If We Correct a Partial Lie Later, Are We Still In a State of Sin?

This has me puzzled: Lets say you partially lie out of fear/nervousness, and afterwards regret telling the partial lie. You later correct the partial lie.

Would you still be in a state of sin? Why or why not? :confused:

Have you talked to your pastor about your scrupulosity issues. Why or why not?

Unfortunately I never got around to asking Father about scruples and sin definition.

It seems most prudent to talk to him first, honestly. If you are afflicted with scrupulosity you ought only to talk about sins to a trusted confessor, otherwise you could make it worse.

A couple of questions:

(1) Do you have reason to believe that the lie was big enough to constitute grave matter? If yes, then:

(2) Do you think that being fearful or nervous was not sufficient enough reason in this case to undermine your full consent?

To my understanding, “partially lying out of nervousness and fear” doesn’t sound like an objective mortal sin. I’d like to know why, precisely, you are concerned that it might be. Is your concern mostly emotional, or is there some sort of intellectual reason?

You really need to do this. How long have you been receiving this same advice? There is a reason that people keep offering the same advice to you on every thread you begin.

I saw the thread title and knew immediately whose it was.

GET HELP. Maybe there is some OCD and generalized anxiety disorder at play here too.

Also, for the record, no, officious lies are not necessarily mortal sins, especially when “partial” and “out of fear.” The serious lies are done to hurt another person intentionally and in a grave way… and there has been deliberation or real advertence to its harm.


From my experience, my worst scrupulosity came hand-in-hand with OCD. Like, having to touch the light switch 49 (no joke, 49, i.e. 7x7) times to make sure it was off in case it started a fire in the middle of the night :shrug:

I think for me it was caused by anxiety about high school exams; I grew out of that phase.

But I echo the need to talk to someone about this ASAP. Someone who understands scrupulosity.

There is NO reason you could not have addressed this with your pastor yet. You need guidance that we cannot give. I will (against my better judgement) answer in this way. IF… Mortal sin is commited. Then only baptism, or confession can erase it. Not restitution. Perfect contrition can come into play but that would involve confession as well.

Let me ask you a question. What constitutes mortal sin? Please answer

A mortal sin is grave matter, full knowledge, and full intention. My problem is not worrying about sin, but rather that I have no idea about what the so called grave matter is. It’s also difficult and confusing to tell intention because I often do things mindlessly. Full knowledge is the one that confuses me the most. Is that just knowing the act is evil before doing it?

My RCIA program didn’t really go over this in depth. We touched on it in one class (I can’t remember if I did my homework either, because I may have been in college at the time and I was already drowning in homework) but I don’t really remember much from the class.

Okay. Fair enough. Let me know if this is unclear.

All sin is in the will, either directly, or indirectly. There is no such thing as an “unintentional sin,” in this sense… If it was truly involuntary, then it could not have been a sin. The will is the practical ordering mechanism of the human being - you go where it says.

The indirect involvement of the will is when a passion (which we can call “feelings of desire to obtain or avoid something”) which is inordinate or a thought which is inordinate rises up suddenly but we legitimately could have prevented it by the force of the will. Almost every single instance of these sins are venial. The example which St. Thomas gives of one that wouldn’t be is if one were suddenly to become furious at the person next to him such that he murdered him in that rage - we are bound to keep our passions in check from causing such outrageous actions, even if they are not fully deliberate… one likely had “sufficient” ability for deliberation but failed to use it… there really is no such thing as “full” knowledge or freedom this side of Heaven, because we’re rolling around in darkness.

Direct involvement of the will is when you “try” to do something. We can leave it at that… It doesn’t happen suddenly, and if you were on a game show and could push a button that says “yes do this,” or “no don’t do this,” you would be pushing the “yes” button.

Freedom and knowledge are not necessarily always easy to discern in an individual action. Knowledge is generally a SENSE of the GRAVITY of the action - if one’s conscience is malformed here due to his own laziness or neglect, then the fault may remain serious, but if it is not his fault or the matter is extremely complex, then culpability diminishes. It would also include knowledge of what one is actually materially doing - if you are shooting into the woods but don’t know there are people camping there, this is not attempted murder, for instance.

Freedom (or deliberate consent) as a qualifier is trickier. We can say there are two elements, deliberation and factors affecting deliberation. It usually takes at least a good 4 or 5 count to deliberate over an action sufficiently, in my estimation, for most people - unless the action is so severe that it is beyond all reason that one would allow it to occur, such as the sudden murder scenario given above. For factors affecting deliberation, they have to affect your soul in such a degree that it stops working correctly. Suppose you are being stretched on the rack to get you to blaspheme - you will stop seeing the matter clearly because of the intense pain. Addictions can also do something similar. Confusion or sudden stress or anxiety also play a role here.

Grave matter is something that is DIRECTLY contrary to a commandment (as well as their immediate counterpart precepts), which means it is contrary to the virtue of charity which binds us to God as supernatural friends. Anything that REORDERS you away from God, by the destruction of this virtue, through the defiance of one of these commandments which lay out perfectly our basic obligations to God and neighbor, is a mortal sin, given there is sufficient knowledge and freedom.

NONE of the things you have posted in the past few months come close to mortal sin. I hope this has helped.

Besides the Spiritual Director/Counselor thing, sit in on the new RCIA classes.
They don’t mind, and you can ask questions, no problem. If they didn’t cover it well, they’ll appreciate knowing

Thanks! That was helpful. :smiley:

I suppose I can do some more reading on sin too. :slight_smile:

If you know the Church teaches an act is evil then that satisfies the full knowledge condition.


Hoosier Daddy is right.

Why wouldn’t you want to talk to your pastor, Melodeontist? Be real. Don’t offer a single excuse.

There’s something in these group discussions that you find rewarding in some way. I’m not judging you. I’m just hoping you can get some insight into the reward. I think going to a priest would be good. Going to a psychiatrist would be good as well. Medications can help with OCD/scrupulosity.

God bless you. (I rarely post on your threads, but I most always read them.)

P.S. You might want to read these articles relating to religious OCD (scrupulosity).



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