Near Occasions

(I’m getting a spiritual director/therapist in the near future, so let’s get that out of the way).
As in my previous posts I discussed the extreme side of caution in regards to sin and taking the advice of my confessor. I installed a filtering program and had my (paternal) father keep the password.
What I can’t seem to discern is whether I’m in the near occasion of sin just by using the internet and it’s getting more difficult not to despair because of an attachment to the computer itself. It’s like a “go a lifetime of boredom or say goodbye to your salvation” type situation. Any advice or should I wait until get a spiritual director?

You should wait until you see your director.

Baltimore Catechism No. 3

Q. 771. What do you mean by the near occasions of sin?

A. By the near occasions of sin I mean all the persons, places and things that may easily lead us into sin.

Q. 772. Why are we bound to avoid occasions of sin?

A. We are bound to avoid occasions of sin because Our Lord has said: “He who loves the danger will perish in it”; and as we are bound to avoid the loss of our souls, so we are bound to avoid the danger of their loss. The occasion is the cause of sin, and you cannot take away the evil without removing its cause.

Q. 773. Is a person who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to give up its near occasion when it is possible to do so, rightly disposed for confession?

A. A person who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to give up its near occasion when it is possible to do so, is not rightly disposed for confession, and he will not be absolved if he makes known to the priest the true state of his conscience.

Q. 774. How many kinds of occasions of sin are there?

A. There are four kinds of occasions of sin:
[INDENT] 1. Near occasions, through which we always fall;
2. Remote occasions, through which we sometimes fall;
3. Voluntary occasions or those we can avoid; and
4. Involuntary occasions or those we cannot avoid. A person who lives in a near and voluntary occasion of sin need not expect forgiveness while he continues in that state.

Q. 775. What persons, places and things are usually occasions of sin?


  1. The persons who are occasions of sin are all those in whose company we sin, whether they be bad of themselves or bad only while in our company, in which case we also become occasions of sin for them;
  2. The places are usually liquor saloons, low theaters, indecent dances, entertainments, amusements, exhibitions, and all immoral resorts of any kind, whether we sin in them or not;
  3. The things are all bad books, indecent pictures, songs, jokes and the like, even when they are tolerated by public opinion and found in public places.[/INDENT]

So in your opinion, I’m going to burn?

How could I know? Near occasions are those “through which we always fall”. In general, ask yourself if, by using the internet, you fall every time you do so.

Always? No.
Do I try hard? Yes.
Do I pray when temptation strikes? Yes.
But I can’t tell if it’s remote or near, that’s my problem.

Since you’ve got a filter installed, it seems to me as if you’re not likely to access anything you shouldn’t. If you were to do so by accident, this would not be a sin. I also think it’s normal to have some attachment to things we use a lot. Be at peace. I know the pain of being scrupulous; you’re in my prayers. It’s good that you’re getting a spiritual director.

Goto your confessor and lay it at his feet (the question not the computer). He can direct you.

I will re-post an older post of mine

A person struggles with scruples - what ought they do?

A person with scrupulosity --ought to have a “regular confessor” who can direct them --and even give them some general principles/rules to follow -to apply (principles for them due to their particular scruples -they are usually not for those with a normal conscience). Thus with their direction they can dismiss scruples. Such is the age old practice in the Church.

Scruples are to be dismissed not argued with.

Scruples are like a barking dog or a hissing goose -one does not stop to argue with a barking dog or a hissing goose does one? One keeps walking.

(image from a Carthusian writer from centuries ago).

As to counseling - that could be helpful depending on the case -but one would want to look for a counselor who can assist one in following the Churches Teachings - not go contrary to them (I have heard CA staff mention Some person with scrupulosity may yes also suffer from OCD - but the two are not simply equated.

Here is an article from Jimmy Akin of CA that I saw in the Register and saved for those who struggle with such.…the-scrupulous

Also I will add that a person can go through a case of “transient scruples”. Which is good news in a way. For they are more easily dealt with.

Such can be due to being a convert to the faith. Such is noted in theological works in terms of (some of) those who have a conversion (even if they were a Catholic all their life - but now have had a more intense turning to Christ and seeking Christian perfection).

Such can even be helpful for they can make one be more sensitive in conscience in a good way. Helpful that is if you have a regular confessor who can judge your case - and who can then direct you and help you in forming your conscience and in doing so the “transient scruples” can clear up and one can go forward with a better formed conscience and commitment to the Lord.

In any case - a regular confessor is key for those who struggle with scruples - be they transient or a more persistent difficulty

Work with a regular confessor he can determine if one struggles from scruples and guide one.

(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 can be said to be where one would generally falls into mortal sin -one generally commits a mortal sin (or even always!)… 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…)

Can it happen that Z was a near occasion of sin but now that one has done C that it is no longer such? Yes.

Those are general principles one can apply. Ones confessor can guide one. In specifics.

Yes, talk to your confessor/director - people who suffer from scruples shouldn’t make these decisions themselves and an internet forum is one of the worst places to turn to for advice :P. You should find a confessor/director who is familiar with the affliction of scruples, as it can be hard for some people to understand.

An idea, if you are still worried about this, is to use the internet in public places (like a communal living space rather than a bedroom). I’m not suggesting that you need to - I can’t make that call. But it could be a compromise if your confessor/director thinks you need an extra deterrent on top of the filter.


If you fall every time then it is near, if not then it is not near.

Well that’s slightly reassuring. Now all I got to do is reaffirm whether I’m committing Sloth or Idolatry by not getting rid of it.

Ugh. My confessor is on vacation until next Wednesday and I’m high strung enough as it is :frowning:

Not idolatry per the Catechism:
2113 … " Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God." …
2094 “- acedia or spiritual sloth goes so far as to refuse the joy that comes from God and to be repelled by divine goodness.”

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