Saints' Quotes

holy quotations for purification of the soul


for reflection and meditation

Mortal Sin

'Moreover, know that just as all mortal sins are very serious, so too a venial sin is made mortal if a human being delights in it with the intention of persevering.'

Our Lord Jesus Christ, 'The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden'

'Venial sin becomes mortal sin when one approves it as an end. . .'

St. Thomas Aquinas

'They pierce his side when they have the intention of persevering in sin.

I tell you truly, and you can tell this to my friends, that in the sight of my Son such people are more unjust than those who sentenced him, worse enemies than those who crucified him, more shameless than those who sold him. A greater punishment is due to them than to the others. . .

Pilate sentenced him due to fear, in accordance with the petition and intention of others. These people sentence him for their own advantage and without any fear, by dishonoring him through sin that they could abstain from, if they wanted. But they neither abstain from sin nor are they ashamed of their already committed sins, for they do not take into consideration their unworthiness of the kindness of the one whom they do not serve.'

Our Lady, 'The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden'

'Venial sin becomes mortal sin because of one's contempt, as I have said before.'

St. Thomas Aquinas

'Wherefore, know that two sins, which I now name to you, are being practiced and that they draw after them other sins that all seem as if venial. But because the people delight in them with the intention of persevering, they are therefore made mortal. . .

The first of the two sins is that the faces of rational human creatures are being painted with the various colors with which insensible images and statues of idols are colored so that to others, these faces may seem more beautiful than I made them. The second sin is that the bodies of men and women are being deformed from their natural state by the unseemly forms of clothing that the people are using.'

Our Lord Jesus Christ, 'The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden'

'He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask.

All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.'

1 John 5:16-17

'Saint John did not absolutely forbid that prayer should be made for those who "sin unto death," since he knew that Moses, Jeremiah, and Stephen had so prayed, and he himself implies that forgiveness is not to be denied them. Such intercessors, then, must be sought for after very grievous sins, for if any ordinary persons pray they are not heard. . .

He was not speaking to Moses and Jeremiah, but to the people, who must seek another intercessor for their sins; the people, for whom it is sufficient they entreat God for their lighter faults, and consider that pardon for weightier sins must be reserved for the prayers of the just. . .

Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the Name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the Apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor.'

St. Ambrose of Milan

'There is a sin which is always "unto death" (1 John 5:16): the sin for which we do not repent. For this sin even a saint's prayers will not be heard.'

St. Mark the Ascetic

'Let us now proceed. We have spoken of the examination regarding mortal and venial sins. But were a person to do an action with a doubt whether it was a mortal or a venial sin, what kind of sin would he commit?

He would be guilty of mortal sin, because he exposes himself to the danger of grievously offending God. Hence, before he acts he must lay aside the doubt; and if he has not hitherto done so, he must confess it, at least, as it is before God. But the scrupulous, who have doubts about everything, must follow another rule: they must obey their confessor. When he tells them to conquer their doubts, and to act against scruples, they should obey with exactness; otherwise they will render themselves unable and unfit to perform any spiritual exercise.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

'Half-instructed confessors have done my soul great harm; for I could not always have such learned ones as I would have desired. They certainly did not wish to deceive me, but the fact was that they knew no better. Of something which was a venial sin, they said it was no sin, and out of a very grave mortal sin they made a venial sin. This has done me such harm, that my speaking here of so great an evil, as a warning to others, will be readily understood.'

St. Teresa of Jesus

'But if you take pleasure in committing even a slight sin, which you know to be a sin, and you do so trusting to your own abstinence and presuming on grace, without doing penance and reparation for it, know that it can become a mortal sin.'

Our Lord Jesus Christ, 'The Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden

'St. Augustine and St. Thomas define mortal sin to be a turning away from God: that is, the turning of one's back upon God, leaving the Creator for the sake of the creature.

What punishment would that subject deserve who, while his king was giving him a command, contemptuously turned his back upon him to go and transgress his orders? This is what the sinner does; and this is punished in hell with the pain of loss, that is, the loss of God, a punishment richly deserved by him who in this life turns his back upon his sovereign good.'

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

'I cannot understand how anyone conscious of mortal sin can laugh or be merry.'

St. Thomas Aquinas

'This I say, because God showed me somewhat of his truth, in order that I might know what man is without him; that is, when the soul is found in mortal sin, at that time, it is so monstrous and horrible to behold, that it is impossible to imagine anything equally so.'

St. Catherine of Genoa

'I once heard a spiritual man say that he was not so much astonished at the things done by a soul in mortal sin as at the things not done by it. May God, in his mercy, deliver us from such great evil, for there is nothing in the whole of our lives that so thoroughly deserves to be called evil as this, since it brings endless and eternal evils in its train.'

St. Teresa of Jesus

'Without sanctifying grace it is not possible to refrain long from mortal sin.'

St. Thomas Aquinas

'Although the sinner does not believe in Hell, he shall nevertheless go there if he has the misfortune to die in mortal sin.'

St. Anthony Mary Claret

'We should all realize that no matter where or how a man dies, if he is in the state of mortal sin and does not repent, when he could have done so and did not, the Devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and distress that only a person who has experienced it can appreciate it.'

St. Francis of Assisi

'And when children begin to use their reason, fathers and mothers should take great pains to fill their hearts with the fear of God. This the good Queen Blanche did most earnestly by St. Louis, her son: witness her oft-repeated words, "My son, I would sooner see you die than guilty of a mortal sin;" words which sank so deeply into the saintly monarch's heart, that he himself said there was no day on which they did not recur to his mind, and strengthen him in treading God's ways.'

St. Francis de Sales

'Yes, dear reader, before your Baptism you were a member of Satan, and now you are a member of Jesus Christ; you were a child of the devil, and now you are the child of God; you were a base associate of Satan, and you have become the sacred spouse of the Holy Ghost; you were the inheritor of the pains of hell, and now you are the heir of heaven; you were separated from your God, and you are united to him in most intimate union. Behold what you are, if you have still preserved the grace of your Baptism.

But, alas! if you have lost it through mortal sin, the holy union which you contracted with God is broken.'

St. Jean Eudes

'The soul which is espoused by the priceless ring of good will, that is of divine love, and wishes to serve God in the spirit of truth, must first cleanse her conscience by a pure and complete confession and make a most firm resolution of not wanting ever again to sin mortally, and instead to die a thousand times if that were possible, because the person who is in mortal sin is not a member of Christ but of the devil, and is deprived of the goods of holy mother the Church and cannot do anything which will profit her for eternal life.

And she does this also because to wish to serve this God faithfully requires a resolution not to sin mortally, as was said above. But note that, should you be in mortal sin, you should never despair of divine goodness nor cease to do whatever good you can do so that in this way you can get out of sin. And with this hope, always do what is right in whatever state you find yourself.'

St. Catherine of Bologna

'It often happens that Satan will insidiously commune with you in your heart and say: "Think of the evil you have done; your soul is full of lawlessness, you are weighed down by many grievous sins." Do not let him deceive you when he does this and do not be led to despair on the pretext that you are being humble. After gaining admission through the fall evil has the power to commune at all times with the soul, as man to man, and so to suggest sinful actions to it.

You should answer it: "I have God's written assurance, for He says: 'I desire, not the sinner's death, but that he should return through repentance and live'" (cf. Ezek. 33:11).

What was the purpose of His descent to earth except to save sinners, to bring light to those in darkness and life to the dead?'

St. Symeon Metaphrastis

'Keep this in mind, for it is very important advice, so do not neglect it until you find you have such a fixed determination not to offend the Lord that you would rather lose a thousand lives and be persecuted by the whole world, than commit one mortal sin, and until you are most careful not to commit venial sins.'

St. Teresa of Jesus

'I repeat it; all works, without the help of grace are dead, being produced by the creature only; but grace aids all works performed by those who are not in mortal sin, and makes them worthy of heaven; not those which are ours solely, but those in which grace cooperates.'

St. Catherine of Genoa

'Tell me: what would you fain have done were you to die now? Would you have lived in luxury, which usually leads to grievous sins, and be cast into hell, or would you rather have led a poor life, and wing your flight to heaven?'

St. Paul of the Cross