WHAT ARE THE MORTAL SINS?

WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE WE COULD BE BLINDLY COMMITTING MANY DEADLY SINS 

 

Deadly – Mortal Sins are Easy to Commit

To the surprise of many, mortal sins are really easy to commit.

“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

What are the moral sins? In this article, I will clearly explain, “there is such a thing as deadly sin” (1 John 5:16), and these sins vary in intensity but all of them reject God’s saving mercy and prevents us from obtaining Eternal Life.

“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

According to the wisdom of the saints, mortal sins are easily and frequently committed by most; we just don’t know what they are.

Mortal sin is not easily understood, mostly because we haven’t been taught the fullness of what they are.

There are actually two types of deadly sin:

  1. irregular mortal sin
  2. 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 known as irregular mortal sins.

It obtain eternal life and not reject saving mercy for any sin, we must rid all forms of mortal sin from our lives.

Sadly, from the deception of the evil one, most don’t fully understand what prevents us from obtaining Heaven, so we don’t even know we are suffering from deadly sin. Therefore, we never seek God’s transforming mercy to take them away and save us.

This is a great problem, since mortal sin kills (sends us to eternal torment).

If we desire to rid all deadly sins from our lives, it will be greatly beneficial for us to learn what they are…especially since the sins which kill us are misunderstood by most.

Please don’t be deceived, even a venial sin can easily become deadly. Let’s learn how.

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) then from that fear, we would do all we can to avoid all sin–including mortal sin. We would be free of all deadly sin…from our great love for God.

“[God did] 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, that causes us to work with all of our hearts to avoid all sin, the next best way to rid deadly sins from our lives is to gain 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 (CCC #1857):

  • Grave Matter: the sin committed must be serious;
  • Full Knowledge: we must know it is wrong either from the knowledge of right from wrong God places within us at creation (natural law–the law of love) or if it isn’t a natural law, but rather a law of the land (government), the Church, or our boss, etc., we must know of the laws existence;
  • 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 and make a mortal sin. These qualities are easily present in our lives, as I explain.

Grave Matter

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 keeps us from receiving Holy Communion, causes severe damage to our relationship with God and merits us Hell. 

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, but I will provide a list and greater explanation later so we can discern this correctly.

Full Knowledge

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 Law of Love.

“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.

Deliberate Consent

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 perfection are in this category), as most of the time our sin is from some sort of neglect on our part and/or having a known/unknown liking for the sin. Please note: imperfections–like forgetfulness or mistakes–committed from our weakness aren’t sinful, if they weren’t committed not from our neglect. However they are  something we should still seek to learn from and remove.

Regardless, unless we fall into those three categories (accident, forced to sin or mentally ill), or we have grown so much in faith that we are now “perfect”–full of grace–and can’t choose to sin any more, for the most part, we all still choose all of our sins.

Confusion with Mortal Sin

All mortal sins, like I said, need to possess the above qualities, but mortal sin is more complicated than that because 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, 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 is much more.

MORTAL SIN is anything--in our thoughts, words or deeds--that keeps us from obtaining Heaven, anything which rejects the sanctifying--saving--grace God died to give us.

Again, there are two general kinds of mortal sin–regular and irregular–which, if left unrepented, keeps us from accepting God’s saving forgiving grace.

The two kinds of mortal sins are:

  • Regular  Mortal Sin  – Very grave sins that prevent us from receiving Holy Communion;
  • Irregular Mortal sins – Attachments to sin or created things

Very Grave – Regular Mortal Sins:

Most of us know what, at least, some of the easily understood “mortal sins” are. The Bible clearly defines many sins as “deadly” (1 John 5:16) and goes into much detail in many places as to what they are. Here are a few for example: 

“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived

    • Fornicators [sexual relations outside of marriage], 
    • idolaters [desiring/longing for anything that isn’t God], 
    • adulterers [when married, desiring or being sexually intimate with someone other than one’s spouse]
    • male prostitutes [someone who engages in sexual activity for payment],
    • sodomites [homosexual or other unnatural (non-vaginal or perverted) sex acts],
    • thieves [taking advantage of others, or taking what hasn’t been given to us]
    • the greedy [not giving of our money, things and/or time generously, while wanting nothing in return]
    • drunkards [not exhibiting self-control while drinking]
    • revilers [fighters/arguers], 
    • robbers [taking by force what belongs to others]

none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). 

 

“Now the works of the flesh are obvious:

    • immorality [watching, wearing, or thinking about sexual immoral things], 
    • impurity [thinking, speaking or looking at anything not pure], 
    • licentiousness [undisciplined sexual desire], 
    • idolatry [worshiping a false God — longing for the pleasures of the world (people, power and possessions) to bring happiness and not God], 
    • sorcery [use of magic], 
    • hatreds [hating others], 
    • rivalry [fighting with others-oral or physical], 
    • jealousy [wanting things that others have], 
    • outbursts of fury [angry], 
    • acts of selfishness [being self concerned], 
    • dissensions [arguing, causing a lack of harmony], 
    • factions [a group that is self-seeking–not concern with others], 
    • occasions of envy [longing for someones qualities], 
    • drinking bouts
    • orgies [group sex], 
    • and the like

I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough [from lacking the strength that comes from God’s grace due to mortal sin rejecting it]” (Luke 13:23-24).

These are only a few of the many mortal sins The Words lists as deadly. Later on in this text is a more complete list. Committing any of those sins–any of the regular mortal sins–in our thoughts, words or actions (actions being most grave), are very serious.

They reject God greatly and cause us to lose much grace (God’s help) in our life, since they are so offensive. If we don’t repent and change by seeking God’s transforming grace to stop them, we live a life blind to The Way, as we reject Heaven for those sins. They are very serious!  

But you might ask, “Is it really a ‘grave,’ a mortal sin, for example, to momentarily want, lets say our neighbors new car or if we are arguing with our spouse?”  “Is that jealousy or arguing really the kind of sins that rejects God and chooses Hell?” Well, The Word says they do. So, why is that true? The answer is: some times those sins do fully reject God, but other times they don’t.

Below I will explain how these sins and all of the others–that seem venial–can easily become mortal.

The Most Common Grave Sin

What takes any sin and makes it mortal is when we are aren’t truly sorry we have committed it or if we are not honestly working/resolved to stop the sin (which is the same as not being truly sorry).

Therefore, if we aren’t sorry we are longing for our neighbors new car, thinking that is just fine behavior–then our venial sin is now mortal. Or lets say, we don’t just argue with our spouse once, this is common repeated behavior; it is a habitual sin, since we haven’t sought God’s transforming grace to remove our selfish demanding spirit and make us silent servants of peace. Then arguing–from a lack of true resolve to stop–is mortal too.

“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, (Revelations Ch. 19)

Yes, lacking TRUE contrition–lacking hatred for any sin and/or lacking a real resolve/desire to stop offending God–even with a venial sin, is what makes a venial sin mortal.

This is the most common mortal sin.

Please don’t be deceived into thinking you are with true contrition for all of your sins, when that kind of sorrow takes great grace. Obtaining true contrition is actually quite hard to obtain. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow.”

Please know, it is an abomination of love, to not love God enough to at least work hard to stop offending Him. Oh, how many sins do we commit that we pay little attention to?

“There is true lukewarmness to be mourned over, when the soul falls into venial sins with a full will, and grieves but little for them, and takes little care to avoid them, asserting that they are trifles.”

–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church

But, there are many other ways a venial sin becomes mortal, which I explain throughout this article.

Attachments – Irregular Mortal Sins

Most people don’t know that there are sins, which prevent us from obtaining Heaven, but don’t keep us from receiving Holy Communion, known as attachments.

There are two kinds of venial attachments (irregular mortal sins), also know as idolatry:

  1. Habitual venial sin
  2. Longing for People, Power, or Possessions — the world

We don’t speak about them as the typical “mortal sin” because they are venial or not even sinful in nature, but they kill. To learn more please read the article “What Sins Can I Commit and Still Receive Holy Communion.

It is true that no venial sin is ever deadly no matter how many we commit, even though it can weaken us to commit a mortal sin (irregular or regular), but like I just said, it is the liking of a sin, any sin–being attached to it (not seeking to amend)–that is always mortal.

We must love God enough to hate all sin, which is anything that keeps us from loving God with all of our hearts. The liking–attachment–to a venial sin is what is deadly, not the venial sin itself.

“Know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it [likes it] with the intention of persevering.”

–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden

Having an “attachment” to anything, when we are supposed to be attached to God, whether it be a venial sin or anything at all, makes that attachment a mortal sin.

All disordered attachments are deadly!

“He MUST cast away the strange gods, the earthly affections and attachments.”

–St. John of the Cross

These attachments, which are so common, become something that we choose instead of God’s saving mercy, be cause we desire them and not God.

We must be fully attached/united to God at our death or we will reject His saving mercy for our worldly attachments. And sadly most of us have bounds of attachments…especially if we haven’t been toiling and toiling with God’s grace to detach ourselves from the world.

“Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves [desires] the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15)

Let’s look at the two forms of attachments (idolatry):

  1. Habitual venial sin
  2. Longing for People, Power, or Possessions — the world

Habitual venial sin: If we are attached to a venial sin, meaning we habitually commit it, that sin is an irregular mortal sin. Even though it is mortal and something we must repent and amend before death or we will reject God’s saving mercy for that venial sin, since we don’t truly hate it, it isn’t a sin that prevents us from receiving Holy Communion.

For souls, who are truly working to amend our habitual venial sins, Holy Communion is meant to assist us in losing our desire for the sin so we can gain a saving faith by desiring God alone.

Longing for people, power, or possessions: Our idols–attachments to the pleasures of the world–are also irregular mortal sins, which we must detach from to accept God’s saving mercy so to Live.

To fully repent and amend our desire for our idols, we need God’s great mercy which He gives in reconciliation and Holy Communion too. The sacraments and many other ways, if we seek God, He can move us to truly hate the world so to truly love/desire Him.

To begin to see our attachments, please ask ourselves, what do we repeatedly desire/long for, to bring us happiness, that isn’t to know, love or serve God? Each one is a disordered attachment. We can’t desire sin or anything…our hearts must long for God  alone–He is to be our true love and our hearts desire. To learn more please read, “How to Reject the World and Live for Heaven.”

AN ATTACHMENT is anything we repeatedly desire/long for to make us happy, like our sins, family, friends, power, addictions, complements, relaxation, food, recreation, vacation, possessions, etc...it is what we repeatedly run to for joy that isn't God and His will...it's a form of idolatry.

Ways We Commit Mortal Sin

There are actually many ways we commit sin which rejects God’s saving forgiving mercy.

The following are the different categories in which a sin is or becomes mortal: 

  1. Choosing to commit a serious sin (cf. 1 John 5:16);
  2. Not truly hating any–mortal or venial– sin, thinking we are justified in our sinful choices, not seeing a sin as wrong or liking the outcome of a sin and would do it again if we could. Not hating offending God. (cf. Romans 12:9).
  3. Refusing to obey any of God’s commands: ignoring, 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);
  4. Not striving to stop sinning–not really striving to become a saint; being OK, complacent with any offence committed against God (cf. Acts 3:19); 
  5. 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; lacking a firm resolve to stop any sin;  (cf. Acts 3:19); 
  6. Being attached to people; loving someone or something above God; placing ourselves, our family, or friends or anything above God and His will, seeking anyone as our source of happiness and not God alone (cf. Luke 10:27);
  7. Being attached to our will. Not trusting in God, nor wanting His will but our own;  thinking we know The Way; lacking true faith and trust in God; seeking to do and get what we want and despairing when we don’t.  (cf. John 14:16);
  8. Being attached to the created; desiring any created thing of the world for happiness: desiring/longing for anything and not God to be our source of joy (cf. 1 John 2:15);

All of these sinful ways are how we love ourselves and our sins and not God. These different categories all sorta of over lap, but I broke them up this way so we can more easily understand them. These are all “serious sins.” They are all mortal and keep us from God’s saving love. 

However, if the sin an attachment and isn’t “mortal” in nature, then the sin doesn’t prevent us from receiving Holy Communion, even though we must “renounce our self-love and self-will, and our attachment to earthly things” –St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

Actually, it is the Holy Eucharist, which is for those who truly seek to stop sinning–who are striving to become true saints–that the Eucharist 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 to know, serve or love God] 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. We 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.

“The vast majority of Christians [even the faithful] are enveloped in the most shocking ignorance [of their faith].”

–St. John Baptist Vianney

Nonetheless, since we tend to have such a hard time understanding how a serious sin like “murder” is equally as deadly as having a liking for a venial sin (not being resolved to stop a single venial sin), I separated how we commit mortal sin into categories so we can more clearly see the major ways we commit mortal sin (any sin that rejects God’s saving mercy).

“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

“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

A Venial Sin Can Easily Become Mortal

There are actually several ways a venial sin can become mortal:

  • lack a true desire/effort to stop the sin (Acts 3:19),
  • not wanting to obey the least of God’s Word (John 14:15),
  • habitually choosing to commit any sin from a lack of hatred (Romans 6:1-2),
  • having a liking/desire for any sin (not being sorry) (Romans 12:9).

Yes, all of those venial sins that we think so little about, that we aren’t truly resolved to amend–that we aren’t truly working to stop offending God with–are mortal. 

“Venial [sin]…becomes mortal,” when someone “fix[es] one’s end in that venial sin [has no resolve to amend].”

–St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

Truly, if we love God so little that we ignore any law of God…and are not striving to live the smallest letter of the law–rejects Christ, who is The Word, and that is a mortal offence too.

“[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

Plus, being OK with sinning, not hating any sin enough to seek God’s helping grace correctly take it away, as we habitually commit it, is a mortal attachment to sin too.

“If you are a habitual sinner…You are very ill; you are one of those invalids who, as St. Thomas of Villanova says, are seldom cured [unless great effort is made]; you are on the brink of perdition [Hell].”

— St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church

And of course, not truly detesting/hating any sin with our whole heart, from having a lack of fear of the Lord (fear of sin), is a mortal rejection of saving grace.

We must grow in our faith to to obtain a true hatred of sin, a hatred so greatly we would rather suffer any pain than to sin against Our Beloved Lord whom we desire to truly love. Our contrition must be true.

“[Those who hate sin and seek only God’s will] would let themselves be tortured rather than be guilty of one imperfection and die a thousand deaths rather than commit sins.”

–St. Theresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

As we can see, mortal sin is much more than we might have thought.

All Mortal Sins are Different

All mortal sins kill and greatly offend God, but not all mortal sins are the same.

There are different kinds and degrees of mortal sin along with different intensities of punishment/consequences and spiritual blindness that follow each sin based on its severity and frequency.

Some mortal sins are devastating. They hurt God, others and ourselves very greatly. They reject God’s help substantially, if not all together, as there are times we can think we are pleasing God and receiving His help, but in fact we are receiving no grace at all, since God gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels [since they refused to listen] (Psalm 81:12)

However, even if we loose God’s helping grace and guidance…He will never stop calling us to Him.

Mortal sin can cause unspeakable suffering for us and others. But we must always remember the least of the mortal sins still rejects God’s saving mercy forever and chooses Hell if left not repented before death. We must seek to amend all of them.

Therefore, it would be extremely careless of us to only focus on seeing to it that we don’t commit fornication (sex outside of marriage) or perhaps murder, thinking only avoiding the common “mortal sins” is enough to avoid the fires of Hell, when there are a jillion other ways we reject God’s saving love too. We need God’s mercy to strengthen us to truly hate All sin and truly love God. We must strive to “be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect.”

“[Oh,] the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).

Of course, we should work to amend our most serious sins first–since they are most damaging–but we can’t stop at that. We must have enough hatred for sin that we continue to amend all of our sins until they are all gone. To learn more please read “How Can I Stop Sinning?”

What Happens if We Die Still Committing Mortal Sin

Believe it or not, to accept God’s gift of Eternal Life at the moment of death, we only need one thing…True Faith in Jesus, which gives us true hate–TRUE Sorrow–for every sin, even our mortal sins and attachments. If we can be so blessed to grow in that much in faith at our death, we will accept God’s saving forgiving mercy and be saved.

Even if we are attached to many sins/created things and are even committing mortal sin, if at the instant of our death, we are some how moved so greatly in faith into TRUE contrition for all of our sins ever committed, we will be saved. But don’t be deceived…

We will have to spend much time purifying ourselves of our attachments and atoning for our every sin ever committed after baptism in purifying fires of Purgatory, but we will be saved. However, obtaining this kind of faith, at the moment of death, is very rare. It is very very hard to get to this kind of saving faith–this kind of contrition instantly–if we haven’t been truly, with our whole heart seeking it or never obtained it while God gave us time on earth to find His helping mercy to grow into a saving faith. To learn more please read, “What are the Requirements of Salvation.”

Many Are Lost From Mortal Sin

As we can see since mortal sins are so easy to commit, and so few make the effort to amend, tragically, “Many, I tell you, will attempt to enter [Heaven] but will not be strong enough.” (Luke 13:24). Like the Word says, “many” people will desire to go to Heaven, but sadly will “not be strong enough” because we lack God’s strength–His helping grace–that strengthens us to reject all sin and desire God alone. Sadly, most die still desiring sin…as our chronic habitual sins prove.

If we have’t read the article “The Lack of True Sorrow for ONE Sin Rejects Eternal Life,” I suggest reading that as it will help our comprehension of this subject.

Therefore, so we don’t end with the majority and perish into eternal anguish, it would benefit us greatly if we learned what mortal sins are, since understanding mortal sin and how to be forgiven of them is most valuable, since it is much more involved than we might imagine.

“Faith teaches that the pains of Hell are eternal, and it also warns us that one single mortal sin suffices to condemn a soul forever because of the infinite malice by which it offends an infinite God.”

–St. Anthony Mary Claret

The Ways We Commit Mortal Sin-Explained

Commit a Serious “Grievous” Sin (the most discussed mortal sin):

Like I said, there are differences in-between sin…some are more or less serious than others. However, any offense–venial or mortal–against Perfect Goodness is simply horrible; it is grievous. But when we commit a less severe–but still grievous–sin, that is a “venial” sin, which doesn’t cause as much offense to God or harm to others and ourselves quite as much as a mortal sin, nor does it reject God’s saving love and choose Hell for that sin.

However, there is a large problem with determining which sins are more or less serious, since much of the time what we think is not very serious is gravely serious in the eyes of God (or vise versa) since our judgement of right from wrong and knowledge of our intentions has been tainted by the evil one.

But we certainly need to do our best in recognizing the sins that are most harmful to God, others and ourselves so we can surely do all in our power to repent and stop them as soon as possible. Every moment we live in the most grievous of mortal sins, unrepented /unchanged, we are causing untold damage.

To understand the gravity of a sin we need to use logic and reasoning, along with God’s Word, His Church (the Catechism), and the saints for guidance. Obviously, murder is more serious than lying. However, lying can be a serious grave sin, in line with murder, when our intention is, lets say, to protect ourselves and greatly harm another with our lie.

Much of the time the severity of a sin depends upon the INTENTIONS of our hearts, and only God truly knows these. We can try to see our true intentions but the truth is for God alone, who only knows the secrets of the heart…even the secrets we keep from ourselves

If we think a sin is a serious grievous mortal sin (unless we develop an over scrupulous conscience), we should treat it as one. God talks to the heart and it is better to error on the side a sin being serious than under. Therefore, flee to God if we feel we have committed a mortal sin; beg God to move our conscience into having true contrition (true sorrow). If we want to understand scruples please read the article, “How Can I Over Come My Scruples.”

Then with all sorrow confess to God and to a priest, and resolve to never commit that sin again, hoping our contrition is at least imperfect (the sorrow we need to be forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation through the help of the priest), so we will be forgiven. To learn about the challenges with obtaining true sorrow–a sorrow that accepts forgiveness–please read “How Bad Confessions Can Damn Us.”

See the list of common serious mortal sins, as listed in the Word, in a few more sections below in this article.

Not Truly Seeking to Stop Any Sin:

Not being firmly resolved to stop any sin–even a venial sin–makes it automatically mortal…not because the venial sin is horribly grievous, but because not wanting to stop offending God is an abomination of love.

Honestly, how many sins are we sincerely working to amend? Are we really trying to amend any? Yet, the neglect to truly hate/to sincerely strive with all of our heart to stop a single sin makes us deserving of the eternal fires of Hell. Honestly, are we seeking to “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34)?  We must change!

“Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again” (CCC #1451).

To be saved we need a heart that truWe need a truly humble, contrite heart. To learn more please read the article, “What is True Sorrow.” All we need is true sorrow and any sin is forgiven. But if we lack contrition for just one sin, we reject God for that sin, since even the slightest venial sin is of infinite malice to our infinitely perfect God and not being sorry for that offence is deplorable and rejects mercy for sin.

To accept God’s saving mercy ALL of our sins must be forgiven. Therefore, if we lack contrition–lack TRUE sorrow–for any sin, it is an abomination of love and rejects God’s saving mercy and chooses Hell for sin. If we seek God’s help, with perserverence, He will give us a heart that truly hates all of the sins we so sadly prove we love.

“Many weep over their sins, but at heart they are not really contrite.”

–St. John Vianney

Obtaining true sorrow for every sin should be our life’s goal. Therefore, if we don’t at least want to stop sinning, with a desire that is beyond word alone (having a desire which at least causes us to move away from sin), we can never grow in faith to gain a true hatred and a true resolve to amend (true sorrow).

We must learn how to lose our liking/delight for sin and truly hate our sins so we can come to truly love God. Telling God we love Him in our words is nothing if we don’t honestly love Him in our hearts. We can do fantastic works and pray vast prayers, but what does any of that matter is we don’t sincerely want to stop offending Him? 
Tragically, “the greatest number, my Jesus – we may say nearly all – not only do not love Thee but offend Thee and despise Thee [since we sin without restraint]” (St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church).

Truly, thinking most are in the state of grace is the deception of the evil one to keep us blind so we don’t burn with desire to stop all of our offences against God and truly love how Jesus loved.

“Know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it [doesn’t hate it] with the intention of persevering [not wanting to stop–lacking contrition]”

–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden

Yes, all habitual sins are mortal (unless it is an imperfection which I speak about in the article how to become a saint). The reason we repeatedly commit sins is from having some liking/delight for that sin in our hearts..some unwillingness to amend from a lack of hatred. If we sought God’s grace with a heart that truly wanted to change, we would accept God’s transforming mercy and stop repeating the sin. To have a saving faith, we must habitually love God…not any sin. 

We must be wholeheartedly working with God’s grace and making resolutions to stop any and all offenses against God…one step at a time. If we have even some kind of desire to stop sinning outside of word alone, and if we are approaching God correctly for grace, that desire to amend, will grow and grow from a weak desire into a true desire, which is needed to be completely forgiven and saved. Like I said, any sin we aren’t truly sorry or lack a true desire to stop–even a venial one–becomes just as deadly as a seriously grave mortal sin.

“He is a scoffer, not a penitent [not someone sorry for their sins], who commits what he repented of. Nor is he cleansed [forgiven] who weeps for his sins, yet does not forsake [stop] them.”

— St. Isadore of Seville, Doctor of the Church

God’s grace, if we accept it, will cause us to grow in hatred of our sins, so one day we can wonderfully gain a true hatred for every sin from having a true resolve to not commit them again. This fantastic transforming grace, which strengthens us, surely takes away all liking for any sin, causing us to stop habitually committing them.

Refusing to obey ANY of God’s commands:

Jesus is the Word since “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14), and if we don’t work to perfectly obey any of the Word, we are rejecting the Word–rejecting God–rejecting salvation. Therefore, not truly working to obey all the Word and follow Christ–with any of God’s commands or from His example, is a mortal sin.

“Neglect of God’s law [any law] brings inescapable punishment for the soul and that unquenchable fire.”

–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

This is because if we don’t want to obey or follow Christ, we don’t truly love God nor are we truly sorry for offending Him. Lacking true love for God is a violation of the first and greatest commandment and is mortal. Only those who truly love God accept His saving grace instead of sin.

To truly love God, truly hate a sin and have true sorrow for any crime, in order to be forgiven, we must sincerely want to obey–all of the Word…not part of It or just in our words alone, but most certainly all of It and in all of our actions. It is a grievous sin, which rejects God –who is the Word–to reject any of the Word by not striving to obey perfectly. How can we truly love God, if we don’t even truly desire to obey Him? There are so many actions God calls to do, but so many refuse and continue in our lukewarm life.

This category is very similar to the above, “not wanting to stop a sin,” but I made this a different category because this category brings awareness of the sins of omission–the choices we should have made, but chose not to–because we desired to live a lukewarm life.

St. Teresa of Avila, who is said to never have committed a mortal sin (the severely grievous sins we all think about), was shown her place in Hell by God for still living a lukewarm life, by not wholeheartedly seeking to become a self-sacrificing/suffering saint who denies herself of her will and the pleasures of the world, who picks up her crosses and truly follows Christ.

Perhaps she didn’t deserve Hell for committing a serious grievous mortal sin like I discussed in the first category, in which most think of as mortal sin, but she was still rejecting God’s saving mercy–committing mortal sin–from living a lukewarm life–not truly following Christ. She might have even been close to following Christ, but she still wasn’t quite there and was still rejecting His saving Love.

“[In St. Teresa’s autobiography she says] I do not believe that I turned away from God in mortal sin…[a few chapters later she exclaims] It was our Lord’s will I should see the place which the devils kept in readiness for me, and which I had deserved by my sins [living lukewarm].”

“Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15)

Being Attached to Anything of this World:

Many have no idea desiring something other than God is a mortal sin. But it is; it is idolatry. Horribly, we go from one pleasure to another…looking for happiness. When God is waiting for us to truly find Him. He wants us to desire Him alone.

But, sadly, we have justified our attachments to the world and feel just fine with partaking in and desiring countless pleasures, as we even refuse to recognize them as attachments. Yet, every moment we want anything but the cross–God’s will–they are keeping us from wanting God and His Way to Heaven. We simply won’t see the very attachments that are keeping us from God and are killing us.

“[Poor deceived souls], one moment you will see them throw themselves down upon their knees before God, and the next you will see them perform the same act before the idols of this world [as they desire the pleasures and comforts of the world]. The poor blind man! He stretches forth one had to the Almighty and the other to the world, calling to both for help [hoping some trifle of the world will rest their weary heart], and promising his heart to both.”
–St. John Vienney

To understand this, we need to know what an attachment is. In brief, an attachment is anything we repeatedly desire/want or long for to bring us happiness. God is to be our only desire…all we seek and want. Anything else just keeps us from our Lord, takes away our time and mind from knowing, serving and loving Him, and makes us crave something other than God.

Boy are there countless things the devil pulls our hearts away from God with, so we don’t truly seek to know, serve and love God, but rather seek to love ourselves.

Desiring something of the world once is a venial sin (not an attachment), unless what we desire  is mortal (seriously grave) in nature then it could be a mortal sin. We don’t even have to commit the mortal sin, just desiring to commit a mortal sin makes many desires mortal. But not all desires for mortal things are mortal sins.

For example, lets say you are tempted to rob a bank as you drive by a bank. You then act upon that temptation and think for a moment that would be good…now that one small thought isn’t serious enough to be mortal. For our desire to be mortal, in our mind, we need to spend time thinking of how great it would be to rob a bank and maybe even come up with a plan of how we would do such a thing. Then it could be mortal but not an attachment unless we frequently desire to rob banks.

“Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:2).

When we have a desire for a venial or mortal sin or even something that isn’t “technically” a sin, that desire can become a mortal attachment if we continuously desire/seek out that sin or worldly pleasure.

For example: lets say we repeatedly desire for someone to show us love and affection, then we are attached to seeking the love and affection of another and not God alone; that is a mortal sin, since it is frequented desire. I know this can be shocking since practically everyone wants (longs for) our family to love us, but truly, we must grow so much in our faith to where we hate our family.

“If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).

Now, God doesn’t mean we must “hate” our family, as in detest them. We must love them, but not above God. However, the hate God is referring to is for us to not desire them but instead to desire Him alone. And to hate how our longing for their affection has kept us from longing for God’s love. God calls us to love others but not seek to be loved. Whatever we long for whether it is a person or a thing or a desire, it is mortal. We must desire God alone or we commit idolatry!

There are many many ways we are attached to people, things or desires. This is quite an in-depth subject which I go into much greater detail in the article “How to Reject the World and Live for Heaven.” This is one of the main reasons why many of God’s faithful never grow towards a saving faith…they don’t realize they are committing idolatry, so they never seek contrition nor desire to amend.

But anything we desire from a great time with friends to that awesome football game, to a yummy meal or even a good nights rest, can all be deadly attachments–much of them are our form of idolatry…since what our hearts seek is what we desire, and for most of us, it isn’t God and His will. Yet, to be saved by Christ we must desire God alone or we will reject Him for some useless sin or pleasure of the world.

Please don’t allow the devil to convince us we don’t “desire” the world, when our hearts don’t constantly burn, I mean burn, for God as we sincerely HATE the world and its pleasures (since they have kept us from loving God with all of our hearts). And we will know when we hate the world, we won’t have to try to reject it, from God’s grace, we simply won’t want it.

If we didn’t desire the world, we would intentionally choose the cross (even look for the cross) instead of the comfort and pleasures of the world, so we can love how Christ loved.

Truly, we must become completely indifferent to the enticements of the world and be excited and long for only God and His will.

“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.  For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

The Mortal Sins

Learning what the serious grievous mortal sins are is probably why most have chosen to read this article. We are probably looking for a specific list of sins to avoid, but as we can tell, there really isn’t a specific list of sins as all sin can easily become mortal. However, there are the “mortal sins” that most speak about and these specific sins greatly harm God, our neighbor and ourselves. Therefore, I’m going to list many of them so we can do all we can to avoid them.

(This list, in two sections, is mostly copied from SacramentofReconciliation.com)

Not Loving God with All of Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength or Your Neighbor as Yourself (the sum of all of the commandments):

  • Not Truly Hating One’s Sins (still liking sin and not loving the Lord Our God with all of our heart) Colossians 1:12-14
  • Desiring/longing for anything but God (loving anything above God or having an attachment to any created thing) 1 Timothy 6:10
  • Lack of Trust in God (Disbelief in God’s love for you; lacking trust that He allows everything for your good; lack of faith) Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Following Your Own Will (not living for what God wills of you but choosing selfish gain) Matthew 7:21-23
  • Loving the World (perusing worldly comfort, praise, things, enjoyment, etc.; having attachment to the world and seeking it over spending your time perusing God) 1 John 2:15

     

Above are the grievous sins most don’t understand as mortal, since most of them come from a less serious sin, but we must truly want to amend them and grow in God’s grace so we can truly hate them (obtain true sorrow) if we want eternal life, but they aren’t the sins that prevent someone from obtaining Holy Communion or the serious mortal sins most speak about.

Below are just some of the grievous mortal sins that cause even greater injury than the above deadly sins and must be stopped as soon as possible which can’t exist if we wish to receive Holy Communion.

The sins with an asterisk * are the sins which can’t become venial (unless perhaps we are some how suffering from serious mental illness/handicap)…and of course no sinful act we perform is even a sin if we are forced into that act.

  • Lukewarm (claiming to be Christian but not really choosing to strive to live the true faith–the Way of the Cross; having an incomplete faith; not truly seeking to follow Christ nor honestly wanting to sin no more) Revelation 3:16 *
  • Fornication (sexual contact with anyone you are not married to) 1 Corinthians 6:9 *
  • Adultery (sexual contact with a married person, other than your spouse or sexual contact with a divorced–not annulled person) Proverbs 6:32 *
  • Lasciviousness (lust- lack of sexual self-control, masterbation) Galatians 5:19-21 
  • Sexual Immorality (dressing, thinking, acting, watching, reading, speaking, or desiring impurity, wanting to be seen as sexually desirable) Ephesians 5:5 
  • Effeminate (transgender-drag queen behaviors – males acting like females) 1 Corinthians 6:9 
  • Sodimite (unnatural non-procreative sexual activity) Jude 1:7 *
  • Homosexual (unnatural sexual behaviors with same sex) Leviticus 20:13 *
  • Gossip (speaking poorly about someone; slander, spreading false or personal information about another) Exodus 23:1
  • Not Attending Church on Sunday (Neglect of Sunday obligation) Exodus 20:8 *
  • Disobedient to God’s Church (from pride, feel you know more than the Church Jesus founded (the Catholic Church) and refuse to believe or obey some of it’s doctrine) 1 John 2:15
  • Worshiping an Image other than God Leviticus 26:1 *
  • Don’t Acknowledge God (embarrassed to talk about or evangelize to others) Matthew 10:33
  • Use the Lord’s Name In Vain (swearing using God’s name) 
  • Witchcraft (practice of sorcery) Revelation 21:8 *
  • Hatred (intense dislike of a person) 1 John 3:15 *
  • Sloth (laziness) Proverbs 13:4
  • Variance (creating dispute) Galatians 5:16-21
  • Emulations (to try to equal or excel above others) Galatians 5:16-21
  • Anger (hostility towards others–lack of love) Colossians 3:8
  • Malice (ill treatment of others) Ephesians 4:31 
  • Unforgivenness (not forgiving someone) Mark 10:25 
  • Quarrels (making arguments) Matthew 5:22
  • Reilers (abusive speaking) James 1:19-20
  • Seditions (breaking the law, rebellion) Galatians 5:16-21
  • Heresies (believing teachings other than the teachings Christ gave to His apostles which was handed down to the Church Jesus founded-the Catholic Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit) 2 Peter 2:1
  • Envying (jealousy – wanting what others have) James 4:2-3
  • Murder (abortion, euthanasia, intentionally taking the life of another etc.) Revelation 21:8 *
  • Drunkenness (consuming too much alcohol) Galatians 5:21
  • Carousing (wild partying – indulging) Galatians 5:21
  • Covetous (greedy-wanting things or people to make us happy) 1 John 2:15-17
  • Thieves (taking what hasn’t been given to you) 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  • Profane (foul language) Colossians 3:8
  • Lying (practices falsehood) Revelation 21:8
  • Love of Money (striving for worldly pleasure/success from pursuit of money) Hebrews 13:5
  • Dis-honor One’s Parents  (not obeying-when a child, being disrespectful, not caring for elderly parents) Deuteronomy 27:16
  • Robbers (taking something using force) Ezekiel 33:14-16 
  • Jealousy (wanting things or qualities of others) James 3:16
  • Uncleanness (impurity) Ephesians 5:3
  • Extortion (illegally obtaining money) Isaiah 10:1-2
  • Impurity (behaving immorally) 1 Timothy 1:10
  • Hurting the poor (oppressing others) Exoduses 2:23 
  • Defrauding a workman (taking advantage of and under paying workers) James 5:4 
  • Greed (hording for one’s self, not giving to others in need) Hebrews 13:5 
  • Despair against hope for salvation Romans 15:13
  • Self-reliance (Not needing God) 2 Corinthians 3:5 
  • Disbelief in God (not loving/obeying God or acknowledging His existence) John 14:15 
  • Pride (lack of humility, inflated ego) Proverbs 16:5
  • Avarice (love of money, materialism) 1 Timothy 6:10
  • Lack of Self-control 2 Timothy 3:2-4
  • Gluttony (too much of anything, food, stuff–lack of self control) Ezekiel 16:49-50 
  • Ingratitude (not thankful) 2 Timothy 3:2
  • Lack of Holiness 1 Peter 1:15

Please remember some of these acts against love can be venial too depending upon our intentions and the seriousness of the sin and/or our deliberate consent. Lets look at the sin of lust for example. Having thought of thinking how “attractive”  or “nice” someone looks can be a pure thought. Like how we would describe a beautiful tree or something thing else. But sometimes the “nice” we think about, when referring to a person, isn’t a “nice” which is pure but impure (lustful) and that can be a venial sin, if it isn’t a habitual problem.

Also, the sin of not attending Mass is always mortal (never venial). However, sometimes it isn’t sinful at all, if we truly have no other option (not due to some kind of neglect or laziness on our part) than to not attend Mass. For example if we are caring for the needs of someone who can’t be away from us during the time Mass is celebrated or if an illness prevents us from attending or if our efforts to find someone to bring us to Church (if we can’t drive on our own) failed and we can’t get a ride to Mass. Those are examples of reasons forgoing Mass isn’t sinful, but any reason from a lack of proper planning, laziness or any selfish excuse, makes neglecting to attend Mass always a mortal sin.

Furthermore once any sin becomes habitual it is always mortal (something that must be repented of and stopped before we die), as all habitual sins are committed from a lack of true desire to amend. And we must have True Sorrow for every sin, at least at the moment of death to accept God’s forgiving saving mercy to Live.

But if our habitual sins are venial in nature, it is still acceptable to receive Holy Communion and as long as we continue to call upon God to help us rid them from our lives. We also should know any slight venial habitual sin won’t stay just one slight thought for long, if ignored. Any habitual venial sin, grows into more and more serious sin. However, even a sin that isn’t habitual like a one time act of lust can also be a very grievous sin when we indulge in long drawn out fantasy about another.

“Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28)

But always remember, if we aren’t resolved to stop committing any sin, even if the sin doesn’t seem severe (venial), it is always mortal, from having a lack of contrition for that sin, since not being sorry for offending God is deadly.

Also, there are many other sins outside of those I have just mentioned. Therefore, obtaining a heart of true love for God which has true hatred for our sins and accepts His saving grace, is the only way to a saving faith. But to get to that kind of faith, we have to first work to stop our sins especially the sins that are greatly rejecting God’s helping grace, the most serious of mortal sins.

Different Mortal Sins – Holy Communion

Many want to know the mortal sins because they know the reject Heaven, but they also want to know them because they understand living in them makes them unworthy of receiving God in Holy Communion. 

The reason we need to distinguish a difference in-between the different kinds of mortal sins which kill us is because those very grievous mortal sins cause us great harm and the more serious the sin the greater the loss of grace.

To receive Holy communion worthily and not harm God and ourselves, we must not only have stopped any of those serious grievous mortal sins (the ones that are mortal by nature) and have repented of them (confessed) to a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation, but we must also have a TRUE desire to sin no more, at least, a true desire (to the best of our ability) right before we receive Christ in Holy Communion. We simply can’t approach God, wanting Him to enter into our tabernacle if, we don’t even have a true desire to stop offending Him, at least before we receive Him.

Lacking a real desire to amend our ways is just as damaging as many other horrid sins sin. It has similar horrible consequences, punishments and blindness. Of course, we might not have grown enough in faith to have true contrition habitually (constantly) present in our souls for all our sins (as that takes great grace), but to receive the Holy Eucharist we MUST at least have some real hatred for all sin and have grown enough to be truly wanting to stop sinning, at least immediately before Holy Communion, if we wish to receive God’s True Body and Blood and not suffer great condemnation as a result.

Also, if we commit the mortal sins which are venial in nature (came from venial sin), those sins aren’t the sins that must be stopped before we can receive Holy Communion. To learn more please read the article “What Sins Can I Still Commit and Receive Holy Communion?”

Different Degrees of Malice

All sins are different in gravity. Only God truly knows the real severity of any sin. But to understand the differences in our sins the best we can, we need to look carefully at our thoughts and actions to see where we are violating God’s Law and to what degree.

A lot of the time, we can’t see how we are committing many sins because we only recognize our guilt if we are committing the most grievous form of the sin and as a result we blindly committing many crimes, rejecting bounds of grace and walking to our doom.

Lets look at the sin of unforgiveness for example. Not forgiving someone is a very serious sin. It hardens the heart greatly and keeps us from a life of joy and stifles our growth in faith. There is so much I could say on the damaging effects of unforgiveness, but I will only be brief to give us an idea of how we need to change.

Nonetheless, this sin, along with all of the other sins, has different degrees of injury it causes us, others and God. We can be very deep into this sin or not quite as buried in death but no matter how seriously we commit this sin, we are still guilty of lacking mercy.

Many will declare of course we forgive someone who trespassed against us (or who we think trespassed against us) because we know if we admit we don’t forgive someone, we are a great sinner; and our pride won’t allow that.

Horribly, many don’t want to see reality and prefer to pretend we are someone we aren’t. Our forgiveness of another much of the time is in our words alone or only in some of our thoughts and actions. Oh, we might have changed our actions some what to try to prove to ourselves we are “good” people who forgive or because we can’t stand not having everyone be our friends but our hearts are so far from truly forgiving another, it is tragic. Sadly, many hearts are miles from true forgiveness, we just live and believe a lie because we want to believe ourselves to be righteous when we aren’t.

Then there are others, who will say we don’t forgive someone. And many will feel no guilt and believe our unforgiveness is justified. However, this heart is actually easier to convert to true repentance than the above very prideful person who refuses to see the truth especially if someone is deep in sin.

When we truly forgive someone we love them, in our thoughts and actions–really love them, the way Christ loves us–not with false smiles and contrived gestures…trying to prove how “good” we are and “bad” they are, but with true love, no matter what sin they might have committed.

Below are some of the different intensities of unforgiveness (sinful responses) we suffer from when we don’t truly forgive someone (written least to greatest):

  • Bad Thoughts come to mind when we see a particular person who has done something we don’t like; we can’t separate the sin from the person and focus on loving him but instead think of his sinfulness. (It is a good thing God doesn’t treat us in the same way!)
  • Aggravated when a particular person (who has offended us) asks something of us. If we aren’t frustrated when one person asks something of us but we are when another does, there is a reason, and it is from sin. Much of the time it is from unforgiveness.
  •  Ignore someone who has hurt us (milder form of ill treatment). We intentionally avoid someone and/or pretend like they don’t exist.
  •  Relives the Injury and chooses to repeatedly remind ourselves of how we were wronged.
  •  Bash someone who has done us wrong. We slander or even exaggerate the truth to make others not like someone too and for self-pity.
  •  Looking for Fault in our offender. We won’t let go of their crime and will hunt for and pick at their other imperfections, see them as wrong in everything, even make up additional faults, or blame them for some of our poor choices or other problems.
  •  Ill Treat Another by being are angry in return and/or want to punish another with our disdain and decide to be mean, spiteful, or even evil in return.
  • Greatly Hates Someone for what they have done. We prove we hate someone when we are so angry we won’t talk to them, reject them, want to harm them in return (revenge), think and speak horribly about them, see all they do as wrong and dwell in their crime in our minds so to continue to live in hate and even grow in evil towards them.

If we look into our actions, much of the time our responses (unforgiveness) towards other sins against us are far more sinful than their offence. Some of us suffer from one of these issues of unforgiveness and some suffer from all of them. However, the devil wants us to pretend like we forgive everyone or that we are someone without sin or at least someone who has the right to anger and unforgiveness of another. But we don’t.

If we, who are great sinners (just perhaps in different ways), want to be shown great mercy for our vast life time of sinfulness when we die, we absolutely must grow in faith to show great mercy to everyone for every sin or inconvenience or challenge they have burdened us with, or we live without real hope.

I do want to mention some of us, to protect our pride, will make up or exaggerate reality creating false injuries committed against us and hate someone, who isn’t even guilty of anything, just so we don’t have to face reality…our own guilt. Therefore, if we look into why we are angry or frustrated, sometimes it isn’t even from something real or severe…we just convinced ourselves it is to have self-pity. We truly need to let go of our pride and love no matter what. 

Change the Heart

Frankly, since there are so many sins that can damn us, to avoid the grip of death, it is our hearts that need to change…then our life of sin will naturally repair its self. We can strive and strive to stop sinning, but if we never move our hearts from fear of death into wanting to truly love God, we simply won’t obtain the grace to succeeded.

When our hearts change from wanting sin, into wanting to perfectly love God through loving our neighbor, we simply won’t blindly or habitually commit grievous sin nor desire sin any more…our habitual sins will leave.

But to change the heart…boy is that hard as most of our hearts are hard–very hard–not malleable at all. We simply love certain sins…certain things that aren’t God and His will…we love them so much we don’t want to see or leave them. That is why we need the power of God’s love–His strength–to abandon our desire for sin so to be saved. He alone can soften our hearts of stone, and remove our liking for sin, because by simply trying to avoid sin on our own it will be impossible. Because with out God’s unfathomable helping grace, our desire for sin will still remain. To learn how to obtain God’s fantastic healing grace please read “What is God’s Grace and How Can I Obtain It?”

Our First Mortal Sin

Mortal sin is so easy to commit, we committed it very young in age. After our souls have been restored to life by God’s suffering, death and resurrection through the healing waters of baptism, sadly, we rejected that saving grace very quickly from our sinful nature to desire sin.

Once we mature enough in life to gain “full knowledge” of right from wrong, and we desire our first sin, without seeking to stop, we reject God’s merciful free gift of Eternal Life. That is why St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church, encourages us that “when children begin to use their reason, fathers and mothers should take great pains to fill their hearts with the fear of God [fear of sin and its consequences]…words [should strengthen us] treading [in] God’s ways.”

Let me give a couple of ordinary examples: the first time we pretended like we brushed our teeth, but didn’t, and had no desire to correct our behavior-if we matured enough to have full knowledge of right from wrong, that is actually a sin that would keep us from accepting God’s saving mercy, which is probably every kid in the world; Or the first time chose to indulge in the pleasures of the world for self-gratification, with food, entertainment, vacations, friends, etc. and didn’t have a desire to stop to live the cross, because if we were to look into our heart we would know we deserve nothing because of our great sin committed against God; perhaps that was our first mortal sin.

Sadly, from our sinful nature and failed upbrings, we don’t even know how to live the true faith and we will full choose to reject it a a very young age.

I know this can be shocking to those who haven’t been taught the real faith, but we are supposed to spend our life running to God’s mercy, as we follow Him, so to obtain enough “actual grace”

we receive God’s perfect forgiving mercy at our baptism in order to keep that light shining (God’s saving grace within us), we must live the faith. And tragically most of us don’t even try or we try to live just part of it…diffidently not all of it. If we choose to not follow Christ and fall into the nature of the flesh and don’t repent and become resolved to CHANGE–by having true sorrow for any of our sins–we will die with the flesh. Don’t be deceived. Horribly, based on the realities of our conviction to live the true faith, mortal sin is common and in practically everyone as I will explain. It is imperative we understand this so we don’t die and blindly choose Hell for eternity.

Most have been ticked into presuming we are in a state of grace–without mortal sin upon our souls–but that isn’t what the saints presumed. They never presumed they were saved unless they made it to prefection (no longer able to choose to sin). The saints understood the gravity of sin, mortal sin and the need to live the true faith, and have true sorrow when we failed, to have God’s saving mercy in their souls.

“Do not be deceived! Fornicators [sex outside of marriage], idolaters [longing for anything that isn’t God], adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites [unnatural sexual behavior such as homosexual choices], thieves, the greedy [non-generous], drunkards, revilers [arguers], robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

Please understand when we commit mortal sin, but don’t truly hate the crime enough to work hard to stop the sin, even if we say we are sorry, from our lack of sincere resolve to change–lack of true sorrow–we reject God’s forgiveness and choose Hell forever. We must hate our sins enough to work hard to stop all of our offences–even the little ones–to accept God’s saving mercy, as I will explain.

“The  faithful keep…the Holy Spirit (saving grace) constantly dwelling in them, Who was given from Him at baptism and kept by the recipient living in truth and holiness and righteousness and patience, for it is by this Spirit that the resurrection comes to believers [by obedience to the Truth]…and is led into the Kingdom of God” (St. Irenaeus of Lyons).

Therefore if we want to go to Heaven, we must stop committing mortal sin by really living the faith.

Like the Catechism quote says, God put the knowledge of right from wrong into the conscience of all people. Therefore once we obtain the age of reason and gain full use of our mental facilities we gain “full knowledge.” and if we look deep into our conscience will know how to live to love God and not reject His saving grace. (cf. Romans 2:14-15). However, if we never grow into the age of reason or gain mental soundness/clarity, we will not have obtained “full knowledge” and even if we have technically sinned, we were not accountable for it…and still remain a saint, that is if we were baptized.

If we have been deceived and think it will benefit us to stay blind to the truth, to keep us from becoming accountable for sins we don’t recognize–that great false truth–will only hold us more accountable as we prove we don’t want to stop sinning and are perfectly fine with offending God. Those who truly love God want to know their sins–all of their sins–and work hard to come to gain true self-knowledge so they can stop offending the One they love.

On top of a sin needing to be serious and having to possess full knowledge of it to be mortal, we must have deliberate consent for our sins. Deliberate consent is when we freely choose the sin. Most of us freely choose all sin unless someone is truly forcing us to do something against our will. Deliberate consent only begins to dwindle away once we gain true hatred for a sin. With each sin we come to truly hate and we continuously bear real hatred for that sins…having no desire for it ever…our consent for the sin will leave, but it is possible that we might accidentally choose the sin. As Paul says, “I do what I hate” (Romans 7:15). Therefore, when we reach perfection and have so much grace within us–are full of grace–and can’t choose to sin anymore, like St. Stephen in the Word achieved, then we will still freely consent to sin. (I explain this further later on in this article). But for the rest of us, which is practically all of us, we deliberately chose to offend God whom we love with many sins from our lack of true distant for them.

Grave Matter
There are many sins listed in the Word and by the Church that are categorized as deadly sins. The ten Commandments hold all of the deadly sin and frankly all of the sins. Every sin we commit branches off from one of God’s 10 commandments. The challenge is understanding which sins are more serious than others. But if one wants to find salvation, there is really no challenge at all. For someone who wants salvation they don’t really need to focus on stopping the deadly sins, all they need to do is focus on NOT WANTING TO SIN AT ALL. And when we do, all of our sins will eventually leave, if we follow Christ correctly.

If someone thinks it is ok to sin certain sins, they don’t have true love for God and reject Heaven from desiring to sin. Therefore, we must desire to rid all sin from our life. However, sins the greater the sin–the more serious the sin–the greater injury we inflict upon God’s Sacred Heart and the greater the loss of God help (actual grace) we will have, as the more serious the sin, the more we reject God’s love. Therefore, it is important we understand the difference in between sins.

By nature we don’t want to live the faith; we are opposed to the faith. For the Word tells us, “do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). From concupiscence (the inclination to sin) that we all suffer from, because of Adam and Eve’s original sin, we desire the flesh (sin). Therefore, if we don’t run to God for mercy and accept His grace (help), we will most certainly fall into the desires of the flesh and reject God’s life saving grace we received at baptism. Therefore, we need to learn what sin is, especially what the mortal sins are that we need to run to God for His help to hate, so we can develop true sorrow for them, rid them from our lives, live in truth and grow in holiness. That way we can accept and always keep God’s sanctifying grace within us.

All Most All of Us are with Mortal Sin on Our Souls
As horrible as this reality is, as we can see even though there are different requirements for a sin to be mortal, those requirement are easily met within practically all of us, especially in todays society. To the surprise of many, mortal sins are common and in practically everyone. Many of us have been living lives deceived and thinking we can read our souls and declair they are in the state of grace and without mortal sin, because the devil has caught our hearts and led us to be blind to our great sinfulness as we presume we are saved, even convincing us we can read our souls as we declare we are with a saving faith.

The Saints never presumed such a thing–unless God gave them a special grace to know the state of their soul. St. Paul never believed as long as he still sinned, that he was in justified (perfectly forgiven) as he declares, ” that as the apostle Paul declares, “

Unless someone is honestly working to become a saint (truly seeking to know and stop all sins for the love of God) like God has commanded of us (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2), we still have many unrepented mortal sins. Allow me to explain.

We need to ask ourselves, are we working diligently and successfully accepting God’s grace to remove sin after sin, never stopping until we have reached perfection from our true disdain for sin? Are we now continuously growing in the image of Christ, truly becoming one of His saints? If not, we have not been living our Christian faith correctly and still have many unrepentant mortal sins upon our souls. If we are living our day to day life correctly, we will be changing every day becoming more like Christ, the one we should be spending our time learning how to follow. Even if a soul is working hard to achieve sanctity but hasn’t reached a saving faith yet, the sins they still cover (don’t really want see), which they sadly still want to stay in (a sins they committed or the ones they repeat over and over again but refuse to even admit) and all of the other sins they do see but struggle against themselves and haven’t yet accepted God’s grace (help) to truly banish their desire for, are mortal too. Just desiring to offend Perfect Goodness with even the slightest sin is mortal too. Please don’t allow the devil to deceive you. We can’t delight in a single sin. ” Not wanting to stop one sins is a serious crime against our infinity good God and is a mortal desire. It breaks our union with God and proves our lack of true love for Him.

“There are souls living in the world who love Me dearly. I dwell in their hearts with delight. But they are few. In convents too, there are souls that fill My Heart with joy…[but] Their number is very small.” (St. Faustina, Diary #367).

Those seeking to become a saint might be able to bring themselves into true sorrow at the time of confession for their sins, but once they leave and develop a desire for any sin again (not honestly wanting to stop), they loose God’s saving grace again from desiring to offend their Beloved Creator. “The soul that is determined to strive for sanctity and to derive fruit; that is to say, benefit [receive grace] from confession [because they truly desire to stop sinning]” (St. Faustina, Diary #113). Without honestly working to stop sinning, we reject God’s mercy. How can we expect to receive God’s mercy if we dont’ want to stop sinning? To be constantly in the state of grace is extremely hard to obtain. That is why so few are saved.

Mortal sins are much more than just killing someone. You don’t even need to sin to have a loss of union with God, just wanting to is enough. Until we grow in our faith to where we honestly don’t desire a single sin and aren’t truly working to stop, including any attachments to the world, we still haven’t accepted God’s saving mercy. Please don’t be deceived. If you hope in mercy and don’t even honestly want to stop sinning all will be lost. You will have blindfully rejected God and chosen an eternity of suffering. We must work hard against the devil to obtain salvation. We love sin too much.

If we truly love God we will hate all sins and literally spend our day seeing that we don’t sin. Not just going about our day not even pondering if we are offending our Creator by our choices. We will want to love God, and try to have all our thoughts, words and deeds united with God constantly so to not stray from what is holy and His will. This is hard work as the saints declare. What is our goal for our day? Is it seeing that we never falter with a single thought, word, or deed outside of holiness. Is everything we do “holy” in the eyes of the Lord? Or are we complacent with some of our sins: thinking, listening, watching and doing much that isn’t holy? What are we doing with our time? Is all of it to server God through loving our neighbor or do we give some of it to the devil–serving ourselves? Or do we think we hardly sin and greatly lack self-knowledge because we think we are “holy,” having the devil blind us by our pride as we don’t even know our great misery? Don’t all our pride to kill us.

We must grow in our faith by seeking God’s mercy (helping grace) to come to know our great sinfulness and then honestly–by our actions–hate every sin–never desire to commit them. The road to Heaven is hard…it takes much grace and effort to banish our “desire for sin” –to loose our will. Desiring to sin any sin like desiring what we want and not what God has allowed is a mortal sin because wanting to offend Infinite Love is a very grave sin and loving ourselves (our will) over God, not trusting in Him, is a form of idolatry and mortal. Truly, mortal sins are easy to commit and sadly common as the saints declare. ”  Our life as a Christian is supposed to be spent growing from some faith into a saving faith by seeking out God’s grace (help) so we can abolish those sins and accept–not reject–God’s saving grace we received at our baptism so to Live. But yet so many live deceived and are working for nothing…presuming they are saved, when they haven’t even found a saving faith. Oh, the horror!

“The road is hard that leads to life [Heaven], and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).

Understanding mortal sin is a very serious topic as until we reach a saving faith we are still a hideous beast prisoner in sin without God’s Spirit within us. St. Ignatius of Antioch speaks about how he wasn’t in the state of grace yet and working to obtain a saving faith as he wrote, “Now as a prisoner [in sin] I am learning to give up my own wishes [my will]… I am more and more trained in [correct] discipleship [following Christ by carrying my cross] by their ill-usage [poor treatment] of me, but I am not therefore justified [not yet with a saving faith].”

Mortal sins are much more than the the common “great” sins we think about. Like I said, not wanting to stop any of our sins (mortal or venial) is a deadly desire. Even if we think that isn’t a “great” sin; it is. God tells us “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments [the entire Word]” (Matthew 19:17). God doesn’t call us to ignore His Word thinking it is no big deal or think it is too hard to follow…He told us to obey. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Are we showing God we love Him or that we don’t take His Word seriously? Are we running to Him for the grace needed to change so we can obey and love Him or do we simply continue life the same day in and day out? Are we even trying to obey…I mean really obey the WHOLE WORD? If we are still ignoring some of God’s Word or any of His examples and not continuiously changing to live it, we are failing to live the faith.

All of the above which we lack true sorrow for are deadly sins. And obtaining true sorrow is extremely challenging since most don’t honestly hate their sins because they still love/desire them. Please read “What is True Sorrow” to learn more. Of course choosing a serious sin is a mortal offence and rejects Eternal Life, but unknown to most, from the devils deceptions, desiring to offend God and not wanting to stop any sin is a grave/mortal desire too. We can’t be complacent with a single sin; we can’t desire to offend God in any way; we can’t want to stay as a sinner; we must want to become a saint (someone who doesn’t want to sin)…that is if we desire to grow into a saving faith that accepts God’s saving mercy and can live in the state of grace and union with God. If we want Heaven, we must seek to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength…not part of it. Wanting to offend Perfect Goodness, in any way, is most certainly a mortal desire.

Oh, how many sins do we commit and think are no big deal? How many have we made part of our personalities and lives that we have been committing our entire life, with no change from not correctly seeking God’s grace and our proven little effort to change. Or have we only changed once and now we are pretty much the same because we have become lukewarm. Or maybe we are changing so little, so slowly from our little faith/little love for God. If we really loved God, we would be mortified that we hurt him in any way by our choices. Truly, where is our real hatred for sin and sincere love for God? That lack of love for God is a mortal offence. Technically, venial sins isn’t what is mortal, but our lack of sincere desire to stop sinning, is what makes any venial sin mortal. Not working to stop offending Perfect Goodness in any way, with any sin, is a horrible atrocity against Our Creator and quite deadly. Furthermore, the more server the sin we don’t want to stop, the greater the injury to God and more grace (God’s help) we reject. That lack of true hatred for sin, is a great proof of our lack of true love for God. How can we truly love God and be OK with any crime against Him. We can’t. We must give our life working to sinning no more.

Most Are Living in Mortal Sin
To the surprise of many, outside of young children or the mentally handicapped from birth (who don’t have full knowledge), hardly anyone is walking around in the state of grace. Most Christians aren’t saved. Even if we thought we were (unless we have obtained perfection–perfect love of God–and can’t choose to sin any more), we should never presume we are since we can’t read our souls. “You alone who know the heart of every human being” (1 Kings 8:39). I know this can be shocking to most since we have been deceived their whole life into thinking everyone is walking around in the state of grace and saved if they are a “good” person or have done some good Christian like things. However, that is not the faith the saints, the Church or the Word profess is needed to embrace God’s saving grace.

Tragically, “the greatest number, my Jesus – we may say nearly all – not only do not love Thee but offend Thee and despise Thee” (St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church). Thinking most are in the state of grace is the deception of the evil one to keep us blind so we don’t burn with desire to stop all of our offences against God, to keep us from seeking God’s helping grace so we won’t accept God’s saving mercy. Truly, we aren’t saved by being “good;” we are saved by God’s sanctifying grace–the grace He died to give us. We are lost by rejecting that grace from loving–not honestly hating or seeking to stop–just one sin. It is true, loving–not seeking to stop–delighting–not hating–any sin is a mortal desire.

We must hate our sins with a true hatred that we would rather suffer any pain, die a thousand deaths, than cause Our Creator any injury by a single sin, and we prove our true hatred by working with all of our power in all we do to see we avoid sin and to make resolutions, seek much grace and do what is necessary to not commit our sins again. Truly wanting to offend God, desiring any sin, is a serious offence against Our Lord. Just how many sins do we commit over and over again, that we have never even thought about stopping or just made some halfhearted effort to amend. Yes, those sins and many many more that we aren’t even aware of–that we cover so to not see our true sinfulness–are the sins that are rejecting God’s saving mercy He so desperately wants us to have. We must understand it isn’t necessarily the “sin” that kills most of us, it is the “desire to sin”–our lack of true hatred for our sins.

We can easily see how the free willing desire to sin (choosing to be lukewarm, not seeking to stop any sin, etc.) easily falls into those three categories. Desiring to hurt Our Creator, not hating our offences, not seeking to sin no more, is a horrible grievous desire. It is a grave matter.

All sin offends God. God has clearly told the saints of the injury to Him from our transgression. We simply must hate our offences to be without mortal sin on our souls. Jesus told St. Faustina, “Often a soul wounds Me mortally.” Our Lord suffers in Heaven. Yes, Our God of Love allows His Heart of Love to be wounded by us, the children He loves as He tries to save us.

Someone who truly loves God, who is free of all mortal sin, most certainly doesn’t desire to offend the one they love. If our friend desired to hurt us, was intentionally malicious towards us, we would not call them a friend, but an enemy. That is why those still with mortal sin upon their souls are known as enemy’s of God. (cf. Romans 5:10). Nobody wants to think of themselves as enemies of God, but if we still desire to commit any sin, if we aren’t resolved to stop any sin, sadly, we are. The intensity of the mortal sin we choose or desire makes us a lesser or greater of an enemy of our Creator. But no matter how great or little the mortal sins is, it is still mortal. But not to worry, God still loves His enemies, tries to convert us and works hard to bring us home to Him.

All of us, who have matured mentally, have full knowledge of the need to love God, and not desire to offend Him within our conscience, which is known as natural law. God gave us this knowledge. Yet from Adam and Eve’s sin, our human nature fights against this natural law and causes us to desire what we should hate.

However, from this same human nature we can actually commit sin and not choose it. Those in the state of perfection (not able to choose sin), like St. Therese of Lisieux, who, from God’s grace, was able to grow into this level of spiritual perfection, was no longer able to choose to sin for the last two years of her life. She wonderfully accepted God’s grace so perfectly, she became “full of grace” like St. Stephen (Acts 6:8) and was no longer able to choose to sin as she describes in her autobiography, and therefore was “perfect.” However, from her human nature, she still sinned, but didn’t offend God because she lacked deliberate consent.

“From that day I have been penetrated and surrounded with love. Every moment this Merciful Love renews me and purifies me, leaving in my soul no trace of sin” (St. Therese of Lisieux)

Being totally perfect, meaning we can’t accidentally or deliberately sin, can’t happen on earth because of our human nature. That perfection isn’t until Heaven. This explains one of the several reasons why “among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). You see,  on earth John the Baptist, even though he was the greatest, was still tied to the limits of his human nature. He too was “full of grace,” not able to choose sin, from the time of the visitation of Jesus in the womb of Mary, as taught by the Word and Church (cf. Luke 1:15 & 41), yet he still suffered from the inclination–undeliberate choosing and desiring of sin called concupiscence, which all mankind bears as a consequence from Adam and Eves sin. Therefore, John the baptist involuntary sinned, which is different from the deliberate desire of sin I spoke about earlier. As St. Paul describes in the Word, “Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but [the inclination of] sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:20). This is of course with the exception of Mary and Jesus, which weren’t touched by original sin as taught by the saints and the Church. Therefore, not until we leave our wretched mortal bodies, does that imperfect nature (inclination to sin) leave and we can finally be truly perfect which is greater than anything possible in any state on earth. However, as far as the voluntary desiring of sin goes, it is diffidently a free choice, and done by our deliberate consent, that we make from our love for sin.

“Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law” (CCC # 1849).

To understand the two different categories of mortal sin more clearly lets look into St. Teresa of Avila, who is a magnificent saint, but she never reached perfection (not able to choose sin) like St. Therese of Lisieux did as she clearly states in her autobiography.  However, St. Teresa of Avila does give us wonderful incite into the two types of mortal sin as she clearly speaks about both of them. In chapter 3 of her auto biography, before she gave her life to serving God and lived a lukewarm life–not seeking to stop sinning–she says, “I began to fear that, if I had died of my illness, I should have gone to hell [since I was without saving grace]… I had fully deserved to be in hell.” Also to move her to help take her salvation seriously, God even showed her her place in Hell that was prepared for her if she didn’t change as she said, “I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins.” If it wan’t for her gift from God, “Fear of the Lord” (servile fear-fear of eternal suffering), God and us would most likely not have this wonderful saint.

Nonetheless, she openly admits to living a life outside of saving grace. However,

The more unrepentant or deliberate venial sins we commit, the weaker our spirit becomes from our rejection of God’s actual grace, and over time with the compiling of the unrepentant venial sins and the more and more reduction of grace, from our weakness, we will commit even greater sins–serious mortal sin–like the serious sins in the Word that can destroy our understanding of right from wrong and harm our relationship with God in an even greater way causing us to fall far from saving grace.

Wonderfully though, committing venial sin alone doesn’t keep a souls from accepting God’s saving grace as long as we hate them. Now to make this more clear, as this topic can be very easily misunderstood, let me give an example. If someone who truly detests their sins (would suffer any pain than offend their God in any way) and works hard to stop each and every sin, from their weakness fell into temptation and committed a venial sin, lets say they intentionally ran a red light to get to somewhere on time, and initially they aren’t sorry they ran the red light because it obtained them the goal they desired–they got to their location on time–the question is, does that venial sin reject God’s saving grace? The answer is no, even though they deliberately committed it, are not initially sorry (because they aren’t consciously aware of the offence to God) and haven’t repented of it yet. For a venial sin to become mortal and lose saving grace someone must “desire” that sin (not seek to stop) or refuse to repent of it.

“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).

 

“How Bad Confession Damn Us”

more coming soon

Mortal Sins are Easy to Commit

According to the saints, mortal sins are easily and frequently committed by most people. But most of us don’t think we are suffering from mortal sin. That is a great problem, since mortal sin kills.

“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

St. Benedict tries to get us to understand the gravity and ease by which we commit mortal sin so we will be vigilant in seeking to amend and avoid them.

In fact mortal sin is quite confusing. “So, what is a deadly sin?” we might ask.  “There is such a thing as deadly sin” (1 John 5:16), which is known as mortal sin. They are those horrid sins that incredibly offend Our Lord and reject His most merciful gift sanctifying (saving) grace. We need to learn what they are.

These sins can destroy our relationship with Him, greatly harm our and others lives on earth and even cause us to abandon Heaven for eternal anguish. They are terrifying and yet so easy to commit.

“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

Yet, sadly in today’s day and age many have lost our fear of sin and have been deceived into thinking we aren’t committing mortal sin, or that mortal sin is quite hard to commit since we have been deceived into believing we have to “pre-meditate” the sin to be guilty or that we can easily just “say” we are sorry, in word alone, and all is forgiven.

However, that is so very far from the truth that saves, as I explain in this article. As a result many lives are being lost and we aren’t properly removing mortal sin, seeking God’s helping grace to advance to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1)–into a saving faith that truly rejects all mortal sin and embraces God’s saving love.

“[Only] those who have grown to maturity [into a saving faith] in the grace of God will find the joy of adopted children in the kingdom of heaven.”

–St. Andrew Kim Taegon

Confusion with Mortal Sin

Mortal sin is complicated to understand because the word “mortal sin” is a homonym of sorts. Most of the time “mortal sin” is only used to indicate the horrible sins such as murder, sexual relations outside of marriage, robbery or the other great sins like those clearly listed in the Word as not inheriting Eternal Life…the “mortal sins.” However, mortal sin is much more.

MORTAL SIN is anything--in our thoughts, words or deeds--that keeps us from obtaining Heaven, anything which rejects the sanctifying--saving--grace God died to give us.

There are two general kinds of mortal sin, which keep us from Heaven:

  • Very Grave sins that prevent us from receiving Holy Communion (the “common” mortal sins, as listed below);
  • Attachments to sins or created things that we cling to, which we need God’s grace from the sacraments, especially from Confession & Holy Communion, to amend/detach from.

“Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves [desires] the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15)

Very Grave Sins: Most of us know what, at least, some of the easily understood “mortal sins” are. The Bible clearly defines many sins as “deadly” (1 John 5:16) and goes into much detail in many places as to what they are. For example:

Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived

  • Fornicators [sexual relations outside of marriage], 
  • idolaters [desiring/longing for anything that isn’t God], 
  • adulterers [when married, desiring/being sexually intimate with someone other than one’s spouse], 
  • male prostitutes [someone who engages in sexual activity for payment],
  • sodomites [homosexual or other unnatural (non-vaginal or perverted) sex acts],
  • thieves [taking advantage of others, or what hasn’t been given to us], 
  • the greedy [not giving of our money, things or time…wanting nothing in return], 
  • drunkards [not exhibiting self-control with drinking], 
  • revilers [fighters/arguers], 
  • robbers [taking by force what belongs to others]—
    none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). 

“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough [from lacking the strength that comes from God’s grace due to mortal sin rejecting it]” (Luke 13:23-24).

Committing any of those sins, in our thoughts or actions (actions being most grave), is very serious. They reject God greatly and cause us to lose much grace (God’s help) in our life, since they are so offensive. If we don’t repent and change by seeking God’s transforming grace to stop them, we live a life blind on earth, rejecting Heaven for those sins. They are very serious!  

Regardless, these are only a few of the may mortal sins the Words lists as deadly. Below is a more complete list…however…

The sin which is always a grave sin is NOT REALLY WANTING TO STOP (lack of desire to amend) any sin.

“There is a sin which is always “unto death” (1 John 5:16): the sin for which we do not repent.”
–St. Mark the Ascetic

Attachments: Most people don’t know that there are sins, which prevent us from obtaining Heaven, but don’t keep us from receiving Holy Communion. We don’t speak about them as the typical “mortal sin” because they are venial or not even sinful in nature, but they kill. To learn more please read the article “What Sins Can I Commit and Still Receive Holy Communion.

Having an “attachment” to anything, whether it be a venial sin or anything at all, makes that attachment a mortal sin. All attachments are deadly “He must cast away the strange gods, the earthly affections and attachments,” as St. John of the Cross teaches. 

These attachments become something that we chose instead of God’s saving mercy. We must be fully attached/united to God at our death or we will reject His saving mercy for our attachment. And sadly most of us have bounds of attachments…especially if we haven’t been toiling and toiling to detach ourselves from them.

What do we desire/long to do in our day, that isn’t to know, love or serve God (which are sins)? Each one is a mortal attachment. We can’t desire sin. We must “do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

AN ATTACHMENT is anything we desire/long for that isn't to love God and obey His will--something that isn't to know, serve of love God...it's a form of idolatry.

A Venial Sin Can Easily Become Mortal

There are several ways a venial sin can become mortal:

  • lack a true desire/effort to stop the sin (Acts 3:19),
  • not wanting to obey the least of God’s Word (John 14:15),
  • habitually choosing to commit any sin from a lack of hatred (Romans 6:1-2),
  • having a liking/desire for any sin (Romans 12:9).

Yes, all of those venial sins that we think so little about, that we aren’t truly resolved to amend–that we don’t truly want, nor are working to stop offending God–are mortal.

“Venial [sin]…becomes mortal,” when someone “fix[es] one’s end in that venial sin [has no resolve to amend].”

–St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church

Truly, loving God so little that we ignore any law of God…not striving to live the smallest letter of the law–is rejecting Christ, who is The Word, and that is a mortal offence too.

“[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

Plus, being OK with sinning, not hating any sin enough to seek God’s helping grace correctly take it away, as we habitually commit it, is a mortal attachment to sin too.

“If you are a habitual sinner…You are very ill; you are one of those invalids who, as St. Thomas of Villanova says, are seldom cured [unless great effort is made]; you are on the brink of perdition [Hell].”

— St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church

And of course, not truly detesting/hating any sin with our whole heart, from having a lack of fear of the Lord (fear of sin), is a mortal rejection of saving grace. We must grow in our faith to hate sin so greatly we would rather suffer any pain than to sin against Our Beloved Lord whom we desire to love. Our contrition must be true.

“[Those who hate sin and seek only God’s will] would let themselves be tortured rather than be guilty of one imperfection and die a thousand deaths rather than commit sins.”

–St. Theresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

As we can see, mortal sin is much more than we might have thought.

Seek to Amend or We Die

This amendment of our life we must make for eternal life–to not die from mortal sin–most certainly doesn’t mean we only focus on our “serious grave sins,” but it most certainly means we must have a heart that is resolved to amend ALL sins–even our venial sins.

We must work to obey all of God’s laws and seek to not sin at all–to become a perfect saint–since we are “called to be saints”  (1 Corinthians 1:2) if we are to ever grow in faith to gain TRUE contrition for every sin, which accepts God’s saving forgiving mercy so to Live.

To not be deceived and die from unrepentant/unchanged mortal sin, please ask ourselves, “Am I really working to become a saint?” “What am I doing to prevent or stop my venial sins?” Anything? Truly, neglecting just one kills. This is because of the infinite injury any sin causes our infinitely perfect God.

“Every little sin merits infinite pain [punishment], because it is against Me, who am, Infinite Good…[so the wise] endure with patience [suffering]…, because their heart is [being] drawn out of them [losing their desire for sin] and united to Me by the affection of love.”

–God to St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church

Therefore, if we love God so little that we don’t even seek to amend any offence against Him, even the slightest sin becomes mortal from having a lack of true hatred for offending God–from having a lack of true contrition (sorrow) for our sin since we still desire it. To learn how to amend our lives please read the article, “How to Become a Saint.”

Ways We Commit Mortal Sin

There are actually many ways we commit mortal sin, which most don’t think about.

The following are the different categories in which a sin becomes mortal: 

  1. Choose to commit a serious sin (cf. 1 John 5:16);
  2. Choose/desire any sin–venial or mortal–without having a firm resolve to stop;  (cf. Acts 3:19);
  3. Refusing to obey any of God’s commands: ignoring–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);
  4. Loving someone above God; placing ourselves, our family, or friends above God and His will–being attached to people (cf. Luke 10:27);*
  5. Not wanting God’s will but our own; adoring our will, thinking we know The Way; lacking true faith and trust in God; seeking to do what we want and despairing when we don’t get what we desire–being attached to our will  (cf. John 14:16); *
  6. Desiring any created thing of the world for happiness: desiring/longing for things and not God to be our source of joy–being attached to the created (cf. 1 John 2:15);*
  7. Desiring any sin: habitually choosing any sin from a lack of hatred for it–being attached to sin (cf. 1 John 2:15);*
  8. Not truly hating any–mortal or venial– sin (cf. Romans 12:9).

* Our disordered attachments

The first three are the grievous mortal sin which prevent us from obtaining Holy Communion. The following four are the grievous mortal sins which are our attachments, that we need to run to Our Savior’s mercy in all of the sacraments to remove our liking for them if we want Eternal Life. The last grievous mortal sin is what keeps any sin from not being forgiven–lacking, the very hard to obtain, true contrition. To learn more please read “What is True Sorrow.”

“By giving Himself to us [in the Eucharist], Christ revives our love and enables us to break our disordered attachments to creatures [rid our desires for anything that isn’t to know, serve or love God] and root ourselves in Him [live for Him alone for Eternal Life]” (CCC #1394).

The above categories show us the different ways in which we easily commit mortal sin, but they are really all part of the first category (choosing to commit a serious sin). It is very serious to not truly want to stop any sin, or to neglect to obey any Law of God, or to love one’s own will or anything over God’s, or to be attached to anything of this world and not God or to not be truly sorry for offending God. These are all “serious sins.” They are all mortal and keep us from God’s saving love.

We must, “renounce our self-love and self-will, and our attachment to earthly things” –St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

We might think 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. We don’t even know we are dying and 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.

“The vast majority of Christians [even the faithful] are enveloped in the most shocking ignorance [of their faith].”

–St. John Baptist Vianney

Nonetheless, since we tend to have such a hard time understanding how a serious sin like “murder” is equally as deadly as having a liking for a venial sin (not being resolved to stop a single venial sin), I separated how we commit mortal sin into categories so we can more clearly see the major ways we commit mortal sin (any sin that rejects God’s saving mercy).

“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

All Mortal Sins are Different

All mortal sins kill and greatly offend God, but not all mortal sins are the same. There are different kinds and degrees of mortal sin along with different intensities of punishment/consequences and spiritual blindness that follow each sin based on its severity and frequency.Some mortal sins are devastating. They hurt God, others and ourselves very greatly. They reject God’s help substantially, if not all together, as there are times we can think we are pleasing God and receiving His help, but in fact we are receiving no grace at all, since God gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels [since they refused to listen] (Psalm 81:12). However, even if we loose God’s helping grace and guidance…He will never stop calling us to Him.Mortal sin can cause unspeakable suffering for us and others. But we must always remember the least of the mortal sins still rejects God’s saving mercy forever and chooses Hell if left not repented before death. We must seek to amend all of them.Therefore, it would be extremely careless of us to only focus on seeing to it that we don’t commit fornication (sex outside of marriage) or perhaps murder, thinking only avoiding the common “mortal sins” is enough to avoid the fires of Hell, when there are a jillion other ways we reject God’s saving love too. We need God’s mercy to strengthen us to truly hate All sin and truly love God. We must strive to “be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect.”
“[Oh,] the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).
Of course, we should work to amend our most serious sins first–since they are most damaging–but we can’t stop at that. We must have enough hatred for sin that we continue to amend all of our sins until they are all gone. To learn more please read “How Can I Stop Sinning?”Qualities of a Mortal SinTo more fully understand mortal sin, we need to understand the basics.For any of those sins to be mortal, it must possess three qualities (CCC #1857):
  • Grave Matter: the sin committed must be serious;
  • Full Knowledge: we must know it is wrong either from the knowledge of right from wrong God places within us at creation (natural law–the law of love) or if it isn’t a natural law, but rather a law of the land (government), the Church, or our boss, etc., we must know of the laws existence;
  • 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.
But don’t be deceived and think these requirements are hard to combine and make a mortal sin. Like I said, these qualities are easily present in our lives with many sins, as I will explain.Grave Matter For one thing ALL SINS ARE GRAVE…as they all wound 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.” Knowing which sins are grave enough to be the kind of mortal sin that keeps us from receiving Holy Communion or causes severe damage to our relationship with God can be a little bit difficult to discern for sins like being a thief, greedy, a drunk or a reviler; but I will explain this in greater detail later so we can discern this correctly.However, for the sins like robbery, fornication, adultery, prostitution and sodomy, they are always seriously grave, unless of course we are forced into that act…then it isn’t even a sin (venial or mortal). However, it might be venial or not even a sin if we are severely mentally ill. But even with those sins, there are different degrees of guilt based upon our intentions and the underlining sin that led us into that sin, which I will explain later as well.Full Knowledge Once we mature mentally, and gain full knowledge of right from wrong, which God placed into everyone’s conscience upon our creation (cf. Romans 2:15), we are accountable to know the Law of Love. We can deny the truth written in the Word 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 innate knowledge God gave us, we know what is sinful and what isn’t.These sins against love, God expects us to know and not to commit. Wonderfully, out of God’s great mercy, since we are so greatly darkened to the truth by sin, God gave us prophets and the Bible to enlighten us to what we have darkened. However, with this great help, we are even more accountable to know the truth, since we have The Word clearly available for us.Also, if we believe something to be sinful, and commit it anyway, even if it isn’t actually a sin, we are still found guilty in the eyes of God since we wanted to sin and wanting to sin is most certainly a crime against God.However, there are certain laws from God and laws of the land (government laws, Church laws, etc.) that are not derived 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, 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, 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). 
Deliberate Consent There are few instances that we don’t deliberately consent to sin. There are, like I said, times we are forced to participate in sinful acts or our mind is so mentally ill that we don’t have true control. We can also sin by accident, which is very rare, as most of the time our sin is from some sort of neglect on our part or unknown liking for a sin.Unless we fall into those three categories (accident, forced to sin or mentally ill), or we have grown so much in faith that we are now “perfect”–full of grace–and can’t choose to sin any more, we all still choose all of our sins.

What Happens if We Die Still Committing Mortal Sin

Believe it or not, to accept God’s gift of Eternal Life at the moment of death, we only need one thing…True Faith in Jesus, which gives us true hate–TRUE Sorrow–for every sin, even our mortal sins and attachments. If we can be so blessed to grow in that much in faith at our death, we will accept God’s saving forgiving mercy and be saved.

Even if we are attached to many sins/created things and are even committing mortal sin, if at the instant of our death, we are some how moved so greatly in faith into TRUE contrition for all of our sins ever committed, we will be saved. But don’t be deceived…

We will have to spend much time purifying ourselves of our attachments and atoning for our every sin ever committed after baptism in purifying fires of Purgatory, but we will be saved. However, obtaining this kind of faith, at the moment of death, is very rare. It is very very hard to get to this kind of saving faith–this kind of contrition instantly–if we haven’t been truly, with our whole heart seeking it or never obtained it while God gave us time on earth to find His helping mercy to grow into a saving faith. To learn more please read, “What are the Requirements of Salvation.”

Many Are Lost From Mortal Sin

As we can see since mortal sins are so easy to commit, and so few make the effort to amend, tragically, “Many, I tell you, will attempt to enter [Heaven] but will not be strong enough.” (Luke 13:24). Like the Word says, “many” people will desire to go to Heaven, but sadly will “not be strong enough” because we lack God’s strength–His helping grace–that strengthens us to reject all sin and desire God alone. Sadly, most die still desiring sin…as our chronic habitual sins prove.

If we have’t read the article “The Lack of True Sorrow for ONE Sin Rejects Eternal Life,” I suggest reading that as it will help our comprehension of this subject.

Therefore, so we don’t end with the majority and perish into eternal anguish, it would benefit us greatly if we learned what mortal sins are, since understanding mortal sin and how to be forgiven of them is most valuable, since it is much more involved than we might imagine.

“Faith teaches that the pains of Hell are eternal, and it also warns us that one single mortal sin suffices to condemn a soul forever because of the infinite malice by which it offends an infinite God.”

–St. Anthony Mary Claret

The Ways We Commit Mortal Sin-Explained

Commit a Serious “Grievous” Sin (the most discussed mortal sin):

Like I said, there are differences in-between sin…some are more or less serious than others. However, any offense–venial or mortal–against Perfect Goodness is simply horrible; it is grievous. But when we commit a less severe–but still grievous–sin, that is a “venial” sin, which doesn’t cause as much offense to God or harm to others and ourselves quite as much as a mortal sin, nor does it reject God’s saving love and choose Hell for that sin.

However, there is a large problem with determining which sins are more or less serious, since much of the time what we think is not very serious is gravely serious in the eyes of God (or vise versa) since our judgement of right from wrong and knowledge of our intentions has been tainted by the evil one.

But we certainly need to do our best in recognizing the sins that are most harmful to God, others and ourselves so we can surely do all in our power to repent and stop them as soon as possible. Every moment we live in the most grievous of mortal sins, unrepented /unchanged, we are causing untold damage.

To understand the gravity of a sin we need to use logic and reasoning, along with God’s Word, His Church (the Catechism), and the saints for guidance. Obviously, murder is more serious than lying. However, lying can be a serious grave sin, in line with murder, when our intention is, lets say, to protect ourselves and greatly harm another with our lie.

Much of the time the severity of a sin depends upon the INTENTIONS of our hearts, and only God truly knows these. We can try to see our true intentions but the truth is for God alone, who only knows the secrets of the heart…even the secrets we keep from ourselves

If we think a sin is a serious grievous mortal sin (unless we develop an over scrupulous conscience), we should treat it as one. God talks to the heart and it is better to error on the side a sin being serious than under. Therefore, flee to God if we feel we have committed a mortal sin; beg God to move our conscience into having true contrition (true sorrow). If we want to understand scruples please read the article, “How Can I Over Come My Scruples.”

Then with all sorrow confess to God and to a priest, and resolve to never commit that sin again, hoping our contrition is at least imperfect (the sorrow we need to be forgiven in the sacrament of reconciliation through the help of the priest), so we will be forgiven. To learn about the challenges with obtaining true sorrow–a sorrow that accepts forgiveness–please read “How Bad Confessions Can Damn Us.”

See the list of common serious mortal sins, as listed in the Word, in a few more sections below in this article.

Not Truly Seeking to Stop Any Sin:

Not being firmly resolved to stop any sin–even a venial sin–makes it automatically mortal…not because the venial sin is horribly grievous, but because not wanting to stop offending God is an abomination of love.

Honestly, how many sins are we sincerely working to amend? Are we really trying to amend any? Yet, the neglect to truly hate/to sincerely strive with all of our heart to stop a single sin makes us deserving of the eternal fires of Hell. Honestly, are we seeking to “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34)?  We must change!

“Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again” (CCC #1451).

To be saved we need a heart that truWe need a truly humble, contrite heart. To learn more please read the article, “What is True Sorrow.” All we need is true sorrow and any sin is forgiven. But if we lack contrition for just one sin, we reject God for that sin, since even the slightest venial sin is of infinite malice to our infinitely perfect God and not being sorry for that offence is deplorable and rejects mercy for sin.

To accept God’s saving mercy ALL of our sins must be forgiven. Therefore, if we lack contrition–lack TRUE sorrow–for any sin, it is an abomination of love and rejects God’s saving mercy and chooses Hell for sin. If we seek God’s help, with perserverence, He will give us a heart that truly hates all of the sins we so sadly prove we love.

“Many weep over their sins, but at heart they are not really contrite.”

–St. John Vianney

Obtaining true sorrow for every sin should be our life’s goal. Therefore, if we don’t at least want to stop sinning, with a desire that is beyond word alone (having a desire which at least causes us to move away from sin), we can never grow in faith to gain a true hatred and a true resolve to amend (true sorrow).

We must learn how to lose our liking/delight for sin and truly hate our sins so we can come to truly love God. Telling God we love Him in our words is nothing if we don’t honestly love Him in our hearts. We can do fantastic works and pray vast prayers, but what does any of that matter is we don’t sincerely want to stop offending Him? Tragically, “the greatest number, my Jesus – we may say nearly all – not only do not love Thee but offend Thee and despise Thee [since we sin without restraint]” (St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church).

Truly, thinking most are in the state of grace is the deception of the evil one to keep us blind so we don’t burn with desire to stop all of our offences against God and truly love how Jesus loved.

“Know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it [doesn’t hate it] with the intention of persevering [not wanting to stop–lacking contrition]”

–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden

Yes, all habitual sins are mortal (unless it is an imperfection which I speak about in the article how to become a saint). The reason we repeatedly commit sins is from having some liking/delight for that sin in our hearts..some unwillingness to amend from a lack of hatred. If we sought God’s grace with a heart that truly wanted to change, we would accept God’s transforming mercy and stop repeating the sin. To have a saving faith, we must habitually love God…not any sin.

We must be wholeheartedly working with God’s grace and making resolutions to stop any and all offenses against God…one step at a time. If we have even some kind of desire to stop sinning outside of word alone, and if we are approaching God correctly for grace, that desire to amend, will grow and grow from a weak desire into a true desire, which is needed to be completely forgiven and saved. Like I said, any sin we aren’t truly sorry or lack a true desire to stop–even a venial one–becomes just as deadly as a seriously grave mortal sin.

“He is a scoffer, not a penitent [not someone sorry for their sins], who commits what he repented of. Nor is he cleansed [forgiven] who weeps for his sins, yet does not forsake [stop] them.”

— St. Isadore of Seville, Doctor of the Church

God’s grace, if we accept it, will cause us to grow in hatred of our sins, so one day we can wonderfully gain a true hatred for every sin from having a true resolve to not commit them again. This fantastic transforming grace, which strengthens us, surely takes away all liking for any sin, causing us to stop habitually committing them.

Refusing to obey ANY of God’s commands:

Jesus is the Word since “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14), and if we don’t work to perfectly obey any of the Word, we are rejecting the Word–rejecting God–rejecting salvation. Therefore, not truly working to obey all the Word and follow Christ–with any of God’s commands or from His example, is a mortal sin.

“Neglect of God’s law [any law] brings inescapable punishment for the soul and that unquenchable fire.”

–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church

This is because if we don’t want to obey or follow Christ, we don’t truly love God nor are we truly sorry for offending Him. Lacking true love for God is a violation of the first and greatest commandment and is mortal. Only those who truly love God accept His saving grace instead of sin.

To truly love God, truly hate a sin and have true sorrow for any crime, in order to be forgiven, we must sincerely want to obey–all of the Word…not part of It or just in our words alone, but most certainly all of It and in all of our actions. It is a grievous sin, which rejects God –who is the Word–to reject any of the Word by not striving to obey perfectly. How can we truly love God, if we don’t even truly desire to obey Him? There are so many actions God calls to do, but so many refuse and continue in our lukewarm life.

This category is very similar to the above, “not wanting to stop a sin,” but I made this a different category because this category brings awareness of the sins of omission–the choices we should have made, but chose not to–because we desired to live a lukewarm life.

St. Teresa of Avila, who is said to never have committed a mortal sin (the severely grievous sins we all think about), was shown her place in Hell by God for still living a lukewarm life, by not wholeheartedly seeking to become a self-sacrificing/suffering saint who denies herself of her will and the pleasures of the world, who picks up her crosses and truly follows Christ.

Perhaps she didn’t deserve Hell for committing a serious grievous mortal sin like I discussed in the first category, in which most think of as mortal sin, but she was still rejecting God’s saving mercy–committing mortal sin–from living a lukewarm life–not truly following Christ. She might have even been close to following Christ, but she still wasn’t quite there and was still rejecting His saving Love.

“[In St. Teresa’s autobiography she says] I do not believe that I turned away from God in mortal sin…[a few chapters later she exclaims] It was our Lord’s will I should see the place which the devils kept in readiness for me, and which I had deserved by my sins [living lukewarm].”

“Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15)

Being Attached to Anything of this World:

Many have no idea desiring something other than God is a mortal sin. But it is; it is idolatry. Horribly, we go from one pleasure to another…looking for happiness. When God is waiting for us to truly find Him. He wants us to desire Him alone.

But, sadly, we have justified our attachments to the world and feel just fine with partaking in and desiring countless pleasures, as we even refuse to recognize them as attachments. Yet, every moment we want anything but the cross–God’s will–they are keeping us from wanting God and His Way to Heaven. We simply won’t see the very attachments that are keeping us from God and are killing us.

“[Poor deceived souls], one moment you will see them throw themselves down upon their knees before God, and the next you will see them perform the same act before the idols of this world [as they desire the pleasures and comforts of the world]. The poor blind man! He stretches forth one had to the Almighty and the other to the world, calling to both for help [hoping some trifle of the world will rest their weary heart], and promising his heart to both.”
–St. John Vienney

To understand this, we need to know what an attachment is. In brief, an attachment is anything we repeatedly desire/want or long for to bring us happiness. God is to be our only desire…all we seek and want. Anything else just keeps us from our Lord, takes away our time and mind from knowing, serving and loving Him, and makes us crave something other than God.

Boy are there countless things the devil pulls our hearts away from God with, so we don’t truly seek to know, serve and love God, but rather seek to love ourselves.

Desiring something of the world once is a venial sin (not an attachment), unless what we desire  is mortal (seriously grave) in nature then it could be a mortal sin. We don’t even have to commit the mortal sin, just desiring to commit a mortal sin makes many desires mortal. But not all desires for mortal things are mortal sins.

For example, lets say you are tempted to rob a bank as you drive by a bank. You then act upon that temptation and think for a moment that would be good…now that one small thought isn’t serious enough to be mortal. For our desire to be mortal, in our mind, we need to spend time thinking of how great it would be to rob a bank and maybe even come up with a plan of how we would do such a thing. Then it could be mortal but not an attachment unless we frequently desire to rob banks.

“Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:2).

When we have a desire for a venial or mortal sin or even something that isn’t “technically” a sin, that desire can become a mortal attachment if we continuously desire/seek out that sin or worldly pleasure.

For example: lets say we repeatedly desire for someone to show us love and affection, then we are attached to seeking the love and affection of another and not God alone; that is a mortal sin, since it is frequented desire. I know this can be shocking since practically everyone wants (longs for) our family to love us, but truly, we must grow so much in our faith to where we hate our family.

“If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26).

Now, God doesn’t mean we must “hate” our family, as in detest them. We must love them, but not above God. However, the hate God is referring to is for us to not desire them but instead to desire Him alone. And to hate how our longing for their affection has kept us from longing for God’s love. God calls us to love others but not seek to be loved. Whatever we long for whether it is a person or a thing or a desire, it is mortal. We must desire God alone or we commit idolatry!

There are many many ways we are attached to people, things or desires. This is quite an in-depth subject which I go into much greater detail in the article “How to Reject the World and Live for Heaven.” This is one of the main reasons why many of God’s faithful never grow towards a saving faith…they don’t realize they are committing idolatry, so they never seek contrition nor desire to amend.

But anything we desire from a great time with friends to that awesome football game, to a yummy meal or even a good nights rest, can all be deadly attachments–much of them are our form of idolatry…since what our hearts seek is what we desire, and for most of us, it isn’t God and His will. Yet, to be saved by Christ we must desire God alone or we will reject Him for some useless sin or pleasure of the world.

Please don’t allow the devil to convince us we don’t “desire” the world, when our hearts don’t constantly burn, I mean burn, for God as we sincerely HATE the world and its pleasures (since they have kept us from loving God with all of our hearts). And we will know when we hate the world, we won’t have to try to reject it, from God’s grace, we simply won’t want it.

If we didn’t desire the world, we would intentionally choose the cross (even look for the cross) instead of the comfort and pleasures of the world, so we can love how Christ loved.

Truly, we must become completely indifferent to the enticements of the world and be excited and long for only God and His will.

“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.  For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

The Mortal Sins

Learning what the serious grievous mortal sins are is probably why most have chosen to read this article. We are probably looking for a specific list of sins to avoid, but as we can tell, there really isn’t a specific list of sins as all sin can easily become mortal. However, there are the “mortal sins” that most speak about and these specific sins greatly harm God, our neighbor and ourselves. Therefore, I’m going to list many of them so we can do all we can to avoid them.

(This list, in two sections, is mostly copied from SacramentofReconciliation.com)

Not Loving God with All of Your Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength or Your Neighbor as Yourself (the sum of all of the commandments):

  • Not Truly Hating One’s Sins (still liking sin and not loving the Lord Our God with all of our heart) Colossians 1:12-14
  • Desiring/longing for anything but God (loving anything above God or having an attachment to any created thing) 1 Timothy 6:10
  • Lack of Trust in God (Disbelief in God’s love for you; lacking trust that He allows everything for your good; lack of faith) Proverbs 3:5-6
  • Following Your Own Will (not living for what God wills of you but choosing selfish gain) Matthew 7:21-23
  • Loving the World (perusing worldly comfort, praise, things, enjoyment, etc.; having attachment to the world and seeking it over spending your time perusing God) 1 John 2:15

Above are the grievous sins most don’t understand as mortal, since most of them come from a less serious sin, but we must truly want to amend them and grow in God’s grace so we can truly hate them (obtain true sorrow) if we want eternal life, but they aren’t the sins that prevent someone from obtaining Holy Communion or the serious mortal sins most speak about.

Below are just some of the grievous mortal sins that cause even greater injury than the above deadly sins and must be stopped as soon as possible which can’t exist if we wish to receive Holy Communion.

The sins with an asterisk * are the sins which can’t become venial (unless perhaps we are some how suffering from serious mental illness/handicap)…and of course no sinful act we perform is even a sin if we are forced into that act.

  • Lukewarm (claiming to be Christian but not really choosing to strive to live the true faith–the Way of the Cross; having an incomplete faith; not truly seeking to follow Christ nor honestly wanting to sin no more) Revelation 3:16 *
  • Fornication (sexual contact with anyone you are not married to) 1 Corinthians 6:9 *
  • Adultery (sexual contact with a married person, other than your spouse or sexual contact with a divorced–not annulled person) Proverbs 6:32 *
  • Lasciviousness (lust- lack of sexual self-control, masterbation) Galatians 5:19-21 
  • Sexual Immorality (dressing, thinking, acting, watching, reading, speaking, or desiring impurity, wanting to be seen as sexually desirable) Ephesians 5:5 
  • Effeminate (transgender-drag queen behaviors – males acting like females) 1 Corinthians 6:9 
  • Sodimite (unnatural non-procreative sexual activity) Jude 1:7 *
  • Homosexual (unnatural sexual behaviors with same sex) Leviticus 20:13 *
  • Gossip (speaking poorly about someone; slander, spreading false or personal information about another) Exodus 23:1
  • Not Attending Church on Sunday (Neglect of Sunday obligation) Exodus 20:8 *
  • Disobedient to God’s Church (from pride, feel you know more than the Church Jesus founded (the Catholic Church) and refuse to believe or obey some of it’s doctrine) 1 John 2:15
  • Worshiping an Image other than God Leviticus 26:1 *
  • Don’t Acknowledge God (embarrassed to talk about or evangelize to others) Matthew 10:33
  • Use the Lord’s Name In Vain (swearing using God’s name) 
  • Witchcraft (practice of sorcery) Revelation 21:8 *
  • Hatred (intense dislike of a person) 1 John 3:15 *
  • Sloth (laziness) Proverbs 13:4
  • Variance (creating dispute) Galatians 5:16-21
  • Emulations (to try to equal or excel above others) Galatians 5:16-21
  • Anger (hostility towards others–lack of love) Colossians 3:8
  • Malice (ill treatment of others) Ephesians 4:31 
  • Unforgivenness (not forgiving someone) Mark 10:25 
  • Quarrels (making arguments) Matthew 5:22
  • Reilers (abusive speaking) James 1:19-20
  • Seditions (breaking the law, rebellion) Galatians 5:16-21
  • Heresies (believing teachings other than the teachings Christ gave to His apostles which was handed down to the Church Jesus founded-the Catholic Church which is guided by the Holy Spirit) 2 Peter 2:1
  • Envying (jealousy – wanting what others have) James 4:2-3
  • Murder (abortion, euthanasia, intentionally taking the life of another etc.) Revelation 21:8 *
  • Drunkenness (consuming too much alcohol) Galatians 5:21
  • Carousing (wild partying – indulging) Galatians 5:21
  • Covetous (greedy-wanting things or people to make us happy) 1 John 2:15-17
  • Thieves (taking what hasn’t been given to you) 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
  • Profane (foul language) Colossians 3:8
  • Lying (practices falsehood) Revelation 21:8
  • Love of Money (striving for worldly pleasure/success from pursuit of money) Hebrews 13:5
  • Dis-honor One’s Parents  (not obeying-when a child, being disrespectful, not caring for elderly parents) Deuteronomy 27:16
  • Robbers (taking something using force) Ezekiel 33:14-16 
  • Jealousy (wanting things or qualities of others) James 3:16
  • Uncleanness (impurity) Ephesians 5:3
  • Extortion (illegally obtaining money) Isaiah 10:1-2
  • Impurity (behaving immorally) 1 Timothy 1:10
  • Hurting the poor (oppressing others) Exoduses 2:23 
  • Defrauding a workman (taking advantage of and under paying workers) James 5:4 
  • Greed (hording for one’s self, not giving to others in need) Hebrews 13:5 
  • Despair against hope for salvation Romans 15:13
  • Self-reliance (Not needing God) 2 Corinthians 3:5 
  • Disbelief in God (not loving/obeying God or acknowledging His existence) John 14:15 
  • Pride (lack of humility, inflated ego) Proverbs 16:5
  • Avarice (love of money, materialism) 1 Timothy 6:10
  • Lack of Self-control 2 Timothy 3:2-4
  • Gluttony (too much of anything, food, stuff–lack of self control) Ezekiel 16:49-50 
  • Ingratitude (not thankful) 2 Timothy 3:2
  • Lack of Holiness 1 Peter 1:15

Please remember some of these acts against love can be venial too depending upon our intentions and the seriousness of the sin and/or our deliberate consent. Lets look at the sin of lust for example. Having thought of thinking how “attractive”  or “nice” someone looks can be a pure thought. Like how we would describe a beautiful tree or something thing else. But sometimes the “nice” we think about, when referring to a person, isn’t a “nice” which is pure but impure (lustful) and that can be a venial sin, if it isn’t a habitual problem.

Also, the sin of not attending Mass is always mortal (never venial). However, sometimes it isn’t sinful at all, if we truly have no other option (not due to some kind of neglect or laziness on our part) than to not attend Mass. For example if we are caring for the needs of someone who can’t be away from us during the time Mass is celebrated or if an illness prevents us from attending or if our efforts to find someone to bring us to Church (if we can’t drive on our own) failed and we can’t get a ride to Mass. Those are examples of reasons forgoing Mass isn’t sinful, but any reason from a lack of proper planning, laziness or any selfish excuse, makes neglecting to attend Mass always a mortal sin.

Furthermore once any sin becomes habitual it is always mortal (something that must be repented of and stopped before we die), as all habitual sins are committed from a lack of true desire to amend. And we must have True Sorrow for every sin, at least at the moment of death to accept God’s forgiving saving mercy to Live.

But if our habitual sins are venial in nature, it is still acceptable to receive Holy Communion and as long as we continue to call upon God to help us rid them from our lives. We also should know any slight venial habitual sin won’t stay just one slight thought for long, if ignored. Any habitual venial sin, grows into more and more serious sin. However, even a sin that isn’t habitual like a one time act of lust can also be a very grievous sin when we indulge in long drawn out fantasy about another.

“Everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28)

 

But always remember, if we aren’t resolved to stop committing any sin, even if the sin doesn’t seem severe (venial), it is always mortal, from having a lack of contrition for that sin, since not being sorry for offending God is deadly.

Also, there are many other sins outside of those I have just mentioned. Therefore, obtaining a heart of true love for God which has true hatred for our sins and accepts His saving grace, is the only way to a saving faith. But to get to that kind of faith, we have to first work to stop our sins especially the sins that are greatly rejecting God’s helping grace, the most serious of mortal sins.

Different Mortal Sins – Holy Communion

Many want to know the mortal sins because they know the reject Heaven, but they also want to know them because they understand living in them makes them unworthy of receiving God in Holy Communion.

The reason we need to distinguish a difference in-between the different kinds of mortal sins which kill us is because those very grievous mortal sins cause us great harm and the more serious the sin the greater the loss of grace.

To receive Holy communion worthily and not harm God and ourselves, we must not only have stopped any of those serious grievous mortal sins (the ones that are mortal by nature) and have repented of them (confessed) to a priest in the sacrament of reconciliation, but we must also have a TRUE desire to sin no more, at least, a true desire (to the best of our ability) right before we receive Christ in Holy Communion. We simply can’t approach God, wanting Him to enter into our tabernacle if, we don’t even have a true desire to stop offending Him, at least before we receive Him.

Lacking a real desire to amend our ways is just as damaging as many other horrid sins sin. It has similar horrible consequences, punishments and blindness. Of course, we might not have grown enough in faith to have true contrition habitually (constantly) present in our souls for all our sins (as that takes great grace), but to receive the Holy Eucharist we MUST at least have some real hatred for all sin and have grown enough to be truly wanting to stop sinning, at least immediately before Holy Communion, if we wish to receive God’s True Body and Blood and not suffer great condemnation as a result.

Also, if we commit the mortal sins which are venial in nature (came from venial sin), those sins aren’t the sins that must be stopped before we can receive Holy Communion. To learn more please read the article “What Sins Can I Still Commit and Receive Holy Communion?”

Different Degrees of Malice

All sins are different in gravity. Only God truly knows the real severity of any sin. But to understand the differences in our sins the best we can, we need to look carefully at our thoughts and actions to see where we are violating God’s Law and to what degree.A lot of the time, we can’t see how we are committing many sins because we only recognize our guilt if we are committing the most grievous form of the sin and as a result we blindly committing many crimes, rejecting bounds of grace and walking to our doom.Lets look at the sin of unforgiveness for example. Not forgiving someone is a very serious sin. It hardens the heart greatly and keeps us from a life of joy and stifles our growth in faith. There is so much I could say on the damaging effects of unforgiveness, but I will only be brief to give us an idea of how we need to change.Nonetheless, this sin, along with all of the other sins, has different degrees of injury it causes us, others and God. We can be very deep into this sin or not quite as buried in death but no matter how seriously we commit this sin, we are still guilty of lacking mercy.Many will declare of course we forgive someone who trespassed against us (or who we think trespassed against us) because we know if we admit we don’t forgive someone, we are a great sinner; and our pride won’t allow that.Horribly, many don’t want to see reality and prefer to pretend we are someone we aren’t. Our forgiveness of another much of the time is in our words alone or only in some of our thoughts and actions. Oh, we might have changed our actions some what to try to prove to ourselves we are “good” people who forgive or because we can’t stand not having everyone be our friends but our hearts are so far from truly forgiving another, it is tragic. Sadly, many hearts are miles from true forgiveness, we just live and believe a lie because we want to believe ourselves to be righteous when we aren’t.Then there are others, who will say we don’t forgive someone. And many will feel no guilt and believe our unforgiveness is justified. However, this heart is actually easier to convert to true repentance than the above very prideful person who refuses to see the truth especially if someone is deep in sin.When we truly forgive someone we love them, in our thoughts and actions–really love them, the way Christ loves us–not with false smiles and contrived gestures…trying to prove how “good” we are and “bad” they are, but with true love, no matter what sin they might have committed.Below are some of the different intensities of unforgiveness (sinful responses) we suffer from when we don’t truly forgive someone (written least to greatest):
  • Bad Thoughts come to mind when we see a particular person who has done something we don’t like; we can’t separate the sin from the person and focus on loving him but instead think of his sinfulness. (It is a good thing God doesn’t treat us in the same way!)
  • Aggravated when a particular person (who has offended us) asks something of us. If we aren’t frustrated when one person asks something of us but we are when another does, there is a reason, and it is from sin. Much of the time it is from unforgiveness.
  •  Ignore someone who has hurt us (milder form of ill treatment). We intentionally avoid someone and/or pretend like they don’t exist.
  •  Relives the Injury and chooses to repeatedly remind ourselves of how we were wronged.
  •  Bash someone who has done us wrong. We slander or even exaggerate the truth to make others not like someone too and for self-pity.
  •  Looking for Fault in our offender. We won’t let go of their crime and will hunt for and pick at their other imperfections, see them as wrong in everything, even make up additional faults, or blame them for some of our poor choices or other problems.
  •  Ill Treat Another by being are angry in return and/or want to punish another with our disdain and decide to be mean, spiteful, or even evil in return.
  • Greatly Hates Someone for what they have done. We prove we hate someone when we are so angry we won’t talk to them, reject them, want to harm them in return (revenge), think and speak horribly about them, see all they do as wrong and dwell in their crime in our minds so to continue to live in hate and even grow in evil towards them.
If we look into our actions, much of the time our responses (unforgiveness) towards other sins against us are far more sinful than their offence. Some of us suffer from one of these issues of unforgiveness and some suffer from all of them. However, the devil wants us to pretend like we forgive everyone or that we are someone without sin or at least someone who has the right to anger and unforgiveness of another. But we don’t.If we, who are great sinners (just perhaps in different ways), want to be shown great mercy for our vast life time of sinfulness when we die, we absolutely must grow in faith to show great mercy to everyone for every sin or inconvenience or challenge they have burdened us with, or we live without real hope.I do want to mention some of us, to protect our pride, will make up or exaggerate reality creating false injuries committed against us and hate someone, who isn’t even guilty of anything, just so we don’t have to face reality…our own guilt. Therefore, if we look into why we are angry or frustrated, sometimes it isn’t even from something real or severe…we just convinced ourselves it is to have self-pity. We truly need to let go of our pride and love no matter what.

Change the Heart

Frankly, since there are so many sins that can damn us, to avoid the grip of death, it is our hearts that need to change…then our life of sin will naturally repair its self. We can strive and strive to stop sinning, but if we never move our hearts from fear of death into wanting to truly love God, we simply won’t obtain the grace to succeeded.

When our hearts change from wanting sin, into wanting to perfectly love God through loving our neighbor, we simply won’t blindly or habitually commit grievous sin nor desire sin any more…our habitual sins will leave.

But to change the heart…boy is that hard as most of our hearts are hard–very hard–not malleable at all. We simply love certain sins…certain things that aren’t God and His will…we love them so much we don’t want to see or leave them. That is why we need the power of God’s love–His strength–to abandon our desire for sin so to be saved. He alone can soften our hearts of stone, and remove our liking for sin, because by simply trying to avoid sin on our own it will be impossible. Because with out God’s unfathomable helping grace, our desire for sin will still remain. To learn how to obtain God’s fantastic healing grace please read “What is God’s Grace and How Can I Obtain It?”

Our First Mortal Sin

Mortal sin is so easy to commit, we committed it very young in age. After our souls have been restored to life by God’s suffering, death and resurrection through the healing waters of baptism, sadly, we rejected that saving grace very quickly from our sinful nature to desire sin.Once we mature enough in life to gain “full knowledge” of right from wrong, and we desire our first sin, without seeking to stop, we reject God’s merciful free gift of Eternal Life. That is why St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church, encourages us that “when children begin to use their reason, fathers and mothers should take great pains to fill their hearts with the fear of God [fear of sin and its consequences]…words [should strengthen us] treading [in] God’s ways.”Let me give a couple of ordinary examples: the first time we pretended like we brushed our teeth, but didn’t, and had no desire to correct our behavior-if we matured enough to have full knowledge of right from wrong, that is actually a sin that would keep us from accepting God’s saving mercy, which is probably every kid in the world; Or the first time chose to indulge in the pleasures of the world for self-gratification, with food, entertainment, vacations, friends, etc. and didn’t have a desire to stop to live the cross, because if we were to look into our heart we would know we deserve nothing because of our great sin committed against God; perhaps that was our first mortal sin.Sadly, from our sinful nature and failed upbrings, we don’t even know how to live the true faith and we will full choose to reject it a a very young age.I know this can be shocking to those who haven’t been taught the real faith, but we are supposed to spend our life running to God’s mercy, as we follow Him, so to obtain enough “actual grace”we receive God’s perfect forgiving mercy at our baptism in order to keep that light shining (God’s saving grace within us), we must live the faith. And tragically most of us don’t even try or we try to live just part of it…diffidently not all of it. If we choose to not follow Christ and fall into the nature of the flesh and don’t repent and become resolved to CHANGE–by having true sorrow for any of our sins–we will die with the flesh. Don’t be deceived. Horribly, based on the realities of our conviction to live the true faith, mortal sin is common and in practically everyone as I will explain. It is imperative we understand this so we don’t die and blindly choose Hell for eternity.Most have been ticked into presuming we are in a state of grace–without mortal sin upon our souls–but that isn’t what the saints presumed. They never presumed they were saved unless they made it to prefection (no longer able to choose to sin). The saints understood the gravity of sin, mortal sin and the need to live the true faith, and have true sorrow when we failed, to have God’s saving mercy in their souls.
“Do not be deceived! Fornicators [sex outside of marriage], idolaters [longing for anything that isn’t God], adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites [unnatural sexual behavior such as homosexual choices], thieves, the greedy [non-generous], drunkards, revilers [arguers], robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Please understand when we commit mortal sin, but don’t truly hate the crime enough to work hard to stop the sin, even if we say we are sorry, from our lack of sincere resolve to change–lack of true sorrow–we reject God’s forgiveness and choose Hell forever. We must hate our sins enough to work hard to stop all of our offences–even the little ones–to accept God’s saving mercy, as I will explain.“The  faithful keep…the Holy Spirit (saving grace) constantly dwelling in them, Who was given from Him at baptism and kept by the recipient living in truth and holiness and righteousness and patience, for it is by this Spirit that the resurrection comes to believers [by obedience to the Truth]…and is led into the Kingdom of God” (St. Irenaeus of Lyons).Therefore if we want to go to Heaven, we must stop committing mortal sin by really living the faith.Like the Catechism quote says, God put the knowledge of right from wrong into the conscience of all people. Therefore once we obtain the age of reason and gain full use of our mental facilities we gain “full knowledge.” and if we look deep into our conscience will know how to live to love God and not reject His saving grace. (cf. Romans 2:14-15). However, if we never grow into the age of reason or gain mental soundness/clarity, we will not have obtained “full knowledge” and even if we have technically sinned, we were not accountable for it…and still remain a saint, that is if we were baptized.If we have been deceived and think it will benefit us to stay blind to the truth, to keep us from becoming accountable for sins we don’t recognize–that great false truth–will only hold us more accountable as we prove we don’t want to stop sinning and are perfectly fine with offending God. Those who truly love God want to know their sins–all of their sins–and work hard to come to gain true self-knowledge so they can stop offending the One they love.On top of a sin needing to be serious and having to possess full knowledge of it to be mortal, we must have deliberate consent for our sins. Deliberate consent is when we freely choose the sin. Most of us freely choose all sin unless someone is truly forcing us to do something against our will. Deliberate consent only begins to dwindle away once we gain true hatred for a sin. With each sin we come to truly hate and we continuously bear real hatred for that sins…having no desire for it ever…our consent for the sin will leave, but it is possible that we might accidentally choose the sin. As Paul says, “I do what I hate” (Romans 7:15). Therefore, when we reach perfection and have so much grace within us–are full of grace–and can’t choose to sin anymore, like St. Stephen in the Word achieved, then we will still freely consent to sin. (I explain this further later on in this article). But for the rest of us, which is practically all of us, we deliberately chose to offend God whom we love with many sins from our lack of true distant for them.Grave Matter There are many sins listed in the Word and by the Church that are categorized as deadly sins. The ten Commandments hold all of the deadly sin and frankly all of the sins. Every sin we commit branches off from one of God’s 10 commandments. The challenge is understanding which sins are more serious than others. But if one wants to find salvation, there is really no challenge at all. For someone who wants salvation they don’t really need to focus on stopping the deadly sins, all they need to do is focus on NOT WANTING TO SIN AT ALL. And when we do, all of our sins will eventually leave, if we follow Christ correctly.If someone thinks it is ok to sin certain sins, they don’t have true love for God and reject Heaven from desiring to sin. Therefore, we must desire to rid all sin from our life. However, sins the greater the sin–the more serious the sin–the greater injury we inflict upon God’s Sacred Heart and the greater the loss of God help (actual grace) we will have, as the more serious the sin, the more we reject God’s love. Therefore, it is important we understand the difference in between sins.By nature we don’t want to live the faith; we are opposed to the faith. For the Word tells us, “do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16). From concupiscence (the inclination to sin) that we all suffer from, because of Adam and Eve’s original sin, we desire the flesh (sin). Therefore, if we don’t run to God for mercy and accept His grace (help), we will most certainly fall into the desires of the flesh and reject God’s life saving grace we received at baptism. Therefore, we need to learn what sin is, especially what the mortal sins are that we need to run to God for His help to hate, so we can develop true sorrow for them, rid them from our lives, live in truth and grow in holiness. That way we can accept and always keep God’s sanctifying grace within us.

All Most All of Us are with Mortal Sin on Our Souls
As horrible as this reality is, as we can see even though there are different requirements for a sin to be mortal, those requirement are easily met within practically all of us, especially in todays society. To the surprise of many, mortal sins are common and in practically everyone. Many of us have been living lives deceived and thinking we can read our souls and declair they are in the state of grace and without mortal sin, because the devil has caught our hearts and led us to be blind to our great sinfulness as we presume we are saved, even convincing us we can read our souls as we declare we are with a saving faith.

The Saints never presumed such a thing–unless God gave them a special grace to know the state of their soul. St. Paul never believed as long as he still sinned, that he was in justified (perfectly forgiven) as he declares, ” that as the apostle Paul declares, “

Unless someone is honestly working to become a saint (truly seeking to know and stop all sins for the love of God) like God has commanded of us (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2), we still have many unrepented mortal sins. Allow me to explain.

We need to ask ourselves, are we working diligently and successfully accepting God’s grace to remove sin after sin, never stopping until we have reached perfection from our true disdain for sin? Are we now continuously growing in the image of Christ, truly becoming one of His saints? If not, we have not been living our Christian faith correctly and still have many unrepentant mortal sins upon our souls. If we are living our day to day life correctly, we will be changing every day becoming more like Christ, the one we should be spending our time learning how to follow. Even if a soul is working hard to achieve sanctity but hasn’t reached a saving faith yet, the sins they still cover (don’t really want see), which they sadly still want to stay in (a sins they committed or the ones they repeat over and over again but refuse to even admit) and all of the other sins they do see but struggle against themselves and haven’t yet accepted God’s grace (help) to truly banish their desire for, are mortal too. Just desiring to offend Perfect Goodness with even the slightest sin is mortal too. Please don’t allow the devil to deceive you. We can’t delight in a single sin. ” Not wanting to stop one sins is a serious crime against our infinity good God and is a mortal desire. It breaks our union with God and proves our lack of true love for Him.

“There are souls living in the world who love Me dearly. I dwell in their hearts with delight. But they are few. In convents too, there are souls that fill My Heart with joy…[but] Their number is very small.” (St. Faustina, Diary #367).

Those seeking to become a saint might be able to bring themselves into true sorrow at the time of confession for their sins, but once they leave and develop a desire for any sin again (not honestly wanting to stop), they loose God’s saving grace again from desiring to offend their Beloved Creator. “The soul that is determined to strive for sanctity and to derive fruit; that is to say, benefit [receive grace] from confession [because they truly desire to stop sinning]” (St. Faustina, Diary #113). Without honestly working to stop sinning, we reject God’s mercy. How can we expect to receive God’s mercy if we dont’ want to stop sinning? To be constantly in the state of grace is extremely hard to obtain. That is why so few are saved.

Mortal sins are much more than just killing someone. You don’t even need to sin to have a loss of union with God, just wanting to is enough. Until we grow in our faith to where we honestly don’t desire a single sin and aren’t truly working to stop, including any attachments to the world, we still haven’t accepted God’s saving mercy. Please don’t be deceived. If you hope in mercy and don’t even honestly want to stop sinning all will be lost. You will have blindfully rejected God and chosen an eternity of suffering. We must work hard against the devil to obtain salvation. We love sin too much.

If we truly love God we will hate all sins and literally spend our day seeing that we don’t sin. Not just going about our day not even pondering if we are offending our Creator by our choices. We will want to love God, and try to have all our thoughts, words and deeds united with God constantly so to not stray from what is holy and His will. This is hard work as the saints declare. What is our goal for our day? Is it seeing that we never falter with a single thought, word, or deed outside of holiness. Is everything we do “holy” in the eyes of the Lord? Or are we complacent with some of our sins: thinking, listening, watching and doing much that isn’t holy? What are we doing with our time? Is all of it to server God through loving our neighbor or do we give some of it to the devil–serving ourselves? Or do we think we hardly sin and greatly lack self-knowledge because we think we are “holy,” having the devil blind us by our pride as we don’t even know our great misery? Don’t all our pride to kill us.

We must grow in our faith by seeking God’s mercy (helping grace) to come to know our great sinfulness and then honestly–by our actions–hate every sin–never desire to commit them. The road to Heaven is hard…it takes much grace and effort to banish our “desire for sin” –to loose our will. Desiring to sin any sin like desiring what we want and not what God has allowed is a mortal sin because wanting to offend Infinite Love is a very grave sin and loving ourselves (our will) over God, not trusting in Him, is a form of idolatry and mortal. Truly, mortal sins are easy to commit and sadly common as the saints declare. ”  Our life as a Christian is supposed to be spent growing from some faith into a saving faith by seeking out God’s grace (help) so we can abolish those sins and accept–not reject–God’s saving grace we received at our baptism so to Live. But yet so many live deceived and are working for nothing…presuming they are saved, when they haven’t even found a saving faith. Oh, the horror!

“The road is hard that leads to life [Heaven], and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).

Understanding mortal sin is a very serious topic as until we reach a saving faith we are still a hideous beast prisoner in sin without God’s Spirit within us. St. Ignatius of Antioch speaks about how he wasn’t in the state of grace yet and working to obtain a saving faith as he wrote, “Now as a prisoner [in sin] I am learning to give up my own wishes [my will]… I am more and more trained in [correct] discipleship [following Christ by carrying my cross] by their ill-usage [poor treatment] of me, but I am not therefore justified [not yet with a saving faith].”

Mortal sins are much more than the the common “great” sins we think about. Like I said, not wanting to stop any of our sins (mortal or venial) is a deadly desire. Even if we think that isn’t a “great” sin; it is. God tells us “If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments [the entire Word]” (Matthew 19:17). God doesn’t call us to ignore His Word thinking it is no big deal or think it is too hard to follow…He told us to obey. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Are we showing God we love Him or that we don’t take His Word seriously? Are we running to Him for the grace needed to change so we can obey and love Him or do we simply continue life the same day in and day out? Are we even trying to obey…I mean really obey the WHOLE WORD? If we are still ignoring some of God’s Word or any of His examples and not continuiously changing to live it, we are failing to live the faith.

All of the above which we lack true sorrow for are deadly sins. And obtaining true sorrow is extremely challenging since most don’t honestly hate their sins because they still love/desire them. Please read “What is True Sorrow” to learn more. Of course choosing a serious sin is a mortal offence and rejects Eternal Life, but unknown to most, from the devils deceptions, desiring to offend God and not wanting to stop any sin is a grave/mortal desire too. We can’t be complacent with a single sin; we can’t desire to offend God in any way; we can’t want to stay as a sinner; we must want to become a saint (someone who doesn’t want to sin)…that is if we desire to grow into a saving faith that accepts God’s saving mercy and can live in the state of grace and union with God. If we want Heaven, we must seek to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength…not part of it. Wanting to offend Perfect Goodness, in any way, is most certainly a mortal desire.

Oh, how many sins do we commit and think are no big deal? How many have we made part of our personalities and lives that we have been committing our entire life, with no change from not correctly seeking God’s grace and our proven little effort to change. Or have we only changed once and now we are pretty much the same because we have become lukewarm. Or maybe we are changing so little, so slowly from our little faith/little love for God. If we really loved God, we would be mortified that we hurt him in any way by our choices. Truly, where is our real hatred for sin and sincere love for God? That lack of love for God is a mortal offence. Technically, venial sins isn’t what is mortal, but our lack of sincere desire to stop sinning, is what makes any venial sin mortal. Not working to stop offending Perfect Goodness in any way, with any sin, is a horrible atrocity against Our Creator and quite deadly. Furthermore, the more server the sin we don’t want to stop, the greater the injury to God and more grace (God’s help) we reject. That lack of true hatred for sin, is a great proof of our lack of true love for God. How can we truly love God and be OK with any crime against Him. We can’t. We must give our life working to sinning no more.

Most Are Living in Mortal Sin

To the surprise of many, outside of young children or the mentally handicapped from birth (who don’t have full knowledge), hardly anyone is walking around in the state of grace. Most Christians aren’t saved. Even if we thought we were (unless we have obtained perfection–perfect love of God–and can’t choose to sin any more), we should never presume we are since we can’t read our souls. “You alone who know the heart of every human being” (1 Kings 8:39). I know this can be shocking to most since we have been deceived their whole life into thinking everyone is walking around in the state of grace and saved if they are a “good” person or have done some good Christian like things. However, that is not the faith the saints, the Church or the Word profess is needed to embrace God’s saving grace.

Tragically, “the greatest number, my Jesus – we may say nearly all – not only do not love Thee but offend Thee and despise Thee” (St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church). Thinking most are in the state of grace is the deception of the evil one to keep us blind so we don’t burn with desire to stop all of our offences against God, to keep us from seeking God’s helping grace so we won’t accept God’s saving mercy. Truly, we aren’t saved by being “good;” we are saved by God’s sanctifying grace–the grace He died to give us. We are lost by rejecting that grace from loving–not honestly hating or seeking to stop–just one sin. It is true, loving–not seeking to stop–delighting–not hating–any sin is a mortal desire.

We must hate our sins with a true hatred that we would rather suffer any pain, die a thousand deaths, than cause Our Creator any injury by a single sin, and we prove our true hatred by working with all of our power in all we do to see we avoid sin and to make resolutions, seek much grace and do what is necessary to not commit our sins again. Truly wanting to offend God, desiring any sin, is a serious offence against Our Lord. Just how many sins do we commit over and over again, that we have never even thought about stopping or just made some halfhearted effort to amend. Yes, those sins and many many more that we aren’t even aware of–that we cover so to not see our true sinfulness–are the sins that are rejecting God’s saving mercy He so desperately wants us to have. We must understand it isn’t necessarily the “sin” that kills most of us, it is the “desire to sin”–our lack of true hatred for our sins.

We can easily see how the free willing desire to sin (choosing to be lukewarm, not seeking to stop any sin, etc.) easily falls into those three categories. Desiring to hurt Our Creator, not hating our offences, not seeking to sin no more, is a horrible grievous desire. It is a grave matter.

All sin offends God. God has clearly told the saints of the injury to Him from our transgression. We simply must hate our offences to be without mortal sin on our souls. Jesus told St. Faustina, “Often a soul wounds Me mortally.” Our Lord suffers in Heaven. Yes, Our God of Love allows His Heart of Love to be wounded by us, the children He loves as He tries to save us.

Someone who truly loves God, who is free of all mortal sin, most certainly doesn’t desire to offend the one they love. If our friend desired to hurt us, was intentionally malicious towards us, we would not call them a friend, but an enemy. That is why those still with mortal sin upon their souls are known as enemy’s of God. (cf. Romans 5:10). Nobody wants to think of themselves as enemies of God, but if we still desire to commit any sin, if we aren’t resolved to stop any sin, sadly, we are. The intensity of the mortal sin we choose or desire makes us a lesser or greater of an enemy of our Creator. But no matter how great or little the mortal sins is, it is still mortal. But not to worry, God still loves His enemies, tries to convert us and works hard to bring us home to Him.

All of us, who have matured mentally, have full knowledge of the need to love God, and not desire to offend Him within our conscience, which is known as natural law. God gave us this knowledge. Yet from Adam and Eve’s sin, our human nature fights against this natural law and causes us to desire what we should hate.

However, from this same human nature we can actually commit sin and not choose it. Those in the state of perfection (not able to choose sin), like St. Therese of Lisieux, who, from God’s grace, was able to grow into this level of spiritual perfection, was no longer able to choose to sin for the last two years of her life. She wonderfully accepted God’s grace so perfectly, she became “full of grace” like St. Stephen (Acts 6:8) and was no longer able to choose to sin as she describes in her autobiography, and therefore was “perfect.” However, from her human nature, she still sinned, but didn’t offend God because she lacked deliberate consent.

“From that day I have been penetrated and surrounded with love. Every moment this Merciful Love renews me and purifies me, leaving in my soul no trace of sin” (St. Therese of Lisieux)

Being totally perfect, meaning we can’t accidentally or deliberately sin, can’t happen on earth because of our human nature. That perfection isn’t until Heaven. This explains one of the several reasons why “among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11). You see,  on earth John the Baptist, even though he was the greatest, was still tied to the limits of his human nature. He too was “full of grace,” not able to choose sin, from the time of the visitation of Jesus in the womb of Mary, as taught by the Word and Church (cf. Luke 1:15 & 41), yet he still suffered from the inclination–undeliberate choosing and desiring of sin called concupiscence, which all mankind bears as a consequence from Adam and Eves sin. Therefore, John the baptist involuntary sinned, which is different from the deliberate desire of sin I spoke about earlier. As St. Paul describes in the Word, “Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but [the inclination of] sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:20). This is of course with the exception of Mary and Jesus, which weren’t touched by original sin as taught by the saints and the Church. Therefore, not until we leave our wretched mortal bodies, does that imperfect nature (inclination to sin) leave and we can finally be truly perfect which is greater than anything possible in any state on earth. However, as far as the voluntary desiring of sin goes, it is diffidently a free choice, and done by our deliberate consent, that we make from our love for sin.

“Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law” (CCC # 1849).

To understand the two different categories of mortal sin more clearly lets look into St. Teresa of Avila, who is a magnificent saint, but she never reached perfection (not able to choose sin) like St. Therese of Lisieux did as she clearly states in her autobiography.  However, St. Teresa of Avila does give us wonderful incite into the two types of mortal sin as she clearly speaks about both of them. In chapter 3 of her auto biography, before she gave her life to serving God and lived a lukewarm life–not seeking to stop sinning–she says, “I began to fear that, if I had died of my illness, I should have gone to hell [since I was without saving grace]… I had fully deserved to be in hell.” Also to move her to help take her salvation seriously, God even showed her her place in Hell that was prepared for her if she didn’t change as she said, “I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins.” If it wan’t for her gift from God, “Fear of the Lord” (servile fear-fear of eternal suffering), God and us would most likely not have this wonderful saint.

Nonetheless, she openly admits to living a life outside of saving grace. However,

The more unrepentant or deliberate venial sins we commit, the weaker our spirit becomes from our rejection of God’s actual grace, and over time with the compiling of the unrepentant venial sins and the more and more reduction of grace, from our weakness, we will commit even greater sins–serious mortal sin–like the serious sins in the Word that can destroy our understanding of right from wrong and harm our relationship with God in an even greater way causing us to fall far from saving grace.

Wonderfully though, committing venial sin alone doesn’t keep a souls from accepting God’s saving grace as long as we hate them. Now to make this more clear, as this topic can be very easily misunderstood, let me give an example. If someone who truly detests their sins (would suffer any pain than offend their God in any way) and works hard to stop each and every sin, from their weakness fell into temptation and committed a venial sin, lets say they intentionally ran a red light to get to somewhere on time, and initially they aren’t sorry they ran the red light because it obtained them the goal they desired–they got to their location on time–the question is, does that venial sin reject God’s saving grace? The answer is no, even though they deliberately committed it, are not initially sorry (because they aren’t consciously aware of the offence to God) and haven’t repented of it yet. For a venial sin to become mortal and lose saving grace someone must “desire” that sin (not seek to stop) or refuse to repent of it.

“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).

 

“How Bad Confession Damn Us”

more coming soon