“God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he
may have mercy upon all” (
Sin is an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the
eternal law (St. Augustine,
22: PL 42, 418). It is
an offense against God. It rises up against God in a
disobedience contrary to the obedience of Christ.
Sin is an act contrary to reason. It wounds man’s
nature and injures human solidarity.
The root of all sins lies in man’s heart. The kinds and
the gravity of sins are determined principally by their
To choose deliberately—that is, both knowing it and
willing it—something gravely contrary to the divine
law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a
mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without
which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it
brings eternal death.
Venial sin constitutes a moral disorder that is repara-
ble by charity, which it allows to subsist in us.
The repetition of sins—even venial ones—engenders
vices, among which are the capital sins.