Is it a sin?


#1

I know that sinning is very bad to do obviously. How do I know what a sin is (besides that of the 10 Commandments) even for small ones? I mean, would sleeping be a sin? Sitting and watching TV? You know, those kinds of things? How do I know if it’s a sin? :confused:

Yes, I know a huge sin that’s obvious and all (like hitting someone on the face, etc.) but what about these small, everyday things? How do we know if it’s a sin or not?

blessings,
Nicole


#2

Nicole,

One of the easiest ways to tell is to read some of those lists that are available to help you before you go to confession. Since your profile says you’re in RCIA, I bet they will give you a booklet with such a list in it at some point. I’ve got a bunch, but they are not electronic, or I’d give you one! They are called “examination of conscience” lists.

I just used google and found three:
cin.org/avatar/examcon.html
theworkofgod.org/Library/examine.htm
scborromeo.org/confess.htm

It is the virtue of Prudence that helps us immediately know our right course of action. Pray for this virtue! (I don’t claim to have much of it; on another thread I listed it as the cardinal virtue that I have the most trouble with :))

It also helps to know your vocation, like are you a mother or married or whatever. This helps to pick or guide our everyday life and actions. A wife should not spend the entire day watching tv, or she would probably not be doing the things that are part of her life. Ask yourself how the action in question fits in with the plan of your vocation/life?

A few minutes of tv, like the news, while eating lunch alone at home, well, this is more of a free choice thing or something to discern in your personal circumstances. If the news makes you feel bad and be less inclined to pray at lunch, well, skip the tv. If the news keeps you informed so that you can better do your job at work, then watch it. Balance is important.

Just my :twocents:

P.S.

But don’t stress about every little action. Don’t lose your spontenaity stressing over every little thing. If something is brought to mind, then examine it. But don’t get caught up with examining every little detail. Form your conscience, pray for prudence, and listen when the Holy Spirit brings something to your attention. The HS is very helpful. Rely on him.


#3

Well, since I don’t work (I’m a college student and working plus homework, doesn’t work well for me!), I’m at my apartment a lot and all. Since I’m on break for awhile, I usually go to the library online (don’t have Internet at home, saves some bills! :stuck_out_tongue: ), watch the Catholic channel to learn more, wash my dishes, TRY to keep my apartment clean, eat, watch movies, read my Bible, the Catechism, go visit my mother, etc. I just hope that what I do is NOT a sin to God or anything meaning that, would it offend God if I sat and watched the EWTN for a few hours then ate something then went back watching it plus read my Bible while watching at the same time? See what I mean?

Nicole


#4

[quote=Paris Blues]Well, since I don’t work (I’m a college student and working plus homework, doesn’t work well for me!), I’m at my apartment a lot and all. Since I’m on break for awhile, I usually go to the library online (don’t have Internet at home, saves some bills! :stuck_out_tongue: ), watch the Catholic channel to learn more, wash my dishes, TRY to keep my apartment clean, eat, watch movies, read my Bible, the Catechism, go visit my mother, etc. I just hope that what I do is NOT a sin to God or anything meaning that, would it offend God if I sat and watched the EWTN for a few hours then ate something then went back watching it plus read my Bible while watching at the same time? See what I mean?

Nicole
[/quote]

None of the things you mentioned are sins. Try not to be overly scrupulous.
Watching tv could be sinful, depends on what you are watching. If you are just watching EWTN then you are doing great! If you watch anything that puts images in your head that could cause you to sin later, then that would be sinful because you are putting yourself in an occasion of sin. If you sit on your butt all day watching tv and not doing any of the other things you are responsible for doing then that could be sinful too, i think its called sloth!
It doesnt sound to me like you are doing anything wrong, as a matter of fact it sounds to me like you are a wonderful example to many of us!


#5

best guide that i can give you…

would you want to be the recipient of one of those questionable (maybe sins) you have…

would you want it done unto you? If God were standing there, heck if you mother were standing there, would you still do it?

not hard to establish i assure you…

would you want witnesses…? :thumbsup:


#6

To answer your questions specifically:
“I mean, would sleeping be a sin?”

If you have, for example, the opportunity to go to Mass, but instead you sleep for 10 hours and don’t go to Mass, then, yes that is a venial sin. If nothing else, it is a sin of laziness (10 hours of sleep). I confess if I don’t get to Mass in the morning due to not waking up when my alarm goes off. That is definitely simply laziness. If you sleep through your alarm by accident, then it would not necessarily be a sin. As far as sleeping, I don’t know if you can really have a “set amount” of hours which makes it sinful, but if you are not sick, I would think that 12 hours would certainly be a sin, regardless of the circumstances (except, of course, if you were up all night or some similar occurance the night before, because then sleeping 12 hrs in one night and none the night before adds up to 6 hrs each night). As a previous person said, you must use prudence. The more involved you become, the more you desire to live only for God and not for yourself, and the more holy you become, the more things you will accuse yourself of. The holiest Saints confessed the most often. For example, the holier you are, the more likely it is you will commit a sin of omission, for if you are slipping backwards out of your daily habits (or simply maintaining lukewarm ones), you sin venially at least. Also, a cleric is held to a higher level than a secular. What may be merely an imperfection or nothing at all wrong for a secular could be a mortal sin of omission for a cleric, especially for the Pope, the Vicar of Christ, who, by the very dignity of his office, is required to have the purifity of the angels.

"Sitting and watching TV?"
Just about everything on TV nowadays is sinful to watch. I suppose not all, but the very vast majority. If you decide: I like such and such a program (that is, considering, of course, that it is not a sinful program in the first place), and then you decide: I will watch this 30 minute show at 8 o’clock, then that is not a sin. It is not a sin to have recreation. But, if you sit on the couch and just flip around or stare at the screen simply because you have nothing else to do, not with any prupose of watching a certain show, just flipping through channels until you “find something”, it would most likely be a sin, since it inevitably comes from a laziness of sorts. Moreover, watching TV more than one prays, attends Mass, etc. (although many will say to the contrary), is a sin. That is putting something about God and His Holy Church.

Basically, instead of watching TV or doing little things that you think might be sinful (wasting time may be one of the greatest sins and occasions of sin), instead get a good Catholic book–be it for holy reading (lives of the Saints, Imitation of Christ, etc.) or a prayer book or a history of the Church–and read it instead of doing whatever else you might be doing.

If you want to study doctrine and know what the Church teaches in a very simple and clear way, I would suggest the Baltimore Catechism. There are very many degrees of specificity and difficulty. I would suggest if you know very little to start on Baltimore Catechism 2, then work through 3, then Baltimore Catechism 4 (also “Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism”, which is for teachers of catechism). The Baltimore Catechism is not a proclaimed infallible dogma of the Church (no catechism is, unless all it quotes is infallible statements), so there is one problem in it. The part where it talks about there being 3 Baptisms is clearly wrong, in the words of St. Paul in his eistle to the Galations: ONE Lord, ONE Faith, ONE BAPTISM. We know this from the Council of Trent, Canons on Baptism: “If anyone saith that true and natural water is not necessary for Baptism and thus WRESTS into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘unles a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost’ [Jn. 3.5], let him be anathema.”

I am sorry for such the long rant for just a simple question. I hope it helped.


#7

Nicole,

It sounds like you are in a learning phase. So it is a good idea to listen to the programing on ewtn to find out more, compare it to the bible, the CCC, and such. It sounds like that is your duty right now, to learn at school and about God.

If you neglect to excercise by excessive study, this would be bad. If you neglected your parents, this would be bad. But it sounds like you are not doing those things.

Since you are concerned about what it is that you are doing, maybe this is a sign that it is time for you to start thinking about what the study is for and where your life is leading you. Perhaps you are being prompted in some direction or another, and that is the source of your concern.

In short answer, NO, it does not sound like you are offending God.


#8

Sin is looking at all that God is all that he offers and choosing to turn your back on Him.


#9

“If you neglect to excercise by excessive study, this would be bad.”

I disagree.

I St. Timothy iv. 8: “For bodily exercise is profitable to little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

It is better to study than to exercise. To neglect exercise is not a sin. Monks do not “set out time” to exercise. Their only exercise is the physical labour they do. This is exercise enough. Exercising, for example, by merely lifting weights is a waste of time: it accomplishes nothing. On the other hand, exercising by doing physical labour: cleaning, gardening, ect. not only is a good exercise but also accomplishes tasks. It is much better to do this than it is to simply set aside time to do physical exercise such as weight lifting.

In any event, exercising the soul comes before exercising the mind. Exercising the mind comes before exercising the body. It would not be a sin to pray all day and neglect any exercise of the mind or body. It would not be a sin to simply read and pray all day, not exercising the body, yet it surely is a sin to simply exercise the body, neglecting to exercise the soul.

There is no sin in failing to exercise because you are studying. In fact, it is better to study than it is to exercise, as St. Paul instructs St. Timothy in his first epistle to him.


#10

[quote=CatholicCrusade]“If you neglect to excercise by excessive study, this would be bad.”

I disagree.
[/quote]

Ah, I think you are objecting because I am unclear. Exercise to me does not mean the treadmill. I doubt OP has an obligation to use exercise equipment. For me, to exercise is just to do the basic needed for health, like moving about the house, gardening, washing, working, whatever. But you did miss a word of mine, excessive study. I am not talking about regular study.

If OP is like me, I need a certain amount of sleep to properly absorb information and to maintain a prayer life. So, for me to study so much I don’t move around, sleep, eat, pray, or whatever is necessary for my integral health, well, that would be wrong. After all, I am not supposed to neglect my health so much that I get so sick that I can’t go to mass on Sunday or visit my parents. Something would be out of wack there. There is some responsibility to maintain your health. See CCC:

**2288 **Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.


#11

Dear Paris Blue,

An earlier post mentioned the concept of scupulosity. It can be dangerous for you to be scrupulous. Everyone is a sinner. Do not get consumed by guilt because of worrying that everything you do is a sin. Do a good examination of conscious, participate in the sacrament of reconciliation, and then rest assured that God has forgiven you. God is all merciful. Once you have confessed your sins, do not dwell on those sins. You are absolved and you should carry on with a clear conscoius as you thank God for his mercy.


#12

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