We owe the Holy Spirit both for maintaining our virtues and being prevented from sins

March 28, 2022 • 3 min

#BibleCommentary #DoctorsOfTheChurch #Doctrine #HolySpirit #Morals

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 66
By Venerable Louis of Granada

It is to the Holy Ghost that we are indebted for all our progress in wirtue. It is He who preserves us from evil and maintains us in good. It is He who is the principle of our perseverance, and who finally crowns us in Heaven.

This it was which led St. Augustine to say that in rewarding our merits God but crowns His own gifts.

The holy patriarch Joseph, not content with giving to his brethren the corn which they came to purchase, ordered also that the money which they paid for it should, be secretly returned to them. God treats His elect with still greater liberality. He not only gives them eternal life, but furnishes them the grace and virtue to attain it.

“We adore Him,” says Eusebius Emissenus, “that He may be merciful to us, but He has already been merciful to us in giving us grace to adore Him.”

Let each one, then, glance over his life and consider, as the same holy Doctor suggests, all the good he has been permitted to do, and all the sins of impurity, injustice, and sacrilege from which he has been preserved, and he will comprehend in some measure what he owes to God.

On this point St. Augustine well observes that God shows no less mercy in preserving man from sin than in pardoning him after he has fallen. Indeed, it is a greater proof of love. Therefore, the same saint, writing to a virgin, says:

Man should consider that God has pardoned him all the sins from which He has preserved him. Think not, therefore, that you may love this Master with a feeble love because He has pardoned you but few sins. Your debt of love, on the contrary, is greater for His preventing grace which has saved you from committing many.

For if a man must love a creditor who forgives him a debt, how much more reason has he to love a benefactor who gratuitously bestows upon him a like amount? For if a man live chastely all his life, it is God Who preserves him; if he be converted from immorality to a pure life, it is God Who reforms him; and if he continue in his disorders till the end, it is also God Who justly forsakes him.

What, then, should our conclusion be but to unite our voices with the prophet, saying: “Let my mouth be filled with praise, that I may sing Thy glory, Thy greatness all the day long”? [Ps. lxx. 8.]

St. Augustine, commenting upon these wrords of the prophet, asks: “What means all the day long?” And he answers: “Under all circumstances and without interruption. Yes, Lord, I will praise Thee in prosperity because Thou dost comfort me, and in adversity because Thou dost chastise me. For my whole being I will praise Thee, because Thou art its Author. In my repentance I will praise Thee, because Thou dost pardon me. In my perseverance I will praise Thee, because Thou wilt crown me. Thus, O Lord! my mouth will be filled with Thy praise, and I will sing Thy glory all the day long.”

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