Occasion of sin

The Church (or at least worshipers on this forum) teach that in addition to avoiding sin we must avoid near-occasion of sin, and that failing to do so is in and of itself a sin.

In other words it’s not enough to not fornicate, you must also not sleep in the same bed as your girlfriend.

The only problem with this is that in the modern world, Near-Occasion of Sin is EVERYWHERE.
We have a society where social etiquette all-but encourages lying, where pride and envy are considered admirable traits, where gluttony is normal (show of hands, how many times have you thrown half a meal right into the trash?), where scantily clad men and women are on billboards on highways and on general television shows and in public areas. Computers with internet can take someone to an unlimited supply of free pornography or to cult website or to intellectual theft or (for those who look for them) to such evil depravities as child-abuse depictions/child pornography and to chat-rooms for ISIS conspirators.

The only way to avoid Near-Occasion of Sin would be to retreat from society and become a hermit, but even then you would still have your own mind and your own fantasies to keep in check and some might seek you out in search of your wisdom.

You can’t cut your eyes out to prevent your lust from being inflamed by what you see - self-mutilation is a sin too.

So how is “avoid near-occasion of sin” POSSIBLY an even remotely realistic goal?

We have an expression in the Northern UK; “Gobsmacked” Meaning, well smacked in the gob ie mouth… Your post does this to me. … especially the third last para… I live very much as a hermit now and have never had the invasions or imaginations you aver, . Inflamed? By what? My mind and soul are no focussed on sex, thank you and I am truly sorry if this is so with you.

Wondering how widespread this is also?

Such things as you describe never are in me.

Never have been in all my life long


It is a good idea to have friends who are focused on the Lord and doing their best to follow Him.

Prayer and the sacraments gives us the grace and strength of the Lord. Being with like-minded people is affirming, and that is how community works for us.

Then, when we are out in the “world”, we do not have to be “of the world”. Daily prayer and frequent sacraments make that possible.

we should be in the world, not of the world.
How? By staying in a state of grace. Frequent reception of the Eucharist, having a regular confessor, and choosing our friends wisely.
There are many ways that the secular world would have us think or believe. But we know what the Church teaches and should follow her. Hard sometimes, but if we make a conscious effort to remove ourselves from bad situations, poor choices of friends or activities, we can do it.
We teach teens how to do it and pray that they listen and conform to the will of God.
We also have to do it ourselves
God bless.

Hyperbole is not a persuasive argument.

Not sure it’s hyperbole. Society does foster traits that are not virtuous and virtues like meekness and humility are slammed as just being a doormat. If someone needs to correct my grammar and usage, that’s cool, but I hope the spirit of my words is clear. This is the world, after all, our Vale of tears. Weread supposed to celebrate gay pride but not Christmas. Skimpy clothing is the norm. There don’t seem to be any wholesome shows or movies. Everything just pushes the envelope. And few are they who understand even how to have a Catholic marriage. I know, this post will give those more erudite than I am huge desire for a red pen, but I am just agreeing with the OP. It’s everywhere. And that’s kinda scary sometimes.

Thank you.

You’re the only person so far who focused on the big-picture of what I am saying without focusing on minute grammatical errors.

Doom and gloom. There are people fighting the fight and doing virtuous things day after day. The fact that they aren’t all over the tv and newspapers doesn’t mean that they aren’t giving their all. Humility is “slammed as just being a doormat?” I don’t know where you live or what you do but I’ve not noticed this trend.

Welcome to life on planet Earth. It isn’t perfect but then again, it never was.

For some it may be harder than others, but I think you may be over exaggerating just a tad. Becoming a hermit would accomplish nothing, and would in fact make matters much worse. We are supposed to be the light in the darkness, and that can’t happen if we are cooped up in our houses.

Jesus didn’t come to serve the just and the righteous, but to serve the sinners and the poor. He didn’t tell his disciples “Hey, look at those sinners over there. Make sure you avoid them because they may cause you to sin.”

Then why do I hear people on this forum and in church always say “avoid near occasion of sin”?


There is a very strong hermit tradition in the Church. Hermits shine a light that is visible to the world.

But being a hermit is not as the OP sees it, as an escape from facing thoughts and temptations. Many have tried that and failed; we take ourselves and our thoughts into solitude with us and they can become even more intense and inescapable.

If you find near occasions of sin everywhere you look, with every person you meet and in all your daily activities, then either you are in need of urgent spiritual assistance, or you misunderstand what constitutes a near occasion of sin.

All sources of temptation are not near occasions of sin, for though the former may be numerous, our capacity to reject them is up to the task. We face near occasion of sin when we know in advance our track record is poor - when we know we will likely fall.

Never ever. Nothing ever is wasted here. You can speak for your self and your habits but not for anyone else;s ,

Not does my computer ever go where I do not choose. Nor does my mind fantacise. So the egoal is very very realisitc and very very real

Well said and right.

Amen to this.

Becoming a hermit is a vocation where one pursues a path that brings him/her closer to the Lord Jesus Christ. By so doing the Body of Christ the Church increases and grows brighter in grace.

Exactly and also there as sources of prayer and solace and hands busy to provide for the needy also…

Just one path that brings closer, just as motherhood etc is. No better, no more superior. Just different


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