism so I got baptized and became a Mormon. I did not officially resign my membership in the Catholic Church though. I don’t think I could have done so for some reason. But anyway, I later discovered that I had made the wrong decision and had my membership in the Mormon church withdrawn. It would now take a lengthy process for me to become Mormon again. I am thankful for that because I know that I am sometimes tempted to become Mormon again. And yes, I have confessed this sin of apostasy a long time ago.

Anyway, what I typically do is I will come home, say to myself “Oh it’d be easier to be this religion.” and then I’ll change my faith icon on another religious web site and start believing and acting like a member of the new faith that I have chosen. I don’t do anything formal.


Holly, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you have a good, in-depth conversation with your priest about this issue. Make sure he understands about your BPD and your history with the Mormon church. Tell him exactly what you have just said in your previous post and ask him if you are committing a serious sin by changing your faith icon on the other website. Ask him how to know when you have committed a mortal sin so that you can know where you stand. Call and make an appointment ASAP.

And, for the sake of all that is good and holy, TAKE YOUR MEDICINE EVERY DAY!!

God bless you, Holly, as you keep up this fight.



Thanks Betsy. I called earlier and left him a message requesting an appointment. I should get in with him today or tomorrow. :slight_smile:


So glad to hear this! I’ll pray that it goes well and you get some clarity.



Thanks Betsy. I hope so too. :slight_smile:


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