Mortal and Venial Sin
Fr. Wade Menezes discusses the difference between mortal and venial sin. Mortal sins are deadly sins that separates us from God and can only be forgiven by absolution by a priest in confession. Breaking any of the Ten Commandments of God constitutes a mortal sin. For example, we must obey the 3rd Commandment (which states that we must keep the Sabbath Holy). By not going to Mass on Sunday, it constitutes a grave mortal sin against God. Sins of the flesh (breaking of the 9th Commandment) also constitute grave sin and also must be stopped and confessed in order to be reconciled with God. Venial sins are lesser sins that wound one's relationship with God but does not separate us from God. For example, "a little white lie" would be considered a venial sin if it does not hurt anyone but it is nonetheless a sin. Committing many venial sins can eventually turn into a mortal sin so one is also discouraged from committing lesser sins as well. It is encouraged that all sins be confessed as soon as possible rather than waiting for a long time to go to confession because we never know when our last day will be on earth. If one should die with even one mortal sin on one's soul, it is possible that that person could go to Hell. Therefore, it is imperative to go to confession for all sins as soon as possible. If one cannot attend confession on the day that it is offered in your closest Catholic Church, it is advised to call the Church to make an appointment with the priest to make your confession as soon as possible. Once one has confessed their sins, it is important that one not offend the Heavenly Father or Jesus again by grave sins.