Q. Isn’t it true that once we have chosen to follow God we cannot break off our relationship to him except by a direct and specific rejection of Him? For instance, we cannot commit a grave sin as long as we do not consciously say in our hearts, “I reject you God”.
A. That is not true. This error is strongly condemned in Pope John Paul II’s 1993,
The Splendor of Truth.If we willfully and knowingly engage in a seriously sinful act, then we have deliberately disobeyed and indirectly rejected God.
CCC-1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.
CCC-1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
Filed under: Morality |