Mortal Sin Against the First Commandment Part 2
Participation with the occult (witchcraft, ouija boards, black magic, palm reading, seances, tarot cards), putting faith into horoscopes or luck charms.
The occult is a serious threat. A lot of people think its all fun and games, but sadly, it is not. The occult has always called upon black magic (not God, but Satanic) intercession. Once you get involved in this, it leaves a very bad mark upon you. It opens yourself up to demonic possession and oppression. All of these use evil spirits in order to find out information. Instead of asking God, the parties involved leave God out of the picture, and go about finding their information through evil ways. The occult is very dangerous to our spiritual lives. The occult tries very hard to ruin us and to make it appear that everything is alright and there isn’t much of a big deal with playful curiosity. I have heard stories where involvement with ouija boards, palm reading, seances and tarot cards have had negative consequences. Ouija boards get thrown away and magically reappear. Tarot cards and palm readings dig so deep into the persons soul that it is frightening. Seances do not have contact with “who you are looking for” but play with evil spirits who are up to no good. White magic is not “good” magic, do not be fooled. Magic is magic. Magic in this sense is sinful.
Putting faith into horoscopes or luck charms or even superstition goes against having faith in God. God demands that we are faithful to Him. When we put faith into other items or philosophies, we are not trusting God, and we are turning these other items into gods. Horoscopes are a load of bologna anyways. God is a very jealous God.
Receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation or Matrimony Under Mortal Sin
Similar to receiving Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin, receiving these sacraments when not in a state of grace somewhat ruins the graces that you would receive the moment that the graces are put on you. When we commit mortal sin, our connection with God is broken. When we receive sacraments, we are receiving graces. There are only a few sacraments that we can receive when in the state of mortal sin. Those would be Reconciliation, and Baptism. That is because these two sacraments remove the effects of mortal sin and reestablish our relationship with God.
Being married by a Justice of the Peace or minister from another denomination (without dispensation) (for Catholics).
As Catholics, we are called to receive our sacraments from the Catholic Church. There are times when we can get permission depending on the circumstances for the marriage, but, to leave the Church to get married without permission, or when the Church has denied permission, is the same as leaving the Church. Marriage is not a right, nor a guarantee. We are not all called to marriage and most certainly the person we think we are called to marriage may not be good for us. With a close to 50% divorce rate, there is a reason why the Church grants permission.
Willful participation in General Absolution services (non-emergency)
General Absolution services are sadly offered within some non-traditional parts of the Church. General Absolution is when you do not do an individual confession but you write your sins on a piece of paper and everyone receives absolution at the same time. In the case of an emergency (say, the plane is going to go down) this is perfectly acceptable and recommended by the Church in these circumstances. However, if you do survive, you still need to confess your mortal sins. To offer this because people may be shy or the priest doesn’t want to sit for an hour in the confessional is not valid. This is because there is a rubric for confession. The Sacrament of Reconciliation requires us to confess our sins in kind and number. Its important to note that Father can never admit to the sins that you have confessed and he generally doesn’t remember them anyways. Father won’t, and shouldn’t hold your sins against you either. Confession is there for you to admit to your wrong doings and to get back into the state of grace and back on the path of righteousness.
Now, after reading this, if you realize that you have been involved in some of these things, GET TO CONFESSION. I always say that even if you didn’t know that something was a mortal sin it would be good to confess it anyways. Just tell Father that you didn’t know it was a sin but you want to confess it.
If I wasn’t clear on something, just leave a comment and I’ll be sure to address the issue.
This post is one of many in a series on Mortal Sins. Click here for more posts explaining and defining mortal sins.