Sin or no sin?

If a person intends to commit a mortal sin, though with some reservations, and goes ahead to “set the wheels in motion” by making the initial preparations, whatever they are, to commit the sin and then at the last moment is overcome with guilt and remorse and does not go ahead and commit the sin, has he, or she, committed a mortal sin?

That’s a really good question. I would say probably yes. Jesus said “he who looks upon a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart”, right? Sorry, I don’t have a ready reference for that, but it would be easy to find. So, I take that to mean that when when make an act of the will, the deed is basically done. That doesn’t mean that we can go ahead and do it, and I think that being remorseful would mitigate the initial sin, but I think that sin would be mortal.

I’d be interested in other opinions on this.

Okay, so basically the situation is this:
You want to commit a mortal sin. (lets say masturbation)
You get your house to yourself and you get ready like your going to do it.
You don’t masturbate.

There would be no sin involved if that happened (as long as you didn’t have any impure thoughts while getting ready) since you didn’t actually do anything.

Lets try another situation. Lets say you want to kill someone.
You plan out the where it would happen, how you would do it, what you would do with the body afterwards, ect.
You never actually kill them (or attempt to do so.)

In that one, the only sin would (probably) be your wrath towards that person. Not murder.

So yeah, i’m pretty sure that if it’s a situation like those, then the person didn’t commit the sin they were planning on.

This is wrong. Sin is a disposition of the will.

The Catholic Encyclopedia article “Sin” states:

An efficacious desire, i.e. one that includes the deliberate intention to realize or gratify the desire, has the same malice, mortal or venial, as the action which it has in view.

If so, one can split hairs over what “deliberate” means and how gravity is affected by duration of intent, but an act of will is made in an instant, and we change our minds all the time; therefore, it seems a single deliberate consent to grave sin (no matter how brief) would be mortal.

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