A serious offense against the law of God, called mortal because it renders

the soul dead to sanctifying grace and makes it subject to the eternal

punishment of Hell. The conditions that must be present for this sin to be

mortal are: serious matter, sufficient reflection, full consent of the


Venial sin is a minor offense, and by committing it one does not lose

sanctifying Grace, but will go to Purgatory because of unforgiven venial


From THE SINS ARE FORGIVEN, by Francis Connell, C.SS.R., Imp. Francis

Spellman. p. 28, "One who remains in sanctifying grace for any length of

time ... amasses an abundance of supernatural treasure. ... But even one

mortal sin suffices to deprive a person of this treasure."

From FATHER SMITH INSTRUCTS JACKSON, page 77. "Father Smith: In closing

this instruction I might note that by mortal sin we relinquish all past

merit, but when the mortal sin is forgiven through the Sacrament of

Penance, merit revives in proportion to the sincere and loving sorrow with

which the sinner receives the Sacrament."


The conditions necessary for mortal sin are causing some modern theologians

to wonder if a person can commit a mortal sin, for if he reflected

sufficiently, he would know the sin could send him to Hell, and he could

never give full consent of his will. Therefore the conditions could not be


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