Mortal and Venial Sin
- "Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is
tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils, and he tempteth no
man. But every man is tempted by his own concupiscence, being drawn
away and allured. Then when concupiscence hath conceived, it bringeth
forth sin. But sin, when it is completed, begetteth death."
- What is sin?
Sin is any thought, word, desire,
action, or neglect (omission) prohibited (forbidden) by the law of God.
- When are you guilty of sin?
To be guilty –
- You must know that you are breaking God's law, and...
- You must freely choose to do it.
- How many kinds of sin are there?
Two – mortal sin and venial sin.
- What is mortal sin?
A "big" sin, a serious violation of
- Examples: Getting drunk, adultery,
stealing something expensive.
- What does mortal sin do to the soul?
It drives the Sanctifying Grace out of your soul.
- "What fruit had you then in those things, of
which you are now ashamed? For the end of them is death."
- Where will you go if you die with mortal sin on
You will go to Hell forever.
- "They shall have their portion in the pool
burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
- Can all mortal sins be forgiven?
Yes, if you are truly sorry
for them and do everything necessary for forgiveness.
- "If we confess our sins, He is faithful
and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity."
(1 John 1:9)
- What is venial sin?
A "small" sin, a less serious
violation of God's law.
- Examples: Impatience, ordinary anger,
stealing something cheap, getting slightly drunk.
- What does venial sin do to your soul?
It does not drive out the Sanctifying
Grace from your soul, but it does make you less pleasing to God.
- Where will you go if you die with venial sin on your soul
(and no mortal sins)?
You will go to Purgatory.
- Can a number of venial sins become a mortal sin?
No. (Except that a series of
similar small, recurring thefts from the same person amounts to one large theft
and therefore can be a mortal sin.)
- If you do something wrong, but do not know it is wrong,
are you guilty of sin?
No, if it is through no fault of yours
that you do not know it is wrong.
- Example: If you eat meat on Ash
Wednesday, completely forgetting that it is Ash Wednesday, you are not guilty
- (Ed. note: There are some things, though,
that you know are wrong, even though somebody may never have told you that they are
wrong, such as birth control or homosexuality. Even though you may not have
been told that they are wrong, common sense or the natural law tells you that they
- Are you guilty of sin if you intend to do something wrong,
even though you do not actually do it?
Yes, because even the intention to
offend God is a sin.
- Example: If you intend to rob a bank,
but are frightened off by the guards, you still commit just as bad a sin as if
you had robbed the bank.
- What should you do if you do not know whether something
is mortal or venial sin?
You should not do it; otherwise, you
will commit a mortal sin, because you show yourself willing to offend God seriously.
- Example: You do not know whether
eating too much is a mortal or venial sin, but you go ahead and eat too much
- What is temptation?
Temptation is an attraction to commit
- Can you always overcome temptation?
Yes, because no temptation can force
you into sin, and God will always help you.
- "And God is faithful, Who will not suffer
you to be tempted above that which you are able: But will make also
with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
- What should you do when you are tempted?
First, ask God to help you,
and then, get busy doing something else.
- "And lead us not into temptation.
But deliver us from evil."
(1 Corinthians 10:13)
- How can you avoid temptations?
Avoid all persons, places or
things that may lead you into sin, and ask God for actual graces.
- What are actual graces?
They are "helps" from God which
enlighten the mind and strengthen the will to do good and avoid evil.
- "My grace is sufficient for thee:
For power is made perfect in infirmity."
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
- Actual graces come and go, but Sanctifying Grace
remains in the soul. Sanctifying Grace is LIFE; actual grace is HELP.
- Can you resist actual graces?
Unfortunately, yes, for you are
free, and God does not force you to use them.
- "And we helping do exhort you, that you
receive not the grace of God in vain."
(2 Corinthians 6:1)