Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thin Edge of the Wedge - Part D2 Understanding the Severity of Sin

Conditions of mortal sin: knowledge, free will, grave matter

Contrary to the teaching of Baius (prop. 46, Denzinger-Bannwart, 1046) and the Reformers, a sin must be a voluntary act. Those actions alone are properly called human or moral actions which proceed from the human will deliberately acting with knowledge of the end for which it acts. Man differs from all irrational creatures in this precisely that he is master of his actions by virtue of hisreason and free will (I-II:1:1). Since sin is a human act wanting in due rectitude, it must have, in so far as it is a human act, the essential constituents of a human act. The intellect must perceive and judge of the morality of the act, and the will must freely elect. For a deliberate mortal sin there must be full advertence on the part of the intellect and full consent on the part of the will in a grave matter. An involuntary transgression of the law even in a grave matter is not a formal but a material sin. The gravity of the matter is judged from the teaching of Scripture, the definitions ofcouncils and popes, and also from reason. Those sins are judged to be mortal which contain in themselves some grave disorder in regard to God, our neighbour, ourselves, or society. Some sins admit of no lightness of matter, as for example, blasphemyhatred of God; they are always mortal (ex toto genere suo), unless rendered venial by want of full advertence on the part of theintellect or full consent on the part of the will. Other sins admit lightness of matter: they are grave sins (ex genere suo) in as much as their matter in itself is sufficient to constitute a grave sin without the addition of any other matter, but is of such a nature that in a given case, owing to its smallness, the sin may be venial, e.g. theft.

Thin Edge of the Wedge - Part D1 Understanding the Severity of Sin

While there appears to be a significant confusion within the Catholic Church on many aspects of sin, I'd like to highlight the Malice of Sin (see part D2).

The Malice of sin is found in that it is a conscious and voluntary transgression of the eternal law of God.  When these conditions are met (conscious, voluntary transgession), it carries with it an implied contempt of the will of God and a turning away from Him who is the end for which we are designed. In short, we prefer to subject ourselves to a creature rather than to the Creator as such it is an offense offered to God and injures Him in that it deprives God of the reverance and honor due to Him.