Taking His Name in vain?

I became frustrated with my dear elderly mother today, and exclaimed “Good GOD!”. I felt horrible afterward. Partly for becoming frustrated with my dear mother, who is having some problems, and especially at the thought that I may very well have committed a mortal sin. I was hoping to receive Communion tomorrow and Friday, while I am off work, and go to confession Saturday evening. But now, I have my doubts. Based on what one Priest told me some time ago, I did not violate a Commandment, but still should not have said what I said. I average about 2 hours per day in prayer, including the Stations of the Cross, plus Mass and Communion two days per week, and some occasional sacred reading. A few hours per week, but not enough. I will always be a work in process, but I believe my heart is in the right place. I would like to think I was saying those words to God Himself, but I can’t say for sure. Based on what I have said, provided I truly regret what I said, and say numerous Acts of Contrition each day, do you think it would be safe for me to receive Communion tomorrow and Friday, and go to confession Saturday evening before Mass?

Thanks in advance.

none of us is perfect, Vigilant, and we all sin, even those of us who are in Christ and love Him. if we weren’t prone to sin against God, we wouldn’t need a Saviour.

Psalm 51:17 reads :

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart- these, O God, You will not despise.

i am answering you as a Christian, not specfically a Catholic, but Biblically friend if you have confessed this sin to God, repented, and asked His help to not fall into the same sin again, you can know that God has forgiven you, and will help you to stand against this sin the next time.

He knows that you love Him, and feel terrible about this sin. and He wants you back in church, worshipping Him and fellowshipping with the saints (every one of them who sins, too).

i understand this answer may not be fully satisfactory from a Catholic pov, but i hope it is ok if i post it here. God bless you Vigilant, and keep you, in Christ our Lord.

Miss Grace, I, for one, am GLAD you are with us, and I do appreciate your thoughts. Thank you, and may God bless you.

Really it doesn’t seem to me like a mortal sin. If you are frustrated and you just “exclaim” something it is obviously not full consent of the will.

I don’t think you have fulfilled the three conditions for a mortal sin which is 1)serious matter 2) full consent 3) full knowledge.

We are not obliged to confess doubtful sins. If you are in doubt you are not in mortal sin. If it were a mortal sin you would KNOW it. There would be no doubts.

Sounds like you might be scrupulous. I don’t know you so I couldn’t tell you for sure.
If you have a problem with scrupulosity this might help you as I know it has helped me in the past:
Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous

By the way this is a great book and especially good if the priests that you have in your area are not good confessors:

although if you are generally scrupulous I wouldn’t recommend getting moral theology manuals.

God bless you, V. i know what you mean about sin. if you really love God, know Him, and want to please Him there is nothing worse than the pang of “oh, no!” after you sin.

but we’re told to pray “forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us”, and we have no reason to not believe that the God who forgave His enemies at the cross, who forgave and mightily used Peter, and who forgave and mightily used the (ex)scoundrel Paul will not also forgive us, and use us mightily in spite of our sins, for His glory.

Thank you both so very, very much.

I can relate very closely to Saint Paul for several distinct reasons, and he is one of those to whom I pray, morning and night. God knocked me off my horse a bit more figuratively than He did Saint Paul, but the result was distantly similar. I say distantly, because I was never raised up into Heaven, nor did I lose my eyesight. But my eyes were opened nonetheless. I have known for the past 20 years or so that one day, God would ask me to make a significant contribution. I don’t hold a candle to Saint Paul, but still, I can relate to him very closely, and one day, like Saint Paul in a lesser way, I hope and pray that I too will give God a significant return on His investment. And, like Saint Paul, God has given me a heavy cross to bear, for which I am eternally grateful.

Happy is the man whom God chastises!

amen! God corrects those He loves, bro.

I am not Catholic, so take this as merely a different perspective. :slight_smile:

To “take God’s name in vain” means to not take God’s name for vain purposes. Do not say that you speak for God if you are really just wanting to exercise your influence upon others. Do not presume to know God just to satisfy your vanity. Do not curse in God name as though you had the power to cast such a curse by the power of God.

Just a thought. :wink:

I have two words for you - “lighten up”. :smiley:
I don’t mean to sound flip and hope to make you smile a bit.

Dear heart, you have not committed a mortal sin and, in fact, the venial sin is of the inadvertant type. By that I mean that you said something without forethought.
Actually the sin I would be more concerned with is the frustration. (I know something about this one ;).) The sin would be more one of the anger/patience/lack of charity type than it is of taking “God’s name in vain”.
Of course even in this there can be mitigating circumstances.
May I ask if your mother is infirm mentally or physically? I am dealing with my wife who has Alzheimers and it can be a daily chore to be patient etc. Sometimes I just lose my cool and then a) feel horrible afterwards, and b) know that I have committed a sin.

Anyway - to make a long response short.
Say an Act of Contrition - just one will suffice - then go to mass and communion and confession as planned. If you are still concerned about only making one Act of Contrition, just remember that the General absolution at mass will provide additional protection.


Grace, your post is just fine. :thumbsup:


It’s not a mortal sin, it’s venial. Mortal sins are always premeditated. Your slip of the tongue was an accident. Hence this sin fails to meet the criteria of mortal sin.

Here’s the definition of mortal sin from The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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

1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.

1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.

1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

Gotcha. Thank you all so very much.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Hey Vigilant, I think you are being a little hard on yourself. I don’t think saying Good God is taking the Lord’s name in vein. anyway, it sounds like you are on solid ground in your faith walk through this life, but don’t get into a habit of beating yourself up so much.

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