So easy to sin mortally

It is not easy to commit a mortal sin. The act may be easy but you also have to have full knowledge and full consent of the will. St Paul said I do things I don’t want todo and I don’t do things I want to do.

Most.Catholics confess sins that are grievous matter out of an abundance of caution because they are afraid to do the hard mental work to declare themselves innocent of mortal sin.

What does full knowledge mean. I think to understand your action will completely cut yourself off from God and really want to do that.


None of these appear to be mortal sins, though. Do you consciously commit each one of these with full knowledge and deliberate consent of your will? Also, not all of them appear to even be grave matter in and of themselves, so even if you did do them with full knowledge and consent they wouldn’t be mortal.

This is exactly what I’m wondering about. Why do so many people think everything is a mortal sin?

To me, I think pride is the sneaky one. I can see how with pride we convince ourselves the we aren’t sinning. We really do need to look deeply into our motivations for some things we do or think.


Excellent Question… In the past … It was generally only the 1st Condition (grave matter) was to be considered as being a Mortal Sin…

What kinds of offenses against God constitute “grave matter”?


In the Bible, St. Paul gives us a list of grave sins. 

He states that anyone who commits these sins shall not enter the kingdom of God. “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-20). Paul also tells the Corinthians, “know you no that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

**1. These sins constitute grave matter, **
**2. and if they are committed willingly **
**3. and with full consent (as in a willing knowing confrontation against God Himself) **
…constitute mortal sin.

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But not every sin is mortal. Everything mentioned in the post sounded like everyday struggles most people have…sitting on the couch just to relax — is that really grave matter in and of itself? Maybe a venial sin, but is it really one that separates a soul from God and makes it worthy of burning in hell for all eternity?

RCIA priest said ‘if you have committed a mortal sin you know about it.’ He also said they are hard to do because of the three pronged requirements as someone mentioned

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As others have said, scrupulosity brings many people to CAF asking about mortal sins. I have family members who dealt with scrupulosity…believe me, in those situations everything a person does/doesn’t do but should have done/thinks/does but doesn’t do it well enough/etc. is a mortal sin, in their tortured minds.


It is not that easy to sin mortally.

A great many Catholics do not correctly understand “full consent of the will.”

Thankfully, priests do - take these issues to Penance, and OBEY what the priest tells you.

Chief among the reasons these threads keep appearing is a combination of the echo-chamber nature of CAF (much higher concentration of devout, serious, and active Catholics posting here) combined with the arm-chair quarterbacking of those interested in topics of theology.

Leave the forgiving and binding to the presbyters, as Jesus instructed in Jn 20:23.

I have sinned without number, forgive me Lord,
Deacon Christopher


Thank you, Deacon Christopher. God bless you.

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Pride is the root of all sin, and while pornography etc…is a prominent manifestation of the sin of pride and rebellion, pride takes innumerable mortal forms, many of which are not very glaring.

Perhaps one of the worst things about pornography is traps a person into obsessing over pornography, and it blinds a person to the underlying spiritual rebellion.
We are not called by the Gospel to obsess over sin, we are called by the Gospel to liberation in Christ.
That means joy, peace, love, fulfillment, unselfishness. These things multiply themselves just like sin.
So often we become obsessed with sin, as if merely avoiding it is the goal of life. That’s minimalism, not heaven.

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Deliberately breaking one of the commandments is not hard at all–we have free will and can therefore do so with ease whenever we want. On the other hand, it is not just hard, it is impossible to commit a mortal sin if you don’t will to commit the sin.

Furthermore, people who commit a mortal sin and, with a contrite heart, seek to confess and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, have nothing to fear. Not even a million mortal sins will send you to hell unless they are coupled with final impenitence.

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My point is that pornography is the symptom (and one of countless symptoms) not the cause. The cause is succumbing to desires of the world, whether sex, money, or power.

As the earliest teachings of the Apostles pointed out in the Didache, we have (because of the gift of Free Will) one of two ways to follow. If we choose the way of sin, its not the particular sin that is damning (whether pornography, murder, theft, etc., etc.), it is choosing the wrong path, because all sin is equally unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord, and the temptation to commit any particular sin is no more prevalent than another.

I think he means worst in ubiquity not moral evil. You’re correct that it isn’t more prevalent than other temptations, just more obvious than most.

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I always have a problem with this: A devout Christian struggles with an addictive mortal sin but tries to avoid it as much as possible; only for him to be damned because he did not make it to confession and did not have a perfect contrition.


Yeah, I was always told that a mortal sin was a deliberate decision to sever the relationship with God. Therefore, it’s hard for me to see someone who has committed grave matter sins, but is still maintaining some relationship with God, even if it’s just praying from time to time, as being a mortal sinner. People on here who say they “fell into mortal sin” and their main concern is getting to confession ASAP so they can receive Communion or serve Mass or whatever, don’t seem like true mortal sinners to me. They may well have done something grave, but obviously there’s still a relationship with God that they care about or they wouldn’t even be at Mass much less worrying about receiving Communion.

I do think that grave sin even if not mortal because of this lack of intent to sever the relationship is a serious thing, and that people do need to avoid it because we’re supposed to avoid ALL sin, not just mortal sin. If you get in the habit of grave sin then eventually you may well end up committing mortal sins, even if they’re mortal sins of pride because you’re not taking your grave sins seriously. But this idea of “oops I fell into mortal sin” doesn’t seem quite believable to me.


You don’t have to want to cut yourself off from God, you just have to know it will.


Considering that we have an opium addict who never recovered from his addiction and was barred from the sacraments as a result, yet became a saint, it would seem God may be understanding of addictions if you do your best to get help as well as help yourself. I would note that the sainted addict lived in the days before AA and NA and other help organizations.


Ohhh when I said “addictive”, I did not simply mean substance abuse. I have meant all kinds of mortal sins that are addictive (such as mortal sins against purity).

Edit: Just to be clear, my struggles in spiritual life do not involve substance abuse.

You will make it to confession if you need it and seek it with even imperfect contrition.

God is omnipotent and He desires our salvation. Jesus promises that those who ask, will receive. Those who seek, will find so that our “joy may be full” and that God will “give the good Spirit to them,” that is the Holy Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is sanctification, and full joy is salvation. The Church therefore has always understood these promises to refer to Him granting those things to us that are conducive to our salvation.

There is nothing more conducive to salvation for a person in mortal sin than making it to confession. That’s why in my post I specifically used the word “seek.” If you are contrite, you won’t get hit by a bus on the way to confession unless you have perfect contrition and didn’t actually need to confess.

Trust in the omnipotent God who desires your good more than even you do.

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If he’s avoiding it he’s not doing it and he’s not going to hell. What temptations that we call addiction are actually unavoidable?

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