How to Break the Sin Cycle: Mercy, Examination, and Healing (The Inner Life with Patrick Conley)

Do you get down on yourself for committing the same sins? Do you wish you didn’t struggle with a certain behavior or vice? You can find hope in this clip of The Inner Life with Patrick Conley.

Patrick delves into a conversation with Fr. Rob Kroll, SJ, focusing on the art of making a good examination of conscience. An email comes in from a listener, Carolyn, expressing a concern relatable to many: the frustration of confessing the same venial sins repeatedly.

Fr. Kroll reassures that it’s better to grapple with recurring small sins than to rack up a list of new ones! He emphasizes our unique vulnerabilities and personal histories that shape our struggles with specific sins. It’s a reminder that our battles are as individual as we are!

God, in His infinite patience and kindness, understands our struggles better than we do. Drawing from Jesus’ teachings, Fr. Kroll underscores God’s boundless forgiveness, urging you to be gentle with yourself in your spiritual journey.

But wait, there’s more! Fr. Kroll doesn’t just stop at reassurance; he goes deeper into the concept of spiritual growth. He suggests that even if we battle the same sins, it doesn’t mean we’re not growing closer to Jesus. Here’s a way to look at it more positively… Our sins might occur less frequently, or we might handle them with greater trust in God’s mercy. This is a wake-up call to humility and a reminder that frustration with our sins can sometimes stem from pride. Because we’re weak and little, we should expect ourselves to struggle.

In the email, Carolyn asks about refining the examination of conscience to uncover overlooked sins. Fr. Kroll recommends using structured guides based on the Ten Commandments, the Seven Deadly Sins, or the Beatitudes. He even mentions specialized examinations for different vocations, with the need for tailored spiritual introspection.

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.