Know how to say “enough!”

St. Paul said, “Let sin no longer reign in your mortal body, submitting to its desires!” (Rom 6:12). The Lord asks us, at some point in our lives, to say “enough” to sin. It is a matter of making a decision, as sincerely and irrevocably as we are able, never to commit sin again. Put like that, it may seem pointless and unrealistic. Because no one becomes sinless overnight. We have had enough experience of this.

But if we examine ourselves carefully, we will realise that among the sins that each of us commits, there is one that is different from the others, different because it is voluntary.  It is that sin to which we are secretly somewhat attached, which we confess, perhaps, but without the real will to say: “Enough!  It is a sin that we never seem to be able to get rid of, because we do not really want to get rid of it, or at least not immediately.

St. Augustine describes in his Confessions his struggle to free himself from the sin of sensuality. He went so far as to pray to God saying: “Give me, Lord, chastity“, and he secretly added an inner voice, “but not now!” Until the moment came when he cried out to himself: “Why tomorrow, tomorrow, why not now, why not put an end to this ignominious life of mine?” It was enough to say this “enough!” to feel free. It is only when we say this “enough!” that it loses almost all its power over us.

To achieve this we need to see honestly what it is that we fear being taken away from us, what it is that, without confessing it, we defend, keep in the unconscious and do not bring to light, so as not to feel obliged later in conscience to take the difficult step. More than an anecdotal sin, it is a sinful attitude that we must put an end to.

At that moment we have to ask God: “Lord, you know my fragility and so do I, but I tell you that I love you and that from now on I want to renounce that which enslaves me. Help me, because I can’t go on any longer”.

Here we must insist on one point: this is a decision that must be carried out immediately, otherwise it is lost. We must hasten to say “no” to this evil habit, or it will immediately regain all its power. If we don’t resolve it immediately or procrastinate, it will remain the same. That decision is difficult, but it brings a lot of peace.

But for that “enough!” to be sincere, it must refer not only to the sin, but also to the occasion for sinning. As the ancient morality recommended, one must flee from the occasion of sin, for to keep it would be like keeping the sin. And occasions are like those animals that hypnotise the pear and then devour it, without it being able to move.

 

Juan Carlos cmf

(PHOTO: Nadine Shaabana)

 

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