Four practical ways to break free from sin
As a Catholic, one way to break free from sin is to confess your sins to a priest in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This sacrament allows you to confess your sins to a priest and receive forgiveness from God. The priest will give you guidance and advice on how to avoid committing those sins in the future and assign you a penance to help you grow in your faith and strengthen your resolve to avoid sin. It’s important to remember that we all struggle with sin, but through prayer, regular participation in the sacraments, and a commitment to living a life in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church, we can overcome our sinful tendencies and grow closer to God.
But I am assuming you knew that part already. Now here are practical steps to take or things to keep in mind.
God always forgives:
It does not matter how many times you fall, as long as you struggle to keep yourself from falling and you confess with true contrition, God always forgives no matter how serious the sin.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.Isaiah 1:18
The temptation the enemy will come with:
- God has abandoned you and can never forgive you: If you struggle with a habitual sin, keep the word of God close to your mouth and your heart. This is how to combat the enemy – word for word. Remember Jesus in the wilderness when the devil tempted him? Jesus cast him out using the word of God (though he was himself the Word). You too should do the same as the word of God is a weapon against the enemy.
- Sit in the sin a while longer or you have started, you may as well finish or do more and confess later: you must realize that each sin digs your soul deeper into a pit, so never give in to committing more or sitting in your sins longer. Once you realize yourself, move.
- The priest is judging you, you should be ashamed of yourself: This is a major one but there are two solutions. The first is the best – get over yourself and learn to keep one confessor. This is really powerful as having one wise priest to confess to will help measure your progress out of a sinful habit. It’s like the accountability people feel in AA meetings, it is really a powerful way that God works through communities. Use it and do not let the enemy take that from you. Secondly, if you find that you cannot go to the priest at your parish, go outside. If you cannot confess to the same priest, go to a random priest then. Start from there but work your way to the first option as this has to be your ultimate goal. Oh, the priest is never judging you since he himself has a lot to deal with too. I used to have a priest friend to whom I confessed. I would talk for over an hour on regular topics and we’d joke. Then I’d ask for confession and he’d leave me about 20 minutes to pray and collect myself and then I’d confess to him. It helped my spiritual life a whole lot as we saw each other almost every day! Imagine being exposed to the Sacraments every day! The devil would be weeping!
Never store an instrument of sin:
This is a no-brainer but you must destroy everything that led you to the sin you confess. Everything includes unnecessary friendships and sinful relationships. This should be a goal you must have in your heart. If you cannot modify that relationship to stop leading you to sin, then it must be cut off. Remember Jesus’ words?
“And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell”Mark 9:47
Run to Mary and Jesus in the Eucharist
Receiving the body of Christ often, daily if possible is a powerful way to fortify your heart to withstand temptations. Also praying through Mary in the Holy Rosary and meditating the mysteries therein. A powerful way to fill your mind with holy things and to allow the Spirit of God permeat more and more areas of your soul in your daily affair.
Practise. Show mercy:
Practice the gospel of love by seeing Jesus in the people you meet. Showing them mercy and forgiveness. This does not mean becoming a doormat, because many people do not know the difference between humility and fear. Forgiveness means that you ignore unimportant things like insults from random people. But for those with whom you have permanent ties, you correct them without anger. It is something to be practiced and there is a chance you may never get it right. It is one of the many goals you must have on your road to recovery. Forgiving people and asking for forgiveness helps you heal, and you must remember this.
I would love to create a forum for people to chat about their addictions to several sins and encourage each other. Share materials and the like. But I would like to be sure enough people care about such things, so if you are interested. Please leave a comment here or send an email to yeahcatholic[at]gmail[dot]com. Email is written that way to avoid spam.
God bless you.