Wednesday, February 1, 2012


The proximate occasion of sin is the opportunity of committing that sin to which one is strongly tempted. Three things combine to make an occasion of sin proximate: 

(1) inclination, 
(2) temptation, 
(3) an opportunity. 

As human nature inclines universally to impurity, but not to other sins, the occasion of impurity is a universal danger, while the occasions of other sins may be dangerous for one person and not for another.

The temptation 

(1) is easily aroused and greatly intensified when it follows the inclination of a bad habit; 
(2) it is most severe when it affects man's predominant passion, or the defects of his temperament and character; 
(3) in both, these instances it is apt to meet with less prompt and less decisive resistance from the will.

By wilfully exposing himself to the proximate occasion of sin, or by remaining in it unnecessarily when it presents itself, man 

(1) withdraws himself from the influence of grace; 
(2) makes himself unworthy of the special protection of divine Providence; 
(3) and incurs the guilt of the sin by heedlessly exposing himself to it. Hence the Holy Ghost says, "He that loveth the danger shall perish in it" (Prov. vi. 27).

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