I got the following email, which I assume to be in reference to my post linked above (I'm keeping the author anonymous, since they respond directly in a comment):
I think the devil works overtimes on people who try to be holy.
The devil doesn't offer the world as a temptation.
The devil slips in a temptation that looks like a piece of hair. A temptation that seems harmless and might even seem to be good. And the devil does it again, and again. and again until that hair is wrapped so well, so strong, that it could hold up the Golden Gate Bridge.
That is how a spy lures an honest patriotic citizen.
That is how "the scrounger" got the German guards in "The Great Escape."
That is how the devil disgraces some people who seem so holy.
Now, anything referencing "The Great Escape
" is a good comment in my book. But this does bring up a point serious have to deal with: small sins lead to big ones. (Or as Mark Shea
puts it: "Sin makes us stupid.")
It can be easy to believe that God won't care if you do some small action. Gossip about coworker, let your eyes linger a little too long on a woman whose clothing is a little too revealing, a small lie, etc. And that might be true; some sins are easily forgivable. The danger comes in when we begin to believe that just because a sin is very small, we can comtinue to commit that sin repeatedly and then wallow in it. Taking the example of woman above: First we look at women we pass on the street. Then we look at women in Maxim-style men's magazines. Then we look at Playboy. Then we move on to hard-core pornography. Then the allure of even that wears off, and we get into kinkier stuff. Studies have shown (too lazy to find a link) that most people who partake of kiddie porn start with "regular" pornography. But pronography is like a drug, you get used to it and you start needing bigger hits to get the same thrill.
So it is with all sin; something may start small, but become large over time if we don't cut it off. We're going to commit the small sins; we can't avoid it, we're human. What we need to do after committing those sins is acknowledge those sins, confess them to God, make our penance for them and then go forward with a firm intent not to commit them again. It can be a lifelong process, but if we keep it up we can overcome these sins with God's help.