What does the church define as mortal sin? For example: to murder is a mortal sin, but Jesus tell us that if we are angry in our hearts towards our brother, then we have murdered him in our hearts. So is anger considered mortal or veneal sin? If one commits a sin such as being angry, and wished to go to confession, what is the state of his soul between the act of committing the sin, and when the individual can go to confession? Can that individual receive communion before going to confession?
this is a very complicated subject. i would start with the catechism. when we commit a mortal sin, we separate ourselves from the love of God by rejecting Him. when we confess, that we are sinners, He is just to his promise to forgive, and receives us back into communion with Him. do not receive the eucharist unworthily if you are in mortal sin. get to confession as soon as possible. you can confess your sins to God in prayer, until you get to confession.
Something that is grave matter and done with full consent. So willfully breaking one of the Ten Commandments would be an example (there are lots of spinoffs related to the commandments so consult the catechism).
For example: to murder is a mortal sin, but Jesus tell us that if we are angry in our hearts towards our brother, then we have murdered him in our hearts. So is anger considered mortal or veneal sin?
Anger can be mortal, venial, or no sin at all. Anger is a valid human emotion. Jesus was angry when he overturned the tables in the temple and we know he never sinned. His anger was a just and righteous anger against mocking God.
I would say anger becomes mortal when it is unjust and harms another, I would confess to a priest most outward displays of anger regardless of where it technically lies.
If one commits a sin such as being angry, and wished to go to confession, what is the state of his soul between the act of committing the sin, and when the individual can go to confession? Can that individual receive communion before going to confession?
Whenever one commits a mortal sin, they should repent as soon as they realize what they’ve done. They should say a heartfelt act of contrition and go to confession at first opportunity. They should abstain from the Eucharist until they reconcile with the church in the confessional.
If you are in doubt, go to confession there is a reason it is weighing on you.
Remember that we are bound to the sacraments but God is not. If you die between your repentance and trip to the confessional, God knows your heart and desire and is just to forgive you.
If you disregard the sacrament or its importance God knows that too, and it may be a sign that you aren’t really repentant.
So remember that this whole system, all these rules…they are about bringing conversion to people’s hearts. They are tools to get us to trust in God and follow him and get molded into Saints. They are avenues to receive his grace.
It is not like God is there with a grade sheet checking boxes. He cares about your heart attitude.
Here’s some info from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner’s will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.
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."
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.” 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 heart\ 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.
1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”
While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call “light”: if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.
1864 “Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.
When I have a question about the gravity of a particular sin in my own life, I take it to the one place with the answer (and the cure) – confession! When in doubt, confess
God bless you!