Reasons against quitting our sins later instead of now

December 5, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 243

But let us suppose that you will not be disappointed, that you will live to do penance.

Think of the inestimable treasures you are now losing and how bitterly you will regret them when too late.

While your fellow-Christians are enriching themselves for Heaven, you are idling away your time in the childish follies of the world.

Besides this, think of the evil you are accumulating.

We should not, says St. Augustine, commit one venial sin even to gain the whole world.

How, then, can you so carelessly heap up mortal sins, when the salvation of a thousand worlds would not justify one?

How dare you offend with impunity Him at Whose feet you must kneel for mercy, in Whose hands lies your eternal destiny?

Can you afford to defy Him of Whom you have such urgent need?

“Tell me,” says St. Bernard, “you who live in sin, do you think God will pardon you or not? If you think He will reject you, is it not foolish to continue to sin when you have no hope of pardon? And if you rely upon His goodness to pardon you, notwithstanding your innumerable offences, what can be more base than the ingratitude with which you presume upon His mercy, which, instead of exciting you to love Him, only leads you to offend Him?” How can you answer this argument of the Saint?

Consider also the tears with which you will expiate your present sins.

If God visit you one day, if He cause you to hear His voice (and alas for you if He do not!), be assured that the remorse for your sins will be so bitter that you will wish you had suffered a thousand deaths rather than have offended so good a Master.

David indulged but a short time in sinful pleasures, yet behold how bitter was his sorrow, how long he wept for his sins. “I have labored in my groanings,” he cried; “every night I will wash my bed, I will water my couch with my tears.” [Ps. vi. 7.] Why, then, will you sow what you can only reap in tears?

Consider, moreover, the obstacles to virtue which continual sin establishes in us.

Moses compelled the children of Israel, in punishment of their idolatry, to drink the ashes of the golden calf which they had adored. [Exod. xxxii. 30.]

God often indicts a like punishment upon sinners, permitting their very bones to become so impregnated with the effects of sin that the idol which they formerly worshipped becomes for them a punishment and a constant source of torment.

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