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I'm trying to figure out precisely what the difference is between temptation and occasions of sin. Can thoughts ever be occasions of sin? I know that, as with all mortal sin, we will know if we are entering into a near occasion of mortal sin, because it will be something where we almost always, or always, fall into mortal sin in those near occasions. But what about occasions where we may be tempted more than usual but usually don't fall? If a website, for example, can be an occasion of sin, does it only apply to certain parts of the website or the entire website?

I'm trying to figure this out in a way that won't stir my scruples back up, because they're pretty well gone on most days, and if they're irritating on certain days, they're still not horrible.
To offer some clarity on where I'm at with all this:

I feel like I've finally conquered the big impurity issue I've struggled with for years, with God's help and the help of my boyfriend. If I'm bogged down in awful temptations, I can usually stay away from sinning, especially if my boyfriend talks me out of it. I can shoo away thoughts that could become lust. I now have a tender conscience when it comes to seeing certain things that are typed out in a sexually suggestive way, looking up something and finding impure images, etc. The only time I can recall going out of my way to find and dwell on impure materials made me cry the whole day and my boyfriend had to calm me down for the majority of that day. All that kind of impurity is now, gratefully, not a pressing concern in my life. Thank God.

Now I get sensitive and concerned over the nitpicky things...going to a "neutral" website and finding explicit things in the vein of sexual discussion, etc.  I am trying to draw a line between temptations, remote occasions of sin, near occasions of sin, and bad ideas.
This is just my understanding... If you go to a website having no knowledge that there's anything impure, and there is but you turn away from it, you didn't put yourself in an occasion of sin. If you know that content is there and you still go, then you did put yourself into the occasion.

I'm with you on having scruples, trying to recover, trying to live purely and having a sensitive conscience. I find that things affect me that used to not affect me, which is probably an increased sensitivity. But maybe that's because I'm less desensitized to impurity than I was before ? Anyways probably others here would have more helpful replies but that's just my understanding!
(08-17-2016, 08:44 PM)little_flower10 Wrote: [ -> ]This is just my understanding... If you go to a website having no knowledge that there's anything impure, and there is but you turn away from it, you didn't put yourself in an occasion of sin. If you know that content is there and you still go, then you did put yourself into the occasion.
My issue comes from it being so easy to find these things even when you aren't looking. Ie, I was looking up a video game character from a family-oriented/kids' game, and there was so much pornography, it was disgusting. I know that looking up something via a search engine may bring certain content, but I try not to let it affect me (and it usually doesn't). That's where I'm getting confused.

My sensitive conscience is quiet enough now that I can get a great deal of peace from the uncertainty (a sign I'm much better now, because the uncertainty used to breed nervousness), because that uncertainty knocks my culpability down a few pegs. That said, I am trying to fine tune my faith in the sense of, now that I'm doing well staying away from mortal sins, I'm trying to stay away from venial sins, temptations, and even remote occasions of sin, let alone near occasions.
I think the sin is when we knowingly place ourselves into occasions of sin. Like you know there are some bad pictures on a website that have tempted you in the past and you go there anyway. If things come up by accident, its like walking on a street and seeing an immodest ad - you just look away. It depends on what you do with it. That's if you didn't see it coming. If you knew it would be there that's different. Same with thoughts - we shouldn't dwell on impure topics as that increases the temptation. But this is regarding the will. Having an annoying thought you don't want and are trying to get rid of - that's different.

That being said, since there's so much garbage online today, it might be prudent to not just go to any website. Not in a scrupulous way, but just to make it easier. But putting ourselves into occasions of sin is a sin when its done knowingly. If you try to avoid it (like going to family friendly.websites) and it STILL comes up, you weren't exposing your mind to it willingly, and if you look away, all is well. :)

It can be prudent to restrict the internet to certain websites. For example I've figured out that Google images searches bring up not just what I was intending to search for. So I need to remember that and maybe look for images on.specific websites. If I try that and I STILL see something bad, that's not a wilful fault. Its all in the will and knowledge :) other times I forget and it could be a fault in prudence but not something I intended.

Hope that helps!
A temptation could come from nature, the devil, or who knows from wherever.
An occasion of sin is something that would lead you to commit the sin you are trying to overcome.
For example you are walking down the street and you see a beautiful woman and you are tempted to sin. That would be a temptation. An occasion of sin would be a store that sold pornographic literature and movies.
I recommend that you don't do the devil's work for him and stay away from all occasions of sin.     
Thank you both for your advice and for clarifying this for me! :)

Last thing:

Would an occasion that led you regularly into temptation in some ways, but not in others, be a near or remote occasion of sin, or would it not count as those because I'm being tempted, not specifically falling into sin? I know now that entering into near occasions of mortal sin is a mortal sin (likewise for venial), but what if no sin takes place, but you may (or may not) be tempted more?
(08-18-2016, 01:31 AM)In His Love Wrote: [ -> ]Thank you both for your advice and for clarifying this for me! :)

Last thing:

Would an occasion that led you regularly into temptation in some ways, but not in others, be a near or remote occasion of sin, or would it not count as those because I'm being tempted, not specifically falling into sin? I know now that entering into near occasions of mortal sin is a mortal sin (likewise for venial), but what if no sin takes place, but you may (or may not) be tempted more?

Deliberately putting yourself in an occasion of sin is itself a sin. If you struggled with certain sins for a long time, and you know things that bring powerful temptations to commit that very sin (i.e., occasions of sin), it is playing with fire to not avoid them, and you will quite likely end up getting burned. Willfully putting yourself in that situation is a sin. But again, the sin is proceeding from an act of the will.

The "trigger" itself may or may not be sinful in itself. An adult video store is obviously always a problem as there is no legitimate reason for you to be there or for it even to exist. But say that staying online after 11 or so at night leads you to temptation. In itself, there's nothing wrong in itself with being online at that time, but if you know you are more strongly tempted in this circumstance and choose to do it anyway, that's a problem.
There are different divisions of occasion of sins.

First we can divide the occasions into remove and proximate (near). A remote occasion is a situation in which one is unlikely to be lead easily to sin. A proximate occasion is one where one is likely (or almost certainly) going to fall into sin. It is worth noting that while we can be objective based on what a reasonable person would do, one occasion will not necessarily be the same for each person. Helping a 20-year-old woman with her difficulties is a proximate occasion of sin for a 25-year-old newbie priest, whereas for a veteran 70-year-old priest would be likely much more remote.

Secondly we can divide the occasions into occasion of grave sin or venial sin.

Thirdly we can divide the occasions into necessary or voluntary. A necessary occasion is one where Charity, Justice, one's duty of state or any other grave reason demands that one do the action. A voluntary occasion is freely chosen. For example for a man to go to a strip club would normally be a voluntary occasion of sin, but if he is a paramedic rushing to treat someone there, it's a necessary occasion. Dating is another example of a necessary occasion of sin.

Now principles:

- Any remote occasion of sin is always licit, provide one takes the normal precautions any Catholic must take to protect himself.

- A necessary occasion of sin is always licit, but one is bound to try to make the likelihood of sin as remote and venial as possible by whatever reasonable means, especially prayer and penances.

- A voluntary, proximate occasion of sin is always sinful. If it is an occasion of mortal sin, provided there was sufficient deliberation and knowledge of the situation, it is a grave sin. If it is an occasion of venial sin, it is itself a venial sin.

Back to examples:

- The paramedic, who is treating someone at a strip club has the duty to go, so he is in a necessary occasion of grave sin, but must try to make the occasion of grave sin as remote as possible by prayer, averting his eyes, etc.

- The man and woman who are dating and preparing for marriage are in a near occasion of grave sin, but it is necessary to find a suitable partner in our culture. They must do everything possible to minimize the chances of sin by not spending time alone together, not speaking or communicating too often, frequently speaking of spiritual matters, praying together, making public devotions part of their routine, frequenting the sacraments, etc.

- The 25-year-old priest should defer to the older priests in such cases, unless it is difficult to do so, in which case he does what he can to protect himself and the young lady.

Temptations

Temptations come from various sources including yourself. Your past sins and your own weakness may dispose toward certain sins, for instance.

A temptation consists in images or ideas put before us which would tend to lead us to sin. To see something tempting or have the initial thought of something morally wrong is not a sin. Sin and occasion of sin require the will to be engaged, and that comes at the moment we realize what is going on. As soon as we are aware what's happening we make a choice of fighting it, tolerating it or accepting it. That's where it goes from temptation to sin.

Temptations are not sins, and are not valid matter for the confessional. The confessional is for you to tell what sins you certainly committed. You may (if you do not have a scrupulous or delicate conscience) mention briefly any severe temptations to a confessor/director, as temptations, since this is often a good remedy for overcoming them, but don't do this if you're number 10 in a line of 25 people or if you're tendency is toward scruples or a delicate conscience.
Thank you all again for your feedback and advice. :) This is really helpful. The comforting thing is, like all mortal sins, I'll know if I'm willfully putting myself in a near occasion of mortal sin.
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