Recently Google updated its algorithm to remove pornographic images in search results for non-pornographic searches according to a recent FoxNews.com report.
Google tweaked its search algorithm overnight, effectively making it much harder to stumble upon pornographic images. The company says this will minimize the likelihood that a random search for, say, bicycling, would return sexually explicit pictures.
I applaud Google’s efforts to clean up web search and to reduce the risk of exposure to children. While Google doesn’t eliminate porn from search results, it did make innocuous searches less infiltrated with porn which I consider a small victory.
“The effective de-ranking of adult content in an attempt to prevent inadvertent exposure to adult content is a trend we have seen in recent months by the major search engines. New top-level domains such as .xxx are only making it easier for consumers to find exactly what they want but at the same time making it easy for those wishing to avoid content.”
I feel like I am bombarded by sexual images all the time from news stories on the web to innocent searches. This makes the internet a safer place for children and gives parents the ability to teach their kids how to use the internet without having to worry about exposure to dangerous content.
Original Sin is the sin inherited by all humankind from Adam in his disobedience of God’s command not to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The Original Sin event is referred to as “The Fall of Man.” [Read more…]
Horoscopes are a means of attempting to know the future through an astrologer’s interpretation of Sun sign astrology. The Catholic Church teaches against the use of horoscopes and other such fortune-telling practices such as astrology, palm reading, clairvoyance, ouija boards, and mediums because they attempt to take the place of God. [Read more…]
Mortal sins are sins of serious or grave matter. “Mortal” means death; they are sins that cause death to the soul. Mortal sins completely sever one’s relationship with God and the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (commonly called Confession) is necessary to restore this relationship.
Venial sins, on the other hand, are less serious sins.
Are all Sins the Same?
Some people will argue that there is no difference between sins that all sins offend God and therefore are equally bad. However, scriptures tells us that there are sins that are deadly and sins that are not deadly in 1 John 5:16-17.
“If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that is not deadly.”
Conditions for Mortal Sins
Three conditions must be met to classify a sin as a mortal sin. All three of these conditions must be met otherwise the sin is considered a venial sin.
- Grave Matter – If the nature of the sin itself is not grave then it’s not a mortal sin.
- Sufficiently Full Knowledge – If you don’t know that it’s a mortal sin then it’s not.
- Full Consent or Freedom – If you are not doing it freely then it’s not a mortal sin.
Grave matter means that the sin must be of substantial significance. It must be a serious sin. The Catholic Church uses Mark 10:19 as its guideline for what defines grave matter. “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs that “The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.” (Paragraph 1858)
Sufficiently Full Knowledge
Sufficiently full knowledge means that one must fully know that the sin they are committing is serious and have the intention of breaking the relationship with God. Pretending not to know that the sin is wrong or having a hardness of heart actually magnify that the sin was a personal choice.
Full Consent or Freedom
Full consent or freedom means that the person must fully and willingly commit the sin. If the person is being coerced to commit the act then it is not a mortal sin. It must be a choice made completely of one’s own free will, a conscious choice. This kind of choice is available to us through God’s gift of free will. God’s desire is for us to love him and making a conscious choice to commit mortal sins is the opposite of loving God.
Mortal sin deprives the soul of sanctifying grace. It kills one’s receptivity to that grace hence the reason it is important to go to confession to cleanse the soul of mortal sins.
The Unforgivable Sin
The only sin that cannot be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:29; cf. Mt 12:31; Lk 12:10). Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the final and obdurate rejection of God’s forgiveness itself, stubbornly refusing forever to accept God’s outpouring of forgiveness.
Here are what some others say about Mortal Sin:
What the Vatican says about sin: “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” and about Mortal Sin, they say: “Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God’s law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.”
Sounds pretty serious, right?
Well, there is the possibility that your culpability for these sins could be reduced based on circumstances and the conditions for a mortal sin. For example, unintentional ignorance of the fact that something is sinful could reduce your culpability. That’s based on condition #2, full knowledge. As for condition #3, full consent, there are other issues that could reduce someone’s personal responsibility such as mental illness or addiction.
Here’s a good reminder about the relationship between mortal and venial sins: Remember venial sin merely weakens the soul but doesn’t break the relationship with God. However, it’s still good to go to confession from time to time with venial sins to unburden your soul. With mortal sins, on the other hand, it’s much more serious and it causes a break in your relationship with God.
If unsure, Seek Guidance. It can be difficult to ask about sin because of the shame attached to it. However, the best way to ask would be to go to your local parish for confession. While in confession, you can ask about it and get helpful tips on how to proceed. Most parishes offer anonymous confession that allows you to talk with the priest behind a screen so he can’t see you. Don’t be afraid, priests have heard thousands of confessions. So, honestly they won’t be phased by your sins 🙂 If you don’t remember how to go to confession, click here.
Don’t lose hope! We are reminded that the great gift of the sacrament of confession can reconcile us with God. All we need to do is repent and try to amend our ways.
In the end, remember to go frequently to confession to hone your moral sense and remove your attachment to sin.
Venial sins are less serious sins that do not cause death to the soul like mortal sins. Venial sins, while less serious in content or participation should be given strong attention because they lessen the love of God in the heart and weaken the power to resist further sin; they are still offenses against God and leave marks on the soul. Venial sins make us more prone to continue to commit sins and possibly commit mortal sins. [Read more…]
The Precepts of the Catholic Church are like a bare bones list of things you must do as a Catholic; they are like minimum membership requirements. The idea is to guarantee “the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor.” [Read more…]
Abortion is an issue of grave concern to Catholics because it concerns issues of human dignity. As Catholics, we believe that human dignity is rooted in God. Our dignity comes from the very fact that we were created by God in the image and likeness of God and because of this, all people are equal in dignity. The Catholic Church is against abortion because it infringes upon our God-given dignity. [Read more…]
For much of history the Catholic Church banned cremation as a choice for dead Catholics, but in 1963 the Vatican lifted the ban. Cremation is now an acceptable practice for Catholics, but only if done for the right reasons. [Read more…]
If you live in a country where you elect government officials (like in the United States) then you know voting is an important part of citizenship. Moreover, if you are Catholic, you have a duty to vote in accordance with your Catholic beliefs; we are first children of God and then citizens of our country. [Read more…]
“Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” – God
The third and final Commandment pertaining specifically to loving God with our total mind, heart and soul is also a commandment designed for us. It gives us an opportunity to rest, relax, regroup and talk to God. [Read more…]
“You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.” – God
Crying out the name of Jesus Christ as a profanity when one is mad seems to be a popular expression, however it is a problem if this is the only time we call upon our Lord. [Read more…]
“I, the Lord, am your God. You shall have no other gods before me.” – God
“Of course I don’t worship anyone other than God,” you might say. But how often do you pray? How often do you let God take care of the work or do you just take matters into your own hands to make sure it gets done when and how you want it done? [Read more…]
The Ten Commandments, sometimes referred to as the Decalogue, can be seen as a legislative body of rules. From the time when God issued them on Mount Sinai to Moses (Exodus 20:2-17) that is how some people practiced them. However, Jesus came to clarify how we fulfill those Commandments. [Read more…]
Sexual intercourse was designed by God to unify a married couple and to further participate in God’s ongoing creation.
Marriage is the union of a male and female for the rest of their lives. This is not just a Catholic definition, but a universal one. Today’s world is the first time in history that atempts have been made to redefine marriage. [Read more…]
Basis of Catholic Christian Moral Teachings
The basis of all Catholic Christian morality is our belief in the God who created all things and in Jesus who taught us even better how to live. We believe we are created in God’s image and that we, and all creation, are basically good. Yet we recognize our own tendencies toward evil, especially in an excess of our desires. The Ten Commandments are part of the code known to the early Israelites that helped them to live better lives in relationship with Yahweh. We believe in the same values, with certain changes because of our knowledge of Jesus Christ. [Read more…]