Alright, so the problem that I’m facing right now is that I went to confession a couple days ago and I don’t know if I committed mortal sin since then. I did some things which feel sinful, but just how sinful I can’t even begin to say. Maybe mortal, maybe venial, maybe imperfection and possibly not sinful at all. Before you say “If it’s a doubtful sin it’s ok”, I would like to clarify that I have an extremely limited ability to distinguish between mortal and venial sin, which can cause me to easily flip-flop between playing up a sin and playing down a sin and also makes it extremely difficult to identify doubtful because everything just kinda feels doubtful. Usually I make a confession covering all bases right before mass, or else I don’t even consider communion. It’s just too confusing. Because of this, I’m feeling very confused right now, and I wonder if it’s acceptable to merely play it safe and not receive for the sake of forgoing the stress and anxiety of receiving when I might not be properly disposed. I know that we are only required to receive once a year, however I also know that we are only required to confess once a year and yet it’s a really bad idea to stick to that minimum, so perhaps this is a parallel situation? I don’t know and to put it simply, I’m confused and would very much like some advice.
I have not done a thorough examination of conscience yet, so this is kind of hypothetical and kind of not. The whole point may be moot, but I think it’s worth asking at this point anyways…
You should find an experienced confessor to talk with about your scrupulosity, and then trust him and let him advise you.
I agree with Paulfromiowa. The spiritual benefits of receiving are so great; to let unfounded scruples (I don’t know if that’s redundant) prevent your immortal soul from those blessings is much to be avoided. Find that good confessor and trust him.
Remember the three requisites for mortal sin. I’ve seen it said on this site that committing a mortal sin is harder than one may think.
To make a sin mortal these three things are ALL needed:
1-the thought, desire, word, action, or omission must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong (GRAVE MATTER)
2-the sinner, must be mindful of the serious wrong; (FULL KNOWLEDGE)
3-the sinner must fully consent to it. (FULL CONSENT)
From what you’ve said, perhaps you should examine #3 most carefully. God bless you!
What the previous posters said.
As a side note, we are not obligated to receive Holy Communion every time we attend Mass. That certainly does seem to be the general practice, but it’s not a requirement.
Correct. You are always free to chose not to receive the Eucharist even if properly disposed. There is no sin in not receiving.
maybe stop sinning altogether, then you don’t have to worry whether it’s mortal or venial.
I’d guess that if you don’t know for certain you committed mortal sin, you could not have done so. Your understanding is either extremely scrupulous or else very skewed. Aside from the points in Post #4, you should speak with the priest as to your own understanding of this perhaps using basic questions such as these for clarification:
Do you understand that mortal sin is a great evil which categorically destroys the life of God in your soul and if not repented, will be the loss of your very salvation? Can you distinguish between venial and mortal sin in the sense that we all do sin, but that there are different levels of sin? Do you understand that committing mortal sin with full consent is acknowledging you are willingly and completely separating yourself from God and accepting darkness and death? Ditto to the poster who said committing a moral sin is *harder *than we think.
These are just a few thoughts given to us by a priest at a Day of Recollection a while back. Hope it helps, but really you need to speak to a priest!