Most people in the world are in mortal sin

I have recently fallen back into a very frustrating pattern of mortal sin (masturbation and viewing of erotic materials) which I was away from for nearly a year (the first time since I was very young). It is only since I became Catholic that I have been able to avoid this for any decently long stretch of time…

I am making confessions at every opportunity, and trying my best to overcome this. I know that I have a tendency to fall back in to this when I am stressed or depressed, and so I am working on those two triggers, as well.

It might sound strange, but through this process, it has struck me that most people in the world are in mortal sin - and it breaks my heart when I think about it.

What can help me learn to come to grips with this terribly grim fact?

You don’t know this.

Knowing that people commit acts that are objectively grave matter does not tell you that they are “in mortal sin”. You can judge actions as right and wrong, but leave judging people up to God.

Trust that Christ’s mercy is sufficient for you and sufficient for anyone else too.

It is presumptuous to assume that most people are in mortal sin, since you have no way of knowing that. That knowledge belongs to God alone. There are certain conditions that have to be met for a sin to be mortal, even if it is objectively grave, and we are not privy to those conditions–only God can truly judge that.

Focusing on your own spiritual state will keep your mind off of others.

As others have said, we can’t know how many people are in mortal sin. But it is certainly true that at this time, many many people are constantly committing gravely wrong acts. Not quiet as grim as first, but still grim.

How to come to terms with it? Pray for them - ask God to help them as you ask Him to help you. Aside from that, all we can do is have the same hope for everyone else that we do for ourselves - that we and they will ultimately accept God, regardless of any missteps along the way.

Not strange. By finding yourself so often in this state, and by desiring to remain hidden and to reject the idea of being somewhat “special”, you are now assuming that most people are in this state.

It is not so. While truly we are all sinners in need of salvation, and in this process of falling and raising we collaborate with the Lord’s sanctifying grace, we do not know how the Mighty to Save dispenses His grace through the Church. You cannot assume that most people are in a state of mortal sin simply because they don’t even know what the Sacrament of Confession is. Those thoughts in fact bring no aid to your own spiritual life. You *must *trust in the efficacy of the redemptive work of Christ continued through His Church, as well as in God’s divine providence.

I suggest you begin to pray consistently to Our Lady for the gift of chastity, possibly every night as well as through the Rosary (if at least one decade per day, to begin with). The more you grow in devotion to her, the more the Mater Castissima will fight away those suggestions from the spirit against Christ.

If this is a very consistent pattern, do keep a regular confessor and maybe even ask him for a time of spiritual direction. Don’t rely on yourself alone!

But please, do pray for all who struggle with these sins. Perhaps this will help, to know that in prayer and penance you are also helping all others who struggle in a similar way.

Take heart, it’s not so grim at all.
If Adam and Eve were pure and innocent and sinned and caused the fall of all of humankind merely by taking a bite of fruit without knowing the serious consequences…and since *all *men and women are supposedly born sinners…then the fact that everyone in the world may be in mortal sin, as you are worrying, is kind of a given and pretty normal from Day One.

That’s not too hard of a fact to come to grips with, I think you can do it!
God has arranged things this way, it seems.
Just have faith and keep concentrating on your own life I think.


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