Question of the Day for Thursday, August 15, 2013
Confessing venial sins
Q. I know that the Church urges frequent confession. But what if one has no mortal sins to confess? I am reluctant to go to confession because of the absence of mortal sins. As to venial sin, I am unclear what this means anymore. Can you help?
— J.C., Metuchen, N.J.
A. Here’s a reply from OSV columnist Msgr. M. Francis Mannion:
The distinction between mortal and venial sins is as valid today as it ever was. Mortal sin is that which is so serious as to fundamentally compromise one’s relationship with God, others and self. Venial sin involves less serious matters, and it does not compromise one’s moral integrity in the way that mortal sin does. I would estimate, as a confessor, that the vast majority of sins that people confess are venial sins. Knowing whether one has committed a mortal or venial sin demands careful examination of conscience and discernment of heart and soul, as well as a determination of the degree of knowledge and consent involved in the sin.
Read the rest of the answer at Our Sunday Visitor: http://www.osv.com/TCANav/TCAQuestionoftheDay/Aug12162013/tabid/8730/Default.aspx