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456

Part Three

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. How­

ever, 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.

1862

One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he

does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or

when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full

knowledge or without complete consent.

1863

Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affec­

tion for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise

of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal

punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us

little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not

break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly

reparable. “Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying

grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal

happiness.”

134

While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least

some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call

“light”: if you take them for light when you weigh them,

tremble when you count them. A number of light objects

makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number

of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all,

confession. . . .

135

1864

“Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be

forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be

forgiven.”

136

There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone

who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects

the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy

Spirit.

137

Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and

eternal loss.

134 John Paul II,

RP

17 § 9.

135 St. Augustine,

In ep. Jo.

1, 6: PL 35, 1982.

136

Mt

12:31; cf.

Mk

3:29;

Lk

12:10.

137 Cf. John Paul II,

DeV

46.

1742

1033

1394

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2091

1037