Intent/full knowledge/ sin

Dear everybody

I know it is not very wise to ask on a forum when one is prone to scruples, but in this case maybe it is more of a technical question - where does sin start, respectively where does mortal sin start.

The case is quite simple. I bought bread at a store, they put it in a paper bag, and later on taking the bread out I saw that there was a little bug in the paper bag. I took the bread back, seeing there were also one or two other bugs, or little gnats or something…
I knew it wasn’t morally good to tell them in front of other people, and now I don’t remember exactly but I think I first talked to an assistant who was a little bit by the side… but she referresd me to the one at the cash register. I was a little bit upset so then I did say that there were bugs in the paper bag and the two people or so who were also at the cash regsiter heard it…
Later I wondered if I had committed a mortal sin because maybe I had put a bad name to the store in front of those people, panicking about bugs in the bread.

Now I know that it cannot have been a mortal sin if I wasn’t fully conscious. Now my question is: What if I don’t remember how conscious I was? Maybe I just didn’t care anymore because I just… well I don’t have htat much money to spend and getting it back meant something to me… also I probably felt I had to tell them so they knew. Did I just not care about the other people anymore after I had been referred to the other assistant?

I certainly did not WANT TO harm the store, but it may have been a bit careless.

I do not want to go to confession if I don’t have to (been getting into the habit of going too often again, and want to cut it back to about once a month). This is a situtation though that is a bit unusual for me, so I am not sure where mortal sin would start… saying something negative in front of others out of ill will, in order to harm the other person or the store, ok I would say that is sinful. Just because you don’t care much anymore because you are too focussed on your own problems? Probably not mortally sinful anymore?
And as I said, I now don’t remember what was on my mind, did I still care about the people, had I forgotten about my intention to not say it in front of customers?

I later apologized to the assistants, they both said it was ok… it’s not their store though… it is just one branch of a chain.

Any ideas whether or not it is scrupling or real possible mortal sin?
:wink:

Kathrin

p.s. I know nobody can really say for somebody else whether or not something was a mortal sin… but maybe help discern whether it is even POSSIBLE that it was one?

A person with scruples - ought to have a *“regular confessor” *who can direct them. Such is the age old practice in the Church.

For ones scruples interfere with right judgement of conscience. One can become like a ship without a rudder. For a time at least one needs that regular confessor. One follows his direction (in what is not manifest sin -like he says go murder so and so -that one would not do). He knowing your particular difficulty can also give you general principles for you to follow.

As the Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI notes:

“One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent.”

Dear Bookcat
I KIND OF had a regular confessor for a while. Or one and then another, because the first had a lot of other obligations because of studies… and then a therapist priest. I moved away from there though. And have been doing a lot better, just recently a bit creeping up on me again with more frequent confessions and asking, but I don’t want to fall back there again. I also don’t have to fall back to where I need a regular confessor again. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this her eon the forum, or not have mentioned that I have been struggling with scruples… I don’t think I am too weak now to deal with the forum though. I do have a sensitive conscience, but I have come a long way.
It could also be a normal question, because there really is an insecurity about the issue due to lack of knowledge

  • can something like this be a mortal sin at all? That is, is this GRAVE MATTER at all?
  • would carelessness/being too wound up in the worry, make it less severe?
  • if I don’t remember how it happened, but am sure I did not intend any harm, can I just trust in Jesus’/God’s mercy?
    K. :slight_smile:

Dear Bookcat
I KIND OF had a regular confessor for a while. Or one and then another, because the first had a lot of other obligations because of studies… and then a therapist priest. I moved away from there though. And have been doing a lot better, just recently a bit creeping up on me again with more frequent confessions and asking, but I don’t want to fall back there again. I also don’t have to fall back to where I need a regular confessor again. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked this her eon the forum, or not have mentioned that I have been struggling with scruples… I don’t think I am too weak now to deal with the forum though. I do have a sensitive conscience, but I have come a long way.
It could also be a normal question, because there really is an insecurity about the issue due to lack of knowledge

  • can something like this be a mortal sin at all? That is, is this GRAVE MATTER at all?
  • would carelessness/being too wound up in the worry, make it less severe?
  • if I don’t remember how it happened, but am sure I did not intend any harm, can I just trust in Jesus’/God’s mercy?
    K. :slight_smile:

p.s. in the stage where I am in right now, lots better than before, it sometimes does help just to get some input on how people who are also serious catholics but not prone to seeing sin where there is none, would see a situation :slight_smile: Just a kind of reality check :wink:

Such can be good even if you do not go back where ever you were in terms of scruples. So I would seek one out and keep things “regular”.

A few things to highlight in what you wrote.

just a bit of a special situation right now (ok I admit I often have special sitautions, not due to scruples but due to living circumstzances); just 3 weeks ago I moved to a new part of town (after coming to a different country in February; actually this whole thing has helped me a oot with getting better, not only being very happy where I am now, but also having a lot of other things to focus on, a lot of paperwork with getting residence etc ;;); …not really sure yet which priest i feel most comfortable with who also has time regularly… Actually I did not want to go to confession at all before it’s been about a month… that is why I wanted some input whether or not this would be… ok, nobody can look into my mind when even I cannot remember well anymore, but could I ask it like this, would this be grave matter at all, and under what conditions mortal?

Catechism:

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice…

scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s1c1a8.htm#III

ok I was AWARE that it would not be good to have other people hear it; what happened later and why I forgot to care I don’t remember :frowning: I just don’t. Oh well. :shrug:

yes *in the moment *one does not always realize such (even if one realized it earlier)- and one cannot always have full control of the circumstances – especially when taken over to talk with another official…one is put on the spot and is focused on addressing the issue.

For example for you - he may direct you and say “unless your certain you committed a mortal sin -that you can* affirm* that you had grave matter, full knowledge and complete consent- judge that one did not” or the like. Or he might say too “do not confess any doubtful sins” etc etc. He can direct you.

You don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to… but if you had been in this situation (as a not-scrupulous person), and didn’t remember whether and why you said it in front of other people anyway, after being careful in the beginning… would you consider it a sin grave enough to go to confession ebfore communion, just to be safe?
Or is this something only scrupulous people do?
As I said, you need not answer anything, nor somebody else… if it is too personal or if you think it is healthier for me to decide for myself :slight_smile:

If you have doubts about a mortal sin and have a scrupulous conscience, then it is not a mortal sin.

You know (and thank you, Luigi, for your reply)… I have been thinking about this a bit while away from the computer (not constantly, that again would have been unhealthy, but a little bit)… I know myself well enough that I cannot imagine - even if I don’t remember - that I was there in the store thinking to myself: “Well I am going to cause harm to them now even though I know it is sinful; I am just going to say this all in front of everybody and I really do not care if nobody ever comes back to this store because of me”… that kind of would have been full intent, the intention to do bad, the intention to cause harm or the selfishness not to care about other people’s harm at all… I cannot imagine I thought like that.
I CAN imagine that, when asked to talk to the other person, I told myself: “Well can’t help it now, so the other people will hear it now, maybe I was worrying about that too much anyway”, (which in my opinion would not be sinning intentionally, not even being sure if it was sinning at all) plus all going so fast there was not all that much time to think and make a mature decision.
The fact that I, BEFORE I went back there, told myself that I should try to get an assistant without other people hearing it, shows that my intention was definitely to not cause any harm; I don’t know if I even thought in terms of mortal sin, just generally, morally speaking, it probably felt wise to me to keep some low profile about it. So at the time maybe I wasn’t even aware that there might be anything grave involved, or only half aware, but again, that I do not remember now).

((I am still not sure if this would be considered grave matter at all, telling the shops assistants in a store (and a store belonging to a big chain at that) that there was something wrong with a product while other people hearing it?))

Sounds like you did what was responsible in returning the bread and telling the store. They can check up on their health and safety to ensure bugs don’t get into their foods. :slight_smile:

That was not a mortal sin, it was not even a venial sin. There was no serious matter involved at all. You were engaged in a normal daily activity and trying not to cause a fuss.
You need to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 2, The Ten Commandments.

Linus2nd

It wasn’t a sin–neither mortal nor venial. Please get over it. You do not have the power to ruin the reputation of any grocery store.

Find yourself a regular confessor. Go to confession no more than once a month. If you always go to the same priest, you don’t have to introduce yourself and go through your history and background every time. :cool:

I just prayed to Jesus about it.
This is what I should have done seriously before asking here… Jesus speaks straight to my heart when I try to really listen to Him, and Him I can trust.
He also knows my heart.
:slight_smile:
:slight_smile:
:slight_smile:
thank you everybody… past midnight here… time to turn off now… the laptop, I mean :wink:

Kathrin

that does make it easier… even though: a good number of priests know me already :wink: :wink: :wink: :blush::blush:

Going back to the once-a-month-schedule (without being scrupulous about it either, it need not be EXACTLY one month) has been my intention. Going because of possible “mortal” sins in between kind of can become addictive… doing it one time, then another, then getting into the whole unsureness thing again (I asked because of this, so certainly I also must ask because of that).
Hmmmmm… forum can be like that also :blush:

Anyway.
Need to get back on the good track I have been on!!!:tada:

This is my guess…

You were trying to do a good thing- alert the store to a problem and to “get justice”. (Your money back or a new loaf.

You were reporting truth, not making up a lie.

You were discussing the problems with the appropriate people.

You were doing it as privately as is possible in a grocery store.

You had no intention of causing trouble fir the store. Rather you were seeking to avoid scandal.

Do you think any of that sounds gravely evil?

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