Nothing is concealed that shall not be revealed, nor secret that shall not be known. That which I say to you in the darkness, speak it in the light, and that which you hear whispered in your ear, preach it from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both body and soul in Hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge, for even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are better than many sparrows. Everyone who shall confess Me before men, I will also confess Him before my Father who is in Heaven. But he who shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in Heaven (Mt 10:26-33).
I wonder that you are so soon removed from Him who called you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel. Which is not another: only there are some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. As we said before, so now I say again: If anyone preach to you a gospel besides that which you have received, let him be anathema! For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal 1:6-10).
Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture, became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience. Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to Him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it. Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us – that is, charity – necessitates a new initiative of God’s mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: “Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother.” The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of Hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent. Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However, venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness.”
- While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call “light:” if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, Confession.
“Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept His mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss (Catechism of the Catholic Church).
Paul, an apostle not from human beings nor through a human being, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead, and all the brothers who are with me, to the churches of Galatia: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins that He might rescue us from the present evil age in accord with the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach [to you] a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!
Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ (Gal 1:1-10).
Ask Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of the Living God, to grant you peace. You may search repeatedly for peace in all the things of the world, in and through all the false gods, idols, and yes; even non-apostolic religions. However, none of these can give you true peace as they do not have it; it is not theirs to give. Only Christ can give you genuine peace, because He is the Prince of Peace in Himself. Everything else is false coin -a man-made sham.
A brief response to many writings, encounters, and questions about what is of God and what is not of God:
There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).
Some in the Church, especially those who seem to adhere to a more traditionalist orientation, are presently attempting to instil fear in the people of God, knowingly or unknowingly, because of the current situation both in our world and in the Church Universal. Know that such an approach, albeit possibly correct in its technicalities, is never of God, because although the letter of the Law may be followed and propagated, it lacks the Spirit of the Law – love. And God is Love, God is Order, God is Peace.
God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – brings peace with Him wherever He goes, wherever He is invited, wherever He resides. Never does He bring fear or restlessness; never. Fear is a thief, a killer, and a murderer of peace; and we all know who the thief and murderer is from the beginning (Jn 8:44). Do not, therefore, let anyone – no matter who they may be – steal your peace, your hope, your trust, and your love from you; all given to you by God to enjoy. Fear, restlessness, and doomsday scenarios without hope are never of God, because God is Justice but He is also Love. And His love, wisdom, compassion, and mercy are infinite, even when we think or feel otherwise. Remember, God loves and love casts out fear.
We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him. Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgement without fear, because even in this world we have become as He is. In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love (1 Jn 4:16-18).