Mortal Sins and Venial Sins
This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin.
There are a number of questions that can sometimes arise about the Catholic faith from those who believe that only the Bible is the source of anything worthy of belief. There are instances where it can appear that Catholics just pull certain things out of thin air. For some Christians, the idea that we need to confess certain sins, which we call mortal sins, to a priest can be one such thing that does not seem to have biblical basis. And yet, today’s reading shows us exactly how it is we have this notion or idea.
Saint John tells us that there is some sin that is deadly (mortal) and some sin that is not deadly (venial). Moreover, he implies that for the type of sin that is mortal, it is the case we need to do more than pray, since Saint John tells us we should not pray. So what should we do with this deadly sin?
For the answer we need to look to the Gospel of John, when Jesus tells the apostles, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Putting these two areas of Saint John together, it is the case then that certain areas of our life require us to do more than pray, and the confessions of mortal sins is one.
This is about the good news, since what is more important than the distinction between mortal sins and venial sins is the reality that God forgives sins at all. We must know that God loves and cares for us, and the most powerful signs of this love are about mercy and forgiveness.
Jesus died on the Cross because of our mortal and venial sins, so that they can be forgiven. There are powerful stories of forgiveness in the gospels like the paralyzed man or the woman caught in the act of adultery. Today, know that God loves you more than you can understand, and nowhere is this more evident than when God forgives our deadly, or mortal sins.
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