Newsletter of the District of Asia

 March 1998

Sin and Occasion of Sin

by H.E. Bishop Tissier de Mallerais

A child came to confession one day and he accused himself of having serious temptations against the angelical virtue, perhaps even of having given in, by thoughts and, who knows, maybe in actions.

However, the priest sought the cause of such a misfortune: "So, do you have television at home?" he asked. The child had to admit it and that he did watch the cursed box, sometimes behind his parents' back, sometimes with them, as a family, and that was the cause of his temptations.

The priest gave to the unfortunate and sorrowful child the holy absolution, but could he give it to his parents?...

Dear Christian parents, are you CONSCIOUS of your terrible responsibility? Do you realize that for that weakness of accepting and of keeping at home that tool, source of corruption of minds and souls, you are the cause of unsuspected damages in innocent souls? Because of your cowardice, souls, tender and pure, are stained by the infamous sin? These children will stand up at the last judgment and will accuse you of having been the cause of their damnation...

Let us remember the Saviour's grave words: "He that shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Mat. 18,6).

Do you understand, by this sad example, what is an occasion of sin? Our catechism teaches us that we must avoid not only sin but also the occasion of sin; and that it is as grievous to put ourselves (or to put others) in the occasion of sin, than it is to commit the sin itself, when we know by experience that we will fall into that sin.

In this season of Lent, let us suppress courageously all the occasions of sin for ourselves and for those under our care. Let us profit at this time to get rid of the dirty box. Give it back to your dealer and let there be no more mention of it. Instead, you shall re-establish that nice family oratory, you shall enthrone the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus or that of Our Blessed Lady. And long live Jesus who will have freed you from a nasty slavery!

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