Wednesday, February 07, 2018

On little faults and imperfections and 'little sins' ... A saint speaks.

So I don't have to.

I don't have to be right either.  I don't have to please people, much less 'correct' people.

However, today these words of wisdom from a sainted Jesuit seem to confirm my intuitions on a related subject.
Nothing makes more visible how much The Son of God hates sin than what he has done to destroy it. Is it not too much to say that he wanted to descend from heaven and die himself to wipe it out?… The Son of God has hated sin as far as to want to die in order to destroy it…. 
I speak of the faults that Christians who live in half-heartedness are accustomed to commit deliberately and of which they make for themselves habits that they hardly bother to correct. Such are the minor angers, the minor swipes, the words of contempt, the slight gossip, the mockery, the lies, the irreverence and the voluntary distractions in prayer, the desire to please people, the humorous talk that can produce nasty thoughts, the curious looks, too great a love of neatness in dress, laziness, the minor overindulgence in drinking and in eating, the negligence in things that pertain to duty, as in the instruction of servants and in the education of children; in a word, all sins of whatever kind they may be, when the issue is slight or there is more lack of consideration than malice. I say…that these faults, above all when they are actual—when one often falls back into them, when one neglects to mend one’s ways from them, when one counts them for nothing—I say that these are the greatest evils. 
Of many reasons that present themselves in order to prove this, I choose not but one sole of them, which will be the whole subject of our discussion. The little sins are great evils because they are great dispositions to the greatest sins; they are all mortal in this sense that they lead to the death of the soul, that they dispose to mortal sin; they dispose to it, both from the side of God whose graces they deplete, and from the side of the individual whose forces they exhaust. - St. Claude La Colombiere

Thou hast placed men over our heads. - Rule of S, Benedict

In closing, I want to share something else to consider ...

The judges chosen by God to save Israel were not always holy people. Some of them did not come to a very brilliant end. We observe in them all kinds of faults. Yet God saves Israel through them and assures them of victory.
There can also be, and will be in the New Testament, apostles, persons who have accomplished great things and were not themselves holy when at the height of their mission and works.
In the Life of Teresa of Avila we come upon a remark which is somewhat terrifying for priests, or apostles in general. She writes: 'At the Last judgment, how many of these trees will we see who appeared like beautiful oaks, branches extending far and wide, sheltering birds of the air that take refuge in them, yet when the come to the Last Judgment we see that tree with its trunk eaten away by the worm of pride and vanity.' They have achieved some good works - but their work has not profited them, and may only gain them condemnation. - Where The Spirit Breathes,  Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, OCD


  1. We know there will be many surprises on Judgement Day. We should know we will be held to account for our own life and no one else’s. We know something may not be what it appears. Yet still we fall by pettiness and self centeredness. We all need God’s mercy.

  2. Another great post, Terry. More food for thought for Lent and beyond too.

    As I read the post it reminded of the scripture passage that warns us that "everything will be laid bare. That which is done in the dark will be brought into the light of day."
    Gonna have to search for the passage since I am just paraphrasing it here. I think it was Saint Paul who preached these words.

  3. Found the scripture passage. My error though for it is our Lord Jesus Christ who has spoken and not St. Paul these memorable words:
    Luke Chapter 8
    The Parable of the Lamp.*
    i “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.j
    For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.k
    Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.”l


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