Mental Prayer Meditation Helps
Presence of God
Grace I Ask: Dearest Jesus, help me to understand this once and for all in mind and heart.
The Idea: Just what do we mean by "putting oneself in the proximate occasion of sin," and what makes it sinful? Suppose that I'm in a crowded room, and I find a wooden box with a wick leading from it. I know that such boxes are usually filled with dynamite. Can I possibly plead a good intention if I light that wick?
Absolutely not. If I light it, I just don't care whether everyone in the room is killed.
It's very much the same with an occasion of sin. My purpose in life is to know God, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. If I deliberately choose companions, entertainments, literature, or anything else, knowing quite well from past experience that these have frequently led me away from God in the past and will probably affect me in the same way now, can I possibly plead that I sincerely want to avoid sin? Again - an absolute NO, it just doesn't make sense. If I sincerely don't want an explosion, I avoid lighting wicks leading into strange boxes. If I sincerely don't want to sin, I avoid the occasions of sin.
My Personal Application: Do I understand now what is meant by an occasion of sin? Could I jot down, right now, in exact detail what things are occasions of sin in my life at the present time, if there are such? Instead do I seek friends and entertainments which will help me in my journey toward God?
I Speak to God: Dear Christ, I resolve to avoid occasions of sin. But I need the help of your grace. Please give it to me. For with you I can do all things.
Thought for Today: "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me" (St. Paul).
Adapted from Mental Prayer, Challenge to the Lay Apostle
by The Queen's Work,(© 1958)