A lot of people go down the 10 commandments and think…well, I haven’t raped anybody, killed, stolen, lied…so I haven’t sinned.
In my pastoral group, we spent a day, or more, on EACH commandment. So, “Thou shalt not steal” …would mean also…no watching pirated materials, illegal photocopying. If you had a friend who you knew was stealing, if you didn’t do somthing to try to stop, or report, him, you would be guilty of this sin. If you have borrowed something and not brought it back, or not in a timely manner, that would also apply. I think taking credit for something we didn’t do would also apply.
“Honor thy father and mother” means not only to be good to your parents, take care of them in their old age, but to respect rules, and ALL authority, be it police officers, security guards, judges, etc. So, if you don’t stop for a stop sign, that’s violation of the 4th commandment. So, if we speed, same thing, I think. It’s a violation of one of them, to be sure.
In “Thou shalt not kill”, getting angry with our brother falls under that category, I think.
If we so much as put someone down, it’s like a form of killing, spiritually.
Here’s an examination of conscience that should give you an idea that sin is failing in the 7 cardinal virtues, the 10 commandments, and more. I find it difficult to go one DAY without sinning, because just getting angry, losing one’s patience, with someone is a sin!
If you so much as THINK if something, or especially about someone, inappropriately, that’s getting sinful. It can be impure thoughts. If you don’t dismiss it immediately, it becomes “impure desire”.
I heard that Pope John Paul II went to confession, daily!
As to chronic sin, I agree with the previous post which said to look VERY specifically at the sin. Now, you didn’t say which one it was. So, I’ll just pick one out of the blue just as an example.
I’ll pick sexual sin. Okay, if one knows he has this problem, he would need to be even more careful in mixed company, look at the situations surrounding this sin and try harder to avoid it.
So, if he, say, travels a lot and is put into temptation, constantly. Maybe he could have where he meets clients during the day only at public places. He could call his wife daily, or e-mail frequently. Surely, there is even more he could do.
If it’s a woman with sexual sin, modesty is the first line of defense. Some say 80% of communication is nonverbal, gestures, etc., including clothing. If I had trouble with this, I would be crossing my knees at the ankles, etc.
Further, we need to avoid whomever, or whatever places, etc., which cause us to sin.
In AA, people struggling with alcohol have to change their people, places and things. They need to often even get new friends, because a lot, if not all, of their friends will also be alcoholics!
St. John Bosco told us that his guide, to hell, explained that 3 things get us into hell…bad books, bad habits, and bad friends. So yeah, anybody would be good to look at where we fall and prevent sin. Praying when we are IN the moment of temptation is always a good one.