“Ask a Priest: Can It Get Worse If I Committed a Mortal Sin Already?”

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Q: When I commit a mortal sin I fall into this ideology that “Well, I’m already in mortal sin, how can it get any worse?”, and use this to become despondent. Is this true — can mortal sin be made worse by continuing it after the initial incident? I hate this ideology and don’t understand why I fall into it. What should one do when in mortal sin before Saturday confession? Are spiritual practices such as the Liturgy of the Hours or the rosary of any use when someone is in the state of mortal sin? I feel as though I am falling into a pattern of every week, falling prey to these sins, and I’d like to learn how to best conquer them. Nothing I’ve tried works for very long. God bless. – G.E.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: What you describe is a common occurrence. It’s more of a temptation than an ideology. A person falls into mortal sin and then quickly grows despondent and piles on other mortal sins. This makes a bad situation worse.

Despondency can be one of the devil’s tricks. He whispers to someone before a fall, “Go ahead, do it. It’s no big deal. You’re a nice guy. Everyone does it.”

Then, after the fall, the devil is there to whisper, “You are a loser. Do you think you should be forgiven? No use trying to stop sinning — you’re already over the edge.”

The best response would be good to get to confession as soon as possible, before the despondency grows. Discouragement is a slippery slope you want to avoid.

If you can’t make it to confession, at least make a perfect act of contrition (that is, have sorrow for sin, based on love of God).

In the meantime, keep up the prayers. The merit for them will kick in once you are back in a state of grace.

To battle your sins, you might consider compiling a program of life, a systematic way to tackle your vices and work on the virtues.

To that end you might find the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwHfPpXbN5U helpful.

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One Comment
  1. Hello, please stop committing these sins. You will feel better if you do stop and keep praying for God to give you strength, as you need to find the strength within you through God’s love. Remember God is our creator and he loved us so much that he created us all in his image. Now please really think of that: God created us in his image. How amazing and beautiful is that? He has given us the ability in all of us to try our best to be as good as him. Yes we are all sinners and we cannot be as good as he is , but yet we have been given the choice to try to be good like our father, like our dear brother Jesus.
    Please pray to Jesus for healing of your thoughts and mind. And pray to Our Lady who can help guide you onto the right path if you only pray to her with a sincere heart. I would recommend wearing Our Lady’s medal to remind you of your journey : a path from sin to not committing that sin any more.

    The good thing is is that you recognise that you are sinning and you should want to change that now to be able to go to a more pure life.

    If this is something you are struggling with it could be that you have a mental health issue, and taking advice from a counsellor one who is of the faith might be a good option for you.

    How can you break this habit you have gotten into? How can you control it? Firstly give the control to God ask him to help you.

    Analysis: think about how you are lead down this horrible path each time, what is that paths first steps? can you change those first steps? can you avoid the situation. I do not know what your sin is. But say you are going out with someone who is married and you see them everyday, how can you make it so you do not see them everyday and take temptation away? change the steps. If you walk to a cafe each day and that person serves you, go to another cafe. And when you gain strength tell him/her that you will no longer see them as it is sinful and not right. If it is some other sin that you commit can you do something similar to take you out of that habit?

    Do something else that pathway to repeated sin can be altered to take you on a different pathway away from sin. Look Jesus suffered on the cross for us. He suffered. He must have suffered in agony for us. He shed his blood for us how traumatic it must have been for him on that cross dying and suffering for us. We owe it to him to do our best not to sin, for he is our dear brother and he did that for us. to save us all.

    He gave us such a gift and I cry thinking of it how our dear brother died on that cross in pain for us all. Think about that please.

    Please I ask you to choose another path another routine away from this sin. You can do it you really can. And you do not have to be alone in doing it in choosing a good and pure path. I tell you this when you stop the sinning you will find peace in your heart and mind you will be free. Right now you are trapped and in chains trapped at a horrible force that keeps tempting you again and again. It is time to let go and walk away from that sin. It is time to do so.

    Pray to our mother Our Lady, ask for a mothers love true and pure to help you her gentle strength can help you.

    This is your family they want what is good for you and for others, you need to stop doing this now.

    Do not let evil win! evil destroys .

    God however creates, he loves and he will take you back with open arms if only you run to him with open arms. You must walk away from evil doings you must. Think about the time before you started doing this sin. What were you like? what happened to make you commit these sins? can you revert to back to who you used to be when you did not commit sins?

    What you are doing is walking into that sin all the time, you walk down its path and then you commit that sin.

    So stop walking down that path, walk another way. Build a new life and ask God to help you.

    I am sure that God will weep with sorrow at you committing a sin because it is making a huge gap between you and God. Think of how upset he must be and how worried he will be as you walk further and further away from him .

    But think of how joyful and happy he would be if you do the right thing and try and try and walk another path and let him walk it with you. Each and every step. and the further you walk away from that sin the closer you can if you choose to be nearer and nearer to God. And how you can find a peace with him while you make another path for yourself on this beautiful Earth that he made for us to live in.

    It is time to let it go it is time for you to start a new journey . I can tell that you want that new journey that you want to stop that sin. The good news is : you can stop. it is now up to you. You have free will , but your freedom is gone when in a trap of committing sin it is not good for you or others.

    Now pray and if you think it could help go seek a Catholic Counsellor to help you.

    And remember if you are committing a sin with someone else you are contributing to them committing a sin too! that is not fair now best to let them go so that they can stop committing a sin too?

    If it is some other type of sin then it still damages others.

    You have already taken your first step by the way. You have posted your question on here that shows you want to change it shows that you are capable of changing. So you can do it.

    I shall say a prayer after typing this especially for you and hope that it will help you. Now take care and remember God loves you so much. So please learn to love him back. Do the right thing. It may be difficult but you can do it .

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