Mortal sin easy or difficult to commit?

It seems to me that it is difficult to commit a mortal sin. The three conditions for a mortal sin are:

1) It involves serious matter.
2) Full consent.
3) Full knowledge.

I could not find the three conditions in the CCC. Therefore, I could be mistaken. I can truthfully say that only one time in my life I committed a mortal sin-- I still sinned because I wanted to and did not care about the consequences. Yes, I went to confession and received absolution.

I just know that I have broken my relationship with Jesus when I go to Confession. So, why do people talk about committing mortal sin as if it were easy. Meeting all three of these conditions seems to be rather difficult to me. What do you think?

It’s easy if you do not care about God.

Consider what the effects of a mortal sin are… It implies the complete separation from God. A priest once told me it is like spitting in the face of God, telling Him that we never want to have anything to do with Him. That is a pretty serious condition and must take very serious and deliberate action to create such a condition.

When you know the consequences are eternal damnation then it should be a very wicked thing that warrants such a harse punishment.

It’s actually very easy to commit a mortal sin when one allows oneself to be caught up in the world, influenced by it. Well, so many people are in a state of mortal sin. It’s easy to just follow the “herd”.

This is where one’s conscience should come in. How do you feel about it? If you can’t feel anything about it then I suspect you are without any conscience at all and what you have done may be a mortal sin, theoretically. But remember, God loves and forgives us if we truly repent.

I was raised in South Florida and attended a Jesuit Parish Parochial School from the First Grade through the Ninth, skipping one grade. I had a rigorous pre-V II religious training to the extent of learning Latin starting in the First Grade and ultimately becoming fairly fluent in it.
I went to sea (Foreign flag Mercant Ship) at a very young age and segued into enlisting into the US Navy when I became old enough. As a result I drifted away from the Church. I did marry in the Catholic Church and had my sons (born while on active duty in the Navy) Baptized in the Church. However, I was effectively away from the Church for over 50 years.
Believe me when I tell you commiting a Mortal Sin is a no brainer when you are away from the Church! You don’t even think about it. One lives a relatively moral life, if for no other reason than to keep out of jail, or kicked off of a ship, but sin? not even a thought about it!
Needless to say, when I came back and had to make a General Confession, all I could say to the priest was how long I was away and that the only commandment I hadn’t violated was that I hadn’t murdered or otherwise killed anyone, and I did these things innumerable times.
I have been back now a little over 10 years and I have had to watch my step carefully to break a lot of bad habits. But let me reiterate: It is very easy to commit a mortal sin. Those of you who don’t think this is so are being deluded by Satan…give that some thought!
All the arguments and legalism about this subject are little more than devils ploys to deceive you!

Is mortal sin easy or difficult to commit?

Think of Adam and Eve.


You said:

I could not find the three conditions in the CCC.

Here they are:

CCC 1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131

You said:

. . . why do people talk about committing mortal sin as if it were easy.

You also said:

I still sinned because I wanted to and did not care about the consequences.

I think you just answered your own question.

1 Like

I only wish it weren’t so easy. It is far easier for me to commit mortal sin than it is for me to get myself to confession. I wish that were the other way around.

1 Like

[quote=Luke 12:47-48]And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more.

I doubt an argument before the all knowing Almighty, the perfect judge of my soul, that I didn’t have full knowledge or deliberate consent will do much good when I stand before Him. We must aim for heaven always. He alone knows our hearts and if our sins are mortal or not.

1 Like

We can have a kind of knowledge of such…hence we are to examine our conscience and if we are conscious of any mortal sin we accuse ourselves of such in confession.

1 Like

(such does not fit into a blanket answer of easy or not – persons are different and in different places in life…and in the spiritual life…but certainly God is faithful and gives us his grace -so let us always turn to him to avoid such – and if we should fall -turn right away to God --Jesus is the Good Shepherd and he wants us to have true life!)

Here is the complete text from the Catechism:

Also from the Compendium issued by Pope Benedict XVI:

  1. When does one commit a mortal sin?


One commits a mortal sin when there are simultaneously present: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent. This sin destroys charity in us, deprives us of sanctifying grace, and, if unrepented, leads us to the eternal death of hell. It can be forgiven in the ordinary way by means of the sacraments of Baptism and of Penance or Reconciliation.

  1. When does one commit a venial sin?


One commits a venial sin, which is essentially different from a mortal sin, when the matter involved is less serious or, even if it is grave, when full knowledge or complete consent are absent. Venial sin does not break the covenant with God but it weakens charity and manifests a disordered affection for created goods. It impedes the progress of a soul in the exercise of the virtues and in the practice of moral good. It merits temporal punishment which purifies.

Thank you for this important clarification! I did not speak as clearly as I should have.


All sin is grave sin.

1 Like

Well, lets look at what the Church does for mortal sin and what Jesus did. Jesus died for our sin, our mortal sin, because that is the one that would keep us from heaven. The Church has the ability to forgive sin through the sacrament of confession and even the power to forgive the consequence of sin through baptism or indulgences.
The CHurch under guidance of the Holy Spirit has mandated that a Catholic MUST go to confession at LEAST once a year. What the Church is saying is that no matter who you are, no matter if you are a cardinal, a nun, a Catholic in the pew, or a future saint like Mother Theresa you Have to go to confession at least once a year. And if you study the saints and the Popes you will find that the most Holy, Most pious people in our faith commited mortal sin often and went to confession often.
If I ever met someone older than 7 who ever said “I only commited one mortal sin my entire life” I would think they were not really able to evaluate their own conscience. Or I would think they were close to Mary in virtue.

That being said, Mary was sinless and she was human. And we have to have faith that we can be sinless because Jesus tells the woman to “Go and sin no more” which would make Jesus a lunatic if he gave her a command she could not follow. So it is possible I am sure.

Honestly, I cannot go very long without breaking the 1st commandment. I put other “gods” before God often. I also do not love my neighbor as myself. And those would seem to be the Gravest offences, and honestly all the other commands flow from those two.

1 Like

To me commiting mortal sin is almost impossible. That´s only true, when you leave out all those venial sins. I usually sin mortally, when I don´t avoid the near occassion of sin. Temptation increases as I give in to venial sins. Jesus said this also, when He said If I find grace in you, it will be increased, but if I find you lacking, what you have will be taken away. The only way is to constantly make the effort to grow in His Grace, through the Holy Sacraments. God bless:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

The question of whether it is difficult or easy to commit a mortal sin is a difficult one to answer because various factors will increase or decrease culpability.
Central to these factors would be (IMHO) maturity, not in the physical sense but in the mental / emotional / spiritual sense.

No you are not mistaken…but it is important to understand what is meant by these terms. Bookcat supplied a link that I encourage everyone to go to and read - but for the purposes of this conversation I am pasting the two statements that define the above conditions. They are…
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.” The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
Note here that the Catechism goes through each commandment providing considerable explanation on each.
The above reference to the 10 commandments would then mean - the commandments as explained and taught by the Church.

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. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
A very important aspect here. “Full knowledge” simply means that you know it’s a sin. It doesn’t even specify that you must know it is a “grave” sin - only that you know it is a sin. Choice is simply a matter of having freedom to act - to make a personal choice.

I can truthfully say that only one time in my life I committed a mortal sin-- I still sinned because I wanted to and did not care about the consequences. Yes, I went to confession and received absolution.

I just know that I have broken my relationship with Jesus when I go to Confession. So, why do people talk about committing mortal sin as if it were easy. Meeting all three of these conditions seems to be rather difficult to me. What do you think?

I think that people speak of it as being easy because there can be a number of sinful impulses contained in a given act. A lie can spring from envy or greed. Theft can have elements of anger. But in all cases, a sin committed with knowledge contains a sin against the first commandment.

You state that when you committed a mortal sin, you knew it and didn’t care. This is important to recognize because in not caring that you were sinning you were violating the first commandment. You were not putting God first in your life. So - no matter what the other sin was - the rejection of God and God’s proper place in your life.

If God is placed first in ones life and if one seeks only to please Him - then sinning of any kind is difficult. But if one does not place God first in their lives…sinning, even serious sinning, becomes quite easy.


Mortal sin of lust and adultery and covetousness are extremely easy to commit. I commit them all daily. By adultery, I mean simply the act of looking at women in a sexual manner, naked, by porn, or some other method, and maybe continuing to masturbation. Or even looking at women you see on the street every day in a lustful manner in your mind. These are all mortal sins. I struggle and struggle with them. I am full of guilt over them. Yet I am so drawn to this sinful behavior.

I find myself even trying to justify it by saying God made these beautiful women attractive to us men, and created sex - and masturbation - by way of creating our bodies, and it feels good. This is totally against doctrine and church teachings, I know. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to conquer this sin, if I am doomed. The guilt and teachings of the church about these things scare me that I am guaranteed to go to Hell. But WHY should we be tempted so? Why should pleasurable things be so bad? I am a very weak person.

Such is not the case.

A few quick notes …:slight_smile:

Actually such would not be correct here. Full knowledge is regarding the moral character of the act, thought, omission.

*Not *just the general sinfulness of it.

Now it can happen that a person may not know the term “grave sin” but certainly knows that murder is very serious…I am not meaning that they have to have all the theological knowledge and names…

But it is important that it is not simply “that you know it’s a sin” that is not what is meant.

I perosonally think it depends on the person and there lusts

But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. James 1:14-15

Also if we dont fear God then we will sin easily

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28

Fair enough…

Could you give me your opinion on the idea that freely choosing to commit even a small sin - with sufficient knowledge - also involves a sin against the first (and greatest) commandment?


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