Everyone has a besetting sin, or at least everybody I know. For you non-Catholics and under-catechized Catholics out there, a besetting sin is the one that keeps cropping up in your spiritual life, no matter how hard you try to eradicate it. It can also keep you from growing in virtue, and quite often, it drives other forms of sins that might not even be related. For instance, if you gamble excessively, you might begin to steal to support your habit.
My besetting sin is sloth. Considering that I'm usually quite busy, what with work and three kids and a wife and the house and all, it surprised me to realize that. I often allow myself to be distracted by other things when I need to do something difficult, and the time I take away from my duties is spent on trivial things (as evidenced by the fact that I am typing this at my place of employment. Hey, consider it a coffee break.)
The small things I do might be harmless in themselves, but the results of my self-indulgence tend to snowball. If I stay up late because I've been piddling around, I can be more anger-prone the next day, or I might not be as productive at work. Sloth steals precious time that would be better spent praying or talking to my wife.
What's your besetting sin? Did someone else tell you about it, like a confessor or spiritual advisor? Or did you, like me, read something that made you realize what it is?
(How's that for something Catholic, John Francis?)