We are inclined against Virtue because of the Fall of Man

October 9, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 272



As virtue is entirely conformable to reason, there is nothing in its own nature which renders it burdensome. The difficulty, therefore, which is here objected arises not from virtue, but from the evil inclinations and appetites implanted in us by sin.

Thus the Apostle tells us: “The flesh opposes the spirit, and the spirit opposes the flesh; for these are contrary one to another. For I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man; but I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin, that is in my members.”

By these words we are taught that the law of God is acceptable to the superior part of the soul, the seat of the will and understanding, but that we are opposed, in obeying it, by the corruption of our appetites and passions, which reside in the inferior part of the soul.

When man rebelled against God the passions rebelled against reason, and from this arose all the difficulties which we encounter in the practice of virtue.

Thus we see that many who appreciate virtue refuse to practise it, just as sick men earnestly desire health, but refuse the unpalatable remedies which alone would restore it. As this repugnance is the principal barrier to virtue, which, when known, is always valued and loved, if we succeed in proving that there is little foundation for such repugnance we shall have accomplished a good work.

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