Linda Oppelt

Whether sin is mortal or venial depends on several factors

Letter to the Editor

This is being written in response to a letter to the editor published in the Nov. 18, 2022 issue of the Herald, written by Randy Elmer. 
While I do agree with him in almost everything he wrote, there is one item I did find deeply disturbing. He said if we don’t “Keep the Lord’s Day holy” we are committing a mortal sin!
For me personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea or helpful to issue such a sweeping, blanket, generic judgement of people.
First, only God can truly and correctly judge anyone. Second, he alone knows the true motives of everyone.
Third, in order for anyone to commit a mortal sin, three conditions are necessary. Number one: the sin has to be grave matter. Number two: the person has to have full knowledge of the sin; and number three: the person has to give deliberate consent to the sin. 
Absent even one of those conditions being present, no mortal sin can occur.
Also, Mr. Elmer wrote, “Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy” is the third commandment, and that by not observing it we are in mortal sin. Well, there are nine other commandments, and they also are important, and we should also keep them as well. Does that mean every time we sin by breaking any of the commandments, we have committed a mortal sin?
Of course that isn’t true. If it was so, that mean that all of us or at least almost all of us, would commit mortal sins virtually every single day, wouldn’t it?
 I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Elmer that we should keep the Lord’s Day holy. Does that mean that anyone who plays golf, goes shopping, or goes to a restaurant to eat on a Sunday, commits a mortal sin?
 For myself, I’m not prepared to make that kind of judgement concerning anyone.
    Jerry Buckingham 
    Colorado Springs

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