Forgiveness Day 10 // Struggling with Habitual Sin

Images by Beautiful Light Photography

Images by Beautiful Light Photography

Romans 7:14-25 2 Corinthians 12:5-10

Everyone has their weaknesses, their vulnerable spots, the parts of their souls that are the most susceptible to temptation. Some people have a very bad temper. Others struggle with gossiping or lying or with emotional chastity. Even if we’re not addicted to “hard substances” like alcohol or drugs, our tendency to desire sin can lead us to one of four addictions: wealth, pleasure, power, and honor. Sin can be a bad habit to have and at some point, you might be wondering “Why do I keep going to Confession for the same sin over and over again?”

It helps to know that we are not alone in our struggle with habitual sin. Saint Paul recounts of a thorn in his side that he asked God to take out of him three times. But for some reason, God didn’t remove that thorn.  Today’s passage from 2nd Corinthians said “[The Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.” Basically, God can use the worst parts of ourselves in order to create the best versions of ourselves.  We can testify to God’s strength because we are able to live good and holy lives in spite of the things we struggle with. 

Scott Hahn compared going to Confession frequently to going to the doctor. We pay so much attention to our physical health. We need to give our spiritual health just as much, if not more, attention and care. Confession, as Scott Hahn said, isn’t an interrogation or confession to a cop. It’s our way of gaining spiritual healing on a weekly to monthly basis. By going to Confession regularly, even if it’s for the same sin, we learn humility. We might even get to the root of whatever causes us to fall into that same sin and finally set ourselves free of it. 

Today’s featured song is “Your Grace is Enough” by Matt Maher. As a cradle Catholic, I had some initial issues with the song because I was raised to believe in “faith and good works.” However, I understand now that receiving grace is the starting point, the thing that drives us to do good works for the Lord. Scott Hahn said that frequent Confession has changed his life. I pray that it does the same for you.

Saint Paul, pray for us.

Reflections

1.What are some bad habits you constantly struggle with? Do you have a short temper or a tendency to gossip? How do you think God can help you with those little sins as well as with the bigger struggles?

2.Which of the four addictions do you feel are the most tempting? How do you think you can practice the opposite virtues? (The four cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. CCC 1805-1809)

Action: Pray for those who are struggling with addictions.