Lazarus’s Resurrection shows the strength of God’s grace needed to save us from strong habits of sin

December 4, 2021 • 2 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 242

But among all these obstacles the greatest is the tyranny of evil habits. Would that I could make you understand the power with which they bind us!

As each blow of the hammer drives a nail farther and farther into the Avood, until it can hardly be withdrawn, so every sinful action is a fresh blow which sinks vices deeper and deeper into our souls until it is almost impossible to uproot them.

Thus it is not rare to see the sinner in his old age a prey to vices which have dishonored his youth, in which he is no longer capable of finding pleasure, and which his years and the weakness of nature would repel, were he not bound to them by long-continued habit.

Are we not told in Scripture that “the bones of the sinner shall be filled with the vices of his youth, and that they shall sleep with him in the dust”? [Job xx. 11.]

Thus we see that even death does not terminate the habit of vice; its terrible effects pass into eternity.

It becomes a second nature, and is so imprinted in his flesh that it consumes him like a fatal poison for which there is scarcely any remedy.

This our Saviour teaches us in the resurrection of Lazarus. He had raised other dead persons by a single word, but to restore Lazarus, who had been four days in the tomb, He had recourse to tears and prayers, to show us the miracle God effects when he raises to the life of grace a soul buried in a habit of sin.

For, according to St. Augustine, the first of these four days represents the pleasure of sin; the second, the consent; the third, the act; and the fourth, the habit of sin.

Therefore, the sinner who has reached this fourth day can only be restored to life by the tears and prayers of our Saviour.

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