Can you please explain the difference between moral sin and venial sin?



1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation: When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery… But when the sinner’s will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial. 130

1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” 131

1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.” 134

While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call “light”: if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession. 135

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[quote=sassy11]Can you please explain the difference between moral sin and venial sin?

The best way I have heard it explained is:

Imagine there was a rope that connected you to God. A mortal sin severs the rope completely. A venial sin just frays the rope.

A mortal sin is a direct afront to God. You have decided or done something against God with full knowledge that it is wrong, it is grave matter (aka the Ten Commandments), and you have commited it with your full will.

A venial sin is missing either of the three requirements stated above:

Free will
Grave Matter
Full Knowledge

It is still a sin against God, but you are only partially culpable for it. But venial sins still strain the relationship between you and God, and though it is a slower process, eventually the “rope” will break.


[quote=sassy11]Can you please explain the difference between moral sin and venial sin?

I know this isn’t answering the question you meant to ask, but let me respond:
There is no moral sin.



Ahem… I totally missed that.



1 John 5:15-16:
If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray.
All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.

Venial sin is not deadly; mortal sin is deadly (to the soul).

closed #7

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