Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Making Sins from Dust

There are some topics that aren't talked about much in traditional Catholicism. We become so accustomed to avoiding things, that we sometimes forget the positive aspect of the Faith. What I mean to talk about in this article is the topic of the occasion of sin (I will be using purity between people courting as an example). We see the good in staying pure, and keeping from the occasion of sin, that we forget there are many dangers to becoming scrupulous in this aspect.

Before I begin, let me just summarize what an occasion of sin is. The occasion of sin is when we place ourselves in danger of committing sin, and this occasion must be avoided. For example, being completely alone with the person we are courting is an occasion of sin for impurity. But sometimes occasions cannot be avoided, like walking into a grocery store and seeing the worldly magazines. We must do our best not to have impure thoughts because of these magazines, but we aren't going to stop going to the store because of it. (I will in the future focus more on the topic of what an occasion of sin is)  But some scrupulous souls begin to worry so desperately about the occasion of sin, that they place themselves in a different situation to offend God.

Let us say a couple who are courting are holding hands before marriage, perhaps a kiss on the cheek. We see them across the restaurant and think, "How could they possibly do this in public, and place not only themselves, but all of us in the occasion of sin?!" I understand people have different principles concerning this, but if we begin pointing and picking at the people we see, as well as worrying about every detail in our relationship, the ropes become too tight and we start being prone to other sins. Either we will crack from the pressure and leave the Faith, or become so frozen with scrupulosity, that our souls are unable to move and live a good Catholic life. We must place our principles firmly before us, use every mean to stay pure, and never forget to be humble. The proud man says, I am holy, I will not hold hands until marriage! The humble man says, God please keep me pure in all that I do. Let our hands held together be in Thy presence as an act of our love to you, and let our minds be pure in all that we do.

If we try hard enough, we can make anything into a sin. But God never intended our minds to work in the negative, rather He desires for our hearts to shine with His goodness and love. He wants us to avoid the occasion of sin so we can enjoy all the beauties in life without fear and anxiety. And if you want to save holding hands and putting your arms around each other for marriage, I won't judge you. But when I see a soul completely paralyzed, unable to look up into her beloved's eyes for fear of sin, I cannot help but think there is another side to the occasion of sin.

If the Devil cannot get you to sin impurely, he will tempt you to despair. Trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ, avoid the obvious, but be not afraid to rejoice in the goodness He has given us. Because Heaven will not be us always saying no, but yes, just as He intended.