Morning Meditation for Friday – Sixth Week after Pentecost ~ St Alphonsus Liguori

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Morning Meditation
VENIAL SIN

Venial sin is, unfortunately regarded as a slight evil. Is that called a slight evil which is an offence against God!

A man will go on committing venial sins, and foolishly says: “It will be enough for me to be saved!” But I answer: By continuing that course you will not be saved! For, as St. Gregory says, the soul never remains where it falls, but descends much lower.

I.

Venial sin is, unfortunately, regarded as a slight evil. Is that called a slight evil which is an offence against God!

A man will go on committing venial sins, and foolishly says: “It will be enough for me to be saved!” But I answer: By continuing that course you will not be saved! For, as St. Gregory says, the soul never remains where it falls, but descends much lower.

St. Isodore writes that he who makes no account of venial sins is permitted by the Almighty to fall into mortal sins, in punishment of his little love of God. And our Lord Himself said to the Blessed Henry Suso that those who have not a horror of venial sins expose themselves to much greater dangers than they are aware of; because it thus becomes much more difficult for them to persevere in grace.

The Council of Trent teaches that we cannot persevere in grace without the special assistance of God; but he is quite undeserving of such special assistance who offends God by voluntary venial sins, and without a thought of amendment. Chastise me not, O Lord, as I have deserved! Remember not the many offences I have committed against Thee, and deprive me not of Thy light and assistance. I desire to amend; I desire to be Thine. O Omnipotent God, accept of me and change me! This is my hope.

Our Lord said to Blessed Angela de Foligno: “Those who have been enlightened by Me to aim at perfection, but who debase their souls and walk in the ordinary way, will be abandoned by me.”

He who serves God, but is not afraid of offending Him by venial gratifications, would seem to think that God deserves no better. He declares, in fact, that God is not deserving of so much love as to oblige us to prefer His pleasure to our own satisfaction.

Habitual defects, says St. Augustine, are a kind of leprosy, which renders the soul so disgusting that God deprives it of His loving embraces.

I see, O Lord, that Thou hast not yet abandoned me, as I have deserved; strengthen me, therefore, to shake off my tepidity. I desire never more deliberately to offend Thee. I desire to love Thee with my whole soul. O Jesus, help me! In Thee do I confide.

II.

St. Francis de Sales says that it is an artifice of Satan: to bind souls first with a hair, that he may afterwards bind them with a chain, and make them slaves. Let us. therefore be on our guard not to be entangled by any passion. A soul that is entangled by passion is either lost or in great danger of being lost.

“The devil,” said Mary Victoria Strada, “when he cannot have much is content with little, but by that little he gains much in the end.”

Our Lord declares that the lukewarm are loathsome and disgusting to Him: Because thou art lukewarm…I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth (Apoc. iii.. 16). This means abandonment by God.

Tepidity is a kind of fever, which is scarcely perceived, but if neglected becomes fatal; inasmuch as tepidity renders the soul insensible to remorse of conscience.

O Jesus, do not cast me off, as I have deserved! Look not on my ingratitude, but on the sufferings Thou hast endured for my sake. I am sorry for all my offences against Thee. I love Thee, O my God, and from this day forward I desire to do all in my power to please Thee. O Love of my soul! I have much offended Thee; grant that for the remainder of my life I may love Thee very much. O Mary, my hope, succour me by thy holy intercession.

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