I am blind to my own sins. How do I get over this hurdle to growing in holiness?

I’m having trouble identifying my sins. I know that I have committed way too many mortal sins in the past, and I couldn’t count all the venial sins I’ve committed over my life if I tried, but I do care about my spiritual life, do a particular examination of conscience fairly regularly and try to grow in holiness. But for the past few months or maybe even longer I’ve been having trouble identifying even small venial sins.

And I feel that this is ridiculous. I am human. I am a young adult. I feel like if someone else said this to me about themselves I’d think they are fooling themselves, so I’ve turned this around onto myself and I believe that I am simply blind to my own sins. I know where I am likely to stumble, I know my tendencies and faults. I know very well that I’m a wretch and depend on God to not fall into mortal sin.

I’ve prayed and prayed asking God to show me what I can’t see, what I perhaps subconsciously don’t want to see, but I’m still coming up with pretty much nothing. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to get over this spiritual blindness.

I can’t grow in holiness if I can’t see the things that need correcting. PLEASE HELP!!

Yes prayer to God the Holy Spirit to help us discern sin is necessary. Reading and studying the catechism especially the section on sin and the Ten Commandments should help. Also a talk with a holy priest can direct you to a spiritual director and clue you into further spiritual readings. Study the virtues and start incorporating them in your life it will show you what are the right things to do in life.
God Bless

Have you tried using an written examination of conscience? If you Google that phrase you’ll find quite a number on various sites. I don’t recommend using just one because some of them can be quite “out there” but if you take a look at 2 or 3 you’ll get a good list of what to look for. Most of them are based on the 10 Commandments but some go through the Beatitudes or the virtues.

However! Don’t get too focused on sins, rather focus on being a loving, caring person. I’m sure you know that all venial sins are forgiven at the start of every Mass (Penitential Rite) and no one can commit a mortal sin without knowing it, so rest easy about the state of your soul.

I read just recently that the best way to go in holiness is to sacrifice. (Or rather that you can’t grow in holiness WITHOUT sacrifice). So practice small act of “mortification” throughout your day – extra prayers (maybe for the souls in Purgatory), extra kindness towards folks you may not particularly like, being patient when you’d rather scream.

And talking of being patient, be patient with yourself. Growing in holiness is a long term thing. You might try reading the book “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas AKempis. Or “Abandonment to Divine Providence” by Jean Pierre de Caussade. Great reading and help in growing in holiness.

Jesus is all loving and all-forgiving. He knows you through and through. Trust in Him.
Stop castigating yourself and try to enjoy the life that God has given you. God doesn’t want us to constantly dwell on our faults. He wants us to be happy and to love others as He loves us.
There are so many people - old, sick, alone, frightened - you could do so much to help if you are not already doing so. Try to look outwards to the needs of those around you - the rewards can be so great in every way.
I pray that God will bless you and guide you with His gentle, merciful love.:slight_smile:

“Who can detect his own failings?
Wash out my hidden faults
And from pride preserve your servant,
never let it dominate me
So shall I be above reproach, free from grave sin.” [Psalm 19:12-13]

Praying to the Holy Spirit to give you guidance, direction, strength, fortitude & wisdom in your time of need.

I had a thought to add to my earlier post, Pray the scriptures and do the rosary. I don’t always do them everyday but through these prayers we can get thoughts from the Holy Spirit. I can get very encouraging thoughts this way and sometimes thoughts about what I’m doing wrong.
.
Some other posters have advised you to focus on doing good for others and not worrying so much about your sinning. They are right salvation is a gift from God and we want to help others in response to this gift.
.
We also want to grow in holiness and be as much like Christ as we are able in response to this gift of grace. No longer sinning is part of that and unless you are scrupulous you should do some reading and praying of the catechism about the Ten Commandments.
.
Part of growing in holiness is we have a desire to not sin because we don’t want to offend God. It seems that you have this desire. Like you when I had a conversion to a deeper relationship with Jesus I wanted to see if what I was doing was a sin or not. I was drawn to read the Ten Commandments section of the catechism. It helped me. You can read the catechism on the Vatican website.
.
Just in case here is some information about scrupulosity.
Scrupulous means a very unhealthy obsession with our sins, always worrying about them. You are constantly thinking you have sinned and need forgiveness. It is like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Even after confession you think you messed up the confession and aren’t forgiven. You can have some or all of the symptoms I’ve mentioned. If you think you might have this talk to your priest.
God Bless

I think these are good suggestions for me. Thanks. Perhaps I’ll use the Beatitudes in my lectio divina as well.

Yes, I use a written examen when I do my particular examination of conscience. I think my problem is not quite understanding exactly what venial sin is not. I get confused in the grey area of what is venial sin and what is imperfection. Are venial sins always deliberate? But people on this forum don’t really talk about this because there are so many scrupulous people here. Which is fine, I just can’t find much in depth reading material on the topic of venial sin. Whoever writes about sin usually writes about the type that is mortal and the differences between it an venial sin.

Anyways, you’re right. I shouldn’t be worrying so much about this but should focus on living in Love. I just wish I really understood what I can take to confession and what I cannot. Some of the things I would want to take to confession are imperfections and so are not in themselves enough for absolution, we have to bring an actual sin to confession. I’d like to go to this sacrament regularly so that when the day comes that I do slip up and need to go to a priest I won’t be out of the habit and too shy to go.

This book (‘Humility of Heart’ by Fr. Cajetan) will give you *plenty *of light:
archive.org/stream/HumilityOfHeart#page/n1/mode/2up

It shouldn’t be read too quickly, though, as it packs a powerful punch. Personally, I would pad it out with some good ol’ St. Therese.

One day, Our Lady appeared to St. Crescentia, holding the Infant Jesus. She said: “My child, if you humble and abase yourself like this Child, you will love Him truly and perfectly.”

If we compare ourselves to Jesus, we will always find ways in which we can love Him more.

God bless.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.