Never a mortal sin?

Is it possible for a person to go through life and never commit a mortal sin? And if it is possible does anyone know of another other than Jesus and mary in whom they believe never commited a mortal sin?

Absolutely; think about a person who dies (e.g., as a child) before attaining the ‘age of reason’. In other words, think about someone who dies before being able to sin “with full knowledge and deliberate intent.” Such a person would be incapable of sinning mortally.

That’s not your question, of course. Really, you’re asking about people who are capable of sinning “with full knowledge and deliberate intent,” and who nevertheless never do so.

Just off the top of my head, I can’t think of any doctrinal statement that suggests that all sin mortally. We are all sinners, of course; but that doesn’t imply that we are all mortal sinners. (This doesn’t mean that there exists a person who does not need Christ for their salvation, of course. :wink: )

I posit that it happens often.

Look, a LOT of people have a totally warped sense of sin: they see it everywhere; and, perhaps worse, they see confession as some sort of “get out of jail free” card. They have very little sense of God’s mercy.

We all know the standards about what mortal sin requires: full consent, etc. But what is it? It’s something so bad that it completely severs one’s relationship with God. I sure as heck hope I’ve never been in that state, and I don’t think I’ve ever been there. I hope I never will.

Why speculate?

St. Paul, Galatians 5:19-21:
It is obvious what proceeds from the flesh: lewd conduct, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, bickering, jealousy, outbursts of rage, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I have warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

Not only this, but there are also many with disabilities severe enough that they wouldn’t be able to commit mortal sin - and possibly not even commit personal sin at all.

I had the same thoughts. But again, that’s probably not what the OP is asking. They’re probably meaning of-age, healthy people, etc. And my answer to that question is: I don’t know. I don’t know all the mortal sins. But I suppose it’s possible? What about the saints? I would assume a lot of them never committed a mortal sin.

St. John Paul II went to confession twice a week. I doubt he had a warped view of sin. I also doubt that he looked at confession as some sort of legal hoop to jump through. Not to judge, but if you’ve truly never been in a state of mortal sin, then I’d like to get a relic from you.


True, but one does not need to have committed mortal sin to go to confession. Confession is a devotional practice for some and the graces obtained there could assist in avoiding mortal sin.

I know that by secular society’s standards I am a “good person” but oh man, I know the thought process that has gone down when I have done things I should not. I’ve definitely been in mortal sin. And sadly, even knowing that has sometimes not been enough to stop me beforehand. That’s the power of temptation.

I do think there’s a fair share of very scrupulous posters on CAF who unfortunately have very skewed perceptions of what sin is and is not. Hopefully they seek and get help.

I think it’s possible for people to go through life without sinning mortally (who technically would be capable of such.) But for me to speculate on it probably isn’t worth much because I already know I’m not one of 'em.

St. Therese of Lisieux never committed a mortal sin in her life. Her confessor confirmed this to her. She could truly write, as she did, that she could almost wish she had, so, like the repentant woman who annointed Jesus with oil, she could love him all the more for his great mercy and love (or words to that effect). It is possible to live ones life without commiting mortal sin, but a totally sinless life is not possible for any of us, except Jesus and Mary, of course.

Windmill, you know nothing about me. NOTHING (other than the pittance I give out on this board). And yet - you’ve kind of told me “there are times in your life where if you’d have died you’d have gone to hell.” That’s what you say when you offer comments - oblique or otherwise - like you did.

And I thus rest my case about some people here having a warped sense of sin: some people are so presumptuous & judgmental that they’d reach that conclusion about a total stranger like me. In the future, more introspection by you, and less obnoxiousness toward strangers, might be in order.

Saint Therese the little flower never committed mortal sin, and it was confirmed by her confessor. I’m sure there are several others. Mary and Jesus never committed ANY sin, not even Venial sins. They were also both freed from Original Sin from conception, without baptism. Though Jesus was later baptized, it was only for an example for us to follow, not because He had any need of it.

Oops! Beat me to it on St Therese. :o:D

I don’t judge your soul. Your confident you’ve never committed a mortal sin, then you’re a candidate for sainthood. A relic is entirely appropriate. I’ve never met a person who could honestly say that.

As you mentioned, a mortal sin requires grave matter, full knowledge, and complete consent. There are many common sins of grave matter that we must be on guard against: lust, wrath, drunkeness, skipping Holy Mass, stealing, lying, slander, masturbation, contraception, detraction, abortion, to list a few. My prayers are with you for living a holy life in such a fallen world.

Please pray for me, too.

Wow! Over reaction just a bit.

Your response may belie your initial assertion.

So now I’ve got 2 people calling me a mortal sinner.

Would anyone else like to join in? Does it make the posters feel better to throw a verbal rock at a total stranger?

Seriously, folks, This board makes Catholics look like either 1) judgmental to the point of nastiness and/or 2) scrupulous to the point of being paralyzed by fear of sin. There’s an awful lot of people who fit those categories here.

Baltimore Catechism No. 3

Q. 282. How many things are necessary to make a sin mortal?

A. To make a sin mortal, three things are necessary: 1.a grievous matter, sufficient reflection, and full consent of the will.

Q. 283. What do we mean by “grievous matter” with regard to sin?

A. By “grievous matter” with regard to sin we mean that the thought, word or deed by which mortal sin is committed must be either very bad in itself or severely prohibited, and therefore sufficient to make a mortal sin if we deliberately yield to it.

Q. 284. What does “sufficient reflection and full consent of the will” mean?

A. “Sufficient reflection” means that we must know the thought, word or deed to be sinful at the time we are guilty of it; and “full consent of the will” means that we must fully and willfully yield to it.
There is the teaching of the Catholic Church on presumption:


2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God’s almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).

So, Vico – how does what you’ve posted really add to this discourse?

Seriously – are you suggesting that lots of people are presumptuous?

Let’s be clear: The Church does not, and has never, spoken about whether or not anyone in particular is in heaven or isn’t (outside of Mary, and presumably Dismas, given Christ’s statement to him on the cross. It certainly has not opined as to the state of anyone’s soul while still alive. And if the Church doesn’t do that, with all due respect, who is anyone else to?

For polar guy:

For those of you who have never committed a mortal sin my praise goes out to you abundantly. I just ask that you keep me in your saintly prayers. I am not such a saint and as such need your prayers. I find the spiritual journey very difficult and, as such, know that I have failed my God and neighbor way too often. I can also tell you that going to confession for me is difficult, very difficult. . If I did not believe that it is the will of God for the forgiveness of sin, I would never, never share with another person my personal and intimate sins. But it is the will of God and as such I go to confession and yes I hope and pray for the mercy of God. Please don’t be too judgmental on me or others that need frequent confession… Going to confession is hard enough but even more difficult when others make it appear like one is seeking only a get out of jail free card. When I go to confession, I am seeking forgiveness of my sins, but also healing and transformation of my soul. I also believe the vast majority of those who use confession frequently are doing the same thing.

May the cup of life for you and all always overflow with the love and grace of God.

George –

Rest assured many (including me at times) feel as you do. Trust in a loving God who sees our hearts, and who knows when we are doing our best. We all fall (me more than most). I just happen to believe that I have never fully severed my relationship with God – no more, no less.

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