1. Welcome to Mother of God Forums - A place dedicated to the Mother of God. Please feel free to join us in prayer and sharing. Please Register to start posting.
    Dismiss Notice

The disease of sin

Discussion in 'The mystical and Paranormal' started by garabandal, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Msgr Charles Pope

    How does it happen that so many people insist on living obstinately in sin until they are ultimately lost? As with all progressive diseases, sin is a sickness that moves through stages, further debilitating and hardening the sinner in his ways.

    St. Alphonsus Liguori laid out five stages through which sin (if not resisted and repented of in its initial attacks) takes an increasing toll on the human person, making repentance less likely and more difficult.

    While the names of the stages are mine, I am summarizing the insights of St. Alphonsus, who details these stages in his lengthy essay, “Considerations on the Eternal Maxims” (also called “Preparation for Death”) in Chapter 22, “On Evil Habits.” I have added some of my own additional insights as well.

    Stage 1 – Impairment – The first effect of habitual sin is that it blinds the understanding. Scripture says, Their own malice blinded them (Wisdom 2:21). Yes, every sin produces blindness, and the more that sins are multiplied, the greater the blindness they produce.

    A further effect of this blindness is a foolish and dangerous walking about. Scripture provides several references for this:

    The wicked walk round about (Ps. 12:8).

    They stagger as with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment (Is 28:7).

    Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the pit that he has made(Ps 7:14-15).

    And thus habitual sin leads to impaired vision and an impaired walk. Not seeing, the wicked stumble about and fall into a pit that they themselves made.

    Stage 2 – Indifference – After an evil habit is contracted, the sins that previously excited sorrow are now viewed with increasing indifference. Scripture says the following:

    Fools destroy themselves because of their indifference (Prov 1:32).

    But he who is careless of conduct will die (Prov 19:16).

    And to the increasingly indifferent and careless, the Lord gives this solemn and salutary warning: In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come (Is 32:10).

    And thus, as unrepented sin grows, not only does the sinner stagger about and fall into pits, he cares less and less about the foolishness of his ways. The sins that once caused shame, or the thought of which caused sorrow and aversion, are either unnoticed or seem normal—even attractive.

    Stage 3 – Improbability – As sin deepens its hold, the willingness and even the capacity to repent decreases. Why is this? St. Augustine answers well when he says, dum servitur libidini, facta est consuetudo, et dum consuetudini non resistitur, facta est necessitas(when lust was served it became habit, and when habit was not resisted it became necessity) (Confessions, 8.5.10). Sin deepens its hold on the sinner in this way.

    Stage 4 – Incorrigibility – As Scripture says, The wicked man, when he is come into the depths of sins, has contempt (Proverbs 18:3). St. John Chrysostom commented on this verse, saying that habitual sinners, being sunk in the abyss of darkness, despise corrections, sermons, censures, Hell, and God; they despise everything.

    A bad habit hardens the heart and the habitual sinner remains increasingly unmoved and mired in contempt for any correction or remedy. Scripture says of them, At your rebuke O God of Jacob, they have all slumbered (Psalm 76:7). An evil habit gradually takes away all remorse and supplants it with angry indignation at any attempted correction.

    And then it happens that, instead of regretting his sins, the sinner rejoices in them, even laughing and boasting of them. Scripture says, They are glad when they have done evil and rejoice in the perverseness of evil (Proverbs 2:14). A fool works mischief as if it were for sport (Proverbs 10:23).

    Thus they are incorrigible. They laugh at attempted correction and celebrate their sins with pride.

    Stage 5 – Indisposition – When the understanding is deprived of light and the heart is hardened, the sinner ordinarily dies obstinate in his sin. Scripture says, A hard heart shall fare ill at the end (Ecclesiastes 3:27).

    Some may say that they will amend their ways before they die, but it’s very difficult for a habitual sinner, even in old age, to change his life. St. Bernard said, “The man on whom the weight of a bad habit presses, rises with difficulty.”

    Indeed, how can a sinner, weakened and wounded by habitual sin, have the strength to rise? Even if he sees the way out, he often considers the remedies too severe, too difficult. Though conversion is not impossible, he is indisposed because it all seems like too much work. In addition, his love has likely grown cold for the good things that God offers.

    And thus, even on their deathbeds, many sinners remain unmoved and unwilling to change; the darkness is deep, the heart is hardened, and sloth has solidified.

    In these ways sin is like a progressive illness, a deepening disease; it moves through stages much as does cancer. Repentance at any stage is possible, but it becomes increasingly unlikely, especially by stage four, when the sinner becomes proud of his sin and joyful in his iniquity.

    Beware the progressive illness of sin!

    sparrow and sterph like this.
  2. si124

    si124 New Member


    I am Simon from Slovenia.
    I follow forum often, but I haven't written anything on it.

    I would like to tell you that I read this book right now!!! And I think that is like Revelation for catholic life. Not only chapter about Evil Habits! Everything.

    Why church not talks about it? Lets say.... we don't have new translation in our language. The last translated book is from 1899!!!

    Best wishes to all and God bless you all!!!
  3. garabandal

    garabandal Powers

    Remedies for the disease of sin written by a sinner! Based on my experience of overcoming serious sins.

    The sacraments
    Regular Confession
    Devotion to Divine Mercy
    Regular examination of conscience
    Regular prayer especially daily Rosary
    Firm purpose of amendment
    Avoiding the occasions of sin
    Desire to overcome sin
    Be prepared to be radical - if you eye causes you to sin pluck it out - alcoholics need to avoid pubs!
    Sorrow for sin
    Have a crucifix in your home - kiss it often (no one needs see you; I have one in my study near the door so I kiss it on leaving the room)
    Devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus
    Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
    Devotion to St Joseph
    Holy Water
    Replace the vice with virtue eg if you are prone to anger practise patience first in small things.
    Note the times of temptation when you are weakest - being aware of this is important - you can take preemptive action
    If necessary be accountable to someone - Padraig allowed me to email him monthly for an update on how I was getting on with serious sin - nothing specific - just general comments - I think I did this for about a year
    Eventually, I did not need to do this (methinks the prayers of my old friend Padraig were heard for me!) Can I publicly thank Padraig for his support in this regard!
    Get a spiritual director if you can - preferably a holy priest (I was unable to get one so asked Jesus and Mary to be my directors!)
    Take one day at a time - don't look too far ahead.

    Finally, when you fall - always get up and start again.
    Never give up
    Keep trying
    You will have set back after set back
    I told God that if I fell a million million times I would keep getting up and I did!
    At times I was so frustrated and so humiliated by my own weakness that I thought I would never overcome the serious sins in my life
    I am still a sinner but two serious sins I have had from youth have been expurgated from my life through the mercy of God. One I was instantaneously converted from in the dark night of the soul (2004), the other has taken 12 years of practising the above through the grace of God to overcome.
    Just get up and turn again to him - he is all mercy
    Make it the goal of your life to overcome sin and become holy
    Realise that purgatory is a real place of intense suffering so it is better to perfect yourself now than suffer the pains of purgatory.

    I still have many imperfections and smaller sins to defeat.

    God will eventually give you the grace to overcome your major sins but you must desire God more than the sins!

    Praise and Glory to Almighty God for His goodness.

    All is grace, pure and unmerited grace.


    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    AED, sparrow, sterph and 4 others like this.
  4. sparrow

    sparrow Archangels

    Excellent garabandal! Thanks.
  5. AED

    AED Powers

    Thankyou for this. I have learned many of these same lessons. I would never ever be without my scapular, Rosary or Holy Water. That is baseline gear for the savage spiritual war we are all in—wish I did better with mental prayer and I pray for more discipline in my prayer life. It is a marathon not a sprint. Like you I just say to the Lord “don’t let go of me. Never let go of me—even if I fall a million times.”
    I find being a sinner and seeing the hypocrisies and idle words and uncharities that seem to be part of me as hard as I try—the laziness and self excuses—it is a great teacher of humility. Of my self I can do nothing! Without God’s grace I dare Not even think what I would be. Praise be Jesus Christ Who has never let go of me.
    sparrow and sterph like this.

Share This Page