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Offline s2srea

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Temptation vs Actual Sin
« on: October 15, 2011, 09:27:56 AM »
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  • I'm a bit embarrassed asking this. But at what point does temptation become sin? If one is tempted, and even contemplates a specific sin is the act of contemplating the sin a sin in itself. Even if the sin being questioned was not performed?

    I experienced a strong temptation recently, and experienced this. While I'm glad I didn't cave in, to it, I'm not proud that I even considered the sin. I kept trying to think of something else, but I was filled with temptations of justification for committing the sin- of course this was a devil, no less.

    Also, is it a sin to think up of past sins, while not necessarily contemplating or thinking of them for a prolonged period? This happened to me as well, and it sort of just kept 'happening'; once I realized what was happening, I tried to think of something else. I will bring it up in confession regardless, but I'm curious if there's any line which may be drawn.

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #1 on: October 15, 2011, 09:46:11 AM »
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  • I have experienced the same problems before. It isn't a sin to be tempted, since we are all tempted. Temptation does not become a sin until we cave into it. It can also be sinful if we like the thought of doing a certain sin. But as far as I know, it does not become sinful until you cave into it.

    It isn't a sin to think of past sins either, unless you have some desire to do those sinful things again.



    Offline s2srea

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #2 on: October 15, 2011, 10:01:03 AM »
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  • Thanks SS. I just feel guilty I was tempted. A good friend of mine (who posts here too) told me on the phone a few weeks ago this would happen. I was explaining to him I was so happy that I'd lost these temptations which had been afflicting me. He told me that 'now is the time to prepare' for when the temptations strike back- and he said they would be stronger than ever. Boy was he right. I also believe that I'm not in a state of grace so confesion this Sunday is imperative.

    Damn the devil.

    St. Philomena, pray for us.

    Offline ServusSpiritusSancti

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #3 on: October 15, 2011, 10:08:21 AM »
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  • I completely understand, sometimes I feel the same way. I'll get a strong temptation and will feel guilty even though I didn't cave into it. And your friend is correct, when temptations fail one time they will strike back much stronger in the not-so-distant future. I haven't experienced that lately, but I've experienced it numerous times in the past.

    Of course, not all temptations come directly from the devil. The world and the flesh can also tempt us. An FSSP priest once gave a sermon saying that the devil is lazy (considering work is a virtue) and that he will often let the world and/or flesh tempt us. Then when he sees us on the verge of totally caving in, he "gets out of his lazyboy chair" as the priest put it, and gives us that little push to send us tumbling into sin. It can be annoying and difficult, for sure.

    Wearing the Scapular is a good way to protect us from temptations, or at the very least to help us overcome those temptations.

    Offline Stephen Francis

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #4 on: October 15, 2011, 10:34:46 AM »
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  • Remember that Our Lord taught that when someone has a devil driven out, the devil goes away to a 'desert place', or 'waterless place', meaning that the devil is frustrated by its inability to do what it is inclined to do, namely, to corrupt people and cause insult to God.

    If the person once affected goes on re-opening the 'door', so to speak, of their soul to sin, the devil returns with seven of its companions (a euphemism for returning in greater fury and with more cunning devices, although influence by multiple devils/multiple temptations is not out of the question).

    In my experience, devils are like those debt-collectors that call on the phone... I got in trouble once by not paying some bill that I owed. The collector called me, knowing that I know full well my error. The more I avoided taking the collector's calls, the more they seemed to call and get increasingly insistent and rude every time.

    The devils that chased you around when you DID participate in sin (especially sins of the flesh) KNOW that you WILLINGLY went after those things. They now know how to 'hit you where it hurts', so to speak, by taking advantage of perceived weaknesses in your spiritual and moral character.

    Allow me, as a fellow wretch who has been beset with these temptations many, many times and have only relatively recently been graced with victories, to remind you of Our Lord's words to his Apostles after they had returned from their first local missionary preaching efforts:

    From the holy Gospel according to St. Luke, chapter 10:

    Quote
    17 And the seventy-two returned with joy, saying: Lord, the devils also are subject to us in thy name. 18 And He said to them: I saw Satan like lightening falling from heaven. 19 Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall hurt you. 20 But yet rejoice not in this, that spirits are subject unto you; but rejoice in this, that your names are written in heaven.


    We are not to be glad that the temptations were defeated, whether by our prayer efforts or by any other defense, but rather, we are to be exceedingly glad that we HAVE the weapons at our disposal, which is a benefit of being God's children and being in the state of grace to rightly see, avoid and fight against temptations.

    St. Anthony of Padua, hammer of heretics, terror of Hell, pray for us.

    St. Michael Archangel, captain of the hosts of Heaven, defend us in battle.

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
    This evil of heresy spreads itself. The doctrines of godliness are overturned; the rules of the Church are in confusion; the ambition of the unprincipled seizes upon places of authority; and the chief seat [the Papacy] is now openly proposed as a rewar


    Offline rowsofvoices9

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #5 on: October 15, 2011, 11:57:05 AM »
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  • I suffered with this too wondering if I was merely tempted or if I had actually sinned.  What helped me tremediously was reading St. Francis De Sales Introduction to the Devout Life, part 4, chapters 3-10.  This explains very clearly the difference between temptation and how we can discern if we've given consent.

    My conscience compels me to make this disclaimer lest God judges me partly culpable for the errors and heresy promoted on this forum... For the record I support neither Sedevacantism or the SSPX.  I do not define myself as either a traditionalist or Novus

    Offline s2srea

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 12:18:52 PM »
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  • @SS and Stephen- Thank you for the words brothers.

    @ROV- thank you as well. I figured others may have felt the same way. I will look into St. Francis' writings next. So much to read! lol

    Offline Graham

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    Temptation vs Actual Sin
    « Reply #7 on: October 15, 2011, 12:50:31 PM »
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  • Consent is a movement of Will which - though extremely difficult to describe - should be identifiable to us inwardly. This is why we have to work so hard on interiority. The Ignatian 'examen of consciousness' may be of aid here.


     

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