What makes one Mortal Sin better than another?

“I can’t believe THAT GUY is still around acting just fine when I am dealing with so much pain…”

I’ve heard this basic thought multiple times recently.  It bothers me to hear it because instead of accepting one’s own suffering as reparation for sins, they are committing sin against the 5th commandment.  This person is wishing their own pain was being cast against another.

Pondering deeper on this thought, it really has roots in an idea that one persons vices are better than another.  A disturbing example of this is in the realm of sexuality.  There has been huge outbursts from all points of view on the subject of homosexuality. Trying to follow the back and forth debates can be dizzying.  If you take a step back and look at what the church teaches, it is clear that the issue has a much deeper problem.

The teaching in the church is that EVERY sexual act be open to the transmission of new life.  The purpose of the Sacrament of Marriage is to bring new life into the world.  Anything outside of this is a Mortal Sin.  But still, many people believe that if the are involved in heterosexual activity outside of marriage, it is acceptable.  Or they believe  they are married and can use contraception because they are doing it with their spouse.  All is still Mortal Sin.  And all Mortal Sin leads the soul to Hell.

 

My Grandmothers Final Moments

I have been thinking a lot about my grandmother who died while I was in my prodigal years.  The weekend before she died I had a feeling that I should go see her.  I made plans with her to visit that Sunday. Instead of going to see her, I went to the bar the night before and drank so much I was too hungover to go.

Later that week I received a phone call from my father that she had been in a car accident and wasn’t doing well.  When I got to the hospital she was hooked to a breathing tube and couldn’t talk.  I walked up to see her and when she looked at me it was as if she didn’t know who I was. If she did know who I was, she didn’t look too happy to see me.  I left the room feeling awful.  My brother in law, a churchgoing man, had gone in after me. I heard my mom saying how my grandmother jumped up with joy when she saw him.  I felt worse. I would like to say that this event is what snapped me out of my prodigal life, but it didn’t.

As I reflect on this event, I realize an important thing.  My grandmother may have been on her deathbed, and I was a young man with my whole life ahead of me.  But I was the one who was dead; my great grandmother was alive.  Her soul was good.  When I was a kid she used to sing in the church choir.  I remember when her car broke down when she was babysitting and my sisters and I had to go to CCD.  Instead of taking care of her car she marched us all up the road, a good 20 minute hike, to make sure we learned about God.  She was well prepared for her eternal reward.  I, on the other hand, had many mortal sins on my soul.  I was a dead man walking.

I have since left all that sin behind.  I confessed my sins and gained absolution.  It was difficult for me to figure out what a Catholic is supposed to do.  I found confusion and contradiction everywhere I looked.  I kept digging.  I finally figured out what it means to be a Catholic through various catechisms and writings from good Priests.  I decided that since there wasn’t a useful resource to help people in my situation then I would make one.  My book, Found: Prodigal Catholic, is available for purchase on Amazon.

I hope it will help many souls find salvation.  God Bless.