Mortal vs. Venial Sin


#1

I’m still trying to understand mortal vs. venial sin.

What is mortal sin? what are some examples of it?

What is venial sin? what are some examples of it?

I’ve heard that mortal sin is serious and venial isn’t, but what is the difference?

How is it possible that mortal sin can make us end up in hell if we die in it?

I think envy is a mortal sin & I know everyone feels that way once in a while just naturally. They did not choose to be envious, it just happened! how could that be fair then? we all are apt to sin.

:confused:

It kind of makes me scared, if this idea of mortal vs. venial sin is true, because I’m worried if I’d do mortal sin. [which I am half way into believing it is. I’m one foot into catholicism and one foot into protestantism, so to speak]

Thanks for trying to help.


#2

In the first letter of John, he speaks of two types of sin. One that leads to death and the other that does not.

Mortal Sin (The one that leads to death) is an action that is a result of a conscious decision to separate from or turn one’s back to God. In other words you place something at a greater level than God. Examples of Mortal Sin are murder, adultry or any out of wed lock sex, lying under oath, etc.

Venial Sin (The one that does not lead to death) is an action or thought that may be intentional or unintentional that is not appropiate behavior or thoughts but do not result in separation from God. Examples of Venial Sin can be getting angry with someone because they inconvenienced you, looking at other people inappropiately, what we call little white lies, etc.

Yes mortal sin is more grevious than venial for mortal sin does separate us from God and as such will impede us from entering Heaven. But venial sin should not be taken lightly for from venial sin you can receive temporal punishment due to the sin(s) committed and usually venial sin that is not addressed will eventually lead one to more grevious sins. Example: Looking at the opposite sex lustfully to pornography to masturbation to extra-marital sex, etc.

Concerning how mortal sin can make us end up in hell is you have to look at what mortal sin is. Ultimately mortal sin is a rejection of God and the goodness He has given you. Those people that are in hell and will end up there are those who do not want a life with God and as such God will not force them to live in heaven with Him. That is free will. God sends no one to hell. People go there by their own free will. Is there pain and suffering in hell? Yes. Why wouldn’t there be? We expect murderers and rapist and child molesters to be punished here on earth. Why should we expect anything different in the next?

Concerning envy being a mortal sin, it really is dependant on how far you have gone. If you are envious of someone because they have a beautiful new car and that is as far as it goes then you haven’t crossed the line. If you scratch the car with a key or deflate the tires or damage the car or it’s owner then you most probably crossed that line.

Hopefully this helps, it isn’t as thorough as I would like but you could write a book on this subject.


#3

quote=joyfulseraph;3706425]I’m still trying to understand mortal vs. venial sin.

Check out the Catechism here:
scborromeo.org/ccc.htm

What is mortal sin? what are some examples of it?

Mortal sin is a sin which seperates you from a living relationship with God. Like a mortal wound kills you, a mortal sin kills your relationship with God. Basically the 10 commandments are a list of the mortal sins. But mortal sin requires several things:

It requires a behaviour that is seriously wrong (grave matter)
It requires that you are aware of this (informed conscience) and
It requires that you act freely in choosing the act (free will)

What is venial sin? what are some examples of it?

All wrongdoing is sin(cf 1 John 5). Littering is a sin, but it doesnt kill your relationship with God (venial sin)

How is it possible that mortal sin can make us end up in hell if we die in it?

That is because mortal sins are so opposed to God’s will that a person freely choosing one of those sins over obedience to God - without repenting - chooses a life apart from God rather than God.
God respects that choice because forcing us to do something against our will obviates a mutual, loving relationship.

I think envy is a mortal sin & I know everyone feels that way once in a while just naturally. They did not choose to be envious, it just happened! how could that be fair then? we all are apt to sin.
:confused:

I hope you now understand that someone who EXPERIENCES envy apart from choosing to be envious has not committed a mortal sin. Never forget that repenting, confessing and being absolved of any sin restores your relationship/life in God.

It kind of makes me scared, if this idea of mortal vs. venial sin is true, because I’m worried if I’d do mortal sin. [which I am half way into believing it is. I’m one foot into catholicism and one foot into protestantism, so to speak]

Thanks for trying to help.

Fear of God is a good thing and a form of grace. Proverbs 1:7 “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It should not define your relationship to God, but if you are dead in sin it is definitely a form of grace. To experience the fear of God in order to turn your life around is a true blessing.


#4

63. Is original sin the only kind of sin?
Original sin is not the only kind of sin; there is another kind, called actual sin, which we ourselves commit.

Amen, amen, I say to you that whosoever commiteth sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)

64. What is actual sin?
Actual sin is any willful thought, desire, word, action, or omission forbidden by the law of God.

65. How many kinds of actual sin are there?
There are two kinds of actual sin: mortal sin and venial sin.

66. What is mortal sin?
Mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God.

Flee from sins as from the face of a serpent; for if thou comest near them, they will take hold of thee. (Ecclesiasticus 21:2)

67. Why is this sin called mortal?
This sin is called mortal, or deadly, because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace, the supernatural life of the soul.

Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose shall be given him. (Ecclesiasticus 15:18)
**
68. Besides depriving the sinner of sanctifying grace, what else does mortal sin do to the soul?**
Besides depriving the sinner of sanctifying grace, mortal sin makes the soul an enemy of God, takes away the merit of all its good actions, deprives it of the right to everlasting happiness in heaven, and makes it deserving of everlasting punishment in hell.

For the wages of sin is death; but the grace of God, life everlasting in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

69. What three things are necessary to make a sin mortal?
To make a sin mortal these three things are needed:

the thought, desire, word, action, or omission must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong;
the sinner, must be mindful of the serious wrong;
the sinner must fully consent to it.

70. What is venial sin?
Venial sin is a less serious offense against the law of God, which does not deprive the soul of sanctifying grace, and which can be pardoned even without sacramental confession.

Be ye therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 6:48)
**
71. How can a sin be venial?**
A sin can be venial in two ways:

when the evil done is not seriously wrong;
when the evil done is seriously wrong, but the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong, or does not give full consent to it.

72. How does venial sin harm us?
Venial sin harms us by making us less fervent in the service of God, by weakening our power to resist mortal sin, and by making us deserving of God’s punishments in this life or in purgatory.

But I tell you, that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment. (Matthew 12:36)

73. How can we keep from committing sin?
We can keep from committing sin by praying and by receiving the sacraments; by remembering that God is always with us; by recalling that our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost; by keeping occupied with work or play; by promptly resisting the sources of sin within us; by avoiding the near occasions of sin.

And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members perish rather than that thy whole body go into hell. (Mark 9:42)

74. What are the chief sources of actual sin?
The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins.

75. Why are these called capital sins?
They are called capital sins, not because they, in themselves, are the greatest sins, but because they are the chief reasons why men commit sin.

76. What are the near occasions of sin?
The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.

I hope this helps:thumbsup:


#5

Hi, you cannot commit mortal sin by accident.
A sort of example; its equivalent to you being married, lets say, to a woman you love, would you want to harm her? - for a mortal sin, you would need to deliberately (knowingly) decide to turn on what you love, harm her seriously, and do it of your own free will. Those are the conditions. You cannot accidently *and *deliberately harm something you love. Hope that helps a bit.


#6

from joyfulseraph:
What is mortal sin? what are some examples of it?

from Philthy:
Basically the 10 commandments are a list of the mortal sins.

Not necessarily.

“You shall not steal.”
– Stealing a handful of paper clips from work would be a venial
sin.
– Stealing a car would most likely be a mortal sin.

“Honor your father and mother.”
– Refusing to help them in their old age may be a mortal sin.
– A child sassing at a parent when told to do the dishes would
most likely be committing a venial sin.

“Make holy the Lord’s day.”
– Intentionally missing Mass on Sunday (not due to illness, etc.)
is a mortal sin.
– Not paying attention during the entire Mass would be a venial
sin.

“You shall not commit adultery.”
– Using contraception within marriage, or engaging in sexual acts
outside of marriage, are mortal sins.
– Purposefully flirting with someone when you’re married is most
likely a venial sin.

etc.

Mortal sin is our intentionally separating ourselves from God through grievous sin.
Venial sin is wounding our relationship with God.

Also remember that “how we feel” about a particular act doesn’t determine whether it’s a sin. The Church is the teaching authority and we are to form our consciences according to what is taught. The attitude of “I don’t feel ready to have children and birth control pills let us have our fun” does not justify using them, nor does it take away the spiritual mortality of the act. “She makes me angry” does not justify the act of hitting someone.


#7

I’ll just follow the commandments and give a few examples:
1st Commandment:
To get involved in the occult.
To know that you are neglecting the things of God in your mind, heart, and actions. And knowing this, to deliberately choose to continue valuing, giving more importance, time and energy to those other things. (eg. job, sports, TV, … )

2nd Commandment:
To use God’s name deliberately in a bad way (swear falsely, curse someone, …)

3rd Commandment:
If Catholic, to miss Mass on Sunday for no good reason.

4th commandment:
To be physically or mentally abusive to your parents.
To refuse help and support to them in their old age (or perhaps other reasons - in illness, …)

5th Commandment
To murder someone - (not in self defense).
Abortion. To help someone get an abortion.
Deliberately do some serious physical harm to someone in anger - (again, doesn’t include doing it in self defense.)
Bitter, consuming hatred of someone.

6th Commandment
Adultery; fornication; masterbation; artificial birth control;

7th Commandment:
Stealing from someone who is poor.
Stealing large amounts.

8th Commandment:
Lying under oath.
Speaking falsehood deliberately in order to destroy another’s reputation.
Any lies that have very serious consequences that you knew would result from the lie.

9th and 10th:
Desiring another’s wife or goods to the point that it consumes your mind and heart; that you perhaps plot ways to separate the other person from what it is of theirs that you desire.

What is venial sin? what are some examples of it?

I think you can maybe see venial sins that would fall under the various commandments - from other posts.

It kind of makes me scared, if this idea of mortal vs. venial sin is true, because I’m worried if I’d do mortal sin. [which I am half way into believing it is. I’m one foot into catholicism and one foot into protestantism, so to speak]

To commit a mortal sin:

  1. you must know it is a serious sin (prior to committing it)
  2. desire and decide to do it anyway - full consent;
  3. actually do it

Also, there can be other circumstances that affect the seriousness. If a sin has become a habit (before you realized it was a serious sin - or for some other understandable reason), that may mitigate the seriousness.

I see there’s been a lot of activity since I started this post. Sorry for any repetition.


#8

I don’t know if you have contact with a priest or not. It would be best to speak to one about the particular situation that concerns you. He can help you with the seriousness of the situation.


#9

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=272670&postcount=2


closed #10

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