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Sin: The Ultimate Destroyer of Peace

April 22, 2014 by  
Filed under Book Club, Sarah Reinhard

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The Sinner’s Guide (Week 3 of 16)

Thus sin renders the soul miserable, weak and torpid, inconstant in good, cowardly in resisting temptation, slothful in the observance of God's commandments. It deprives her of true liberty and of that sovereignty which she should never resign; it makes her a slave to the world, the flesh, and the devil; it subjects her to a harder and more wretched servitude than that of the unhappy Israelites in Egypt or Babylon. Sin so dulls and stupefies the spiritual senses of man that he is deaf to God's voice and inspirations; blind to the dreadful calamities which threaten him; insensible to the sweet odor of virtue and the example of the saints; incapable of tasting how sweet the Lord is, or feeling the touch of His benign hand in the benefits which should be a constant incitement to his greater love. Moreover, sin destroys the peace and joy of a good conscience, takes away the soul's fervor, and leaves her an object abominable in the eyes of God and His saints.

The Sinner's Guide (Chapter 5, Paragraph 10)

Sin: The Ultimate Destroyer of Peace

It should come as no surprise that a regular schedule for going to confession has helped me find some interior peace, at a level I've never experienced. Ever.

And yet, I still find myself surprised. I still find myself sinning.

Have you ever walked into the confessional and had to confess that pet sin again? Have you ever found yourself caught (even if only to yourself) doing that thing you know you shouldn't? And maybe even enjoying it?

I know it's not just me, though it sure feels that way at the time. And isn't that just another way that sin keeps the peace away? It makes us alone.

God never meant for us to be alone. Or for us to sin, for that matter.

The more you sin, the more you want to sin and even need to sin. Sin feeds off itself, and you forget that what you're doing–however disordered and wonky and wrong it may be–is anything other than right and good. We turn our backs on God, take an initial step away and find ourselves on an escalator heading the wrong way.

But there's hope, and that's why Venerable Louis of Granada is pointing this out to us. There's heaven, clearly intended for us. There's God, reaching his hand to us, just waiting for us to take it, to say yes.

Reading Assignment:

Week 3: Chapter 7-9

Discussion Questions:

1. When was the last time you went to Confession? Make it a priority to go again this week.

2. How does sin sneak in when you're not watching? What ways do you find peace when you confess your sin or “deal with it” in some other way?

Feel free to comment on anything from our assignment this past week!

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

For More Information on the Book Club:  http://spiritualdirection.com/csd-book-club

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About Sarah Reinhard

Sarah Reinhard continues to delight ”and be challenged by” her vocations of Catholic wife and mother. She's online at SnoringScholar.com and is the author of a number of books for families.

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  • As a convert in 2000, I remember the first time (at age 27) I looked inside a traditional confessional – it was dark and scary because of my shame. It took me a good 10 years after conversion to go to confession more than 3-4 times a year.

    Although I recognized immediately that confession is awesome, I was foolish to not practice it regularly. Mostly, I was ashamed of my repeated sins yet I was not committed to virtue. As Ken Blanchard puts it:

    “There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”

    So for the past 4 years, I committed to confession every 4 weeks. I actually schedule it in my electronic calendar because it brings peace and beauty. There is no doubt that I am here on RCSD because confession improves my spiritual life to the point where I seek a closer relationship with God.

    To answer the second question, sin sneaks into my inner voice. I engage with the Enemy in mental conversation. It’s a short period before my thoughts are turned far away from our Lord and fully onto myself.

    Recognizing that reading a book like the Sinner’s Guide is going to rouse the anger of the enemy at me, I pray the St. Michael’s prayer. Usually once is enough. Some days, it takes more. However, the first 6 Chapters have given us so much to consider that I have more thoughts and ideas to banish temptation and look upward.

  • What is this book club, Sarah? It seems so interesting! I needed to read this today, as I was JUST thinking about how it’s “about that time again” for me to make my monthly Confession. I can always “feel” it interiorly, with a restlessness and even just a heaviness of heart.

    • LizEst

      Welcome Love Alone Creates! It is an interesting book club and Sarah and Vicki do a great job in guiding us in it! In fact, this whole site is very interesting. Please look around and make yourself at home. God bless you!

  • Donna_moab

    As a convert I had a hard time embracing confession until I realized the tremendous renewal and refreshing of soul. I also find when I don’t keep to a monthly schedule or commitment I find myself not at peace and in fact “cowardly in resisting temptation and slothful in my duties.” When I try to deal with sin in other ways which are worldly I don’t find peace but sin more.
    I am looking forward to this Sun as it is known as Divine Mercy Sunday to be recommitted to striving to live in a state of grace.

    • You make a great point Donna that when we look toward the world to fulfill what only God brings us, there is no peace. Congratulations on your conversion. All of the Saints are happy you came home!

  • Donna Leone

    Although I was raised in the RC Church, I had never once been brought to Confession. As an adult, I stopped attending Mass. However, when I was 28, I underwent a major conversion, brought about by reading the Bible and going to Mass. Unfortunately – due to my ignorance of Catholic doctrine – I left the Church to become a Baptist.
    As a Baptist, I read, prayed and memorized scriptures daily. And yet, I felt so dead. I reasoned with myself, “I pray, I go to church, I read the Bible, I follow God’s commandments, I try my best to serve God and to ask for His forgiveness when I mess up…. why do I feel so dead? Where is this abundant life that God speaks of?”
    Yet, thanks to be to God, I persevered. One day, I was reading scriptures and came across a passage that dealt with the “confession” of our faith. Then it hit me: as Christians, we know that our faith is meaningless if we don’t “confess” it, or vocalize it, or make it known to others. So why, I wondered, do most Christians say that we can remain silent about our sins and not confess them – or speak about them – to others? Many Christians think that we just have to silently admit them to God, and that is sufficient. But I realized at that moment that the sins have to be brought out into the open in order to be dealt with, instead of hiding them in silence. I realized then that I had been carrying around this burden of 40 years worth of unconfessed sin, and I was crumbling under its weight.
    I immediately went to a Catholic Church and made my first Confession ever. When I walked out of the church, I felt like I was walking on a cloud. Now, I try to go at least once a month, because I know first-hand that accumulated sin can wear us down and make it difficult to do battle.

    • Br. Larry who sat at my table in RCIA used to tell us that he loves confession. He felt so light and happy after it. I think it’s wonderful Donna that you also felt such joy at your first confession. Thanks be to God!

    • tm9

      Inspired and inspiring, Donna. This is what happens when we respond to God’s grace. Thank you!

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