Mortal Sin, Grace, Protection

If one is in a state of unconfessed mortal sin I have heard that you are outside of Gods grace which I understand. But I have also heard you are outside of his protection. Is this true? And if it is true in what context should I understand protection to be? Meaning, if you are unconfessed and in mortal sin does God just not doing anything to keep you safe from harm or answer your prayers?

God Bless

God would not do (or fail to do) something in retaliation for mortal sin. He will still hear our prayers (he is omniscient, after all). But, being outside of Grace, we have distanced ourselves from God. That’s why we are taught, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” [James 5:16]. Outside of Grace, we have decided that we don’t want God to be part of our life, and he won’t force himself on us. This is not because HE refuses, but because WE refuse.

I’m not sure what manner of protection you refer to.

Catechism of the Catholic Church


1451 Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called “perfect” (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.


That is what Im trying to understand. Someone on another thread posed if you are in a state of mortal sin you are outside of God grace and protection. I know the grace part but I wasn’t sure what protection entails. Protection from what? Physical harm, spiritual harm? I have noticed that when I am in a state of mortal sin I am easily tempted, maybe that is what is meant by protection.

I dunno. Obviously, people can be physically harmed. God doesn’t put up a force field around us.

have noticed that when I am in a state of mortal sin I am easily tempted, maybe that is what is meant by protection.

Yeah, but you were in a state of Grace when you committed that mortal sin :smiley:

Very true.

I would suggest asking the poster what he meant by “protection”. Is it a thread here on CAF? If so, could you provide a link to it and give the number of the post.

Perhaps he just meant that if you die unrepentant of that sin you will suffer eternal damnation – God will not “protect” you from that.

I can’t seem to find the post. Im sure what you stated above was the case. I was just wondering if there was some teaching on God not protecting those in mortal sin. It appears there is not a teaching on that, only on the loss of Grace.

Protection from going to hell if you die.

That is probably what the guy was talking about, but I’m uncomfortable with it. It assumes that we go to hell if we die, and God will “protect” some of us (who are in a State of Grace) from this “default” fate.

The Church teaches that everyone who dies in a State of Grace is entitled to salvation. No protection is necessary, because hell has no claim on us.

For Baptized Christians, hell is the exception, not the rule. 100% of people who are Baptized and then suddenly die are assured salvation.

And God does not condemn ANYONE to hell - we do that ourselves through (post-Batsimal, unconfessed) mortal sin, which requires our own completely freewil consent and our own knowledge of the mortally sinful nature of the act.

I don’t like the idea that God “protects” us from hell. Baptized Christians cannot go to hell unless they chose to do so.

I think you need to look at the broad spectrum of human history more.

By our fallen sin nature we are eternally separated from God. We are condemned.

But Jesus conquered death and bridged the gap and gave us the gift of salvation. By his dying on the cross he protects us from the punishment of hell we should have.

He eternally stands in the gap rescuing those who reach out to him…protecting them.

It’s like this,

Your on a ship and you may be entitled to get on a lifeboat but that doesn’t mean the lifeboat is not protecting you from the sinking ship as well.

Is it unconfessed because one is not sorry for their sin? Why would that person avoid or delay removing that sin from their soul?

Not necessarily. If one usually attends confession at the Saturday time and one committed mortal sin on, say, Friday, he would be in unconfessed mortal sin until Saturday.

okay, but one can also see a priest outside the usual Saturday times for confession. Suppose something happens and they can’t get to confession on Saturday?

I understand. I am not trying to state that people don’t have access to confession but there are times when we are in unconfessed mortal sin. It is inevitable. Whether it be for 1 hour or 10 days and delaying confession may or may not be someones fault.

understood. That’s why I asked the questions

Not sure if this will answer your question. A while back, I was watching Father Mitch Pacwa on ETWN and he commented on a similar topic. I heard him state that if an individual is in the state of mortal sin and is intending to go to confession as soon as possible (depending on availability in locale) Our Lord would look upon this favorably should he/she have an unexpected mishap. His example was a person driving their automobile to confession and having a serious accident and resulting in possible death. I assume his example would also apply if the person unexpectedly died in their sleep Friday night before going to confession on Saturday. I also am assuming they made a sincere Act of Contrition after committing the mortal sin.

Father Mich Pacwa was specific that the“protection” was from eternal damnation. However, he deferred that only Our Lord would make that decision.

God Bless and Peace to all.

Makes sense.

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