Mortal Sin & Loss of Salvation

I’ve wondered about this as it’s unsettled within me. I believe in God, & I believer what the Scriptures teach about true love driving out fear, but admittedly this is something that does strike fear in me.

In the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 23 - Life of Christ, p. 313, it states the following:

"Sins are evaluated according to their gravity or seriousness. We commit mortal sin when we consciously and freely choose to do something grave against divine law and contrary to our final destiny.

There are three conditions for a sin to be a mortal sin: grave matter, full knowledge, and deliberate consent (freedom). Mortal sin destroys the loving relationship with God that we need for eternal happiness. If not repented, it results in a loss of love and God’s grace and merits eternal punishment in hell, that is, exclusion from the Kingdom of God and thus eternal death."

What then becomes of the indelible mark - the seal at Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Does God abandon us? Or rather, does this become a situation of us leaving Him by our choice to remain unrepentant?

How am I to understand/reconcile this from a mercy standpoint?

What if the offender intended to repent but died before confession was possible?

When repentant, before & after confession, what happens to the indelible mark? Does God the Holy Spirit leave us?

Trying to better understand.

Thank you in advance.

As the term indicates, the indelible mark of baptism, confirmation, or holy orders is indelible – it cannot be erased or removed. Even those in hell who received those sacraments still bear their spiritual marks, now as marks of especial shame.

God never leaves or forsakes us, though mortal sin does destroy the more intimate relationship with Him that we enjoy when our souls are in a state of grace. Happily, God is always offering us the grace to repent and restore that relationship. It was for that very purpose that He became incarnate and gave His life for us. In mortal sin it is we who abandon God, like the prodigal son; His mercy is evident in that he stands ready to forgive and runs after us while we are “still afar off,” like that son’s father.

While the “get hit by a bus on the way to confession” is sometimes brought up in the older catechisms to encourage Christians not to presume on God’s forgiveness, I don’t believe that God plays “gotcha” games with salvation and damns people based on an accident of timing. We already believe that God will save a catechumen who dies while in preparation for baptism (baptism or blood or desire, depending on the manner of death). Likewise, though He has established the sacrament of Reconciliation as the normal, visible means of absolution, God knows the repentant heart and all our intentions, and can save the penitent one who dies without an opportunity for a final confession.

Thank you.

God’s mercy is inexhaustible. But He won’t force it upon us. Until our wills begin to align with His, and finally remain there, it’s a matter of ourselves abandoning Him:

"1732 As long as freedom has not bound itself definitively to its ultimate good which is God, there is the possibility of choosing between good and evil, and thus of growing in perfection or of failing and sinning. This freedom characterizes properly human acts. It is the basis of praise or blame, merit or reproach."

It’s always been a matter of the human will, which He endeavors to cultivate and draw into ever greater justice or righteousness, defined most fully by the virtue of love.

And a seriously wayward heart is revealed by our actions:
**"1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance”…"

Mortal sin is always a sin against love:
**"1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.

Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it."**

Thank you.

1874To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.

Re;Mortal Sins in scripture, the consequences indicate why they are mortal #15, #10 ,
bottom line, mortal sin is not difficult to commit

Re; repentance, “By itself however, **imperfect contrition **cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance” see [/FONT]

other passages that show absolution in the confessional = forgiveness & absolution with God **& **the Church.

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Baptism doesn’t override one’s free will.

We leave Him

We leave that up to God

The sacrament of reconciliation through absolution, removes the stain of ALL sin

Thank you.

So when we confess, God is still there waiting for us, but not in relationship with Him, & after confession, we are once again in communion.

And we lose grace with sin? And sanctifying grace as well?

Once again, trying to understand. Thank you for your patience.

with regards to mortal sin, Yes

venial sin, technically does not need sacramental absolution. At the confeteor at the beginning of mass, all venial sins are forgiven.

only with mortal sin do we lose sanctifying grace

Sacramental absolution restores sanctifying grace

It helps to stand back in order to be able to see the big picture in all this. It’s not the act per se that is the primary issue; rather it’s the state of our soul, of our hearts, that is reflected in the act. To knowingly and deliberately commit some terrible act against God or neighbor is to reveal ourselves as being turned away from love/goodness/God. Just as obedience is the hallmark of a being in a state of grace, who has embraced the light, disobedience and lawlessness are the fruits of one who prefers darkness. This person doesn’t sin accidentally and ignorantly, but willfully.

So in confessing, arevwe therefore staring over afresh - as with nothing?

providing we have been honest and haven’t knowingly left out any mortal sins, then yes one starts out with a clean slate

Yes, if I understand the question correctly, confessing places us back into communion with God, back into a state of sanctifying grace with the Trinity residing within. In Catholicism man can reject grace; he can always turn back away from God, but then have a change of heart and return to Him again. God will never refuse a repentant heart; His offer of forgiveness is unending.

So as with sin, sacraments are acts which involve our own dispositions and intentions. For adults, Baptism isn’t valid unless genuine faith is present-why and how would God cleanse, renew, and justify someone who didn’t really care? For infants the faith of the family and community stand in-but their own faith will be required in order to remain in that justified state as they reach the age where that is possible. Reconciliation takes place only to the extent that we are authentically contrite or repentant. The Eucharist requires us to be in a state of grace, because why would we even truly *want *to commune with God-and how could we- if our hearts are turned away from Him to begin with, if we, in truth, are opposed to love of God and neighbor?

In the end it’s all about the heart, which is what God judges by according to Scripture. Sacraments are sort of basic Christian theology in action; some of the most important and valuable avenues of grace that God has provided which afford us the understanding and the means to live and work out our faith, to work out our salvation together with He who works in us.

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