Multiple mortal sins


How to answer:

If I commit a mortal sin and know that I need to go to confession, what is risk is committing another time or two before confession (assume the length of time before confession is not delayed)?

What is wrong with the logic, that if the first bullet killed me, the second can do me no harm?



Well, if it weren’t for an essential element of Confession called contrition you might have an argument. You cannot confess a sin you willfully intend to do again. It invalidates your confession.

So, how would you explain your contrition to the priest when you get to the part where you were really sorry but continued doing it?

Also, your contrition should come from SORROW for having offended God. I can’t think of anything more offensive to God than thumbing your nose at him and saying, “well, what will a few more sins hurt…”

You personally drive the nails that much deeper into his hands and feet when you have that attitude.


I suppose in a twisted way the logic is correct. Damned is damned and it only takes once. However to intentionally follow this logic says something about your character and it is not something to brag about. You see sin can become a habit and your heart can become hardened. Your love of the sin deteriorates your love of God. One way of looking at it is, if you fell in a hole would you take a shovel and dig it deeper before you tried to climb out? That would be rather ignorant, wouldn’t it?


If you did something that seriously hurt a loved one - spouse, parents, children - and they made that hurt plain to you would you keep doing it anyway since you already hurt them once? What kind of love is that?


Continuing to sin mortally will weaken your will and predispose you to additional and worse sins, meaning that you will be increasingly unlikely to go to confession in the first place.

Also, there is a chance you will be saved if you die with perfect contrition. Obviously, you can’t keep sinning mortally and have perfect contrition. Instead, strive for perfect contrition until you can get to confession.

No matter how many times you’ve sinned mortally, if you bring yourself to confession with the simple contrition that you are afraid of going to Hell, you will be absolved. So don’t let that stop you from going. If you drive yourself to the parish, you can pretty much bet that you don’t want to go to Hell. Otherwise, why would you waste your time?

What I’m trying to say is, don’t not go to Confession.


I have a friend who was in the infantry in Viet Nam. He told me that what bothers him to this day was that killing his first man was hard, but it got easier and easier with each man he killed.

Mortal sin is not all that different. Once you are out of a state of grace, continuing to turn away from God becomes easier and easier. While the sacrament of reconciliation eliminates the sin, it doesn’t necessarily cleanse the will from wanting to continue to commit the sin that got one into trouble in the first place.


Laudatur Iesus Christus.

This argument is naïve. There are two answers: First, if this person did not make it to confession, but died in his sins, then punishment in hell would be more severe. Those who elect against God are not all equal. Even the damned are judged by their actions and punished accordingly. So, the second sin can increase punishment.

The second answer has two parts: If such a person did reach confession, there are two consequences of the second sin which must be faced; I will address the less serious first:

Even for one forgiven, temporal punishment would increase for the second sin – in part this has been described by other commentators in this thread as the weakening of will and other ill consequences of accumulating sin, further, if the punishment is not sufficiently expiated in this life, then purgation will be required after death.

However, there is a more serious problem at Confession for such a person: What sins would he confess? There is the second sin itself, however, it seems that the hard-hearted calculation and the cynical manipulation of the grace of the Sacrament might constitute far greater sins. Would such a person have contrition for these more serious sins? How could he claim contrition at all, unless he underwent a significant conversion between the time that he made this calloused calculation and the moment of kneeling in the confessional?

If this form of reasoning were accepted, the heart that accepted it would be in serious danger of the unforgivable sin: of calling good evil and evil good, of locking himself in a cage from which he could not believe holiness to be available to him. This “logic” may constitute, in substance, a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Unless the reasoning itself is repudiated and a conversion of heart found, it might be that this sin would be unforgivable.

Cave et Spiritus Sapientiae tecum.

John Hiner


There’s three reasons not to:

First, only God can judge something truly mortal–so as far as you know, God may not have condemned you for the first one.

Second, the intensity of the torments of Hell will be worse depending on how many sins you have. Those additional sins would lead to worse torments in Hell.

Third, for love of God. If you truly love God, you will not want to keep sinning. St. Francis de Sales said he would keep loving God even if he went to Hell. Likewise, in case you don’t make it to confession, your sins can be forgiven extra-sacramentally if you have perfect contrition–contrition based on love of God alone. A desire to refrain from grave sins even when one is not in the state of grace is a great sign of unconditional love for God.


If you are using it as a rationale for further mortal sins, then perhaps you’d need to discuss correcting conscience with the priest that you confess to. I would…


When you are drown in a river which depth is about your height. Would you think it might be worsen if you are being drown in the Ocean?

Do you have the thought that you might make it out of the river if you get drown there?

Besides, don’t think for youself only, think of God first when you commit the first time and try not to do it anymore.


We are called to love the Lord with all our hearts, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Love isn’t selfish.
While avoiding punishment is a motivational reason for obedience, love for the Lord needs to be the primary one.
1 John 4:18 "Love has no room for fear; rather perfect love casts out all fear. And since fear has to do with punishment, love is not yet perfect in one who is afraid."
I hope that helps.


it does not apply to bullets and it does not apply to sins, each additional bullet or sin causes its own additional damage, and the damage may increase exponentially.


Thank you, points one and three are a big help. I hadn’t thought of the possibility that any mitigating factors to the first offense they would not apply in the second.

Is the idea that worse sins lead to worse torments in hell a particular teaching of the church? In this case the punishment for all mortal sins is not the same.



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