See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Consequences of Our Personal Sins.



The way you look.
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Mortification is clearly imposed on us by reason of the effects of our personal sins. Renewed actual sin engenders a habitual bad disposition which, when grave, is called a vice or at least a defect. These defects are habitual modes of seeing, judging, willing, and acting, which combine to form an imperfect mentality, a spirit which is not that of God. And sometimes they translate themselves to our exterior, so much so that someone has rightly said that at thirty or forty years of age every man is responsible for his own countenance, according as it expresses pride, self-sufficiency, presumption, contempt, or disillusionment. These defects become traits of character, and little by little God's image is effaced in us.
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The things you did can come back to haunt you.
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When sins are confessed with contrition or sufficient attrition, absolution obliterates sin, but it leaves certain dispositions, called the remnants of sin, reliquiae peccati, 24 which are, as it were, im­printed in us, like a furrow in our faculties, in our character and temperament. Thus the seat of covetousness remains after baptism. It is certain, for example, that although a man who has fallen into the vice of drunkenness and who accuses himself of it with sufficient at­trition receives together with pardon sanctifying grace and the infused virtue of temperance, he preserves an inclination to this vice, and, unless he flees from the occasions, he will fall again. This trying inclination must not only be moderated, it must be mortified, made to die in order to unfetter both nature and grace.
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The same is true of our unreasonable antipathies. They must be not merely veiled, not only moderated, but mortified, because they are seeds of death. That from this point of view an idea may be formed of the necessity of mortification, we must bear in mind the numerous vices that are born of each of the seven capital sins. For example, from envy are born hatred, slander, calumny, joy at the misfortune of another, and sadness at his success. From anger, which is opposed to meekess, come disputes, fits of passion, insults, abusive words, and at times blasphemy. From vainglory spring disobedience, boasting, hypocrisy, contention through rivalry, discord, love of novelties, and stubbornness. St. Thomas lays emphasis on each of these vices which spring from the capital sins (25) and which are sometimes more grave than they. The field of mortification is consequently very wide.  Three Ages, Garrigou-Lagrange
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Photo: Keith Richards, sporting the hard-rockstar look.


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3 comments:

  1. Oh God have mercy on us all.

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  2. Austringer3:18 PM

    Marvelous -- thanks for posting this, Terry. Much food for thought and self-examination.

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  3. excellent post. the more i read and reflect on the spiritual life, the more astounded and shamed i am on how much i have neglected truly practicing the spiritual life. belief is great. but without works, i.e., practicing virtue, faith is dead. i'm viewing / soaking in fr. barron's dvd on the 7 deadly sins and what he calls the opposing '7 lively virtues.' it's an excellent series.

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