If something becomes a near occasion of sin for someone and they leave it for a period of time, can they ever return to it? I realised that I may have been spending too much time and placing too much importance on a certain sport. As a result, I’ve been hoping that time away can ‘rehabilitate’ in relation to this near occasion of sin. So, is ‘Once a near occasion, always a near occasion’ reasonable? Or can one return eventually?
There are alcoholics who “quit” drinking and then later go back to drinking like a “normal” person.
There are more who drink again and are alcoholics again.
But you are in this case talking about a sport? I would lean to saying that is a far cry from a drug problem and the odds of you being able to apply common sense should reign supreme.
My spiritual director says it’s possible, but only after work not just time away. In essence it depends on your attachment to the sin. If the attachment is still there then it will likely be (or resume being) a near occasion of sin even after time away. That’s not to say that in the time away that you have removed those things that lead it to being a near occasion, but rather to say that time in this instance does not guarantee spiritual healing.
I think it depends on the occasion.
Some occasions (such as access to pornography) are themselves sinful and dangerous, and we should avoid them like the plague.
Others, such as (say) a sport, game or food that one over-indulges in, can be mastered over time. Still, we must be careful not to put God to the test.
Thank you all for your advice, it has been really helpful and is something to really think about. I’m just not sure how to know whether or not I have detached myself from the sinful aspect without actually re-entering the occasion. I was kind of hoping that time away gave me a chance to detach, and hopefully returning would be okay if I remained vigilant and didn’t let myself over-prioritise it again.
Yes it is possible for something to cease being such for one. One ought to seek advice from a Confessor (especially one who knows you).
(re-posting an older post of mine)
Occasions of sin…
There are all sorts of remote occasions of sin in life…all sorts of possible good things that one can do --where there is a possibility that some temptation and occasion of sin may come.
Normally we are not “obliged” to avoid “remote” occasions of sin.
We simply cannot avoid all such things nor are we usually obliged to do so. We would have to knock ourselves unconscious…
What then is a “near” occasion of mortal sin that we are to avoid especially?
It is not simply temptation (though let us seek to avoid temptations).
A near occasion of mortal sin is such where one would generally falls into mortal sin -one generally commits a mortal sin (or even always!)–or is what is likely to cause one to commit a particular mortal sin. Or is likely to cause one to commit such here and now. Due to the nature of thing itself or ones particular personal weakness.
Though there can at times be good reasons to be in them…ones confessor can guide one or those that cannot be avoided (involuntary) (necessary occasions…which one still tries to make more remote…)
Those are general principles one can apply. Ones confessor can guide one. In specifics.
So can it be sinful to put oneself into a near occasion of mortal sin? Or remain in one? Yes. (it may be venial or even mortal or yes even not a sin depending on the reasons and particular danger…talk with your confessor about this).
A clear example of when such would be a mortal sin could be -(with full knowledge and deliberate consent) when I am morally certain that if I put myself into circumstance Y that I will commit mortal sin Z. And I do so with that needed knowledge and consent.
*Ones confessor can advise. *
Thank you Bookcat. Everyone has given me some advice that I can definitely refer to, but in the end it may be best (as Bookcat said) to just go and ask a priest. Thanks again!
I am a bit baffled as to how a sport can be a near occasion to sin - and I am not asking for more information (lets not hit the TMI button).
As noted, you might speak to a confessor - and I would suggest you do this outside the confessional, as you are really seeking spiritual direction, and that is not something to be done in the confessional. Tying up the confessional when others are seeking to confess sins, and you are looking for advice, not reconciliation, is a discourtesy to those waiting. You might need 15 minutes; you might need an hour.
I was going to give a short answer, until I read the post as opposed to the title: “It depends on if you marry her”.
But then, that does not appear to be the issue.
Probably should’ve made this clearer, but I just felt as though cricket (the sport) had a priority that was too high (putting it above more important things). One time I was discerning whether or not I should be watching/reading about it as a result of this, and I just decided to watch anyway. My disregard for these moral concerns indicated some kind of idolatry to me.
Really, I think I was being overeager earlier on when I thought being vigilant and the time that has passed would suffice. I think speaking to a priest is the best option to know whether or not it is okay to return.