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Anonymous Anna wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • When is vanity a mortal sin?

I was trying to pray (not really concentrating) and I glanced at a picture of me. I thought that I looked very pretty, and glanced at another picture of me, all the time thinking I'm so pretty, lucky me!. However, I felt guilty and stopped.

  • Did I sin mortally?

I did have fleeting thoughts of [continuing where I left off]. . . unlike some people, but I didn't dwell on them.


Anonymous Anna
Age 14

  { Is vanity a mortal sin when taken to this extent and, if not, when is it a mortal sin? }

Paul replied:


The sin of vanity would become mortal if you were to use the confidence you have in your looks (or anything else) to seriously harm someone. On the other hand, recognizing our gifts with gratitude to God is no sin at all.

Caring too much about our looks [and/or] taking an inordinate amount of time or energy on them, may be in the category of venial sin.



Anna replied:

Hi Paul,

Thank-you for answering my question.


Paul replied:

Your welcome.


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