Friday, June 18, 2010

Use care to avoid venial sins

"The soul that would please God, must keep herself free not only from mortal sin, but also must use all her care to avoid venial sins, making the same resistance to one of these lesser sins, for the alone love of God to whom they are displeasing, as she would to avoid a mortal sin for the fear of hell torments. This purity is of every great importance for arriving at the love of God; for as that wife would show but little regard to her husband, who would do nothing for him, but when he commanded with a dagger at her breast, so also that soul loves God but very little, that will only be careful to keep herself from commission of sins that are mortal. From this purity, proceeds a certain perseverance in abstaining from grievous sins, for as the wise man saith, He that despiseth small things, falls by little and little into great. And also with this holy candor, the spiritual sweetness and unction which is compared to precious balsam, is preferred and entertained in our souls. For even supposing that venial sins are but small flies, yet so it is, that the wise assures us, That dead flies cause even a precious ointment to cast forth a stinking savour. Eccl. x. 1.

The soul therefore that desires to be endured with this purity and candor, has care to do two things.

First, to be watchful against those particular venial sins into which she is most accustomed to fall; that she reckon them up, and set them often before her eyes.

Secondly, that she force herself with all her power to resist such venial sin, and not to fall into it, with as much watchfulness as she has used to avoid any heinous mortal sin. And after all this, if she should see herself fall often into the same faults, let her not be dejected, nor loose courage, for we read in the holy scripture, that the just man falleth seven times a day and riseth again, Prov. xxiv. 10. Let her therefore hope, that the progress which by these means she shall make in virtue, will not be small."

-- A Burning Lamp by Fr Jerome Gracián, ocd

No comments: