Was this a lie or not? Mortal/venial?


So I don’t know if this is my scruples or if I really did wrong. I was telling a story about one of my elementary school experiences, and during the story I said something that I thought happened but wasn’t sure, and everyone laughed. I didn’t do it on purpose, it sort of just came out and it was a funny quirky response. I had no intention of lying to anyone or deceiving anyone. Can I still receive communion tomorrow?


Get a Spiritual Director if you know you have scruples.
A story is just that.
A story.
Did you destroy someone’s reputation?
If not, it’s a story.


No intention, therefore no sin. Scruples is a terrible affliction. Go to Communion safe in the knowledge that you are receiving your Saviour who longs for you as a Father longs for a son. May Jesus grant you peace from your worries and may you learn trust in your Saviour who is above all Love disregarding all the pilpuls; shibboleths and structural barriers we put up in our long retreat from his ever pounding feet, following ever after.


Learn the teachings of the Church on morality. This will help you, to some extent, with scruples. Every believing and practicing Catholic should to go confession regularly. You can still receive Communion, even if you have some doubts about some sin. The faithful are only prohibited from Communion (apart from some decision of Church authority in a particular case) if they know that they have committed an actual mortal sin. Doubts such as you describe do not prevent you from Communion. But go to confession regularly anyway, and trust in God.

A sin is only grave (objectively mortal) if the act is so morally disordered as to be incompatible with the love of God and neighbor. Acts which are substantially limited in their immorality are not mortal. And to be an actual mortal sin, which deprives the soul of the state of grace, the person must also have full knowledge of its grave immorality and commit the act with full deliberation. You are not describing such a sin.

Saint Thomas Aquinas: “Therefore when the soul is so disordered by sin as to turn away from its last end, viz. God, to Whom it is united by charity, there is mortal sin; but when it is disordered without turning away from God, there is venial sin.” [Summa Theologica, I-II, Q. 72, A. 5.]

Pope John Paul II: “And when through sin, the soul commits a disorder that reaches the point of turning away from its ultimate end, God, to which it is bound by charity, then the sin is mortal; on the other hand, whenever the disorder does not reach the point of a turning away from God, the sin is venial. For this reason venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity and therefore eternal happiness, whereas just such a deprivation is precisely the consequence of mortal sin.” [Reconciliation and Penance, n. 17]


That is going to happen a lot in life. You will not remember a certain detail if it happened for sure or not but you decide most likely it did or did not happen so you tell someone it did or did not happen even though you are not 100% sure. Not a lie in the strict sense of what a lie is. A lie is purposely trying to deceive someone. What you did is not a sin at all. Get a spiritual director, you are very scrupulous and it is just going to get worse without help. Believe me, I know.


Every memoir writer tells their life story according to what they recall it to be. No one sees the same event in the exact same way. Your life story is all yours. You are free to tell it. It is good and holy to be able to laugh at our own humanity. If you maliciously try to slander another person’s reputation, that is a sin that needs to be confessed and reconciled. Making light of our common humanity is not a sin.


From you?

Doesn’t really matter whatever you (as in YOU) ask. No matter what your question, it’s your scruples.

You go and receive communion and do what people have already told you a bazillion times. Tell your confessor and obey what he says.


Okay thank you everyone for your responses. I am currently in the process of getting a spritual director, so hopefully no more of these kinds of questions. :slight_smile:


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