Do not beat yourself up over your sins.

Many of us men ( and women too ) seem to fall into a particular habitual form of sin that can be hard to break free from. I am not speaking of the habitual venial kind but the mortal kind. Christ told us that it is those who endure to the end that will be saved. He did not say those who are perfect until the end, even though to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect is something required of us, it is nevertheless not entirely neccesary.

My hope for this post is not to lead people down the route of accepting their habitual sin thus feeling no incentive to reform themselves and repent of it. Rather is precisely to give hope to those that beat themselves up over their habitual sin, as if they were saints already that I write this post. I too have a tendency to beat myself up sometimes so I am hoping my own post will help me here.

Did you commit a mortal sin? ok go to confession absolutely, but dont despair in Gods mercy before then. Pray to God an act of contrition also making the resolution that you will go to confession as soon as possible and that you will sin no more. If we do this we have Gods forgiveness should anything happen. What is worse is to not repent at all. But commiting whatever habitual sins you have and enduring and fighting that battle to the bitter end is what counts in the eyes of God. Do you not believe me? Consider the following story cut short and edited by me.

This story comes from a Greek Orthodox Monk from Mount Athos known as Elder Paisos. I hope I have his name correct. There was once a monk who was in charge of openning and closing the gates on one part of mount athos. He always opened and closed the gates for the pilgrims, but was always very very drunk on a strong drink known as grappa. The pilgrims complained about him all the time and were very unhappy with him and that when this monk passed away they were very happy to hear it and related to elder paisos their relief. The Elder related to them how he welcomed this monk into the monastic life when he was just a young boy. His parents used to work in the fields in Asia Minor and when he was just a boy, to stop him crying so they could work, they would give him a very strong drink to make him sleep. So he grew up an alcoholic. He broke free and arrived at the monastery. The Elder took him in and told him to make a prostration every night before the Blessed Virgin in order to help him get off the alcohol.

After many years of doing this the monk managed to take himself down from 15 glasses of this strong drink a day to just two glasses to the present but he would still always be a bit tipsy. He did this all the while praying and battling hard. He then said to the pilgrims astonisment, that when he died, he saw thousands of angels come to take his body to The Lord and into paradise. The pilgrims were upset and said but he was always drunk how could he get to heaven? The Elder Paisos said, “what you saw was a drunk miserable sinner. But what Jesus saw was a man who fought a very hard battle in order to please his Master Jesus.”

So you see, it is all about the battle, the endurance. Fighting that good fight to the end. Getting hit and getting back up again, seeking to reform, failing, falling,, getting back up again, repenting, falling again, getting up again.

So dont be afriad, for it has please the Father to give us the kingdom. Just dont turn your back on him altogether like Judas did and enter despair. Always hope in Gods mercy. Let me leave you now with a qoute by St.Peter of Damascus.

“If those attacked by many passions of soul and body endure patiently, do not out of negligence surrender their free will, and do not despair, they are saved. ”

Let us pray Our Lady of Good Counsel will always preserve us from falling into any type of sin, Amen.

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