Hi all! I’m in RCIA, and in a worksheet given to us during a talk about confession, the heading says Though Shall Not Steal, and then underneath one of the questions was Do you waste time at work, school, or home?
I’m a homemaker, and admit to wasting too much time on the computer when I should be doing chores. Is this really a mortal sin? And how does one know how much time should be given to work or leisure?
Wow! you have a very strange concept of mortal sin. I think that is more Calvinistic than Catholic. RCs love to ‘waste time’ as you put it.
Firstly you cannot ‘waste time’ - Time is like water; we have no control of it. Whether you lie on the beach all day or spend all day in the office you have not wasted time. It is not yours to waste.
A mortal sin is really something quite monstrous (3 conditions remember?) and time-wasting is not one of those. Otherwise Jesus & the apostles who sat around debating would have been guilty. And all those dear old ladies who just sit for hrs ‘contemplating’ in church. So relax have that 2nd coffee without a guilty conscience.
Grave matter (a serious sin), full knowledge (you know it’s a grave sin), and full consent. Nobody on this thread seems to know whether it’s grave, which means it probably isn’t. It certainly doesn’t sound grave to me, unless one is neglecting important responsibilities like feeding children or something.
I know, right? I don’t think anyone would be spared. :eek:
And really, what counts as “wasted” time is so subjective anyway- is my time here wasted, if it helps me learn about my faith? Is my time spent reading stories wasted if it makes me a better writer? Is my time spent sleeping wasted if it helps my mind function better? Is my time spent eating at a leisurely pace wasted if I am enjoying myself?
It kind of depends on what else I’m supposed to be doing.
I confess the sin of sloth (one of the 7 deadly sins) often. I usually define my sloth by one of it’s synonyms:
Boredom or a certain lack of passion for my work or prayers
Acedia or the sadness that comes from my unwillingness to tackle the difficulties involved accomplishing my work or prayer
Laziness, which generally refers to idleness when I’m simply not inclined to exert myself
Usually I’m sinfully lazy about getting the housework done or am sinfully bored and lazy in procrastinating around my prayer times and spiritual reading. If I neglect my prayer long enough, yes, the sin can be mortal.
Since you didn’t know it was a sin, you can’t have committed a mortal sin. Someone who goes out and works has a responsibility to do their work during work hours. Being a homemaker is also a job. You have a responsibility to to get certain chores done per day. If you put them off until the next day, I would consider it a sin. Probably not mortal though unless you do it for several days on purpose. For example, a wife “getting back” at her husband by not doing his laundry.
Is everything on that list supposed to be a mortal sin, though? I don’t know about your list, but from my experience with reading other lists intended for examinations of conscience, I’ve seen a mix of things that are more clearly mortal (when the criteria apply) and things that are less clearly so.
For example, I’m pretty sure that your worksheet includes more obvious acts of theft, such as stealing items from work or becoming a burglar. Is “obvious” theft venial or mortal? Some of these acts, so I read, can be venial or mortal, depending on such things as the effect of the theft on the victim.
This Ask an Apologist answer mentions one such distinction, which I’ve seen in multiple places: stealing a piece of bread from a bakery will probably be a venial sin, but stealing the same quantity of bread from a beggar who needs it to live will be a mortal sin. (This distinction is actually why I first thought of theft as an example, not because of the heading on your worksheet.)
Another answer concerns lying, which is probably also on your list (presumably under the next commandment). It says that not all lies are mortal.
In a similar way, genuinely wasting time at work, school, or home is probably also a mix, though don’t use me as the expert. Instead, I invite an expert to answer in this thread, or you may go to an expert with this idea in mind.
Also, what I’ll call an argument from silence is not particularly rigorous or impressive ;), but if wasting time in itself were more clearly a mortal sin, I suspect that we would’ve heard more about “the mortal sin of wasting time” by now–whether in general or (as other people have already mentioned!) as an answer in this thread
I don’t think God has a problem with us resting, since He gave us the Sabbath.
Wasting time can be a sin when we have an obligation to do something necessary. For example, if your child is sick and instead of taking care of him, you’re wasting time on the computer, that is a sin. The gravity of it would depend on how seriously your child is sick. If he needs medical help in order to live, and you choose to spend your time on the computer instead of taking him to the doctor, that would definitely be a grave sin.
We do owe our employers the time they pay us for, but that doesn’t mean one can’t take a quick personal call. Certainly you can get up from your desk to use the restroom or grab a cup of coffee–you don’t need to spend every single second on your work. However, if you’re playing games on the computer instead of getting your work done, that’s a sin of theft.
I think it’s important to realize that God isn’t sitting up on a cloud waiting to zap us. You can’t accidentally commit a mortal sin. Not only does it have to be something grave but it must be done with knowledge and consent. A mortal sin is a deliberate choice to reject God.
It probably couldn’t be mortal since children are not mature enough to give full consent. There aren’t exactly that many opportunities to waste time at school either. The schedule is usually pretty strict. It would be a sin to be wasting time when the teacher gives students time to work on homework or projects during class time. I can’t see it being mortal though.
It is according to my dear wife… doing nothing is one of my favorite past times…
A nap in mid morning and mid day is just heavenly…
There is no commandment, thou shalt not do nothing… except according to my dear wife…why is it that there is always some innocuous chore that absolutely has to be done right away in the middle of my nap time !!!
I guess it depends on the situation. I highly doubt it could be a mortal sin because it would have to involve a grave act to be one. I do see how it could be a venial sin. It could be a sin, if it happened at a workplace, for instance playing “flappy bird” instead of working on the budget sheets. Unless you are on your break, you are playing around:juggle: on the company’s time and therefore it is a sin against justice (not giving to others their due), hence, in a sense it can be categorized as stealing. But then again, there’s a twist, because if you didn’t know it was a sin, you are not culpable, although you are guilty of sloth.