Thursday, September 6, 2007

Types of Sin

We addressed in class the fact that suffering is a reality in our world. It is unavoidable. We also established that a state of suffering exists because we exist in a state of sin. This post will elaborate on some specific types of sin.

1. Original Sin - this is the state of sinfulness into which we are born. It is part of the human condition, as is our mortality. It is not a specific act of sin, but rather a brokenness of our otherwise good nature. (Learn more about Origninal Sin from the Catechism by clicking here.)

One of the consequences of Original Sin is the concupisence that we all have, which is the natural tendency to choose our own will over that of God's will, thereby committing a sin. (see CCC 405.)

2. Social Sin - these are the sins of an entire community or society. Everyone bears some degree of responsibility, even if not everyone participates directly. For example, child sweatshop labor is something we all bear responsibility for, even though none of us owns or operates a sweatshop. However, when we buy products made by child labor we contribute to the problem.

3. Personal Sin - these are sins commited by individuals. Personal sins can be of different severity and different types. (see below.)

4. Mortal Sin - these are grave sins that destroy ("kill") our relationships with God. This relationship can, however, be repaired through God's Grace & Mercy, especially when sought through the sacrament of Confession / Reconciliation.

5. Venial Sin - these are lesser sins that do not destroy, but only "bruise" our relationship with God. If unchecked, however, venial sin leads to mortal sin. Venial sins are forgiven through sincere repentence, and especially at the penitential rite at the beginning of each mass.

6. Sin of Commission - when one actively engages in doing something that is against the will of God. He "commits" the sin through his action.

7. Sin of Omission - when one sins by failing to do the "right" thing when the opportunity presents itself. God's will is violated by "omiting" (leaving out) just action. A prime example of a sin of omission is found in the parable of the Good Samaritan, where two people walk by the battered victim at the side of the road without stopping to help.

You can read more about these classifications of sin in this section of the Catechism.
Next time we'll talk about Love, a force more powerful than sin. Until then,
Ad Jesum Per Mariam.
Mr. B.

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