10 Simple Steps to Breaking Habitual Sins of the Flesh

By Fr. Peter Carota:

We all know that we are weak. Our enemies: the demons, the flesh and the world are at our sides continuously. So, we need help to stay in God’s grace and out of sin. Here are 10 suggestions to practice to stop sinning, stay out of sin and to grow in holiness.

1) Prayer. Pray anyway and anyhow that will keep you from sinning. All day long, we attempt to shoot arrows of communications with God no matter if we are working, eating, driving, sitting, kneeling or talking. It is a constant attempt to keep all we do in union with God. We also need to develop a habit of prayer that automatically comes into action as soon as we are being tempted.

2) Mortification of the body. Instead of always giving what the body wants, food, rest, comfort, music, sweets, pleasure, we need to have some mortification of what it wants every day in small ways. Fasting and abstinence are important disciplines that train the will to say no to the body and yes to God.

3) Availing to God’s Graces. Frequent confessions and Holy Communion give graces and strength to weak souls and wills. In confession be very humble, sorrowful and honest as to the gravity of your sins even if it is embarrassing to say. Never hold anything back.

4) Devotion to the Virgin Mary. Mary is the mediatrix of all graces coming from God. If we run to her in times of temptation, “No one has ever invoked her in his necessity without being heard” (St. Bernard). She is virginal purity and wants to help us stay pure. Say Hail Marys until the strong temptation passes. It may literally take hundreds a day, but it is worth it.

5) Avoid the Occasion of Sin. What ever leads up to the sinning must be avoided like the plague. The time, the way and the place are all to be cautiously considered and avoided if they lead to sinning. Anyone who talks about sin, shows sin or encourages sin is your enemy, not your friend. St. Jerome said: “Remember that a woman (Eve) drove out the inhabitants of paradise, and that you are not holier than David, stronger than Samson, or wiser than Solomon, who all fell by evil intercourse.”

6) Custody of the Eyes. Pious Job made a covenant with his eyes that he would not so much as look at a virgin. Our eyes lead to thoughts that then can lead to actions. Look away from what will cause lust.

7) Keep busy. Many saints made vows to never live in idleness. That is a great idea and allows one to do great things with one’s life. “Idle hands are the devils workshop”.

8) Hell. Remember the consequences of past sins and the possibility of being damned forever for these sins. Meditate on the reality of death, judgement, heaven or hell. Go over in detail the torture of hell for the instantaneous pleasures obtained through sin.

9) Avoid Depression. Remember how sad the separation from God feels after sinning. Remember the guilt the shame and sadness caused by these sins. Would you like the whole world to be watching you sin? God, Mary, your guarding angel are watching every detail. And in the second coming of Jesus, all will be made public.

10) Help other people to stop sinning. As we try to save our own souls with God’s help, we must also live to save others souls. It is easier to live a good life if we are helping others live holier lives to. Be prophets today to tell people sin is still sin and they offend and crucify Our Lord.

May God, Mary and all the saints be our example of a pure and holy life. We are so fortunate to be traditional Catholics and to have all this help from God to live pure lives.



Hat tip: Fr. Richard Heilman, Roman Catholic Man

“Whenever you feel guilty, even if it is because you have consciously committed a sin, a serious sin, something you have kept doing many, many times, never let the devil deceive you by allowing him to discourage you. Whenever you feel guilty, offer all your guilt to the Immaculate, without analyzing it or examining it, as something that belongs to her…

My beloved, may every fall, even if it is serious and habitual sin, always become for us a small step toward a higher degree of perfection.

In fact, the only reason why the Immaculate permits us to fall is to cure us from our self-conceit, from our pride, to make us humble and thus make us docile to the divine graces.

The devil, instead, tries to inject in us discouragement and internal depression in those circumstances, which is, in fact, nothing else than our pride surfacing again.

If we knew the depth of our poverty, we would not be at all surprised by our falls, but rather astonished, and we would thank God, after sinning, for not allowing us to fall even deeper and still more frequently.” -St. Maximilian Kolbe

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4 comments to 10 Simple Steps to Breaking Habitual Sins of the Flesh

  • Gloria

    Dear friends this one is tuff, see it seems as though the authority is so sin filled and ashamed. that they rather not address the issue… we all will suffer. but let us not forget we have A Great Big Wonderful God. All we need to do is asked his forgiveness with a sorrowful heart. And all will be well!

  • Anthony

    Thanks a lot for this post. It seems it was written for me personally. I’ve been struggling with having these unclean thoughts that make me sin against myself for many years. I really want to & try to turn a new leaf but always backslide. However, this article has given me hope that I can overcome with more sincere effort & God’s grace. I will endeavor to read this article every morning & put the advice into practise. Please pray for me to overcome this habit once and for all.

  • Lourdes

    Thank you Elizabeth, well put….
    I forward, copy and paste….etc. and send to all my friends, the family don’t want to hear it, all I can do is pray for them…my parish priest dislike that I forward these to everyone even to the Archbishop,
    our parish and our Diocese (Archdiocese of Miami, but I live in Broward) is like your or worse. I thank God that I went to school from kinder/all through my high school at a true Roman Catholic Church, St. Patrick School in Miami Beach…and thank to those Dominican Sisters my Faith was strengthen, oh I know some left the convent and other stayed and became very Liberal…I have no answer for that, it bothers me but I was lucky to have had the ones that were devoted to us, we were their Life. I keep on speaking out whenever the Lord permits me and forwarding through the emails all I get form Courageous Priest and the Vatican to everyone….many reply with a “Thank you, Lourdes”…..
    God Bless you Elizabeth, and our Blessed Mother be always at your side,
    sincerely in Christ,
    Lourdes del-Calvo

  • Elizabeth

    The subject of sin is hardly heard from the pulpit in the Cleveland, Oh Diocese and many other Catholic Churches around the world.
    So how to break habitual sin is not talked about enough or ever at all.
    We need this teaching ever more these days. Many people including catholics don’t know what sin is, or that hell is real and many people go there.
    I will do what i can in spreading this information.
    These steps are useful for not only habitual sins, but i beleive, for anyone who wants to be a good person.
    We can follow these steps to keep us from grave sins and before they become habitual.
    We need to teach this to the very young as well as remind the old and those in between.
    Thank you, and may God Bless you.

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