Venial sin


#1

I have heard some Christians say, “It is okay if I do this or that, for it is only venial sin.” Such talk is foolish! Sin is sin, an offense against God, and it must be avoided, for we are called to love the Lord and console His Son, not show ingratitude and torture Jesus. Our God and King dose not deserve offense, nor dose His Son deserve anguish and suffering; if anything, the Lord deserves our gratitude, and the Lord deserves to be comforted by us, His creatures and friends.

Moreover, venial sin makes the soul sick, and the more sick a person gets, the worst off he is, the less able he is to operate, and the closer he is to death - in the soul’s case, the commitment of a mortal sin, which will surely cause it to lose its life, and so, thrust itself into Hell. What many do not realize is that venial sin is deadly - it is just not as deadly as deadly (mortal) sin.


#2

Amen! A sin is abominable no matter the gravity. A venial sin is not “OK”. Any imperfection makes us imperfect, and perfection is something that God asks to us to strive for, even though we all fall short. That means that we all have the propensity to sin, but we have to work towards it. Saying that comitting a venial sin is O.K. is like saying that it is fine that you are smoking pot, at least it is not crystal meth. Wrong! It is still illegal and dangerous.


#3

I must agree with you. I have always believed that one must make frequent confessions to ask God for forgiveness for all sins and to grow in spirituality.:angel1:

Some posters on CAF have said that it is not now necessary to confess “venial” sins. And even, that the once a year Confession is not necessary unless one has mortal sin on their soul.:nope:

Another has said on CAF that just “spinkling holy water” around the room will forgive venial sins (a mis-interpretation of St. Thomas, I think);:frowning:

and that all venial sins are forgiven by going to Mass because the Penitential Rite forgives all venial sins (I don’t know where that came from but it was the first time I had ever heard that). I have tried to get an answer on CAF from an apologist on this point, but my question was never posted.

Frankly, I do not believe the above comments; in fact, I think they are outrageous reasonings; but I am afraid that they are now being taught to aspiring Catholics in preparation classes.:shrug:

It will be interesting to read other posters’ comments on forgiveness of venial sin.:amen:


#4

I must agree with you. I have always believed that one must make frequent confessions to ask God for forgiveness for all sins and to grow in spirituality.

Some posters on CAF have said that it is not now necessary to confess “venial” sins. And even, that the once a year Confession is not necessary unless one has mortal sin on their soul.

Another has said on CAF that just “spinkling holy water” around the room will forgive venial sins (a mis-interpretation of St. Thomas, I think);

and that all venial sins are forgiven by going to Mass because the Penitential Rite forgives all venial sins (I don’t know where that came from but it was the first time I had ever heard that). I have tried to get an answer on CAF from an apologist on this point, but my question was never posted.

Frankly, I do not believe the above comments; in fact, I think they are outrageous reasonings; but I am afraid that they are now being taught to aspiring Catholics in preparation classes.

It will be interesting to read other posters’ comments on forgiveness of venial sin.

I agree that venial sin is something that you should ovoid at all times it in something that separates us from the Lord and is by now means OK .but on the subject of confessing sins I have been told by my own parish priest that venial sins are forgiven at mass I still personally feel the need to confess my own venial sins but I do not think that it is mandatory…If you feel I have said something incorrect pleas give me your input.


#5

I agree that venial sin is something that you should ovoid at all times it in something that separates us from the Lord and is by now means OK .but on the subject of confessing sins I have been told by my own parish priest that venial sins are forgiven at mass I still personally feel the need to confess my own venial sins but I do not think that it is mandatory…If you feel I have said something incorrect pleas give me your input.


#6

hannah, I don’t know that you have said anything in error but your saying that your Priest told you that your venial sins are forgiven at Mass is something I really don’t understand.:confused:

Is your Priest of a liberal bent; or do you find him to be conservative?

I have been a Catholic since the 1930’s and I have honestly never heard that opinion (neither before or after V2) until recently on this Forum.

I have read some rather strange opinions on this Forum from Catholics so I take everything with a grain of salt; but I would like something documented wherein it states that our venial sins are forgiven at Mass.

:highprayer:


#7

Her priest is perfectly correct, at least according to St. Thomas (and I think it would be hard to find someone more “conservative” than he). VENIAL sins, the Angelic Doctor writes, are able to be forgiven by reciting the Our Father, reciting the Confiteor or an act of contrition, receiving the Eucharist, being sprinkled with Holy Water, or any prayer recited in a dedicated church-- all things which are done during the Mass (and some of which can be done outside Mass, like saying the Our Father and the act of contrition).

newadvent.org/summa/4087.htm especially Article 3

Remember that only mortal sins bind us to receive Penance.


#8

That’s interesting! Thank you for that bit of information.:thumbsup:


#9

Maria, you are presumptious to say that hannah’s Priest is “perfectly” correct.

With all due respect to St. Thomas, why would someone who has a sin on their soul (any sin) not wish to go to a Priest who has been given the power to forgive sins by God and ask to be absolved. That is the Sacrament in the Catholic Church.

I see nothing in the RCC about not confessing venial sins in the Confessional.

I know that on another thread someone also quoted St. Thomas and said that at every Mass we are forgiven venial sins during the Penitential Rite. There is nothing in the Penitential Rite that absolves us from sin.

One cannot grow in spirituality by sprinkling holy water around and saying some prayers. Protestants believe that they will be forgiven their sins by asking for it. We fortunately, have the Sacrament of Penance.:gopray2:

Making regular trips to the Confessional and asking for absolution for all sins committed against God, will do it and it will impress upon your Soul that you must resolve to stop committing the sin (either mortal or venial).

:highprayer::amen:


#10

A fruit of reception of Holy Communion is the forgiveness of venial sins.


#11

Thank you for accusing me of the sin of presumption. I am indeed presumptuous every time I presume upon the God’s mercy to sin. I am not, though, presumptuous when I defend a priest who has said nothing in error.

Hannah said “I have been told by my own parish priest that venial sins are forgiven at mass.” Everything else in her post appears to be personal thoughts. This is correct in that we do the Asperges at Mass, say the Confiteor, and usually receive Communion.

St. Thomas shows that the use of holy water (the Asperges) and the Confiteor forgive sins, which I will expound upon later.
First, here is a quote from the CCC, saynig that Communion forgives venial sins:
**“1416 **Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant’s union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.”

You said that there was nothing in the penitential rite that could forgive sin, yet it itself is essentially an act of contrition. Sorrow for sin is expressed by the faithful in the Confiteor. Notably, the server says, “I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary every virgin . . . that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” and the priest responds with, “May Almighty God have mercy on you, and, having forgiven you your sins, bring you to life everlasting. Amen. May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant us pardon, + absolution, and remission of our sins. Amen.” (Remember, though, that this only forgives venial sins-- it not forgive mortal sins, which must be individually confessed.)

Now, I have a very basic question for you. If prayer and other sacramentals do not help us “grow in spirituality,” as you stated, what does? Prayer is what unites us with God, strengthens our resolve to avoid sin by helping us to know and love God better and without a firm life of prayer, all the Sacraments we could receive would be nothing. We have to love God first and foremost, and this firm charity towards Our Lord is established by an intimate prayer life with Him. (Please note that I am in no way saying that the Sacraments do not help us in this prayer life, just that having the Sacraments without prayer is not going to make us saints, nor is having prayer without the Sacraments.)
Protestants can indeed be forgiven of venial sin (provided they have been baptized) by a firm prayer of contrition and desire not to sin again, just as Catholics can.

Finally, I will address your confusion as to why “someone who has a sin on their soul (any sin) [would] not wish to go to a Priest who has been given the power to forgive sins by God and ask to be absolved.” I also do not understand why they would not neglect confessing merely due to their apparant holiness as confession gives the soul actual graces (as well as restores sanctifying grace for a soul in mortal sin) to resist future temptation. While it is not required to confess venial sins, it is helpful to the soul, as you pointed out. Doing so “shows our hatred of all sin” (Baltimore Catechism Q. 781).


#12

I don’t know what happened to the post I was in the middle of… Sorry if it shows up incomplete.

As I was saying, The Baltimore Catechism number 1 (imprimatur 1941; nihil obstat 1953) has these questions and answers:

  1. Is it necessary to confess every sin?
    It is necessary to confess every mortal sin which has not yet been confessed and forgiven; it is not necessary to confess our venial sins, but it is better to do so.

  2. What should we do when we have committed no mortal sin since our last confession?
    When we have committed no mortal sin since our last confession, we should confess our venial sins or some sin told in a past confession, for which we are again sorry.

A catechism from before Vatican II should dispel any notion that not having to confess venial sins is a ‘modernist’ or ‘liberal’ view.

The Compendium of the Catholic Church (2006) has this q and a:

  1. What are the fruits of Holy Communion?
    Holy Communion increases our union with Christ and with his Church. It preserves and renews the life of grace received at Baptism and Confirmation and makes us grow in love for our neighbor. It strengthens us in charity, wipes away venial sin and preserves us from mortal sin in the future.

  2. Why can venial sins also be the object of sacramental confession?
    The confession of venial sins is strongly recommended by the Church, even if this is not strictly necessary, because it helps us to form a correct conscience and to fight against evil tendencies. It allows us to be healed by Christ and to progress in the life of the Spirit.

My Saint Joseph Sunday Missal very clearly labels the prayer between the Confiteor and the Kyrie as ‘Absolution’: ‘May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life.’

Thanks for this thread. It helped me clarify how to explain this issue.


#13

I also agree. A sin is a sin is a sin. It’s like the old saying… regarding a “white lie”. A lie is a lie, and dressing it in white doesn’t help.

It is a grave presumption of God’s Mercy… to commit even a venial sin… because you “know” that God will forgive you. It’s like… walking up to God, and slapping Him in the Face… because you believe in His Mercy. That would be a grave mistake… of course, and something that no loving disciple of Jesus would think of doing.

Well… that’s pretty much what a person IS doing… when they think they can commit a sin… just because it’s “only a venial sin”. :nope:

We must try to avoid ALL sin… at ALL costs.


#14

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