By the way, I have *always* been encouraged, in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, to confess all my sins, without distinction.Same here, although only in the Catholic Church for me because I do not have any personal experience with the Orthodox Church (other than through a friend who became Orthodox and this forum, of course). In fact, I remember one time I actually asked my confessor if this one sin I struggle with often was mortal in my case (and if, as a result, I should abstain from the Eucharist if I cannot confess prior to Mass), and not only did he tell me no it was not mortal and no I do not need to abstain from the Eucharist, but he almost acted as if my worrying over it was unnecessary. I think it is possible that, at one time, the Catholic Church was too strict and perhaps exaggerated exactly how common a mortal sin really is. My confessor told me that what makes a sin mortal is ones attitude. It is deliberately severing ties with God. Which, if you think about it, makes sense because "full consent of the will" implies that you have had time to reflect on an action and willfully choose to do it anyway, even though you know it will cut you off from God. Such a thing doesn't sound like something one could do accidentally.
I don't know, that theory sounds awfully similarity to the dreaded "fundamental option" one that's been peddled around for the last few decades. If you think about it, wouldn't taking such a hazy view of things lead one down the possible path of moral relativism. Or, better yet couldn't this view also cause a great amount of overscrupulousity do to everyone having to ponder whether or not every sin they commit, no matter how small is done with the deliberate desire to hate and reject God (This is already causing me worry).
I'd just rather take the classical mortal sin- grave matter, venial sin -small matter definition to ease my conscience instead of trying to figure out if each and every one of my sins was done with the desire to reject God deliberately or not.
I think you misunderstood me. The "full consent of the will" being present would only make it a mortal sin IF
grave matter and full knowledge were already present. I was referring to "full consent of the will" assuming everyone obviously knew I meant those things which are grave matter and which one has full knowledge of it being sinful. Only if those three things are present can a sin be mortal. My point was, it seems to me that to commit a mortal sin would be very rare since I cannot think of any time that I stop, reflect on an action that I am about to do, and freely decide to do it anyway and thus deliberately cut myself off from God. Oftentimes I do something and then later reflect on it and realize I messed up. I don't set out to deliberately hurt God. That was my whole point, that I don't think mortal sins are actually as common as perhaps has been taught in the past. I hear some people talk about mortal sins as if just about every sin one commits is automatically mortal. For the reasons stated above, I do not believe that to be the case, nor does my confessor based on the advice he has given me.
I would also like to reiterate that the mortal/venial distinction has never been very helpful to me. I would rather just confess everything I can remember and trust in the mercy of God for anything I may have forgotten.
What I would recommend for you is to just continue making regular use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and trust in the guidance of your confessor as I have. He will be able to tell you if/when you need to abstain from the Eucharist (if that is ever necessary in your particular case). I, like you, find that when I live in my own head too much and over-think the whole mortal/venial thing, I start to get worried/have doubts. However, anytime I talk to my priest in the confessional I feel nothing but peace and the mercy of God, which is exactly what I believe that the sanctifying Grace received in confession is supposed to feel like. Thanks be to God!