I'm paranoid about going to Hell!


Hi everyone. I am almost always just absolutely paranoid about going to Hell! I am always fearing that I am in a state of mortal sin or something and it really bothers me. What if I am in a state of mortal sin and I don’t realize it and I die before going to confession? Will I go to Hell?


Hi, it is easy to get this way but God does not want us to live this way. Draw close to God. Feel His Spirit in you. Next obey and love God and live your life for Him. You will make mistakes, we all do, but just do you best, and have mercy on others that do wrong because we know how hard it is to be consitantly good.
If you make your meaning of life God, you will never ever go to hell. Seek union with Him. Trust Him.
Trusting in God is a learning process. Part of us distruses Him. In time though as we grow we trust in Him more and more.
As you serve Him with your life this fear will go away.

Seeker 100


I also have fear of hell. It seems that the further I grow in holiness, the more I fear hell. As I think about this, and ponder it, I believe that maybe it is a blessing in disguise. Those people who deny the existence of hell or the devil are those in much more danger of actually going there! I believe one of the saints (Faustina?) who said that most of those who go to hell didn’t believe it actually existed.

Therefore, think of this fear as something that you can use to grow in holiness.
The book by Saint Faustina, “Diary” is very good at giving you reasons for trusting in Jesus and overcoming fear. Don’t expect this fear to go away overnight, so be patient.:thumbsup:


The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: “Lord, let me never be parted from you.” If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God “desires all men to be saved” (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him “all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).

1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere “to the end” and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for “all men to be saved.” She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:

This acute fear of hell seems to pop up on threads about once a month. I believe Hell is real and we are to fear it, but I also know there is Hope in Christ, as in the CCC above, and that INORDINATE FEAR of Hell or Satan strangles one’s proper Faith in Christ’s salvific message and starves it of air. Christ Himself said what benefit is it of you to worry…? Put your faith in God. Every time I fear inordinately (which I do way too often), I realize I’m lacking in Faith in God when I let the Fear strangle my belief in God’s goodness.

Go to confession, Pray, Pray, avoid sin, and put your Faith in God and cast all, all your worries on Him. God Bless.:slight_smile:


Regarding your fear of committing a mortal sin and dying before you can get to Confession: if you had sincerely repented of that sin, told God you are sorry, and resolved to go to Confession at the earliest reasonable opportunity, then if you were to die suddenly or accidentally in the meantime, you would NOT be damned because God would know you had repented and intended to seek sacramental absolution. You might get some extra time in Purgatory, perhaps, but you would not go to hell.

No one ever goes to hell or loses their soul due to circumstances totally beyond their control (such as the time and manner of their death). You would have to die unrepentant, unwilling to renounce your sin, or not caring enough about it to even bother going to Confession, for that to happen.


Also, if you are an orthodox and observant Catholic as I presume you are, and reasonably well versed in Catholic morality, I doubt very much that you could possibly be in a state of mortal sin for any significant period of time and not know it. Remember, mortal sin requires not only serious matter, but also sufficient reflection and consent of the will – you have to KNOW that what you are doing is a mortal sin, and choose to do it anyway out of either weakness or malice.

If you are uncertain as to the seriousness of a particular action, thought, desire, attitude, etc. which you believe to be sinful, consult your pastor, spiritual director, or some other reliable source for guidance, and in the meantime, trust in God’s merciful love.


Matthew 23:4
For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.


Which part of God’s nature would damn you under those circumstances: His perfect justice, or His perfect mercy?


If you are constantly worried about avoiding sin then I don’t think you can just accidentally fall into mortal sin without knowing it. After all, if you truly did not know something is a mortal sin then that takes away one of the three conditions of it being a mortal sin – full knowledge. However, that doesn’t mean you can get off the hook by intentionally avoiding learning Church doctrine and you would still have to do time for any transgressions in Purgatory, but you won’t be in a state of mortal sin.

I’m not a cannon lawyer, but if you have unconfessed mortal sins and you find yourself in a life threatening situation then I think you are conditionally absolved if you have the intent to confess. And if you survive then you must go and actually make a true confession.

I also believe that God is merciful enough that if you got hit by a bus after committing a mortal sin, but you knew that you had committed a mortal sin, felt sorry about it, and had the intent to confess then that would also be ok.


Ok, so earlier I took God’s name in vain knowing full well that it would be a grave sin to do so and that and that I should not do it. I did it out of anger. Do you think that is a mortal sin? :shrug::confused:


sister, remember that God looks at our hearts too. If we die in mortal sin but repentant and on our way to Confession, I believe He would be merciful. It is unrepentance that is most dangerous. Try to trust God that you would always have the opportunity for Confession.

if you see your sinfulness, try to cast yourself all the more on God’s mercy. Don’t let sinfulness distance you from God. St Faustina and St Therese both talked about this…that the weaker, the smaller they felt, the closer they came to God. Just ask Him for His forgiveness, go to Confession, and trust in His forgiveness… and be thankful for it :slight_smile:

after Confession, ask God for the graces to not sin again…but be patient. We’ll always sin here on earth. Just try to not sin willingly.

God bless


I think what will give you a measure of peace is to learn to keep yourself in a state of perfect contrition whenever something happens that concerns you.

That is, simply pray for the grace for and do your best to make an act of perfect contrition, and keep that will in life the more and more. :slight_smile:

Truly will never to commit the sin again, and not just for reasons of fear but for positive reasons.

Then you can trust in the Lord more relaxedly, and have faith and hope that you will work out the changes necessary to your bad will.

Remember to use positive means to encourage yourself to virtue so you have something to fill the void left that sin was in.


If you had done what you are so terrified of doing, you would know. You cannot commit a mortal sin by mistake or against your intentions - God himself could not do so. Mortal sin is voluntary, and deliberate, and intended, and thus it is freely-done, or it is not at all.

ISTM that a lot of people spend their lives in the fear that God is waiting, longing, to “catch them out”, so as to have an excuse to damn them. :frowning: That is not the God of the NT, Who “gave [up] His own Son to be a ransom for many”. If God were so eager for our damnation, why would he be such a fool as to give up His Son for our redemption ? Even men have more sense than to behave in so self-contradictory a way; and God is wiser than men.

Ask yourself whether you want to love God - is wanting to love God a mortal sin ? How can anyone go to Hell, when their hearts are directed to God, so that if they were able, they would love Him ? Even the desire to love God is a gift from God - that is how much God longs to damn people: He gives them the means to turn from self and sin & hell, to Him.

STM you badly need encouragement.


No, it can’t be mortal. Mortal sins are committed with the deliberate consent of the sinner- in other words they’re premeditated. Crimes of passion don’t fit the bill.

This doesn’t give us license to commit sin while in passions, of course. In fact, indulgently persisting in venial sins can lead us to commit mortal sins. In the end, we must be clean of all sin, whether here or through Purgatory, and the longer we persist in sins we can conquer now, the harder the road to purity will be later on.

I strongly recommend beginning to pray once a day, even really quickly, for peace and light. Light so you understand God’s mercy and the truth about sins and grace, and peace so that you can rest in Him rather than feel anxiety, for this is His will for you (John 14:27).

closed #15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.