WHAT ARE THE MORTAL SINS?
WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE WE COULD BE BLINDLY COMMITTING MANY DEADLY SINS
Deadly – Mortal Sins are Easy to Commit
According to the wisdom of the saints, mortal sins are easily and frequently committed by most; we just don’t know what they are.
“Meditate on the horrors of Hell, which will last for eternity because of one easily-committed mortal sin. Try hard to be among the few who are chosen.
Think of the eternal flames of Hell, and how few there are that are saved.”
–St. Benedict of Nursia
Yes, mortal sins are all around us and so very deadly. Jesus told St. Faustina, “Often a soul wounds Me mortally.” Tragic! Well, “what are the moral sins”, we might ask, so we can avoid them?
In this article, I will explain how, “there is such a thing as deadly sin” (1 John 5:16), and show us what they are, so we can run from the sins that are greatly harming our lives on earth, destroying our hopes for Eternal Life and so horribly wounding our beloved Lord.
“By [mortal] sin you have lost God’s grace, rejected your share in Paradise, accepted the pains of Hell, and renounced God’s Eternal Love.”
–St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church
Mortal sin is not easily understood, mostly because we haven’t been taught the fullness of what prevents us from obtaining Heaven. Yet, even though all mortal sins vary in intensity, all of them, for most, if we recognize them or not (as I explain), reject God’s saving mercy and prevent us from obtaining Eternal Life. Please don’t be deceived.
Actually, the word “mortal sin” is a homonym of sorts. Most of the time the word “mortal sin” is only used to indicate the horrible sins such as murder, fornication (sexual relations outside of marriage), immorality, hatred, robbery or the other great sins like those clearly listed in The Word as not inheriting Eternal Life…the “regular mortal sins.”
However, mortal sin, as The Word also teaches, is much more.
MORTAL SIN is anything--in our thoughts, words or deeds--that keeps us from obtaining Heaven; it's anything which rejects the sanctifying--saving--grace God died to give us.
There are really two types of deadly sin:
- irregular mortal sin
- regular mortal sin
Regular mortal sins are the most commonly known mortal sins, but there are other sins, which aren’t the typical mortal sins, but they are just as deadly. They are going to be called irregular mortal sins.
Irregular mortal sins don’t prevent us from receiving Holy Communion, but rather we need the strength from Holy Communion to help rid them from our lives. However, if we don’t repent of them before our death, we reject saving mercy for those sins.
Therefore, to obtain eternal life, we must seek God’s grace to help us rid all forms of mortal sin from our lives, so we can cling to God and not our sins, but most tragically so few do.
“The majority of adults are damned for all eternity. Everyone who is damned is damned on account of the uncontrolled passions of his heart which draw him to sin [and not God].”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret
Horror for Sin
But before we learn about mortal sin, we should know, to rid our life of all mortal sin, we don’t have to know what the mortal sins are. Frankly, all we need is a fantastic horror for sin (any/all sin).
Yes, if we had great fear of the Lord (great fear of sin and its consequences) then from that fear, we would naturally do all we can to avoid all sin–including mortal sin. From our great hatred for sin/love of God, we would be free of all deadly sin and embrace God’s saving mercy. To learn more, please read, “What is Fear of the Lord.”
“[God] manifest to my soul the hideousness of sin, the sight of which imprinted in my heart so intense a horror thereof, that the least stain was an insupportable torment to me.”
–St. Margret Mary
But since most don’t have such a fantastic horror for sin, which causes us to work with all of our hearts to avoid all sin, then the next best way to gain enough desire to rid deadly sin from our lives is to establish an understanding of what they are.
Qualities of a Mortal Sin
Like I said, there are two kinds of mortal sins: irregular and regular, but to understand them, we first need to understand the basics of any mortal sin.
For any sin to be mortal or become mortal, it must possess three qualities (cf. CCC #1857):
- Grave Matter: the sin committed must be serious;
- Full Knowledge: we must know the sin is wrong either from the knowledge of right from wrong God places within us at creation–natural law (the law of love) or if the sin isn’t part of God’s natural law but rather a law of the land (government), the Church, or our boss, etc., we must know of the laws existence to be guilty;
- Deliberate Consent: we must choose to commit the act or desire to do it. We can’t accidentally sin mortally nor can anyone force us to commit a mortal sin.
However, please don’t be deceived and think these requirements are hard to combine to make a mortal sin. These qualities are easily present in our lives, as I explain.
“Oh foolish people!…you have the knowledge of good and evil, and the ability to work [to change]. And so you cannot plead as an excuse that you lack any good thing that would inspire you to love God in truth and justice. You have the power [God’s grace] to master yourself and not want and take pleasure in injustice [sin]. You can punish yourself [do penance] and flee from [sin].”
–Jesus to St. Hildegard of Bingen
For one thing ALL SINS ARE GRAVE…as they all offend Our Lord. How can offending Our Beloved Lord not be grave?
But there is a kind of “grave” that most speak about when discussing “mortal sin.” It is a seriousness of a sin that causes severe damage to our relationship with God, great blindness and merits us Hell. With in any “grave sin” are different degrees of severity that prevent or allow us from receiving Holy Communion but they are all deadly.
It can be a bit difficult to discern what is grave enough to be a regular mortal sin that makes us unworthy for Holy Communion and what isn’t, but I will provide a list and greater explanation later in this article, so we can discern this correctly.
Once we mature mentally and gain full knowledge of right from wrong, which God placed into everyone’s conscience upon our creation, we are all accountable to know the entire Law of Love. Until we gain full knowledge of all laws, every sin/law we gain full knowledge of we are accountable for.
“The demands of the law are written in their hearts” (Romans 2:15)
We can deny the truth written in The Word and/or be misguided by another into believing we are not at fault for any sin, but if we were to look into our hearts, wanting to know the truth, we would clearly see, from the knowledge God gave us, what is sinful and what isn’t.
However, there are certain laws from God and laws of the land (government laws, Church laws, etc.) that are not from the Law of Love, which are not part of our innate knowledge. Therefore, if we commit them from being unaware of it’s existence, that is, if we aren’t negligent in not knowing of its existence, we aren’t guilty in the Lord’s eyes, since we lacked full knowledge of the law. But for most sins, deep down, we know they are sins, and we are accountable.
“No one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man (CCC #1860).
Also, the extent of our guilt varies with the extent of knowledge given to us outside of our innate understanding.
There are few instances that we don’t deliberately consent to sin.
However, there are times we are forced to participate in sinful acts or our mind is so mentally ill that we don’t have true control. Plus, we can also sin by accident, which is very rare–mostly only those who obtain a fantastic hatred for sin or perfection are in this category–since most of the time, our sin is from some sort of neglect on our part and/or having a known or unknown liking for the sin.
Please note: imperfections–like forgetfulness or mistakes–committed from our weakness aren’t sinful, that is if they weren’t committed from our neglect. However, such imperfections are something we should still seek to learn from and improve, as they hinder our progress towards a truly devout Life.
Regardless, unless we fall into those three categories (accident, forced to sin or mentally ill), or if we are with a fantastic hatred for sin, or we have grown so much in faith that we are now “perfect”–filled with grace–and can’t choose to sin any more, we all still choose all of our sins.
Ways We Commit Mortal Sin
Therefore, as you can see, mortal sin is actually pretty easy to commit…but it is even easier than what appears to be described above. To the surprise of most, there are actually many ways we commit mortal sin that most are unaware of.
How does a sin become mortal? Well, that is something we all should know. This ignorance is what is keeping many of us complacent with our mortal sin and preventing us from imploring God for the great grace to we need to gain a true desire to remove all mortal sins from our lives. Therefore, if we want Eternal Life, let’s learn what they are.
10 Ways a sin becomes mortal:
- Not truly hating any sin (mortal or venial), having excuses to justify our sinful choices, liking the outcome of a sin, doing bad hoping for good, or being willing to commit the sin again. Not hating our sin so greatly we would rather suffer anything than offend God again–still liking the sin or ourselves over abstaining from offending God. (cf. Romans 12:9);
- Choosing to commit a serious/grave sin; choosing a “regular” mortal sin (cf. 1 John 5:16);
- Refusing to see a sin or admit any sin is sinful, thinking sin is actual good (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14);
- Refusing to obey any of God’s commands: ignoring or not trying to live all of God’s commands; not believing enough in The Word (Jesus) to work with our whole heart to obey every command–not truly desiring to follow Christ. (cf. Matthew 19:17);
- Not striving to become a saint–not really striving to become a perfect self-sacrificing saint; being OK, complacent with any offence committed against God–Lacking a firm resolve to stop sinning (cf. Acts 3:19);
- Loving someone or something above God; not living according to God’s priorities placing Him and His will first. (cf. Matthew 22:37);
- Being attached to sin; habitually committing any sin (venial or mortal), since we aren’t working hard to stop the sin nor seeking God’s transforming mercy to take away our desire for the sin (cf. Acts 3:19);
- Being attached to people; seeking anyone (family/friends) as our source of happiness and not God alone (cf. Luke 10:27);
- Being attached to the created; desiring any created thing of the world for happiness: desiring/longing for anything that isn’t God to be our source of joy (cf. 1 John 2:15);
- Being attached to our will. Not trusting in God, not wanting His will but our own; wanting pleasure not the cross, thinking we know The Way; being disobedient to the Church; lacking true faith and trust in God; seeking to do and get what we want and despairing when we don’t get it (have a cross to bear). (cf. John 14:16);
“There are other faults of which they think little [of], and, what is still worse, they defend them as if they were virtues [good], and will not be corrected for them. These faults place the soul in great peril of eternal damnation.”
–God the Father to St. Gertrude the Great
All of these sinful ways are how we love ourselves and our sins, as we mortally effect our relationship with God. Most tragically, people living with many of these sins, from our pride will still think we have a great relationship with God, when in reality we are quite blind to The Way, but are deceived into thinking we can make sound personal and spiritual choices. When from our mortal sins, we can’t. So please beware.
These different categories I listed above all sort of over lap each other, but I broke them up in this way, so we can more easily understand them.
The above are all “grave sins.” They are all mortal and keep us from God’s saving love and banish us to an eternity in torment, but some of the sins, if we commit them, we can still receive Holy Communion without going to confession to a priest or stopping the sin, that is, if we are working hard/truly resolved to amend them. They are the irregular mortal sins. But the regular mortal sins, we must abstain from Holy Communion until they are confessed and completely amended.
Here is where understanding what is a regular mortal sin: what prevents worthy reception of Holy Communion and what is an irregular mortal sin: what needs the grace from Holy Communion to help move us to Life, gets a little confusing…so bear with me as I try to simplify it.
Below, I intend to explain why the above list are mortal sins and tell us which sins are regular or irregular mortal sins.
1. Not truly hating any mortal or venial sin – this lack of contrition–still desiring the sin–is what damns everyone’s soul. Lacking TRUE sorrow for offending God with any sin (moral or venial) is the ultimate mortal sin–the ultimate rejection/forsaking of mercy for sin.
“There is a sin [mortal or venial] which is always “unto death” (1 John 5:16): the sin for which we do not repent.”
–St. Mark the Ascetic
Not TRULY repenting of any sin rejects Heaven for that sin. Lacking sorrow for offending God the Most High, in anyway, is always a deadly mortal sin. As the saints say, this kind of contrition is quite hard to acquire and tragically most never obtain it. ” ” Therefore, we need to spend our life time carefully seeking grace after grace to remove our desire for sin/lack of contrition so we can grow from some sorrow into gaining True sorrow for each and every sin. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”
“[We lose salvation from the] utter forsaking of God, neglect of His law [any law], and finally mortal sin committed through concupiscence [desiring sin].
–St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church
The sins we lack TRUE hatred (still desire) that are mortal in nature are “regular” mortal sins and the sins we lack hatred for that are venial by nature, those are our “irregular” mortal sins. Both must be truly repented of, at least at the moment of death, if we want Eternal Life.
Therefore, we must gain true hatred for all sin, if we want to Live. But again please don’t be deceived and think we possess such hatred for sin, because unless we have been toiling away for years to grow in our contrition, we most likely don’t have it for every sin.
But we also should know, to obtain Holy Communion worthily there are specific requirements pertaining our contrition/hatred for our sins that most are unaware of. To learn them please read, “What Sins Can I Commit and Still Receive Holy Communion.”
Plus, since we can’t read our souls, unless a special grace is given, we will never know for sure–if we have such contrition for our sins. So like the saints have done, let’s always seek to grow in hatred for sin/love for God, so through trusting persistence, God’s grace can give us a hatred for sin so true, we would “rather suffer death” than offend God in the slightest way (have true sorrow).
“We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws [of God]” (2 Maccabees 7:2).
2. Choosing to commit a serious/grave sin – Grave sins-sins that are really serious – are the regular mortal sins–they break of God’s commandments–and are the sins that most of us know at least something about, as I have listed below. These sins are so offensive to God and cause such horrific injury to His Sacred Heart of Love that they must be humbly confessed to a priest with real sorrow (to the best of our understanding) and with a firm resolve to amend if we want to be forgiven of them. Because of their grave nature, we must stop committing them before we can receive Holy Communion worthily.
“The commandments thus represent the basic condition for love of neighbour; at the same time they [living them] are the proof of that love. They [obedience to the commandments] are the first necessary step on the journey towards freedom [leaving sin to love God], its starting-point. “The beginning of freedom”, Saint Augustine writes, “is to be free from crimes… such as murder, adultery, fornication, theft, fraud, sacrilege and so forth.”
–St. Pope John Paul II
To begin to walk towards Life, all of these grave sins must be banished. If we desire salvation, and our mortal sins haven’t been amended by the time of our death, they must be repented of by an act of perfect contrition (which takes much grace) upon our death or all is lost. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”
“There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray [but tell the soul to confess and stop the sin, if they wish to be forgiven]” (1 John 5:16).
Actually, all the other categories in red, even though they are less “common” fall into this category. They are very grievous.
3. Refusing to see a sin or admit any sin is sinful – these sins are always regular mortal sins. If we are lying to ourselves and refuse to admit if even a venial sin is in fact sinful, we take that venial sin and make it mortal from our refusal to acknowledge the Truth. Since Jesus is The Word (the law) made Flesh, we are rejecting Christ if we reject any of the Truth.
“They have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved. Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
Therefore, if by God’s mercy (grace), we are so blessed to realize a sin that we have been justifying (telling ourselves it is good) is in fact sinful, we need to confess that sin to a priest with sorrow before we receive Holy Communion and be truly resolved to never commit it again (working to amend it if the sin is habitual). If the sin is mortal in nature (a grievous regular mortal sin), then the sin must also be stopped completely before receiving Communion.
4. Refusing to obey any of God’s commands – all the commands of God that we think little of and ignore (don’t work to live) are regular mortal sins. Any sin, even a venial one we don’t care to obey–don’t think it is important–becomes a regular mortal sin, since we think little of offending God. Oh, how many sins have we thought were just venial and then didn’t even contemplate stopping them…they are all really mortal.
A venial sin…becomes a serious one through a person’s negligence [not working to stop the sin] and scorn [disregarding it of importance], as you can deduce from the case of this soul who has already been condemned.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden
By having a lack of desire to obey any law or stop any sin, we choose wickedness instead of love and are apparently OK with offending God with those sins, which is an abomination of love. By refusing to obey even one Word (one law), we are refusing Christ, who is “the Word made flesh.” He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and by refusing to obey anything we are choosing sin instead of Him.
“[There will be] wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness” (Romans 2:8).
5. Not striving to become a saint – Our hearts must be resolved–truly resolved–to follow Christ (by way of the cross) and “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34) all sin (mortal and venial) or we are in a state of mortal sin and are rejecting God’s saving mercy to stay in our life of sin.
The entire Bible is our directions to sanctity, not a lukewarm life. We are “called to be saints” (Romans 1:7) and must have the working goal of become a real perfect self-sacrificing saint–we must be truly resolved to “sin no more” (John 8:11). This is true obedience.
“Neglect of God’s law [any law] brings inescapable punishment for the soul and that unquenchable fire.”
–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church
God has a real unique plan for how each of us are to become a perfect saint doing His special work He has willed for us. We must let go of all we desire in life and seek God’s will…not just for one moment but for all moments. To learn more please read, “What is God’s Will.”
We can’t say, “I will change tomorrow.” We must work towards sanctity today; we must be working with our whole hearts towards perfection, removing one sin at a time with the help of God’s grace towards becoming like Christ, or we love our life of sin, are in mortal sin and can’t receive Holy Communion. We must be firmly resolved to become “perfectly holy” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). To learn more about why so few accept God’s saving mercy, please read the Home page article on this web site.
“Become sober as you ought [realize your days are coming to an end] and stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34).
6. Loving someone or something above God – God calls us to love our planet, our neighbor and ourselves, but if we look into our lives, we will clearly see how we don’t put God above many people and things we do. Oh, we like to “say” we love God above all, but our actions clearly prove we don’t, since, for the most part, we live for our desires, not what God wills.
When we love God above all, our minds will be constantly focused on God and His will. When our love is true, all we think about is God. The moment we have free we seek out private time to be with God. When we truly love God above all, we won’t be attached to the world–not we won’t desire anything of the world as our source of happiness–just God.
What is our love, our comfort and rest? Is it really God? What do we go to at the end of a hard days work to relax? God? Or, is it really a nice glass of wine; perhaps, a good movie or to surf the web; maybe, you hit the social media, or watch some TV…oh, how about relaxing with your comfort food or a cigarette…music or a secular book…hum, whatever it is that we seek to relax…is it really God through prayer as we rest in Him? “In God alone is my soul at rest” (Psalm 62) or is it really “In the world is my soul at rest?” Have we been deceived and traded God for the world (our idols)?
“For more than eighteen of the twenty-eight years since I began prayer, I suffered this battle and conflict between friendship with God and friendship with the world.”
–St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church
Our love for the world, for most, is sadly great. Most just don’t know it. We don’t want to use the world according to God’s will to better know, serve and love Him. We want the world to love ourselves. One moment we are focused on God and the next we are craving bounds of pleasures of the world: a great meal, movie, vacation, pampering, relaxation, music, money, sexual gratification, conversations with a friend, hobbies, sporting event, TV show, success, etc. We seek them and have been deceived so greatly, that we think this is perfectly fine behavior.
Oh tragically, our passions/love for the world’s pleasures have removed, at least, part of our hearts from God, since sadly, we crave them over Him much of the time. But we must change and love God above all by way of the cross.
The wisdom of the flesh is the love of pleasure. This is the wisdom shown by the worldly…they want to have a good time….these worldly people usually want as a penance only a few prayers or a small offering to the poor. They detest anything that could possibly cause them any bodily discomfort [they don’t want to leave the world and atone for their sins].”
–St. Louis de Montfort
If what we desire/love above God–what keeps our hearts and eyes off of God and the cross–is venial in nature (a person, our job, sports, yummy food, TV, seeking pleasure not the cross, etc) then this is an irregular mortal sin. However, if what we love above God (long to do for pleasure) is mortal by nature (sexual perversion, revenge, getting more for ourselves by cheating another, etc.) then this is a regular mortal sin. We must learn how to let go of the world so we can love God above all.
“’Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” (Matthew 22:36)
7. Being attached to sin; habitually committing any sin – When we repeatedly commit the same sin, we do that from having a liking/attachment to the sin. We can disdain the sin so greatly we would rather suffer death than commit the sin again for a moment, but once we put our guard down [stop unceasing prayer/lose some of our great disdain for the sin], we recommit the sin again. That is because we haven’t allowed God to take away all stain/liking for that sin, which still lives within us.
To accept God’s saving mercy, we must be attached to God, not sin. We can detach for a moment but to be continuously in the state of grace, we must be completely detached (all stain of the sin gone) or it will pull us from God.
“Habitual sin binds down the mind, so that it cannot rise to uprightness [it can’t gain a state of grace].”
–St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church
To let go of our habitual sins, we need to go to God for much grace. To learn more please read, “What is God’s Grace and How Can I Obtain It.”
When we do go to God for grace, from a sincere humble heart, to help us remove our sins, our habitual sins will be leaving. We will stop holding on to them, begin to truly hate them and start to clinging to God.
“Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.” (Romans 12:9)
Therefore, to reject sin and cling to God, all habitual sins (sins we know or refuse to know because we don’t desire to leave them) must be removed by God’s grace–we must die to them– before we can be continuously in the state of grace.
“Shall we persist in sin…Of course not! How can we who died to sin yet live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2)
Of course, even if we let go of all of our habitual sin, sadly, from our lack of perfect grace, we will still habitually choose our will (sin). Our sins just won’t be habitual anymore, since we allowed God’s transforming grace to take away all our liking for sin (we gained continuous hatred for all sin). Yes, when we grow in hatred for our sins to where we constantly would rather suffer death than sin or even after we accept enough of God’s grace–they will leave.
We should know, if the sin we habitually commit is mortal in nature (masturbation, watching pornography, most unforgiveness, etc. (yes, they are mortal sins)) then we must stop the sin all together before we receive Holy Communion because it is a regular mortal sin.
The sins we habitually commit which are venial in nature (such as some forms of: anger, worrying, vanity, over eating, wasting our time with the world, sexual excess, and countless other sins) are irregular mortal sins which don’t prevent us from receiving Holy Communion if we are firmly resolved to amend them (working on stopping the sins, one sin at a time).
However, we should know, God’s plan for marriage and sex is very warped from the truth and bounds of habitual impure sins are being committed through the holy bonds of marriage. To not die from those habitual sins we love, lets learn about the vast confusion we have with our sexual lives, please read, “What is God’s Plan for Family and Friends.”
FYI: Some saints lost their liking for sin quickly, but others, like St. Francis De Sales, took over 20 years of hard work to receive enough grace to perfectly amend his temper, which was deeply ingrained in him…so don’t expect all sins to be gone over night unless we surrender greatly to God. But no matter what happens, we must be working hard growing in grace and stopping the sins we can stop and changing the others, growing towards habitually sinning no more–from trusting in God–for it to happen. To learn more please read, “How to Stop Sinning.”
Plus, please know, if we wait too long to begin to lose our liking for our sins, we might come to the point of our death still having a liking for our sins on our souls, and oh, how hard it is to honestly detest our sins and gain perfect contrition at the moment of our death (gain a saving faith) if we have been clinging to the world and our sins our entire lives.
“If you are a habitual sinner [who isn’t working hard to amend them]…You are very ill; you are one of those invalids who, as St. Thomas of Villanova says, are seldom cured [by the prayers of others]; you are on the brink of perdition [Hell].”
— St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church
8. Being attached to people – Like I said, we must be fully attached to God if we desire Eternal Life. But we don’t only need to detach from our sins, we also need to detach from everything that isn’t God and His will. Outside of being attached to sin and our will, losing our attachment to people is by far the hardest attachment to rid, which takes much grace and desire.
We tend to not see our family and friends as attachments, but for most, they are. But not only that, unless we aren’t very careful, whoever we associate with could very easily lead us into sin….not Life, since so few are truly seeking perfection–the way to a saving faith and are leading us astray. It is better to be completely alone (no help) than to have a bad friend (a friend that doesn’t help you grow in the TRUE faith).
“Friendship is the most dangerous of all affections…If men share false and vain things, their friendship will be false and vain; if that which is good and true, their friendship will be good and true.”
–St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church
Our minds/hearts are supposed to be fixed on God and His will at all times–nothing of the world. But instead of craving God and His will only, we tend follow people’s poor examples and crave the love and affection of others, which is sinful. We make people our idols…what we go to for happiness.
When people are kind and loving towards us, we delight in that and put our hearts on obtaining that kindness again. When we obtain approval or attention of someone of authority or someone we seek to impress, we hope for that to continue. Our minds leave God and are now fixed on the love others can give.
Oh, we desire praise and attentions from others to build us up. We seek their conversation to fill our void. Sadly, we rely on those things and many others as our source of consolation and happiness and have put our eyes on them and not God alone.
God wants us to spend our time on seeking the salvation of others souls, not how others can make us happy, but how we can help save them. Being attached to people does nothing good for anyone.
Oh, how many of us say, “my family is everything” being tricked into thinking that is actually good…yes, that sounds noble for the untrained Christian, but that really leads to doom. Many place our happiness on our children’s success and even live vicariously through them. Oh, we have our hearts set on all sorts of pleasure with our family and are crushed when things don’t go well. We allow them to lead us into loving all sorts of worldly pleasures instead of God (or perhaps we are the ones leading them astray).
“On how good it is for those who have left the world to flee from relatives [of untrue faith, if they can] and how they find truer friends.”
–St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church
Of course we should still care for our families “needs” or we are “worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8), but remember the lost (those with untrue faith) don’t know what they need and may try to get us to do all sorts of things that are bad for them and not God’s will…so beware.
For most of us, we allow people to make us or break us. We allow people to build us up or pull us down because we are attached to them and not God. When we are attached to God, nothing someone says to us or does to us pulls us away from our peace, since we are attached to God (who is our everything) and trust in Him, not man. We are content with His will. We seek God’s love, approval and consolation. Our family and friends can die; our loved one can treat us horrible, and we are still in God’s peace. Our minds are fixed on God and His will and content with that knowing all that God allows is ultimately meant for our good.
If we are attached to a person that causes us to commit regular mortal sins, and we are unwilling to leave their friendship or stop the sins because we don’t want to be without them, then that attachment is a regular mortal sin. However, the rest of our cravings for friendship, attention, love…for our self-love, are irregular mortal sins.
Our hearts must pine for God alone. (We should know wanting someones friendship, love or approval, so they can work with us for God’s honor and glory…or to help another and serve Him isn’t sinful. But it takes much grace to not lie to ourselves and claim we are doing one thing, when in fact we are doing another. To learn what our correct love for our family and friends is supposed to be please read, “God’s Plan for Family and Friends”) To learn more please read, “Become Attached to God not the World.”
9. Being attached to the created– Like I said, we must be attached to God alone to not reject God for the world; and being attached to our things is one of the attachments that must leave. We don’t want to be like the man in the Bible who Our Lord asked “if your wish to be perfect [to stop sinning and love Him”] go sell what you have and give to [the] poor” (Matthew 19:21), and tell Our Lord, we can’t leave our things to love Him….then we will go to Hell for some useless worldly treasure.
Therefore, if we can, we should do what the saints have done and renounce our worldly treasures and pleasures, by selling what we have and giving to the poor…so to live with only what we truly need–what is God’s will, which is the easiest way to Life.
However, if we are married, or if we can’t leave it all for whatever reason (our spouse and family oppose), so to not love our things and worldly pleasures, we must rid all we are allowed to rid our useless things we buy and do especially the things we find ourselves looking at with admiration or use to sin: our house adornments we look at with joy, nice clothing we pride ourselves with or feel attractive in; our nice car we feel important with, or delicious foods we use to indulge in…what ever we find our hearts desiring…collectibles, valuables…leave it, if your family doesn’t reject. If we don’t want to leave it…we love it.
On top of that, we need to leave anything we do with our time that isn’t for God’s honor and glory (playing sports, hobbies, TV shows, etc.) –those worldly things are sins (unless they are truly God’s will done to better know, serve or love Him). Gods tells us when we mature, we must all we do must be for the love of Him, please don’t be deceived or all can be lost from some worldly pleasure we won’t leave to love Him. If we are to obtain a saving faith of true love, we want to do this quickly, since every sin we willingly continue in offends God and rejects grace, grace we need to come to truly love God so to be saved by Him.
If we can’t leave what keeps our hearts and minds away from God, then never fall into the temptation and buy that nonsense again (unless we are forced to through obedience). If we do fall into sin, return it as a penance. Remove our eyes and desires from seeking anything worldly. Live as simply as possible…the only one we are trying to impress is God. And buy ourselves nothing that isn’t truly needed, or an unknowingly a liking for the world can develop or never leave.
“Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).
Once we make up our mind that we are going to leave it all to follow Christ, losing our attachments to the things of this world, for most, is the first and easiest attachment to hate. Then we could live in a palace and not have a liking/desire for a single food or item that was there. We could still so what our family does for fun and keep our house pleasing in appearance for our family, who still desires the worldly beauty, but have it not faze us (not pull our minds off of God). But until we get there and even when we truly hate the world exercise caution with what we do and buy for or with others, it can lead us right into an attachment again.
But of course, if the things we are attached to are mortal in nature: things that greatly harm our bodies–the temple of the Holy Spirit–like: drugs, excessive alcohol, something we use for sexual perversion, immoral music, etc., they must be removed from our life: stop using, watching or listening to them before we receive Holy Communion.
Also, we should know, we don’t have to actually own something to be attached to it. If our hearts desire that nice car, big house, cool shoes, awesome phone, great spouse, etc….we are still going to die (reject God) for being attached to something we don’t even have. We must be satsified with what God allows and HATE the world…not long for it.
10. Being attached to our will. Not trusting in God – This self will of ours that we are attached to is what ultimately circles around to destroy us. We can’t desire anything but God’s will. This is true trust in God to save us. We simply must believe God knows what is best for every moment of our lives. Horribly, if we don’t relinquish our desire for control, we will die from trusting in ourselves–making ourselves our god.
When we truly love God, we trust that God knows the way we need to travel to obtain a saving faith. If we focus on God and His plan for every moment of our lives, we won’t mistakenly go astray and not love God or miss The Way all together.
To do this Our Lord and the saints tell us we must be resolved to obey, which means to “pray without ceasing” (Thessalonians 5:17) for guidance and frequent the sacraments for the strength to truly live His commands (His love for us) that will guide us to Life. This is what a heart that truly loves God does. To learn more please read, “How to Pray Humbly.”
“My part, I have resolved, O Lord, is to obey your word. With all my heart I implore your favor [grace]; show the mercy of your promise [help me]. I have pondered over my ways [left my sins] and returned to your will. I made haste and did not delay to obey your commands.” (Psalm 119:57)
But most don’t truly strive for God’s goals, since we have allowed the world to distract us from God and pull our hearts and eyes off of Him, towards countless people and things/pleasures of the world.
We don’t know the Way. The good and the bad that God allows is what is the greatest good for our lives at that moment. It is what God intends to use, if we allow Him, to teach us His blessed ways to we can change our lives for the better.
“Renounce our self-love and self-will, and our attachment to earthly things [for eternal life]” –St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church
This life of true discipleship takes much discipline…but if we seek Christ wanting to be perfect, through God’s love, He will give us the discipline we need so we won’t die with the world but live eternally with Him in Heaven.
“Since we are judged by [the] Lord, we are being disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Corinthians 11:32)
Some Attachments Aren’t Sinful
We should know there are certain attachments that aren’t sinful. They are our predispositions towards one thing or person. Our liking of one thing over another–our affections–don’t have to be abandoned to not reject God if we don’t long for them (desire them). They aren’t sinful. Only our longing/desire for certain things or people are offensive to God, since we are rejecting God, filling our mind with desiring them over God. However, if we are seeking perfection–to become full of grace–to never sin (offend God) again, then we want to seek to remove any predispositions as they do hinder our progress.
Blind to Mortal Sin
With any of our mortal sins, if we don’t want to see them, we won’t…we will simply justify them away. It takes a soul who really wants to know their sins, who really wants to stop offending God, to honestly see what their sins are and what they are attached to. This enlightnment is developed over time. So, if you can see one attachment, I promise you there are many more God hasn’t allowed you to see just yet. But in time if you continue to confess and work hard to amend what you can see, God will enlighten you to more when and how He wills.
If we aren’t resolved to amend our life and still crave the flesh [the world], removing our mortal sins will seem impossible or at least quite a burden. But once we truly turn to God and accept His grace, ridding them from our lives will be easy. Truly “[God’s] yoke [command] is easy and my burden [cross] is light.” (Matthew 11:30). Leaving our sinful ways of life will give us the freedom from sin we are looking for, and delivers a life of wonderful peace. We simply need the grace to really want to do it.
“Those who live “by the flesh” experience God’s law as a burden, and indeed as a denial or at least a restriction of their own freedom.”
–Pope St. John Paul II
Holy Eucharist Takes Away Sins
As we can see the Holy Eucharist, which is for those who truly seek to stop sinning–who are striving to become true saints–is to assist us in removing our disordered attachments so we can become attached to God and saved by Him.
“By giving Himself to us [in the Eucharist], Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures [to rid our desire for anything that isn’t God and His will] and root ourselves in Him [live for Him alone for Eternal Life]” (CCC #1394).
We might be deceived into thinking we don’t commit any of those sins, but the sad reality is, unless we have grown and grown wonderfully in faith towards sanctity and have received unfathomable grace from God, we still commit many of them.
Most of us are just greatly deceived and can’t see them. This is why “The majority of men shall not see God” as St. Justin, Doctor of the Church tells us. Most don’t even know we are dying and sadly, we never turn to God with a truly humble contrite heart to save us. We suffer from the presumption of salvation and think we re already saved. Our understanding of the faith is so far from the truth.
“The vast majority of Christians [even the faithful] are enveloped in the most shocking ignorance [of their faith].”
–St. John Baptist Vianney
Hopefully we can now see how a serious sin like “murder” is equally as deadly as having a liking for a venial sin (being not resolved to amend a single venial sin).
“Woe to me, if I do not make use of the light that is now given me, and amend my life!”
–St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church
Oh, how many of us believe we are being saved by Jesus, when by refusing to leave our life of sins, we are rejecting the very Savior we believe is saving us? We need to educate others as to what the mortal sins are and guide them to the Way of Peace.
more coming soon.wi