Hurled a cuss word at a caller


A little while ago, a man speaking with accented English and claiming to be from Microsoft called my house. He had called earlier today, but my dad hung up on him. During the second time, the caller gave my dad a hard time. He was apparently trying to pull an AMMYY-type scam. After a while, I became so exasperated that shortly after picking up the phone myself, I told the caller a foul-mouthed equivalent of, “Buzz off!” I realize that it wasn’t a particularly wise thing to do. Not only that, but I’m scared that I might have committed an objective mortal sin. Judging from what Paragraph 2073 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church says, did I indeed commit an objective mortal sin? One has to realize that the caller was being aggressive toward my dad, plus I didn’t hurl a racial or ethnic slur at the caller despite his accent.


We see many posters who ask, “is X a mortal sin?” and the response is, “grave matter, full consent, etc.”

Unfortunately, that’s ultimately unsatisfying. Why? Because it makes no effort to look at what a mortal sin really is. What is it? It’s severing the relationship with God, such that there is no relationship.

So, OP, I’ll answer your question with a question: Do you really think that because you swore at a scammer, you have so broken your relationship with God that you are damned to hell for all eternity?

I didn’t think so.

What is more, there are many posts which seem to view confession as a sort of magic talisman, where “unless I go to confession I’m damned, but I go to confession so I’m OK until I commit another mortal sin.”

I’m going to write this type of post more often, gauging by the sheer number of “Did I commit a mortal sin?” questions on this board.


Ephesians 4:6 says “Be angry and sin not.” When I pulled a similar stunt I mentioned it to the priest the next time I was in the confessional and he read me that Scripture. For the relief I felt afterward, I’d have to say there was some distinct sin in lowering myself to foul language in reaction to someone else’s bad behavior. I ultimately figured that 2 wrongs don’t make a right.


I think that verse is Ephesians 4:26.

I found it somewhat mystifying, so I went to the trouble of looking it up. Most commentators seem to regard it as a warning against nursing anger, or stoking it. There is an additional injunction that is something like, “and don’t let the sun go down upon your anger.”

If I were to take that literally, I would say that it means to allow the healing effects of sleep help you to wake up to a new day in which your anger seems like yesterdays’ news.

Now, there also seems to be an assumption in the verse that you have your fight in the middle of the day and you try to get over it by bedtime (probably earlier back then than now), but I would translate that into being mad for a few hours and not much more than that.

In other words, try not to nurse a grudge. I am guilty of that though myself.

Can you be angry? Yes, of course you can; even Christ was angry. But, you should try to let go of your anger. A few hours might be OK, but make an effort to get past your mad. I think that’s the gist of it. And one last thing: sleep is good, and you (and especially me because of my struggles with depression) should try to get some good sleep. :slight_smile:

One last thing: say a few prayers at bedtime, and maybe even do a rosary. I find that helps calm me. Praying the rosary seems to be incompatible with rage. :slight_smile:


Venial Sin, most likely, mortal sin, most likely not.
The word used is profanity, not blasphemous in nature; thus, unless you invoked the Lord’s name on top if it really doesn’t fall under grave matter etc,
the act was done without malice of forethought in a fit of emotional duress.
(grave matter, full knowledge… etc… )
Forgive yourself.
Ask the Lord to help you be more patient (be aware, that - that, might mean he provides you with more opportunities to be more patient :smiley: )
Take it with you to your next confession.




Stop fussing. Live and learn. You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. At most, it’s a venial sin. Mention it in your next confession but don’t let it eat away at you.


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