The essence of sin?

Dear friends.
Sometimes we tend to think of sin as some “do’s and don’ts” which we sometime fall short of. But is sin merely that?

I sometimes think to myself that lying isn’t that bad - after all no one get’s hurt, right?

Well. I don’t know if this is true but I tend to think of sin as something quite different.

Sin is telling God that we want to be lords over our lives, we wish to be the rullers, we disagree with His laws and wish to reign ourselves thus displaying great ingratitude towards Him who gave us life, breath, food, cloth and everything, even the hope of eternal life.

Is this a view consistent with the Church teaching?

  1. What is sin?


Sin is “a word, an act, or a desire contrary to the eternal Law” (Saint Augustine). It is an offense against God in disobedience to his love. It wounds human nature and injures human solidarity. Christ in his passion fully revealed the seriousness of sin and overcame it with his mercy.

Sin is not a positive, but a negative. It is a lack - something missing, as in a lack of goodness. Sin is a disappointment not only to God, but in some way, also to those around us. If you lie to yourself it will affect, in some way, those with whom you interact. An example would be living in denial of an alcohol or drug problem. To lie to others deceives them and cheats them of the truth to which they are entitled.

All sin is serious but not all sin is “mortal”. As we know that we will not achieve the beatific vision “heaven” if we die with an unforgiven mortal sin on our soul.

Venial sins are not mortal and we can be purified of these after death and therefore not ultimately lose the beatific vision. But they are serious in that they block the flow of God’s grace to us that helps us become holy as God calls us to be.

The essence of mortal sin is evil and the essence of evil is a rejection of God. All sin is of course evil, but not all sin is as extreme as that. Venial sin basically comes down to what you said. All sins basically stem from (the bad sort of) pride.

Another way of saying it is that sin is an act against love of God and neighbor. To be proud, excessively in awe of oneself, is to deny God as ones God, to determine morality for oneself, as Adam did, rather than heeding His word, and therefore to* open the door* to sin.

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

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