Friday, July 18, 2008

Sobering Thoughts

When I was on vacation this week, I logged into the internet briefly, and read this comment by Anita Moore of the blog V for Victory. Her comment was in response to a post I did called Sermon on Salvation and I was struck by the sobering thought that accompanied Anita's message; so much so that all day I thought about how dangerous even one mortal sin is to our salvation.
Anita Moore said... Just the excerpts are extremely sobering by themselves, to say the least! In Preparation for Death, St. Alphonsus Ligouri argues (citing Scripture) that each individual has only a set number of mortal sins that God will forgive, and after that, He will just move in and take vengeance. He also cites private revelations in which certain children are said to have gone to hell after committing their first sin.

I don't know whether any of this is literally true or not; but it is certain that since we never know when we're going to die, it is the height of folly to take a chance of being caught dead in a state of mortal sin. And that, of course, is St. Alphonsus' whole point.
I have been immersing myself in the book The Glories of Mary for the last three months (also by St Alphonsus de Liquori) and right after reading Anita's comment I read this passage from that book:

A wicked soldier every day performed some devotion in honour of our Blessed Lady. One day he was suffering greatly from hunger, when Mary appeared to him and offered him some most delicious meats, but in so filthy a vessel that he could not bring himself to taste them.

"I am the Mother of God," the Blessed Virgin then said, "and am come to satisfy thy hunger."

"But, O Blessed Lady," the soldier answered, "I cannot eat out of so filthy a vessel."

"And how," replied Mary, "can thou expect that I should accept thy devotions offered to me with so defiled a soul as thine?"

On hearing this, the soldier was converted, became a hermit, and lived in a desert for thirty years. At his death, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and took him herself to heaven.
If we only knew with what gravity even one mortal sin offends God, surely we would never sin again!

8 comments:

Michael Leggett said...

Whoa! It's a Call, alright, to conversion:

My 2000th Post is up and running.

Marilena said...

even the most sincerest and honest and nicest soul commits mortal sins. yes, they are truly repugnant. and we must try to remember this when we are tempted to commit a mortal sin. when we un knowingly commit them, perhaps we need to sit back and take a long hard look at our soul and go through the list of the seven deadly sins and see if anything we have done falls into one of those categories and if it does, get to confession right away, that and endeavor not to do it again. repent with a totally humble attitude. sins should be confessed no matter how small they are. when we et in the habit of confessing our sins and avoiding what it was that caused us to sin, then we know we are in good standing before God. we need to feel remorse for our sins. absolute remorse or we don't learn from it. one also ought to remember that Jesus came even for the hardest of sinners. however, that does not give one the license to repeat mortal sin. how would we like to view our stained souls the way He does? i don't think i'd like to see my soul filthy. i try to keep it clean the best i can. sure, there is room for improvement. definitely. but one cannot do it without Christ or His Holy Mother. she can intercede on our behalf when we want to approach Christ for forgiveness. the more sincere we are, and the more contrite we are, and mean it and not ever do it again, maybe the more our prayers are heard. God loves us so much as the Holy Bible says, that He gave us his only begotten Son so that we might not perish, but have everlasting life. if we want everlasting life, we must earn it. in order to earn it. we must be right with God and right with the Church and right with one another. and ourselves even.

Marilena said...

speaking of mortal sins, father said during his homily this morning that unless its an emergency, one should not get up to go to the bathroom during the offratory.
it would be a mortal sin to do so unless its an emergency. i thought that was very important to note.

Terry Nelson said...

I have read that before from St. Alphonsus - it is stunning.

Anonymous said...

Marilena,
By definition, you cannot "unknowingly" commit a mortal sin. One of the elements of a sin being "mortal" is that a person knows it is such and commits it anyway. The will to commit the sin has to be there, otherwise it is not mortal.

Likewise, it is not necessary to confess every venial sin. It is good to confess some whenever one goes to confession regularly if one has not committed any mortal sins. Venial sin may be remitted through prayers and other acts. A good book on confession is put out by Tan Books -- titled "Confession." You need to learn these distinctions in order to not fall into scrupulosity.

Theophile

smiley007 said...

do you ever get so scared at night you cant sleep thinking that if you die this night what will happen to your soul? is this called despair? do you feel that you have exceeded your mortal sin quota and now all you have to look towards is a hot firely afterlife?

smiley007 said...

where does addiction fall into the mortal sin category

paramedicgirl said...

I think addiction would be a mortal sin if one was addicted to such things as pornography or drugs, alcohol or food. Don't you?