We should not wait to turn to God, since we can’t promise ourselves even one more moment of life

December 2, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 238
By Venerable Louis of Granada

Before we speak of the facility of conversion, tell me who has assured you that you will live to the time you have appointed for your amendment. Do you not know how many have been deceived by this hope?

St. Gregory tells us that “God promises to receive the repentant sinner when he returns to Him, but nowhere does He promise to give him to-morrow.”

St. Caesarius thus expresses the same thought: “Some say, In my old age I will have recourse to penance; but how can you promise yourself an old age, when your frail life cannot count with security upon one day?”

I cannot but think that the number of souls lost in this way is infinite.

It was the cause of the ruin of the rich man in the Gospel, whose terrible history is related by St. Luke: “The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits; and he thought within himself, saying: What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said: This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and will build greater, and into them will I gather all things that are grown to me, and my goods; and I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thy rest, eat, drink, make good cheer. But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee; and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?” [St. Luke xii. 16-21.]

What greater folly than thus to dispose of the future, as if time were our own! “God,” says St. John, [Apoc. i. 18.] “holds the keys of life and death.”

Yet a miserable worm of the earth dares usurp this power. Such insolence merits the punishment which the sinner usually receives. Rejecting the opportunity God gives him for amendment, he is denied the time he has presumptuously chosen for penance, and thus miserably perishes in his sins.

Since the number who are thus chastised is very great, let us profit by their misfortunes and heed the counsel of the Wise Man: “Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day. For His wrath shall come on a sudden, and in the time of vengeance He will destroy thee.” [Ecclus. v. 8, 9.]

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