According to the
Baltimore Catechism... (emphasis added)
Q. Why are we
bound to avoid occasions of sin?
A. We are bound
to avoid occasions of sin because Our Lord has said: "He who loves the danger
will perish in it"; and as we are bound to avoid the loss of our souls, so we
are bound to avoid the danger of their loss. The occasion is the cause of sin,
and you cannot take away the evil without removing its cause.
Q. How many
kinds of occasion of sin are there?
A. There are four
kinds of occasions of sin: (1) Near occasions, through which we always fall
[into sin]; (2) remote occasions, through which we sometimes fall; (3) voluntary
occasions or those we can avoid; and (4) involuntary occasions or those we
cannot avoid. A person who lives in a near and voluntary occasion of sin need
not expect forgiveness while he continues in that state.
persons, places and things are usually occasions of sin?
A. (1) The
persons who are occasions of sin are all those in whose company we sin, whether
they be bad of themselves or bad only while in our company, in which case we
also become occasions of sin for them; (2) the places are usually liquor
saloons, low theaters, indecent dances, entertainments, amusements, exhibitions,
and all immoral resorts of any kind, whether we sin in them or not; (3) the
things are all bad books, indecent pictures, songs, jokes, and the like even
when they are tolerated by public opinion and found in public places.
Q. Is a person
who is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to give up its near
occasion when it is possible to do so, rightly disposed for confession?
A. A person who
is determined to avoid the sin, but who is unwilling to give up its near
occasion when it is possible to do so, is not rightly disposed for confession,
and he will not be absolved if he makes known to the priest the true state of
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