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Author Topic: Regarding causing scandal to others  (Read 953 times)
MarysLittleFlower
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« on: March 06, 2012, 04:19:02 PM »

I read that scandal is causing someone to sin with your actions.

If there's something that is sinful but that is largely disregarded in our day, even by Christians, - and let's say you talk about it to a friend and tell them about quotes from a Saint or Church Father saying that it's sinful.. but they don't agree and continue doing what they were doing before... have you sinned  by telling them this information, because you removed their ignorance and made the sin something chosen? and are they now receiving Communion in a state of sin, and is it now your fault? Sad

I've been really struggling with this, would appreciate any information.

thank you!
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Patricia
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2012, 04:56:52 PM »

I don't think you would be wrong. It is an act of charity by which you corrected a friend. If he chooses to refuse to pay heed to the correction it wouldn't be your fault. Correct me if I'm wrong. At least you gave him a fighting chance to avoid mortal sin and he/she refused that chance.  Undecided
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martin
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2012, 05:32:55 PM »

Good to hear from you again MarysLittleFlower.

Admonishing the sinner and instructing the ignorant are two of the seven spiritual works of mercy and when carried out in charity and humility are a means of grace for both the instructor and the one receiving it. The results are not our concern and even if they appear to bear no fruit immediately does not mean that in God's good time they won't, even if we are not privileged to know of it at that later time.
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MarysLittleFlower
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« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2012, 05:36:13 PM »

thank you for the replies!

I didn't mention something though... I forgot to say that my intention was more to share my own struggles rather than helping my friend. I feel like my intention was not right and maybe that made it a sin Sad maybe it's something I should have just left to God? And I know only God knows this, but I can't help wonder if it would have been better for my friend to be ignorant of this.. even though I can't know if her Communions have been received in sin, with this knowledge, I'm afraid of having caused this, and I feel like I've been a horrible friend to her. She's one of my best friends and I feel really guilty Sad I don't know... I hope I did not do something wrong, but even before I started talking about this topic with her, I felt doubt about it, and didn't feel peace with bringing it up. I thought, maybe I should not bring it up, but still did. Sad
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"Let us run to Jesus, Heart of Love, Heart full of tenderness. Let us ask Jesus to give us the riches of His pure love - to breathe only for love, to live only for love" ~St Gemma Galgani
martin
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 06:25:47 PM »

Still, not to worry MarysLittleFlower. You haven't done anything wrong. If it were a serious matter then the poor soul had a right to know. Ignorance is never a virtue and a sinners culpabilty is only lessened if that ignorance isn't willful.
Every Catholic has a duty to inform his/herself of right and wrong. By you informing your friend of this you are merely informing her of something she should already know, especially if there be a chance that she receive the Holy Eucharist in a state of serious sin. For your own peace of mind though it might be a good idea to keep your friend in your prayers as that will always be most pleasing to God.
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"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
(Galatians 2:20)
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 07:26:55 PM »

Reminds me of a time when I told a non Catholic about the faith and he mocked and blasphemed Jesus. I felt guilty wondering if I had pushed him into a greater sin than what he was already in by speaking to him about the Catholic faith.  I think that is what you are feeling, Maryslittleflower.
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odhiambo
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 09:33:23 PM »

I read that scandal is causing someone to sin with your actions.

If there's something that is sinful but that is largely disregarded in our day, even by Christians, - and let's say you talk about it to a friend and tell them about quotes from a Saint or Church Father saying that it's sinful.. but they don't agree and continue doing what they were doing before... have you sinned  by telling them this information, because you removed their ignorance and made the sin something chosen? and are they now receiving Communion in a state of sin, and is it now your fault? Sad
I've been really struggling with this, would appreciate any information.
thank you!

Hi MarysLittleFlower.
What you did is what every Catholic is expected to do under the same circumstances. There are some Works of Mercy the Church asks us to do for our neighbours; we have the Corporal Works of Mercy and the Spiritual Works of Mercy some of which are:
To counsel the doubtful.
To instruct the ignorant.
To admonish the sinner.
What you did was in line with the Churches' teaching. So you see, you were only doing your duty. Be happy and pray for them.  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2012, 08:01:24 AM »

MarysLitrtleFlower,

If you go to Audio Sancto and type into the search bar, "Judging Principles and Fraternal Correction" you should find this to be a most helpful sermon on the subject.
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"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
(Galatians 2:20)
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 06:12:31 AM »

I think some people don't understand even when you explain something to them.  Maybe it's a matter of how the heart accepts the Truth you imparted to people.  Some people don't have the concept of sin affecting the immortal soul.  For some, "sin" is when you've only hurt somebody.  And not when you've hurt (sinned against) God.  If a person doesn't have a connection with God... sin is relative. 

I wonder why people who say they have a personal relationship with Jesus cannot figure out that they are sinning against God when they have premarital sex, live-in without getting married first, using contraception...  Undecided Huh?

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Man cannot be forced to accept the truth. He can be drawn toward the truth only by his own nature, that is, by his own freedom which commits him to search sincerely for truth and when he finds it, to adhere to it both in his conviction and his behavior. -- JPII
odhiambo
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2012, 06:27:26 AM »

I think some people don't understand even when you explain something to them.  Maybe it's a matter of how the heart accepts the Truth you imparted to people.  Some people don't have the concept of sin affecting the immortal soul.  For some, "sin" is when you've only hurt somebody.  And not when you've hurt (sinned against) God.  If a person doesn't have a connection with God... sin is relative.  

I wonder why people who say they have a personal relationship with Jesus cannot figure out that they are sinning against God when they have premarital sex, live-in without getting married first, using contraception...  Undecided Huh?
And become second, third  wives !
I wonder too at times  Sad
« Last Edit: March 08, 2012, 06:54:02 AM by odhiambo » Logged

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!
Inspirational Quotes from the saints:
'If men but knew Thee, O my God!'
St. Ignatius of Loyola
“Late have I loved Thee,
 O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
 late have I loved Thee!......”
St. Augustine of Hippo
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2012, 09:00:49 AM »

In terms of adultery, I think 90% of people know it is wrong even if they aren't religious at all.  Otherwise there wouldn't be countless self-help psychology books like: "After the Affair" and so on.   
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MarysLittleFlower
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2012, 03:27:17 PM »

Thank you for the replies! Smiley

Just to clarify something, the issue wasn't contraception, adultery, etc.. and the friend I was speaking to is a good faithful Catholic. The issue was something related to modesty and something I read about it on a Catholic website. If what I read is true, then I'm afraid I shouldn't have spoken about it to my friend because I am not certain if it did something harmful or not to her faith. I don't think that she just rejected it or anything, because she's not hardened towards God at all, but it's not very easy to accept either. I mean, I had a difficult time with it too and am still discerning the truth on it. But I just hope I didn't do anything wrong in telling others about this, like my friend. I know she's a very good Catholic and wants to follow and love God, so probably He just didn't show her more about this issue at the time.. if what I read is true though, I am not certain if talking about it removed any invinsible igrorance, or if that is only removed if God illumines the conscience? btw, I understand that I CAN'T know my friend's heart. I'm not saying that she is receiving Communion unworthily, or is sinning, etc. I can't know what she is choosing, etc. Like I said, she is a good Catholic, a better one than me. I'm just afraid of what I might have done.
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 04:37:04 PM »

Hi Maryslittleflower.
This time I read carefully your post.  As I post here I am assuming that your friend is not doing anything that is clearly against the 10 commandments or specific precepts of the Church that are considered mortal sin.  I'm just going to share my experience and see if it might help.

For me, faith has been and continues to be, a growing experience.  There are many things I have done that I don't do now .  For example, I used to read secular junk magazines.  MORE magazine was my favorite.  MORE magazine has lots of ads for make-up, skin creams, etc that make mid-aged women feel they still can look young.  There are also articles in it that can border on shady and sensual.  I found nothing wrong with it.  My sp. dir., on the other hand, did.  He was very gentle about it but kept hinting I ditch the magazine.  It took probably about 6 months to ditch it.  It took that long because even though I figured it must be wrong since he kept coaxing me to get rid of it, I couldn't see just how it was wrong (Besides, I figured he was a guy and just didn't understand!).  But, after a while, I figured it out.  That's when I ditched it.  I didn't even want to read it anymore because I simply lost interest in conducting my life that way.  Now, I like reading theology, Saints, etc.  But it was all a process.

I don't think God condemns because we "know" but don't act on it immediately.  I think light dawns slowly for most of us.  
If it were me you challenged, I'd probably take your words in, think about them for a while, let them nag me a while, and then probably eventually change my behavior.  But it could take months because I am a slow learner with a sincere heart and struggle with these truths.  I don't think I am a bad Catholic because of that and I don't think God would condemn that.  I think he understands how slow to learn we are.
And that's what I think when I read your post.  I think challenging your friend is a good thing.  You have put the idea in her head that what she is doing is wrong.  Let the seed germinate and don't worry about it.  If she is a practicing Catholic as you say, God will water the seed you planted.   Smiley  
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MarysLittleFlower
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« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 10:02:35 AM »

Thank you for the reply, that helps me Smiley

I know with me, it also takes me a while with these things. I mentioned modesty before. What I'm talking about is not grave immodesty by today's standards, but I read how the Church and the Saints have commented on it being immodest, - and maybe our society is just used to it and everyone grew up that way. Initially I was afraid what if I had received all my Communions in a state of sin, I still don't know (I hope not) but I'm glad to have this chance to improve. I know that I was ignorant and thought I was being modest, hopefully this type of ignorance decreases culpability. So I made some changes in my clothing but I found it a little difficult at first, and still trying to figure things out etc, so I mentioned it to my friend as a struggle that I've been having... we decided to think and pray about it. She didn't argue with me or reject it outright. We just decided to give it time and pray. But then I got this fear, what if I removed some sort of invinsible ignorance that decreases culpability and what if I should have just waited for God to show her, in His time. Because I could see it wasn't an easy topic. I'm still kind of struggling with this fear, especially because before i mentioned the topic, I didn't feel peace about mentioning it. I just feel like I haven't been a good friend, and this makes me very sad because she's probably my closest friend and a very good Catholic. I'm not judging at all where her heart is in this, I think that she's just leaving this up to God and I know she really tries to be open to Him. It's just my ignorance of theology in this matter that makes me afraid about what I did (not what she is thinking, because I don't believe her intentions to be bad).
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 10:33:55 AM »

"But then I got this fear, what if I removed some sort of invinsible ignorance that decreases culpability and what if I should have just waited for God to show her, in His time"

God did show her, .. through you!  And you had the courage to speak.  Must have been scary.  Don't worry!  Didn't St. Padre Pio say that?  Or am I way off here.  You know me.  I just blunder around on this forum trying to know something.   Grin
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