I just learned a new word


#1

Universalism, to be specific. I’m sure most of you already know, but for those that don’t it’s the idea that 1. all people, even sinners, will eventually go to heaven, and/or 2. all religions are equal paths to heaven.

I hadn’t heard the word before today but I’ve heard ideas similar to it in my church community. It brings to mind a few questions for me that I’m sure you wise folks can answer.

  1. Does excommunication literally mean “Here’s your ticket to hell, have a nice day?”

  2. Does dying in a state of mortal sin guarantee going to hell?


#2

[quote=Binary]1. Does excommunication literally mean “Here’s your ticket to hell, have a nice day?”
[/quote]

Not necessarily. One can always repent if they get excommunicated. On a strange sidenote, I read somewhere that heretics were put to death by burning at the stake (instead of other methods) so they could get a preview of Hell and have a change of heart. Obviously that doesn’t make it ok, but it does show excommunictaed people can always repent. Likewise, if you look at the anathema ceremony, it says you are turned over to Satan until you burst the bonds of the demon–meaning you repent.

  1. Does dying in a state of mortal sin guarantee going to hell?

Yes. Being in a state of mortal sin means you are in a state of rebellion with God. Now, if you have a change of heart and perfect contrition at the very last moment (and of course you have no time to get to confession) you will be forgiven. As long as you’re alive, it’s never too late to repent.


#3

Meaning if you die suddenly in mortal sin, but had intended to go to confession, you’d be O.K…


#4

Thanks for the answers. Your reply made me think of a few more questions. First, can you repent after you die? Second, I’ve probably heard about 4 different standards for what is and is not a mortal sin. Is it strictly “grave matter, full knowledge, full consent,” or is there more to it? Finally, how does missing mass on sunday satisfy any standard of mortal sin?


#5

[quote=I Leatherman]Meaning if you die suddenly in mortal sin, but had intended to go to confession, you’d be O.K…
[/quote]

I may be mistaken, but I think you need perfect contrition in this case–meaning sorrow for sin because of love for God. Imperfect contrition is sorrow for sin for fear of Hell.


#6

[quote=I Leatherman]Meaning if you die suddenly in mortal sin, but had intended to go to confession, you’d be O.K…
[/quote]

Thanks. This is something I’d been wondering about.


#7

[quote=Binary]Thanks for the answers. Your reply made me think of a few more questions. First, can you repent after you die?
[/quote]

Nope. Once you’ve made your choice, you’re done. To be honest, I think this is tough to do for a faithful Christian. We all commit mortal sins from time to time. But most faithful Christians are contrite almost immediately. To commit mortal sin without regret is what will get you fried.

Second, I’ve probably heard about 4 different standards for what is and is not a mortal sin. Is it strictly “grave matter, full knowledge, full consent,” or is there more to it? Finally, how does missing mass on sunday satisfy any standard of mortal sin?

Nope, you’ve got all the conditions. Missing Mass without good reason is a mortal sin because by doing so you are saying you would rather, say, sleep in than spend an hour with Jesus. Sleeping in or watching the football game is more important to you than honoring and participating in the ultimate Sacrifice that Jesus made for us.


#8

I’ve heard this answer before, and it just doesn’t satisfy me. That we don’t honor Christ’s sacrifice could be said of any time we sin.


#9

[quote=Binary]I’ve heard this answer before, and it just doesn’t satisfy me. That we don’t honor Christ’s sacrifice could be said of any time we sin.
[/quote]

Possibly. But some sins are greater than others. This is a specific choice to shirk that Sacrafice made substantially present. Also the Mass is a special time that He specifically commanded us to partake in.

Finally, choosing to do whatever it is you would do instead of communing with Christ shows you are putting meaningless pursuits above Him.


#10

It really doesn’t matter if it “satisfies” you or not. You know that missing Mass is grave matter (1st condition), you know that by just not feeling like you want to go to Mass or opting to go do something else that you are committing a mortal sin (2nd condition - full knowledge), but you decide you don’t care you’re gonna do what you want to do anyway (3rd condition - full consent).

By doing this you are doing YOUR WILL over God’s will. This same thing can apply to any mortal sin, say, abortion. As long as these conditions are met - you’ve screwed the pooch! (Sorry if that’s crass).

Now, say you’re on vacation, for instance, at a notional park. There are not alot of Catholic Churches in the parks. And say there’s not a Catholic Church within any reasonable distance and you don’t go to Mass. You are not guilty of the mortal sin because you could not make it to Mass FOR A GOOD REASON; something that’s out of your control. Same goes if you’re just plain sick. It has to be for a “good reason” that you miss Mass.

I think I’ve missed Mass once in about 11 years and it was because suddenly I found myself without any transportation and no way to get any - and I tried to find transportation. I was sick about it! I felt like Jesus was waiting for me at the church and I let Him down! Sort of like if you did that to a friend and you didn’t let them know you weren’t coming to meet them - like I just left Him there waiting! I know it sounds hookey but I love going to Mass and I would never miss because I love God and want to participate in the Great Gift of the Eucharist.

Now, as soon as possible, I went to confession before the next Mass. I did not have to confess that I had missed Mass the previous week but I did anyway because I love God and wanted to make sure He knew that I didn’t miss just because; that I wanted to be there because I love Him but I just couldn’t get to Him. I wanted His “official” pardon and grace.
(Of course, He knew why I couldn’t make it and I knew that He understood. The priest is the representative of Christ and I wanted to talk directly to that representative).

You shouldn’t really be focused on what will lead you to hell. You should be concerned with love of Jesus and wanting to do what pleases Him. He commanded that we worship at least once a week. I think that’s the least we can do considering that He created us and makes it possible for us to continue to exist never mind the fact that He gave His life for us so we could be with Him for all eternity. What a great Love He has for us - why would we not want to return that love?

Focus on your love of God not hell.


#11

As to your thought on Universalism, I think that is a bad thing in that it denies objective truth.

There has to be objective truth otherwise how would we know what God requires of us? I do not believe that God would lie to us all throughout history in His revealing Himself to us. Was it all just a bad joke?

It would be like you buying a road map for your trip. The map you bought would have roads on it but those roads lead you in circles - what sense would that make? No, there has to be truth - objective truth which God gave us in our Catholic faith. The Apostles gaves that truth to us - they died for that truth and that is the truth that Jesus wants us to know. Universalism leads to all kinds of circular reasoning - just like that bogus road map.


#12

Venial sin, yes. Mortal sin, no.


#13

[quote=Genesis315]I may be mistaken, but I think you need perfect contrition in this case–meaning sorrow for sin because of love for God. Imperfect contrition is sorrow for sin for fear of Hell.
[/quote]

Perfect contrition is not a requirement for avoiding damnation.


#14

Many Catholics are so poorly catechized that it is possible that they do not have full knowledge of why missing Mass is a mortal sin. Their ignorance lessens their culpability, if they are not personally responsible for their ignorance.**Catechism of the Catholic Church

1791** … ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man “takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin.” In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits. Only God can judge if a person has full knowledge when the choice was made to commit a grave sin. In the case of missing Mass, this applies to everyone in the world, not just Catholics. Will God hold a Buddhist culpable for the sin of missing Mass that has never heard the Gospel preached to him? No. What about the Protestant that does not attend Mass? Is it possible that the Protestant is acting out of ignorance and not malice? Yes.

Many Catholics have been brought up to believe what Protestants believe, and not what the Catholic Church teaches, and it is not their fault that they have received such defective instruction in the faith.


#15

[quote=DianJo]It really doesn’t matter if it “satisfies” you or not. You know that missing Mass is grave matter (1st condition), you know that by just not feeling like you want to go to Mass or opting to go do something else that you are committing a mortal sin (2nd condition - full knowledge), but you decide you don’t care you’re gonna do what you want to do anyway (3rd condition - full consent).
[/quote]

As it stands now I DON’T know that missing mass is a grave matter. I guess I should say I don’t know why it is a grave matter. The answer I recieved was “mass is a time God commanded us to observe, and to place our own desires above His is sinful.” I agree with this completely, but I don’t understand what makes this a mortal sin. Is breaking any of the 10 commandments a mortal sin? Aren’t we implicitly “commanded” to refrain from any sin? I’m not trying to be obtuse or thick-headed.

[quote=DianJo]Focus on your love of God not hell.
[/quote]

Don’t worry, I’m asking these questions because I enjoy learning about my faith, not out of fear about going to hell.

EDIT: spelling correction


#16

[quote=Matt16_18]Perfect contrition is not a requirement for avoiding damnation.
[/quote]

Even if you don’t make it to confession?


#17

[quote=Binary][/font]

As it stands now I DON’T know that missing mass is a grave matter. I guess I should say I don’t know why it is a grave matter. The answer I recieved was “mass is a time God commanded us to observe, and to place our own desires above His is sinful.” I agree with this completely, but I don’t understand what makes this a mortal sin. Is breaking any of the 10 commandments a mortal sin? Aren’t we implicitly “commanded” to refrain from any sin? I’m not trying to be obtuse or thick-headed.

Don’t worry, I’m asking these questions because I enjoy learning about my faith, not out of fear about going to hell.

EDIT: spelling correction
[/quote]

I highlighted a portion of your sentence above. The concern I have here is that you stated the “I don’t know that missing Mass is grave matter.” As I stated before - it doesn’t matter what YOU think about this. The Church, through the Holy Spirit and representative of Christ on earth IS TELLING YOU - IT IS GRAVE MATTER! Besides, the “finger of God” wrote it in stone for you!

It is grave matter because God Himself tells you “to keep the Sabbath holy.” That means to set aside one day a week to worship God. He commands that we do that. It’s not a complex thing. Now, if for no “good reason” YOU decide that keeping the Sabbath holy is not important and YOU decide to go do something else, then YOU are deciding that YOU know better than God. How arrogant is that? The answer you received in your above quote is a very good answer. You are placing your own desires above those of God - that is grave matter. God has given us a “map” so to speak, in the 10 commandments, on how to get back to Him. If we choose not to follow that map, then it is of our choosing - not His.

I would say that for the 10 commandments, if you murder or steal, commit adultery or fornication or any of the sexual sins this covers, if you covet what your neighbor has and especially his wife, knowing God has commanded you not to do these things and you did it with full knowledge and consent - then it is mortal sin. I’d say everything covered in the 10 commandments is pretty serious stuff.

As a previous poster said, you have to KNOW, first of all. Defective instruction can keep a person from being guilty of mortal sin. Only God truly knows someone’s heart and soul and only He can make that judgement.

As for the opening line of your post, “As it stands now, I don’t know that missing Mass is grave matter.” You know it is now. You cannot claim ignorance any longer. You may not understand why still, but if you intentionally now do not go to Mass, you will be committing mortal sin. Just because you still do not understand why, does not release you from the guilt. We will help you as much as possible to understand why.

Try some additional reading in your Catechism. It will explain “why” much better. I don’t have my Catechism with me, but look in the index under “Mass” and you should find plenty of paragraphs to read. Even try under “10 Commandments.” The book, “The Lambs Supper” is an absolutely fabulous book! You can find used books on Amazon. That’s where I’ve gotten alot of my books. They are sometimes half the original price (or less).


#18

Why do you say that? It has been pointed out to you that the Catholic Church teaches that missing Mass without good cause is a grave matter. So how can you claim not to know that missing Mass is grave matter?

Protestants reject that idea that the Catholic Church cannot teach error in matters of faith and morals. Are you a Protestant or a Catholic? If you have rejected the Catholic faith for the beliefs of Protestants, that also is a sin involving grave matter.

I guess I should say I don’t know why it is a grave matter.

You are under obligation to learn why the Church teaches that missing Mass is grave matter. Perhaps you should talk to your parish priest about this.

Is breaking any of the 10 commandments a mortal sin?

A teenage girl getting smart mouthed with her mom is breaking the Fourth Commandment, but she is not necessarily committing mortal sin.

Aren’t we implicitly “commanded” to refrain from any sin?

We are explicitly commanded to refrain from sinning.So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matt. 5:48


#19

[quote=DianJo] Try some additional reading in your Catechism.
[/quote]

I have taken your advice, and I may have made some headway. The catechism reminded me that the center of the mass is communion. While receiving eucharist is a profound experience for me, perhaps my confusion comes from a lack of appreciation for it. Is missing mass a mortal sin because we are in effect turning away from the eucharist?

Since I am on the subject of mass, I have a few more questions. What is the origin of our weekly obligation? Why is attendance at mass required weekly, instead of daily, or bi-monthly? Supposing one attended mass every eight days, would one be in a state of mortal sin when a standard week passed between masses?


#20

[quote=Binary]I have taken your advice, and I may have made some headway. The catechism reminded me that the center of the mass is communion. While receiving eucharist is a profound experience for me, perhaps my confusion comes from a lack of appreciation for it. Is missing mass a mortal sin because we are in effect turning away from the eucharist?

Since I am on the subject of mass, I have a few more questions. What is the origin of our weekly obligation? Why is attendance at mass required weekly, instead of daily, or bi-monthly? Supposing one attended mass every eight days, would one be in a state of mortal sin when a standard week passed between masses?
[/quote]

Great! I am so glad you’re making headway!
The most critical part of the Mass, no one mentioned as a reason not to miss Mass but that is exactly it! The rejection of the sacrifice of Jesus - His body and Blood! The Eucharist is the height and summit of our Catholic faith! Never miss the Eucharist! Your appreciation might be increased if you started making regular trips to Eucharistic Adoration. That would help tremendously!

The origin of our Mass comes right out of the bible - read Acts. The Apostles are constantly meeting and reading scripture (OT) and “breaking bread” - this is the Eucharist. You might try reading Justin Martyr about the Mass as well. He explains our Mass to the Emperor because Catholics are accused of being - cannibals!

Mass was begun by Jesus, of course, at the Last Supper (Seder meal at Passover) then carried on by the Apostles. They celebrated it on the “Lord’s Day”, which is Sunday, the day of Christ’s resurrection. The Jewish Christians of the time were still attending the synagogues on Saturday as the Sabbath and the Apostles would teach from scripture on Sunday and break bread! Jeez, imagine, church on Saturday and Sunday! They celebrated as often as possible, whenever they could. I don’t think there was anything permanent on the “once a week” or “everyday” at this point in time. My take on reading scripture is that whenever they gathered to teach the gospel they celebrated the breaking of bread.

I’m sure that as the faithful grew in number, the primitive modes of travel, the great distances some people had to travel and the amount of time it took to get to a church (at first they celebrated in people’s homes when the number of faithful was still manageable), the bishops, I would imagine, out of necessity would mandate at least once a week. Someone here with more historical infomation can give you the absolutes you’re looking for but it sounds like common sense to me.

As for the eight day a week thing - there was never any such thing and if you intentionally miss Mass - from weekend to weekend - you would still be committing a mortal sin. This would also be Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Christians of the first century began counting the days from Sunday to Sunday as we do now - no eight days a week! Masses on the weekday do not count towards your Sunday obligation. We should attend Mass whenever possible but with the way our society operates these days that’s near impossible for most people in normal situations.

Can someone else here give him some info on the history behind the church going to “at least once a week?” And also correct me if I’ve said anything crazy!

Keep reading and learning so that you understand better.


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