The many reasons why waiting to turn to God until later will be much harder

December 3, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 239
By Venerable Louis of Granada

But, even granting that you will live as long as you imagine, will it be easier to begin your conversion now or some years hence?

To make this point clear we shall give a brief summary of the causes which render a sincere conversion difficult.

The first of these causes is the tyranny of bad habits. So strong are these that many would die rather than relinquish them. Hence St. Jerome declares that a long habit of sin robs virtue of all its sweetness.

For habit becomes second nature, and to overcome it we must conquer nature itself, which is the greatest victory a man can achieve. “When a vice is confirmed by habit,” says St. Bernard, “it cannot be extirpated except by a very special and even miraculous grace.”

Therefore, there is nothing which a Christian should dread more than a habit of vice, because, like other things in this world, vice claims prescription, and once that is established it is almost impossible to root it out.

A second cause of this difficulty is the absolute power which the devil has over a soul in sin. He is then the strongly-armed man mentioned in the Gospel, who does not easily relinquish what he has acquired.

Another cause of this difficulty is the separation which sin makes between God and the soul.

Though represented in Scripture [Isaias lx.] as a sentinel guarding the walls of Jerusalem, God withdraws farther and farther from a sinful soul, in proportion as her vices increase.

We can learn the deplorable condition into which this separation plunges the soul from God Himself, Who exclaims by His prophet: “Woe to them, for they have departed from Me. Woe to them when I shall depart from them.” [Osee vii. 13 and ix. 12.]

This abandonment by God is the second woe of which St. John speaks in the Apocalypse.

The last cause of this difficulty is the corruption of sin, which weakens and impairs the faculties of the soul, not in themselves, but in their operations and effects.

Sin darkens the understanding, excites the sensual appetites, and, though leaving it free, so weakens the will that it is unable to govern us.

Being the instruments of the soul, what but trouble and disorder can be expected from these faculties in their weak and helpless state?

How, then, can you think that your conversion will be easier in the future, since every day increases the obstacles you now dread, and weakens the forces with which you must combat them?

If you cannot ford the present stream, how will you pass through it when it will have swollen to an angry torrent?

Perhaps you are now a prey to a dozen vices, which you tremble to attack. With what courage, but especially with what success, will you attack them when they will have increased a hundred-fold in numbers and power?

If you are now baffled by a year or two of sinful habits, how can you resist their strength at the end of ten years?

Do you not see that this is a snare of the arch-enemy, who deceived our first parents, and who is continually seeking to deceive us also?

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