Mortal or venial sin? fraternal correction

Let’s say you’re a school teacher - a supply teacher who’s only there for one day. Sometimes kids take Our Lord’s Name in vain without realising or through habit… Not malice. You decide at the beginning of the day that you intend to correct them if this comes up. Yet there are a couple times when you don’t… Based on what St Thomas said about fraternal correction, is this a mortal or venial sin?

Situation number two… All the students are on the computers playing games in the library and you have nothing to do for around 45 minutes or so… You keep track of the noise level but use the time to do some non teaching related stuff like using the internet on your phone. Then you realize even if you had nothing to do, that was like wasting your work time? Is it like stealing from your employer? So mortal or venial sin?



You need to get professional help from your priest or a recommended spiritual director for your continued scrupulosity issues. These are examples of scrupulous thoughts.

I have a confessor who is also my spiritual director. But I need to decide if I can receive Communion tomorrow. Since St Thomas said that avoiding fraternal correction could be a mortal sin, I don’t understand how to tell. I know you said this to give me advice, but I do have a spiritual director and I’m here to ask about the question, and I’d rather it wouldn’t turn to a discussion about my spiritual life or scrupulosity. :slight_smile: its not something I’d discuss online now. I’m at the moment trying to understand what St Thomas meant so I can figure out about Communion tomorrow and then talk to my priest later who is very good and is helping me with scrupulosity :slight_smile: I am getting help for that.

In my opinion - whatever that’s worth! - neither example is a sin at all.

But I’m not sure you should be telling the students who are in your charge for only 1 day a week not to swear; I doubt it is in your job description. Not a sin, but probably not a wise thing to do.

Never turn down an opportunity to receive communion. Jesus longs to be in your heart. Do not deny Him unless the sin is truly grave, you knew it was grave and did it anyway, and you freely chose to commit this grave act.

Jesus doesn’t play a gotcha game with your soul. He wants to save you, forgive every sin big or little and be with you in communion. Trust in His mercy. Jesus told St. Faustina that one act of trust soothed the pain in His Sacred Heart more than hours and hours of prayer.

Sending you a big :hug1:Monica4316

Personally I don’t see these as mortal- there’s no grave matter, and both were due to oversights and not intentional. If they are sins at all, it’s venial, IMO.

Thank you for the replies! I hope they are venial… I do think they might be sins though? I mean based on what I read about fraternal correction… And I just feel guilty about the phone thing cause I shouldn’t have been doing it its like wasting time at work. Does anyone know what St Thomas meant about when not doing correction is mortal or venial? I read it and I don’t really understand it. Understanding that could help cause I often have to deal with this issue.

Thank you, I do believe Jesus wants us to receive Him :slight_smile: I get pretty confused about sins for some reason :frowning:

  1. Do you really think that we have the obligation, under pain of mortal sin, to reprimand every single person that we ever hear using a swear word?

  2. Supervising children is not doing nothing, or stealing from your employer.

These are not sin issues at all, these are perception/anxiety issues.

I don’t know I do see it as my responsibility… Its a Catholic school and if kids don’t use God’s Name respectfully, I want to inform them we only use His Name in prayer or respectful discussion, not casually. I’ve never had kids be upset over me telling them.

I am not speaking of every single person I’m speaking of children in my care…

My second example had nothing to do with supervision, but the fact that I was doing something else on the internet during supervision. I could have just sat there and done nothing if there wasn’t anything at all to do, bit o don’t like that I did something unrelated.

I was thinking public school - Catholic school is a bit different! My husband teaches 1 day per week at a Protestant school & he does reprimand students for behavior that would possibly be OK in a public school.

But forgetting once in a while? Not a sin. Being busy with something else and missing the moment? Not a sin.

Someone here said that Jesus doesn’t play gotcha. Remember that He LOVES you! He CARES about you! He isn’t going to send you to hell for what is, at most, a mistake.

We get spiritual strength from Communion - it is our spiritual food. Not receiving Communion because you don’t think you are good enough is spiritual anorexia.

I think if you really have nothing to do then you should be guilt free. As for swearing-if it is not taking the Lord’s name in vain then again you are not to worry. Unfortunately cussing is a very bad habit and demeaning to the persons that use bad/improper language. You can receive communion.

When I went to a secular middle school, not THAT long ago, I recall one old-fashioned teacher ALWAYS stated, as soon as he entered the room, “Gentlemen, HATS!” Meaning, that he wanted any of the boys who had hats on, to remove them.

As far as I know, no one ever challenged or reported him for this, even though this was just his personal preference, the school had no particular dress code, and there is certainly not a sin for anyone to wear a hat indoors. I don’t even know if what his religion was, or if he even followed any. It was just his belief that “gentlemen” didn’t wear hats indoors.

Although I guess if he’s still teaching in this day and age, some would be happy to accuse him of stifling the creativity of boys who wanted to wear hats, or some MRA types would accuse of him of being sexist by only demanding the boys remove their hats, or some such.

However, while I don’t think the OP is wrong to issue gentle fraternal correction, I’m not sure if she’s obligated to do so.

As for the second example, unless the teacher is using the school’s resources for her own personal use, I don’t see how using her own cell phone using her own money to access the Internet (as opposed to using the school intranet), unobtrusively is a sin.

As I recall, the legendary Yankee Stadium announcer, Bob Sheppard, always had a book in front of him that he would read during his shifts. Since if, say, a batter was in the box for 10 minutes having some kind of epic struggle with the pitcher, fouling off pitch after pitch, he had nothing to do for those 10 minutes, until the next batter finally came up and it was time to announce his name and number. Not to mention time out between innings and so on.

He didn’t hide it, either. Sometimes the TV booth would show him doing this. But it sure doesn’t seem like George Steinbrenner thought he was “stealing” by doing so!

I understand that… :slight_smile: I don’t worry about receiving Communion because I’m imperfect… I’m just honestly worried it was a mortal sin because I had a chance to say something and just didn’t, and knew it :frowning: that’s why I asked about St Thomas because he outlined when it’s mortal but I don’t understand

One time I had nothing to do I think but another time I should have been supervising more :frowning:

The students were taking Our Lord’s Name in vain though, not cussing

Monica, based on your past posts, I get the feeling you may suffer from scruples. If so, I hope you have a regular confessor to turn to. Posting your questions here is probably not going to silence the “what if it WAS a mortal sin” self-talk.

Help me to understand this. You are going to base receiving communion on what an online community comes to? How does that work. If a majority say it is a sin then you won’t receive but if a majority say it is fine you will? How is that a logical solution to your dilemma? Isn’t that asking us to judge culpability on your part.

OK. I’ll play, I don’t like to tell others what is or is not “mortal or venial” But you could possibly have grave matter here, you could not. :shrug: Best your own conscience comes to the conclusion. Or you could wait until you have a chance to talk to your spiritual director. But an examination of conscience is not a good tool if it amounts to a consensus of strangers on the internet…:shrug:

Because you seem to suffer from scruples, you should go to Communion unless your confessor/spiritual director tells you not to. You do not have the intention to commit a mortal sin, so your shortcomings cannot, in any way, be mortal sins.

It’s highly unlikely that they would even be venial sins, but if they were, you are forgiven of those in the Penitential Act.

Yes I have a spiritual director who is also my confessor who is helping me with scruples :slight_smile: I’m just trying to understand something for tomorrow because I cant’ speak to him till at least Sunday.

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