Are baby steps acceptable in order to stop sinning or sin less?
Faith is a graduated process in itself, has Paul tells us faith matures.

Cold turkey may work in some cases, but some have had good success in starting with one day and working toward a whole week. One always receives special graces on Sunday at mass, besides we are commanded to keep it holy. One could then tap into the strength of that grace and make a commitment to abstain on that day, then work one's way through the entire week.

A devotion through the Rosary is an effective remedy against habitual sin.


Firm purpose of amendment... means no more sinning.
(05-19-2010, 10:31 PM)Lagrange Wrote: Concerning mortal sin, baby steps are not sufficient. The purpose of amendment involves resolving not to commit the mortal sin again. So the contrition will be lacking if one confesses mortal sin with the intention of only committing it less.

With venial sin, it's a different story. Often the best plan of action is to tackle them one by one, or to take things one step at a time, so to speak. But a good confessor is best to speak to concerning this.

(05-20-2010, 05:55 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote:
(05-19-2010, 04:38 PM)justlurking Wrote: Are baby steps acceptable in order to stop sinning or sin less?

Or the only acceptable thing is stop sinning completely and for example masturbating 4 times in a month is as bad as masturbating 20 times?

Acceptable to do, not really acceptable to plan.

Exactly.  It's not acceptable to say, "I'm only going to masturbate 4 times this month."  It is "acceptable" to say, "I'm not going to masturbate this month," if you then succumb to temptation and do it 4 times.  (Acceptable in the sense that you had the right intention, and didn't plan to fail.)  And it would be correct to see that as an improvement.

It's not because 4 times is just as bad as 20.  It's that planning to sin is an additional sin in itself, perhaps worse than the sin you're trying to cut back on.  And as someone pointed out, if you come out of Confession with that plan, you've made a sacrilegious Confession.  You have to plan not to commit the sin again at all, even though you know you may, because you're human.

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