Question from GemmaRose on 3/16/2008:
Dear Fr. Levis,
In your answer to my recent question on degrees of sin, you answered, in part, "No venial sin is as bad as mortal sin ever. But to the advanced, a deliberate venial sin is not to be treated lightly. It is deliberate, conscious offense of God, not good at all."
What about those that aren't 100% deliberate, like when you're in a grouchy mood and haven't had coffee yet, and you act uncharitably to someone... when it just kind of "slips out" and you don't mean to do it, don't want to do it, don't want to offend God, but it happens.
As sins go, how bad is that, and how do you stop doing things like that?
Also, are bad thoughts sins - as in when you're really angry with someone and you're thinking how you'd like to rip that person's head off, but you don't show it at all... is that a sin? (I'm not talking about thinking of ways to get revenge, just the anger of the moment - not showing it, but thinking it.)
Have a blessed Holy Week and a Happy Easter.
Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 3/17/2008:
Gemma, Venial sin is a real horror to the loving dedicated Christian. Today it is almost ignored by many if not most Christians. Since all of us are weighed down with Original Sin, a kind of antagonism against God, we all are tempted as you posted today. When consented to, with deliberate will, giving in to them is sinful, not mortally, but not good either. This constitutes the moral daily battle of the Christian who is infused with divine life and tries to live on the divine level.Fr. Bob Levis