Mortal, venial and capital sins

Mortal sins are violations of the ten commandments, they are a proud defiance of the Law of God, they make us lose our friendship with God because they create a dark wall opposing His Light [Isaiah 59:2].

Mortal sins are committed deliberately and with knowledge of the offence, they are either offences to God by failing the first three commandments or offences to our neighbour by failing the remaining seven commandments.

God is the ultimate judge and He knows all the circumstances of sin, He has prescribed the commandments to stop us from sinning, Jesus has said that on the last day we will be judged by the words He has spoken [John 12:48].

If mortal sins are not confessed in the Sacrament of Penance before a priest, they deprive us of sanctifying Grace and if we die in this condition we will be punished with eternal fire [1 John 5:16].

Venial sins are light offences or daily faults mainly committed against charity. They don't deprive us from sanctifying grace but somehow they make us very prone to committing mortal sins [1 John 5:16-17]. They can be forgiven by an act of contrition, by the sign of the cross, by the  reception of the Holy Eucharist but most surely by confession.

There is no person who can claim that He does not sin every day, since the Holy Scriptures say that a just man sins seven times a day  [Proverbs 24:16]. And again the Lord says that we are all sinners [Romans 3:10]. This is why we must accept humbly that we are sinners, we must examine our consciences daily and ask the Lord to forgive us.

Capital sins are mortal sins committed regularly without any remorse, they are associated with vices that oppose the virtues so necessary for our salvation.

The seven Capital Sins

The seven capital sins are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth.

They are true demons that guide the soul to perfection in some kind of evil, while they persuade them to commit other graver sins. Mary Magdalene was said to be possessed by these seven demons [Mark 16:9], signifying evil in its maximum expression.

How does the devil work through the capital sins?

By pride the devil will insult God and will make gods of those who are possessed by it, by avarice he will tempt them with the riches of the world and destroy all the charity of their hearts, by envy he will make the person totally unhappy and will rob them of the presence of God in their lives. By wrath, he will lead many to commit murder, to destroy the property of others and in many cases to suicide. By lust, he renders a temple of the Holy Spirit into a temple of perversion. By gluttony he opens the appetites for all the passions that destroy the soul. By sloth, he makes a person totally useless.

Pride . The beginning of the pride of man is to forsake the Lord [Ecclesiasticus 10:12-14] , by this sin man in his arrogance defies the Lord without any fear. This sin opposes humility. The sin of Lucifer was pride because He defied the Will of God.

A proud person believes that He or she is on top of the world, everyone else is nothing to them, they don't care at all about the well being of any other human beings, so long as they are always on top.

This sin as well as other capital sins, engenders more sin because it blocks all the charity in the heart. In a small degree it makes people very arrogant and give them the feeling of importance; out of control it seeks power and becomes discriminative of others who are considered less than themselves. [Hittler]

The proud person has an obsession of superiority over everybody else, they will go to extremes in their false appearances to manifest their wealth, knowledge, power and other qualities.

As far as God is concerned, they think that God is wrong since they know it all so well. But the Lord opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble of heart [James 4:6]

Avarice. By this sin, a person wants to be rich or to possess material things at any cost, without caring for his spiritual life or for the well being of others. It is a deep greed that immerses a person in total materialism, someone like that, would sell even his mother if necessary for him to succeed in his egoistic plans. Because of this malady, we have lived in a world full of injustice, where the rich grow richer while the poor grow poorer.

A person like this is never satisfied, because whatever they possess is never to their complete satisfaction. What makes them very angry is to see that others can do better than them, so they work very hard engrossed in their materialism, hoping to succeed beyond all limits.

They forget that we come empty into the world and that we can not take anything with us, they will make no efforts to be charitable since that is against their principles.

Fools, says the Lord, this very night you will be asked to give an account to God, and all your treasures will belong to someone else [Luke 12:20-21].

We are all pushed into avarice by this consumer oriented society. So the antidote for avarice is conformity with what we have, and to help others in need.

Envy. This sin makes a person very sick because someone else has what he does not have. He will seek the destruction of the other person, and will not rest until the other one is in ruin. It is similar to jealousy, which makes a person very possessive of another.

An envious person will suffer very much when some one is enjoying something which is out of his reach. In extremes cases a jealous lover for example may kill anyone interfering with his romance, he may end up killing the beloved and even himself.

The devil is very jealous of the human race and he tries to destroy us by his cunning tricks, he will lay temptations in our lives so that we can fall into his power.

Spiritual jealousy is very common with people in the religious life, some are very jealous of those who are willing to do a little extra for the Lord, this sin can only be overcome with charity itself.

We must understand that everybody is different and that we all have different talents, we are unique creations of the Lord and we will never be the same as another person.

If we want to grow materially or spiritually, we must always be contented with whatever the Lord grants us to have. It is a good and healthy attitude to try to improve one's status, but it must never happen out of envy for another one.

The practice of charity eliminates all these ugly inclinations of the capital sins. The problem with envy as with other sins is that it leads people to commit other capital sins.

It was out of envy that the devil in the form of a serpent tempted Eve to eat of the forbidden tree [Genesis 3:1-5].

Wrath. This is a very dangerous sin, it may lead people to kill. It begins in the simple stages with impatience, which grows into anger, which uncontrolled has lead many people to do some to regret for the rest of their lives.

Wrath is a state of madness, the person may lose control of their decisions because believe or not the devil is very pleased to possess people through the capital sins.

Those who give way to the demands of the senses without any self control, are opening the doors of their souls to the king of this world who is satan. He will enter triumphantly to destroy the victim's soul and to inflict more damage to others.

Lust. Lust is the false god of carnal pleasure. Since the objective of the relations between a  man and a woman is to procreate, out of this context or out of the unitive value given to husband and wife in marriage, sexual relations becomes lust.

Lust is like a fire that burns within hoping to be satiated by sexual relations. It degenerates from a healthy human impulse into a wicked obsession when the commandments are broken.

Sex outside marriage is forbidden, even to the point of looking at a woman with lust which Our Lord says is adultery [Matthew 5:28]. The beautiful gift of sexuality has been turned by lust into a monster that kills many souls. Some of the fruits of lustful relationships are abortions and divorce.

All the values of chastity, prudence, modesty and purity have been lost in our times since all wickedness is glamorised, evil relationships are condoned and no one is courageous to speak about it for fear of losing friends of for looking archaic.

We are simply ignoring the Law of God. Lust is favoured by the open ways in which people talk nowadays, by fashions, by all the differents types of media, pornography and the lack of fear of God.

We must strive to be pure since this is the Will of God, so that we may open our hearts to the Spirit of God who wants to make us holy [1 Thessalonians 4:3-8].

The greatest degeneration of lust has led men to be with men and women to be with women in defiance of the natural laws imposed by God. Perversions take all sorts of forms including the abuse of innocent children and the disgusting relations with animals. It is truly revolting. [Leviticus 18:22-28]

Sloth. We have been favoured with so many talents that we are not only encouraged to use them, but we have to give an account of them before the Lord [Matthew 25:14-30].

Those who are extremely lazy, commit the sin of sloth, they degenerate into such a state that they don't care any more for themselves, they give themselves up to vices of drugs, alcohol, entertainment, or procrastination. They become so engrossed in their pastimes that they decide not to work any more, so they decide to be a burden to their parents or to society.

The Lord has given us hands to work and He said that we must work in order to make a living [Genesis 3:19]

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