What is this sin of presumption

the one of trying to essay things that are out of our capabilities. so if we believe we can do something and we don’t is it a sin, or is another kind of believing which is sinful. (check the catholic encyclopaedia for this)

No. (if I understand your question correctly)

eg I may believe that I can kick a football 50m. If I only manage to kick it 45m, I have not committed any sin.

Did you read the entry in the catholic encyclopaedia? It spells it out in detail.

Essentially, the sin of presumption is to take God’s mercy, gifts, and even unltimate salvation for granted.

Specifically, it may be most clear in the act of committing serious sin with the assumption that we can just get forgiveness later. It is the spiritual equivalent of the common saying “it is easier to ask for forgiveness than to get permission”.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

PRESUMPTION. The desire to undertake, or the actual undertaking of, what is above one’s capacity. It is a result of pride, which makes a person overestimate his abilities and blinds him to his deficiencies. It also leads one to expect graces from God without doing anything to obtain them, and even when acting the opposite, as when sinning, the person presumes that forgiveness is assured. (Etym. Latin praesumere, to suppose, take for granted.)

sorry, i forgot to add complete info, it is a diferent sin from that of the sin against hope, it is this:

“Vainglory, ambition, and presumption are commonly enumerated as the offspring vices of pride, because they are well adapted to serve its inordinate aims. Of themselves they are venial sins unless some extraneous consideration puts them in the ranks of grievous transgressions.** It should be noted that presumption does not here stand for the sin against hope. It means the desire to essay what exceeds one’s capacity.**”

it goes like the first poster said, if i believe i can kick a football that much and there is no evidence for me to believe so, am i being prideful or just positive without any sinfulness.

I told someone I know that, if she dies before I do, I would pray for her soul. She told me not to! She said that not only is she going to heaven, she is going straight to heaven with no stop in purgatory. (And yes, she’s Catholic!)

As you can imagine, this opened up quite a discussion for the two of us. Goodness, even St. Paul wasn’t sure he was going to heaven. :shrug:

Considering that salvation assurance is a Protestant thing and contradicts the Catholic Church teachings that she is bound to believe you should point this out and ask her how she knows in advance that she will not die in a state of mortal sin.

Oh, I think I understand your question better now.

I think the important thing to understand here is that presumption is firstly considered a vice, which is something that may tend towards sin but not necessarily sinful in itself.

So presumption may tend to make me think that I can kick a football further than I really can, but if I fail to do so, there is nothing inherently sinful in kicking it shorter than what I thought I could.

On the other hand, presumption may make me believe, let’s say, that I’m capable of performing complicated surgery, even though I have absolutely no medical training, and have merely read a few books. Let’s say I attempt to perform an operation on someone and by failing to perform it well I kill them. In this case, there is reall harm done; there is real negligence on my part and real sin.

One can commit direct sins of presumption too - such as discussed previously above - committing a grave sin with the expectation of receiving forgiveness later is the classic example.

But ultimately, as discussed, to understand presumption better, you need to understand the difference between a vice and an actual sin.

We had an interesting discussion, all right. I asked her if she is a sinner, which she admitted to being. I then pointed out that heaven is perfect, and if you introduce an imperfection into a perfection, your perfection is tainted and therefore no longer perfect. She got the idea.

oh, yeah, thank you a lot for this info, yeah i did not notice that those were vices instead of sins. but thanks for the info. yeah i was somewhat puzzled as to how believing that you could kick a football further than you actually could, could be sinful.(except if you were in the NFL wich might be more serious i guess) specially since sometimes believeing you cant do somethings mentally blocks you to dont do it.

In my experience, when Catholics speak of the “sin of presumption,” most often they are speaking of presuming on God’s grace or forgiveness without doing anything to receive it in actuality.

For example, a sinner may not reform to avoid sin, because “I can just go to confession again.” But part of repentance is sorrow for sin and a desire to change for the better. This sinner is presuming God will forgive, but not willing to do the hard part of turning from sin.

Or a person who presumes they are saved, but never goes to reconciliation, never confesses sin, maybe never bothers to attend Mass–because, “I’ve been saved already.” These sacraments were not given for God’s benefit, but for ours–we are the ones who need the help of grace and renewal in our faith.

All I can say about the sin of presumption is: Pride goeth before a fall. I can’t count the many times it has happened to me.:frowning: Never presume ANYTHING!!!

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