How do we cope with habitual sin?

Let’s just say you go to confession for this one sin. Afterwards, you do what you can to avoid falling into that sin again. But, you can’t help yourself, so you do it again. You then go back to confession, to confess the same sin. Then it happens… again, again, and again. Then the guilt piles on and on and on. Suddenly, you think that you are not going anywhere with this so you avoid going back to confession. Then you feel unworthy because you feel that you are abusing God’s love.

Any thoughts? :hmmm:

Dear Oshiego,

Welcome to the human situation! Life is a continual cycle of re-conversion. Sins of passion, as serious as they can be, are not as serious as sins of malice. Nonetheless, sins of passion can drive people around the bend. They key to overcoming such sins lies in our avoidance of the occasions of such sins. What are the seemingly innocent enticements that we say yes to long before the full force of temptation is upon us? They have a way of coming back and biting us on the posterior. We cannot afford to go there!

If we just don’t go there in our minds, we are safe. But this requires continued vigilance and humility. Our pride will continually tempt us by suggesting that we are stronger than we actually are—especially if we have enjoyed a good period of success. When we fall flat of our faces, our pride then tells us that after such a period of success, we might as well give up and that our confessor will give up on us—and so will God. We feel shameful and incorrigible.

But we must remember that Jesus did not shed His precious Blood on our behalf, for us to give up on His love for us and His willingness to always come to our aid. Even though our love for Him is weak and inconsistent, His love for us never wavers.

Remember, we can never out-sin His love. His love has no limits. Each one of us is His idea. He designed us to be exactly how we are and He loves His design. He alone can give us the strength to be faithful to Him.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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