The hardship of Virtue is less than the suffering of Hell, or the efforts of the Saints

October 14, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 281

But let us suppose that the path of virtue is sown with difficulties and hardships. Will this prove that you ought not to walk in it? Oh! no.

Are you not expected to do something for the salvation of your soul? Will you not do at least as much for this grand purpose, for eternity, as you do for your body and for time, which for you is rapidly passing away and will soon leave you at the tomb?

What is a little suffering in this life, if you are spared everlasting torments? Think of the rich glutton, now burning in hell. What would he not do to expiate his sins, could he return to this world? There is no reason why you should not now do as much, if you feel that you have ever offended God.

Consider, moreover, what God has done for you and what He has promised you. Reflect on the many sins you have committed. Think of the sufferings endured by the saints, particularly the Saint of saints. If such thoughts will not make you blush for your past life of ease, and incite you to suffer something for the love of God, I know not what will move you to abandon the things in which you formerly delighted and by which you formerly sinned.

Thus St. Bernard tells us that the tribulations of this life bear no proportion to the glory we hope for, to the torments we fear, to the sins we have committed, or to the benefits we have received from our Creator. Any of these considerations ought to suffice to make us embrace a life of virtue, however hard and laborious.

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