Examples of the Tyranny of Slavery to Sin

January 21, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 184
By Venerable Louis of Granada

If you would know the power of this tyranny you have only to consider the evils it has wrought since the beginning of the world.

I will not set before you the inventions of the poets on this subject, or the example of their famous hero, Hercules, who, after destroying or subduing all the monsters of the world, was himself so enslaved by the love of an impure woman that he abandoned his club for a distaff, and all future feats of valor, to sit and spin among the maidens of his haughty mistress. It is a wise invention of the poets to show the arbitrary power this passion exercises over its victims.

Nor will I quote from Holy Scripture the example of Solomon, the wisest of men, enslaved by sensual affections, and so far forgetting the true God as to build temples to the idols of his sinful companions.

But I will give you an illustration which, alas! is not an uncommon occurrence. Consider, for instance, all that a married woman risks by abandoning herself to an unlawful love. We choose this passion from among the rest to show you the strength of the others.

She cannot but know that should her husband discover her crime he may kill her in his anger, and thus in one moment she will lose her reputation, her children, her life, her soul, all that she can desire in this life or the next.

She knows, moreover, that her disgrace will fall upon her children, her parents, her brothers, her sisters, and all her race; yet so great is the strength of this passion, or rather the power of this tyrant, that she tramples all these considerations under foot to obey its dictates.

Was there ever a master more cruel in his exactions? Can you imagine a more miserable, a more absolute servitude?

Yet such is the bondage in which the wicked live. “They are seated in darkness and the shadow of death,” says the prophet, “hungry and bound with chains.” [Ps. cvi. 10.]

What is this darkness, if not the deplorable blindness of the wicked, who neither know themselves nor their Maker, nor the end for which they were created? They see not the vanity of the things upon which they have set their hearts, and they are insensible to the bondage in which they live.

What are the chains which bind them so cruelly, if not the ties of their disorderly affections? And is not this hunger which consumes them the insatiable desire for things which they can never obtain?

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