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Koncerned Karen wrote:

Hi, guys —

  • At what point does wasting time at work become a mortal sin?
  • What if our work load is slow or minimal and we have to pace ourselves to be able to work the whole month on a full-time basis?

I know they also pay me to be there and not work every second.

  • Is it sinful in this circumstance?


  { When does wasting time at work become a mortal sin especially when the work load slows down? }

Mike replied:

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the questions.

The answer to both questions is No and No.

The Church would not consider the situation you have brought up a grave matter so it would not be a mortal sin.

That said, whenever a company hires a new employee, issues like the one you have raised have already been factored in. In some industries, your employer probably knows that there will be slower and heavier periods as well as periods where the work load will vary.

Take my current part-time situation. I am a cashier at Stop and Shop. My schedule has been set for what my employer thinks will best cover all his or her business needs, while minimizing slow periods of work time. It will never be perfect but he plans for a schedule that best covers his or her needs. As long as you:

  • Put in a good days work the best you can
  • Do what your job description requires of you
  • Work your appropriate hours, and
  • most of all, remember to say a morning offering at the start of the day — offering all your prayers, works, joys, and suffering up to the Lord for the salvation of souls and the on-going works of the Church.

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world today.

I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians.

I offer them for the intentions of all bishops who are in union with the Holy Father, all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.


I hope this helps,


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