Being a slave to sin in some area of life has always been a frustrating and somewhat confusing situation to me. I can certainly say, with the apostle Paul:
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. – Romans 7:15
Merton possibly sheds some light on this situation.
The mere ability to choose between good and evil is the lowest limit of freedom, and the only thing that is free about it is the fact that we can still choose good.
To the extent that you are free to choose evil, you are not free. An evil choice destroys freedom.
We can never choose evil as evil: only as an apparent good. But when we decide to do something that seems to us to be good when it is not really so, we are doing something that we do not really want to do, and therefore we are not really free. (New Seeds of Contemplation, p. 199)
Don’t think about this too hard, but DO give it some thought. Don’t be like an invertabrate reporter earlier this week commenting on a related statement made by actor Will Smith:
A Scottish newspaper recently quoted Mr. Smith as saying: “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today.’ I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good.’ ” The quote was preceded by the writer’s observation: “Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.” After Web sites posted articles alleging that Mr. Smith believed Hitler was a good person, the actor issued a statement Monday saying that was an “awful and disgusting lie” and calling Hitler “a vile, heinous vicious killer.”