Questions about sins?

Can someone please give a detailed explanation on venial sins and mortal sins? Please don’t link me to another post (or catechism), because i’ve read all the other ones and still get confused.

For example, if I think a bad thought, or say a badword, but I don’t do it intentionally, is this a sin? Like if I cuss and then immediately regret what I just said? or if I say a lie jokingly to a friend and then immediately say “just kidding!” and we both laugh, is this a sin?

Also, can someone clarify what “gossip” and “talking behind someone’s back means”?
What If I’m talking about someone behind their back, but its nothing bad, or if I’m talking behind their back because I’m worried about them? Is this a sin?

Also, is it a sin to be in a car with a group of people that are gossiping and talking bad about people, but you aren’t participating? Like if they’re gossiping and I’m silent?

Another question, how can some Catholic’s only confess once a year? I find It like nearly impossible to not commit a mortal sin throughout the span of a year? this is something that confuses me, because as humans we do fall, but how do people do it to not feel guilty or ashamed on taking Holy Communion after months and months of venial sins, or not knowing if they committed mortal sins or not?

These are questions that haunt me everyday, and would really appreciate if you could please answer all these points, thank you and God bless! :slight_smile:

With so many questions about sin after reading the Catechism and other sources why not make an appointment with your priest to discuss the issue? He would be happy I’m sure to assist you with your questions.


A mortal sin is an act that is so gravely immoral before God as to be entirely incompatible with true love of God and neighbor. An actual mortal sin includes sufficient culpability to take away the state of grace from the soul, and to deserve eternal damnation.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: “Therefore when the soul is so disordered by sin as to turn away from its last end, viz. God, to Whom it is united by charity, there is mortal sin; but when it is disordered without turning away from God, there is venial sin.” [Summa Theologica, I-II, Q. 72, A. 5.]

Pope John Paul II: “And when through sin, the soul commits a disorder that reaches the point of turning away from its ultimate end, God, to which it is bound by charity, then the sin is mortal; on the other hand, whenever the disorder does not reach the point of a turning away from God, the sin is venial. For this reason venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity and therefore eternal happiness, whereas just such a deprivation is precisely the consequence of mortal sin.” [Reconciliation and Penance, n. 17]

Mortal sin differs from venial sin both by degree and by type. Any mortal sin is more serious than any venial sin, so they differ by degree. Mortal sins are greater in degree, since they offend God more. But mortal sin is also a different type of sin, the type that deserves eternal punishment. No one is ever sent to Hell merely for unrepentant venial sins. But one unrepentant actual mortal sin is sufficient to condemn the person to eternal punishment in Hell.

Three elements together are needed for an act to be an actual mortal sin: (1) full knowledge (that the act is gravely immoral), (2) full consent (i.e. resolve, deliberation, choice), (3) and the matter of the act must be gravely immoral. The matter of the act is everything pertaining to the morality of the act, other than consent and knowledge. Actual sin is a knowingly chosen immoral act. Actual mortal sin is a knowingly chosen immoral act in which the knowledge is full, the choice is full, and the immorality is grave (in a sense, full).

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