promises to God

If a person makes a vow to give something up as a small mortification and later thinks that this was unwise, is it a sin to then not abstain from the thing that you vowed to give up?

Probably should not make light of vows. I look at vows as life long commitments…e.g., faithfulness in my marriage.

We make resolutions all the time with the intent to keep them…and often we need to begin again.

Make a resolution with God for some small useful things. And talk to Him often, e.g., at the end of each day, about your progress.

I’m no expert but I don’t think that this is a sin.

I recently brought up the matter of altering/breaking a personal promise to God with a good priest in Confession. He explained that one should be more careful about making promises to God and to do it with the permission of ones confessor (ones spiritual director would also be fine, I’d imagine). It’s not something to embark upon without asking a confessor’s (or SD’s) opinion and getting their approval. I imagine that these promises would have to be revisited with the confessor/SD from time to time, to see how things are going.

I think your best bet is to go to Confession as soon as you can, bring up the matter with the priest and ask him for a little guidance. :slight_smile:

Your example is not a sin.

… my dear friend …

… breaking a vow is a sin , there can be extraordinary circumstances that permit one to break a vow in some cases such as to save a life in certain circumstances , its not so simple …

… your bishop can release you from any vows if you ask and he agrees , you can set time limits on vows and conditions , but stick to promises is best …

VOW. A free, deliberate promise made to God to do something that is good and that is more pleasing to God than its omission would be. The one vowing must realize that a special sin is committed by violating the promise. A vow binds under pain of sin (grave or slight) according to the intention of the one taking the vow. If one vows with regard to grave matter, one is presumed to intend to bind oneself under pain of serious sin. Vows enhance the moral value of human actions on several counts. They unite the soul to God by a new bond of religion, and so the acts included under the vow become also acts of religion. Hence they are more meritorious. By taking a vow, a person surrenders to God the moral freedom of acting otherwise, like the one who not only gives at times the fruit of the tree, but gives up the tree itself. And vows forestall human weakness, since they do not leave matters to the indecision or caprice of the moment. Their very purpose is to invoke divine grace to sustain one’s resolution until the vow expires or, in the case of perpetual vows, even until death. (Etym. Latin vovere, to pledge, promise.)

… god bless you :thumbsup::slight_smile:

… john …

I don’t agree with you. In the first place the OP is not talking about formal vows to God before a priest or bishop.

If someone vows to give up smoking or whatever and then later decides to start smoking again that is NOT a sin.

… my dear friend …

… a vow is not just a promise and must be taken seriously , the person can consult an orhodox catholic priest if they like , the definition of a vow is from the catholic dictionary , i don’t want to argue with you but you might want to check your belief here a bit ???..

… for an indepth understanding of vows go here newadvent.org/cathen/15511a.htm

… god bless you :thumbsup::slight_smile:

… john …

It would be clearer if the OP explained what she means by making a vow. She hasn’t so that leaves all of us guessing and trying to give an answer.

As for my view, on New Year’s day if I say to myself or in front of family “I vow to stop smoking” (I don’t actually smoke so this is just an example) and then after a few months I decide to start smoking again that is NOT a sin.

…,. my dear friend …

… ok , if you don’t know what a vow is it is likely you made no vow at all , but be careful - the media uses the word vow all the time to make a promise sound spectacular and sensational , we must say we promise and not vow , because to knowingly break a vow when you know what a vow is is a sin , make promises or resolutions all you like - no probs , but not vows dear friend …

… god bless you :thumbsup::slight_smile:

… john …

no of course not, an individual cannot make such a binding promise under pain of sin without the permission of a confessor, and in a grave matter, of the bishop. It is wiser to place one under spiritual direction and not make such idle promises at all without his permission.

The only bargain that I make with God is that I promise to try and guarantee that I will likely often fail and that I might remember what I am doing and that he uses me as an instrument of His will regardless of what I think about it. Say yes and you mean yes, and no when you mean no. I wish that I could go to confession more.

I am getting confused. Is a binding promise the same as a vow?

To clarify the original question, it would be similar to vowing privately to not eat chocolate ever again. St.Francis de Sales made a vow to pray a rosary every day and later regretted this and advised that one only make a determined effort instead of a vow but he neglected to say if it was a sin when he didn’t pray his rosary.

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