The aim of our prayers and devotions must be an absolute resolution never to sin

October 30, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 320

He who desires to walk resolutely in the same path must strive to imitate them by fixing this resolution deep in his soul. Appreciating things at their true value, he must prefer the friendship of God to all the treasures of earth; he must unhesitatingly sacrifice perishable joys for delights that will be eternal.

To accomplish this must be the end of all his actions; the object of all his prayers; the fruit he seeks in frequenting the sacraments; the profit he derives from sermons and pious reading; the lesson he should learn from the beauty and harmony of the world, and from all creatures.

This will be the happy result of our Saviour’s Passion and all the other works of love which He unceasingly performs. They will inspire him with a horror of offending the good Master Who has done so much for him. Finally, this holy fear and firm resolution will be the mark of his progress in virtue.

Take a lesson from the carpenter, who, when he wishes to drive a large nail, is not satisfied with giving it a few strokes, but continues hammering until he is sure it is firmly fastened. You must imitate him, if you would firmly implant this resolution in your soul. Be not satisfied with renewing it from time to time, but daily take advantage of all the opportunities afforded you in meditation, in reading, in what you see or hear, to fix this horror of sin more deeply in your soul.

If all the calamities which have existed in the world since the creation, and all the sufferings of hell, were put into one side of a scale, and but one mortal sin into the other, it would outweigh all these evils, for it is incomparably greater. This is a truth which must be strongly felt and constantly remembered.

I know that the world judges differently, but the darkness which reigns in this second Egypt cannot change the real character of sin. Is it astonishing that the blind do not see an evil, however great, or that the dead do not feel the pain of a mortal wound?

We shall treat, therefore, not only of mortal but of venial sin; not that the latter destroys the life of the soul, but because it weakens us and disposes us to mortal sin, which is death.

We shall first speak of the seven deadly sins, the source of all the others. These sins are not always mortal, but they can easily become so, particularly when they violate a commandment of God or of the Church, or destroy charity.

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