Mortal sins of the will
#1
A while ago, I had a thought along the lines of, "If there were no rules forbidding -insert sin here-..." and then that was followed by a basic wondering about whether or not I would commit it if there was nothing forbidding it.

I know that the desire to commit a mortal sin, such as willfully desiring to steal, is a serious offense because it wills what is forbidden. I went to Confession last Saturday and mentioned the wish to have a stronger sense of repentance and contrition, but I didn't specifically mention this.

I don't want to get back into scrupulous territory and I know I tried to make a good confession and so that cleared out my mortal sins, but I would appreciate clarification on this subject. When does a sin become mortal in the will?
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#2
(03-21-2016, 10:08 AM)Share Love Wrote: When does a sin become mortal in the will?

I've always understood it to be when one no longer makes the effort to fight said desire.
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#3
Why not make an act of the will contrary to the feeling of hatred that you are feeling.
Think to yourself 'this person who annoys me, redeemed by the Jesus.'
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#4
(03-21-2016, 10:10 AM)Sir Charles Napier Wrote:
(03-21-2016, 10:08 AM)Share Love Wrote: When does a sin become mortal in the will?

I've always understood it to be when one no longer makes the effort to fight said desire.

Thank you for your feedback.

Like I said, I don't want to get into scrupulous territory again, so should I just move on and not give this too much thought? I was absolved recently and I also know that this level of speculation over sin indicates a lack of full knowledge, which is necessary for mortal sin.
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#5
I'd say to trust your confessor, who (if I remember some of your earlier comments correctly) is aware of your prior issues with scrupulousness. If he isn't aware of your most recent struggles, bring them up with him.  :)
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#6
(03-22-2016, 02:38 PM)dcmaccabees Wrote: I'd say to trust your confessor, who (if I remember some of your earlier comments correctly) is aware of your prior issues with scrupulousness. If he isn't aware of your most recent struggles, bring them up with him.  :)

That's good advice, dc. Thank you. :)

What I may do is wait until my next Confession and mention it then, while not letting it keep me from Communion or anything in the meantime.
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#7
(03-21-2016, 10:08 AM)Share Love Wrote: A while ago, I had a thought along the lines of, "If there were no rules forbidding -insert sin here-..." and then that was followed by a basic wondering about whether or not I would commit it if there was nothing forbidding it.

Thinking along these lines is at the very least dangerous territory, firstly, because it risks you actually desiring to commit a grave sin, and secondly, because it's a fundamentally Puritanical way of looking at morality. The latter is actually the more dangerous.

The Christian life is about the practice of virtue, not the mere avoidance of sin, and if we want to avoid sin, we have to cultivate the virtues which oppose those sins and pray for the grace to make those virtues operate. Take sins of the flesh, for instance. Cultivating Temperance is the way to avoid these sins. It requires some natural efforts, yes, because it depends on a natural virtue, but it also requires a supernatural virtue of Temperance, which, because Supernatural requires grace to operate.

Second, consider that every person is capable of every sin they could physically commit if grace does not prevent it, so it's useless and vain to consider whether you would do X (which is a mortal sin) if given the opportunity, because, the answer is always going to be yes, or at least, it is possible. So it's a pointless and dangerous consideration.

Thirdly, let's separate thoughts from desires. A though which is merely passing and does not engage the will to seek after something evil is not necessarily sinful. A desire is when the will seeks to act, even if that act were impossible. A sinful desire is efficacious if you can do it, and inefficacious if it never comes about, but either way it is the same as the sin desired.

If you are doubtful about a sin and there is some reasonable basis for thinking you might have committed the sin it is always a good idea to confess it briefly with mention of your doubt. Don't agonize. Short and sweet, with mention that you are not certain you actually fully adverted your will to it.

In the case of whether you think you left something out of a past confession, you can simply mention it in the next confession, again, briefly: "Father, last time I confessed, I did not confess that I thought about committing X, and was not sure if it was a sin, so I left it out, but want to be sure to make a good confession and clear my conscience."

But finally, remember that it is Christ whom you approach in the confessional. Pour our (briefly and clearly) your conscience, be sorry, listen to the advice, receive the absolution, do your penance, then be at peace.
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#8
"If you are doubtful about a sin and there is some reasonable basis for thinking you might have committed the sin it is always a good idea to confess it briefly with mention of your doubt. Don't agonize. Short and sweet, with mention that you are not certain you actually fully adverted your will to it."

I confessed last night and discussed this point with my confessor. He basically said that it is a mortal sin when I give in to the temptation and arrive at the conclusion, "I will/I am going to commit this sin."

"But finally, remember that it is Christ whom you approach in the confessional. Pour our (briefly and clearly) your conscience, be sorry, listen to the advice, receive the absolution, do your penance, then be at peace."

Good advice. :) Thank you!
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