This is a common sense statement. However, there is a need to say it. A lot of people believe for whatever reason that it is ok to commit venial sins since they don’t require the confessional before communion. It almost seems that people are more concerned about being able to receive communion than they are about developing a relationship with God. People tend to imagine the difference between a mortal and venial sin as being as wide as the Grand Canyon. Venial sins are seen as insignificant, and mortal sins are seen as either the worst thing imaginable (they are) or as being something that you just confess to make go away. The difference they see between the two is that one requires sacramental confession and the other does not. They forget that both require genuine repentance for forgiveness. The fact is, the difference between the two is that one completely kills your relationship with God and the church (and thus you need to be restored to communion. You are quite literally excommunicated. Not in the canonical sense but in a literal sense. You are outside of communion. (There are mortal sins that are automatic excommunications in the canonical sense but that is not what I am referring to). Venial sins damage your relationship with God. To put this in perspective, let’s imagine that a person’s body is the relationship. People see a venial sin the same as being a papercut. No. A venial sin is like having a cannonball blow your arm off. Yes, you will live, but it’s not something you just brush off.
A mortal sin is like being shot in the head. There are different and worse ways to die as well. Likewise, a mortal sin can be anything from sexual immorality to murder. Murder seems like the worst thing a person could commit, but masturbation can also be a mortal sin. These two sins are very far apart in their degree of gravity. But that isn’t what mortal sin means. It means your relationship with God and the Church is severed. The ironic part is that all sins are infinitely evil. All sins are worthy of death, and we do receive that punishment. Everyone WILL die. Mortal sin doesn’t mean sin worthy of death. All sins are worthy of death. An example would be someone who is diseased. A person with the flu would stay in bed, drink water and take medicine. In a few days, they would be healthy again, provided they followed the treatment plan. They wouldn’t need to present themselves to a priest. However, a leper would be cast out of the community and before being able to gain admission, would have to present himself to a priest to be declared clean. Only then could he be readmitted to the community.
Venial sins are something you want to avoid if you are seeking a godly life. They aren’t a free pass at a sin with the assumption that it is automatically forgiven.