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​Of those who Continue in Sin, trusting in the Mercy of God 

Taken from the book entitled The Sinner’s Guide by the Venerable Louis of Granada 





Besides those who defer their conversion till the hour of death, there are others who persevere in sin, trusting in the mercy of God and the merits of His Passion. We must now disabuse them of this illusion. You say that God’s mercy is great, since He died on the cross for the salvation of sinners. It is indeed great, and a striking proof of its greatness is the fact that He bears with the blasphemy and malice of those who so presume upon the merits of His death as to make His cross, which was intended to destroy the kingdom of evil, a reason for multiplying sin. Had you a thousand lives you would owe them all to Him, yet you rob Him of that one life which you have and for which He died. 
This crime was more bitter to Our Saviour than death itself. For it He reproaches us by the mouth of His prophet, though He does not complain of His sufferings: “The wicked have wrought upon my back; they have extended their iniquity.” (Ps. 128:3). Who taught you to reason that because God was good you could sin with impunity? Such is not the teaching of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, those who listen to His voice reason thus: God is good; therefore, I must serve Him, obey Him, and love Him above all things. God is good; therefore, I will turn to Him with all my heart; I will hope for pardon, notwithstanding the number and enormity of my sins. God is good; therefore, I must be good if I would imitate Him. God is good; therefore, it would be base ingratitude in me to offend Him by sin. Thus, the greater you represent God’s goodness the more heinous are your crimes against Him. Nor will these offenses remain unpunished, for God’s justice, which protects His mercy, cannot permit your sinful abuse of it to remain unavenged. This is not a new pretext; the world has long made use of it. In ancient times it distinguished the false from the true prophets. While the latter announced to the people, in God’s name, the justice with which He would punish their iniquities, the former, speaking in their own name, promised them mercy which was but a false peace and security.
You say God’s mercy is great; but if you presume upon it you show that you have never studied the greatness of His justice. Had you done so you would cry out to the Lord with the psalmist: “Who knoweth the power of thy anger, and for thy fear who can number thy wrath?” (Ps. 89:11-12). But to dissipate your illusion, let me ask you to contemplate this justice in the only way in which we may have any knowledge of it – that is, in its effects here below. Besides the result we are seeking, we shall reap another excellent advantage by exciting in our hearts the fear of God, which, in the opinion of the saints, is the treasure and defence of the soul. Without the fear of God the soul is like a ship without ballast; the winds of human or divine favor may sweep it to destruction. Notwithstanding that she may be richly laden with virtue, she is in continual danger of being wrecked on the rocks of temptation, if she be not stayed by this ballast of the fear of God. Therefore, not only those who have just entered God’s service, but those who have long been of His household, should continue in this salutary fear; the former by reason of their past transgressions, the latter on account of their weakness, which exposes them to danger at every moment. This holy fear is the effect of grace, and is preserved in the soul by frequent meditation.

To aid you in this reflection we shall here propose a few of the practical proofs of the greatness of God’s justice. The first work of God’s justice was the reprobation of the angels. “All the ways of God are mercy and justice” (Cf. Ps. 24:10), says David; but until the fall of the angels, divine justice had not been manifested. It had been shut up in the bosom of God like a sword in the scabbard, like that sword of which Ezechiel speaks with alarm, foretelling the ruin it will cause. (Cf. Ezech. 21). This first sin drew the sword of justice from its scabbard, and terrible was the destruction it wrought. Contemplate its effects; raise your eyes and behold one of the most brilliant beings of God’s house, a resplendent image of the divine beauty, flung with lightning-like rapidity from a glorious throne in Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell, for one thought of pride. (Cf. Lk, 10:18). The prince of heavenly spirits becomes the chief of devils. His beauty and glory are changed into deformity and ignominy. God’s favorite subject is changed into His bitterest enemy, and will continue such for all eternity. With what awe this must have filled the angels, who knew the greatness of his fall! With what astonishment they repeat the words of Isaias: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning”? (Is. 14:12).

Consider also the fall of man, which would have been no less terrible than that of the angels, if it had not been repaired. Behold in it the cause of all the miseries we suffer on earth: original and actual sin, suffering of body and mind, death, and the ruin of numberless souls who have been lost forever. Terrible are the calamities it brought upon us; and even greater would be our misfortunes had not Christ, by His death, bound the power of sin and redeemed us from its slavery. How rigorous, therefore, was the justice of God in thus punishing man’s rebellion; but how great was His goodness in restoring him to His friendship! In addition to the penalties imposed on the human race for the sin of Adam, new and repeated punishments have at different times been inflicted upon mankind for the crimes they have committed. In the time of Noe, the whole world was destroyed by the deluge. (Cf. Gen. 7). Fire and brimstone from Heaven consumed the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha. (Cf. Gen. 19). The earth opened and swallowed alive into Hell Core, Dathan, and Abiron for resisting the authority of Moses. (Cf. Num. 16). Nadab and Abiu, sons of Aaron, were destroyed by a sudden flame from the sanctuary because they offered strange fire in the sacrifice. (Cf. Lev. 10). Neither their priestly character, nor the sanctity of their father, nor the intimacy with God of their uncle, Moses, could obtain for them any remission for their fault. Recall the example of Ananias and Sapphira, struck dead by God for telling a lie. (Cf. Acts 5). 
But the strongest proof of the rigor of God’s justice was the satisfaction required for sin, which was nothing less than the death of His only-begotten Son. Think of this Price of man’s Redemption, and you will begin to realize what sin is and how the justice of God regards it. Think, too, of the eternity of Hell, and judge of the rigor of that justice which inflicts such punishment. This justice terrifies you, but it is no less certain than the mercy in which you trust. Yes, through endless ages, God will look upon the indescribable torments of the damned, but they will excite in Him no compassion; they will not move Him to limit their sufferings or give them any hope of relief. Oh! Mysterious depths of divine justice! Who can reflect upon them and not tremble? Another subject to which I would call your serious attention is the state of the world. Reflect on this, and you will begin to realize the rigors of God’s justice. As an increase in virtue is the effect and reward of virtue, so likewise an increase in sin is the effect and punishment of sin. Indeed, it is one of the greatest chastisements that can be inflicted on us, when we are permitted, through blindness and passion, to rush headlong down the broad road of vice, adding sin to sin every day and hour of our lives. This is but just; for when man once mortally sins he loses all right to any help from God. It is owing solely to the divine mercy when he is converted.
Look, therefore, over the world, and behold the greatness of its iniquity. Think of the millions who are living in infidelity and heresy. Think how many calling themselves Christians are daily betraying their name by their scandalous lives. Why is this sad condition permitted? Ah! It is owing to man’s crimes. God is disobeyed, insulted, and mocked by the majority of men, and His long-suffering justice, being wearied by their wickedness, permits them to go on in their mad career. St. Augustine is an illustrious example of this. “I was plunged,” he says, “in iniquity, and Thy anger was aroused against me, but I knew it not. I was deaf to the noise which the chains of my sins made. But this ignorance, this deafness, were the punishments of my pride.” Reflect on this. Men act freely when they sin, for no man is forced to do wrong. But when they have fallen they cannot rise without the divine assistance.

Now, God owes this to no man. It is His gratuitous gift when He restores the sinner to His favor. Hence He but exercises His justice when He permits him to remain in his misery, and even to fall lower. When, therefore, we behold so much iniquity, have we not reason to feel that God’s justice permits men to become so blinded and hardened? I say permits, for man is the cause of his own miseries; God urges him only to what is good. If, then, you perceive in yourself any mark of such divine anger, be not without fear. Remember that you need no help but your own passions and the devil’s temptations to carry you along the broad road to destruction. Stop while you have time. Implore the divine mercy to aid you in retracing your steps till you discover that narrow way which leads to everlasting life. Having found it, walk manfully in it, ever mindful of the justice of God, and of the terrible truth that while thousands throng the road to death, there are few who find the way of life. Tremble for your salvation, and, while always maintaining an unshaken hope, have no less fear of Hell. 
You have no reason to expect that God should treat you differently from other men. Bear in mind the law of His justice, as it has been explained, and so live that you may never expose yourself to its terrible effects here and hereafter. Be not the victim of a vain confidence which you may flatter yourself is hope, while it is naught but presumption. Rather, in the words of the Eternal Wisdom, “Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin. And say not: The mercy of the Lord is great; he will have mercy on the multitude of my sins. For mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketh upon sinners.” (Ecclus. 5:5-7). If, then, we must tremble even for sin which has been remitted, how is it that you do not fear to add daily to your crimes? And mark well these words: “His wrath looketh upon sinners”; for as the eyes of His mercy are upon the good, so are the eyes of His anger upon the wicked. And this agrees with what David says in one of the psalms: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers. But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” (Ps. 33:16-17). “The hand of God,” says the inspired author of the book of Esdras, “is upon all them that seek him in goodness; and his power and strength and wrath upon all them that forsake him.” (1Esd. 8:22). Be reconciled, therefore, with God; amend your life; and then you can confidently hope for the mercy promised to His faithful servants. “Hope in the Lord and do that which is good,” we are told by the psalmist; “offer the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 36:3 and 4:6). This is hope; any other confidence is presumption. The ark of the true Church will not save its unworthy members from the deluge of their iniquities, nor can you reap any benefit from the mercy of God if you seek His protection in order to sin with impunity. “Men go to Hell,” says St. Augustine, “through hope, as well as through despair: through a presumptuous hope during life, and through despair at the hour of death.” (De Verbo Dei, Serm. 147).

I entreat you, therefore, O sinner, to abandon your false hope, and let God’s justice inspire you with a fear proportioned to the confidence which His mercy excites in you. For, as St. Bernard tells us, “God has two feet, one of justice and the other of mercy. We must embrace both, lest justice separated from mercy should cause us to despair, or mercy without justice should excite in us presumption.” (In Cantica, Serm. 80)

I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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Pride, Covetousness, Lust

 

Pride makes one admire himself, in the belief that his excellence, imagined or real, is the result of his own worth. Our Lord condemned pride in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (1). Jesus said that the humble and repentant publican was justified in the eyes of God, while the proud Pharisee went home unjustified. Covetousness is one of the ugliest of sins. It was a sin of Judas. He loved money so much that he even betrayed Our Lord for thirty pieces of silver(2).

 

What is pride? –Pride is an inordinate love of one’s own excellence, an excessive self-esteem.

    Our Lord is the best example of meekness and patience. Did He use His almighty power to punish those who did Him evil? For hours He hung meekly on the cross, until He died. Every day God is patient with sinners, giving them time to change their ways. God, the Supreme One, is not proud.

     

  1. The proud man overestimates himself, and believes himself the source of his own excellence. The virtue of humility, which disposes us to acknowledge our limitations, is opposed to pride.

    Some are proud of their appearance; others of their family, talents, position, money, and the virtues they imagine, they possess. Even if we do have excellent abilities or possessions, we should not be proud of them, remembering that they all come from God. Instead, we should be humbly thankful, and see in what way we can make a return to God for such gifts. “Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 16:5).

     

  2. Pride may be called the mother of all vices, for most sins can be traced to it. From pride arise ambition, vanity, presumption, disobedience, hypocrisy, obstinacy in sin.

    “For pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it shall be filled with maledictions and it shall ruin him in the end” (Ecclus. 10:15). “Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning” (Tob. 4:14). Pride was the sin of our First Parents, who wanted to be as great as God. It was the sin of King Pharaoh; he was so proud that in spite of the miracles Moses worked, he refused to be convinced. For this God “hardened his heart” (Exod. 9:12); that is, God permitted him to close the window of his soul against the grace of the Holy Ghost, “Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected thee” (1 Kings 15:26).

     

  3. The proud man tries to attract notice and praise, strives after honors, distinctions, and other worldly favors.

    He is over-confident in himself, and despises the assistance of God. Pride was the sin of Lucifer. The proud man pretends to be greater than he is, and tries by all manner of means to attract the praise of others, even using false humility to do so.

     

  4. God hates pride, and punishes it severely, He often punishes secret pride by withdrawing His assistance from the proud man. And deprived of God’s aid, the proud man often falls into grievous sins leading to his humiliation.

    “The beginning of the pride of man is to fall off from God” (Ecclus. 10:14). “God resists the proud” (1 Pet. 5:5). “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled” (Luke 14:11). Thus the proud King Herod was eaten up by worms and died. Thus, the proud Roman Empire fell and became nothing. Our Lord pointed out the pride in the heart of the Pharisee, and praised the humble publican.

     

  5. If we, however, despise sin as beneath us, that is not pride, but a virtuous self respect.

    A decent regard for cleanliness and neatness is not vanity. The ambition to exceed in good things, as in studies, in order to make the best use of God’s gifts, is to be commended. God wishes us to be His excellent children.

    What is covetousness? –Covetousness is the excessive love for, and seeking after, wealth and other worldly possessions.

     

  1. Covetousness is also called avarice. A covetous person strives for more riches than he requires, and is never content, however much he already possesses.

    He greedily clings to what he has, and is stingy and hates to give anything away. For money Judas betrayed the Lord. “There is not a more wicked thing than to love money; for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale” (Ecclus. 10:10). “Take heed and guard yourselves from all covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

    We meet with covetous persons among both rich and poor. Often among the rich there is money without avarice, and among the poor, avarice without money.

     

  2. From covetousness arise hard-heartedness towards the poor, lying, cheating, usury, defrauding laborers of wages, and other sins.

    “Those who seek to become rich fall into temptation and a snare . . . For covetousness is the root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:9-10). It destroys faith, for the avaricious are so absorbed in money-getting that they have no time for their spiritual welfare.

     

  3. To provide for one’s future and that of one’s family is praiseworthy. To avoid waste and extravagance is a virtue.

    To accumulate even considerable wealth, by proper means, is not wrong. The rich, however, must remember their obligation to use their wealth for the glory of God, not for their own pride.

     

  4. Liberality, which disposes us rightly to use worldly goods, is opposed to covetousness. 

    The avaricious man is very foolish. He works hard all his life and becomes hated by men: he earns besides eternal damnation after death and all for nothing. When he dies all he has are a few feet of earth for his grave; his money is left to heirs who most probably ridicule his miserliness or waste the money to gain which he lost his soul. “For when he shall die, he shall take nothing away; nor shall his glory descend with him” (Ps. 48:18).

    What is lust? –Lust is the inordinate seeking of the pleasures of the flesh.

     

  1. Lust defiles a man as no other sin does. It degrades man to the level of the beast. Pride is the sin commited by Lucifer, avarice by Judas, and lust by the brute.

    Of all vices, lust is most severely punished on earth. It leads to loss of health and reason. It was the cause of the Deluge. It was the cause for the destruction with fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrha. “But immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becomes saints” (Ephes. 5:3).

     

  2. Those tempted to lust should remember that man was made to the image and likeness of God. Will they so rashly destroy that image, to make themselves like to beasts? In fact, beasts are better than lustful men, for beasts act in that manner from instinct; they have no soul like God.

    Impurity weakens the will and darkens the understanding. For this reason amendment is very difficult, and the sinner falls into many other sins. So Solomon, who yielded to lust, finally lost all his wisdom and turned to worship false gods.

     

  3. From lust spring jealousy, hatred, murder, loss of faith, despair, instability, worldliness, selfishness, and other sins.

    The consequences of lust are seen in the case of Henry VIII. It was the cause of his apostasy, and his apostasy dragged an entire nation into similar apostasy. “For know this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (for that is idolatry) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephes. 5:5)

     

  4. Sodomy, or sins against purity by persons of the same sex, is a form of lust.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

Occasions and Sources of Sin

 

Vice is easily formed, but requires great struggle to overcome it. The longer a man indulges in vice, the harder is the struggle. He becomes its slave. He is completely carried away by his passions. Only the great grace of God, coupled with a resolute will, can eradicate vice, once it is strongly rooted in a man’s nature. This is one reason why we must be most careful to avoid sin, in order not to become victims of vice. If we are so unfortunate as to fall into sin, we must at once repent and resolve to avoid it in the future.

 

What are the near occasions of sin? –The near occasions of sin are all persons, places, or things that may easily lead us into sin.

Most common occasions are:

     

  1. Bad companions. One who provokes or leads us into sin is not our friend. We must stop going with that companion.

    One rotten apple in a basket of good apples quickly rots the rest. The same is true of human beings. Sin is a contagious disease. If we do not wish to he infected, we must go far away from it.

     

  2. Dance halls. Not every dance is sinful. But many dances are occasions of sin; and public dances without the presence of respectable adults are extremely dangerous. A safe rule to follow is never to go to any place where you would be ashamed to take your virtuous mother or sister.

    In many dances, the women tend to dress with extravagance and immodesty, just to “follow the fashion”. Sometimes, too, dances are an occasion for the taking of liberties, due to late hours, and the spirit of unrestrained pleasure.

     

  3. Bars and liquor saloons. These are very proximate occasions of sin, leading to intemperance, and worse evils.

    Those who frequent saloons are likely to be not only habitual drunkards, but constant gamblers, who neglect their homes and duties, become involved in disputes, and finally end badly even in the temporal sense.

     

  4. Obscene literature. Bad newspapers and magazines are no less dangerous because their wickedness is often not apparent, many hiding their evil under the guise of cleverness, science, art, etc.

    Bad periodicals gradually undermine faith and make one insensitive to evil. It is the duty of every Catholic to subscribe to a Catholic periodical, and never to favor a wicked press.

     

  5. Bad books. Many novels are harmless; some are very helpful, but many are positively wicked. We must be very careful in the selection of the books we read. There are national book clubs under Catholic auspices. Among them may be mentioned the Catholic Book Club, and the Pro Parvulis Book Club, headquarters of both of which are in New York City.

    These book clubs send members lists of books of merit according to literary standards, and not offensive to Catholic morals. They publish reviews of current fiction most useful for the general reader. We must remember that poisonous food will only kill the body, but poisonous reading kills the soul.

     

  6. Indecent pictures and shows. Today many moving pictures and theatrical shows are not decent. We must be careful to choose only the good, those approved by the National Legion of Decency. This Legion, working under the hierarchy, each week issues a list giving the moral evaluation of current films; it reviews and classifies. It asks every Catholic to take a pledge not to patronize lewd pictures.

    This pledge is nothing extraordinary for any decent person, Catholic or non-Catholic; it merely puts down clearly something that any upright person is obliged in conscience to do.

    The Legion of Decency was formed in order to unite the laity with the hierarchy in a persistent drive to prevent the showing of lewd pictures. If every decent person kept away from such obscene shows, the producers would surely make better pictures. Supply is according to the demand; we get what we ask for.

    How should we act towards occasions of sin? –We should never seek, and always try to avoid, occasions of sin.

     

  1. It is wrong voluntarily to seek the occasions of sin.

    “He that loveth the danger shall perish in it” (Ecclus. 3:27). However, those who by their calling or other necessity are continually exposed to such dangerous occasions, as priests, officials, doctors, and others, must put their trust in God, Who will give them grace and protect them.

     

  2. We must avoid occasions of sin as soon as we perceive them.

    If one goes to the theatre and sees that the play is an indecent play, he must stand up and leave at once. Otherwise he commits a sin. He will fall into further sin, and commit besides the sin of not avoiding the occasion.

    What are the chief sources of actual sin? –The chief sources of actual sin are: pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth, and these are commonly called capital sins.

    They are called capital, from the Latin caput (which means head), because they are the heads or sources of all sins. Thus they originate sins of luxury, gossip, excessive ambition, etc.

     

  1. They are called capital sins, not because they are the greatest sins in themselves, but because they are the chief reasons why men commit sin. They are the origin of every sin, all other sins arising from them as from their fountainhead.

    These sins are termed deadly, because they are either mortal of their own nature, or may easily become mortal. They may be mortal or venial according as the matter is serious or less serious.

     

  2. These sins are called vices, because they produce permanent disorders in the soul. They are the seven fatal diseases of the soul, which end in death.

    He who will be a friend of God must divest himself of these vices. Before we can plant the beautiful garden of virtues, we must root up the thorns and weeds growing out of these deadly sins.

    Does God punish sin? –Yes, God punishes sin, partly in this life, but chiefly after death.

     

  1. In this life sinners suffer from remorse of conscience, fear, and unhappiness. Their sin often brings upon them disease or death, the hatred and scorn of their fellow-men, and other temporal punishments. Even on earth, “the wages of sin is death”.

    Thus a robber or murderer is ever afraid his crime will be detected. If it is discovered, he is sent to prison or to the electric chair.

     

  2. The punishment of the sinner is fully meted out to him only after death. Then the unrepentant sinner is punished in hell. Justice is not always done in this world, where the wicked often prosper and the just are made to suffer.

    On earth, God rewards the sinner for whatever good he may do. It is only in the next life that the evil he does is given its full and just punishment

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

Adam and Eve: Our First Parents

 

Our first parents were perfectly happy in Paradise. If they had not sinned, they would never have died or suffered from sickness and sorrow. When the time came for their leaving the earth, they would have been taken body and soul to Heaven. The tree of life grew in Paradise. By eating of its fruit Adam and Eve were preserved from death, sickness, and all manner of weakness of the body. All these gifts were lost as a punishment of the sin our first parents committed.

 

Who were the first man and woman? — The first man and woman were Adam and Eve, the first parents of the whole human race.

 

  1. God made Adam’s body out of the slime of the earth, and breathed an immortal soul into it (Gen. 2:7). God then cast a deep sleep upon Adam, and taking one of his ribs formed it into Eve (Gen. 2:22).

    Adam’s body was formed from the earth. But his soul was immediately created out of nothing by the almighty power of God. The soul of every person is created in this way. We do not inherit our soul from our parents; it comes directly from the hand of God at the same moment that we receive life.

     

  2. Adam and Eve were our first parents. All of mankind makes up one great family.

    Sacred Scripture says that before the creation of Adam “there was not a man to till the earth” (Gen.2:5) ; and that Eve was the “mother of all the living” (Gen. 3:20). Legends of all races tell of an original happiness from which man fell, and of a flood that covered the earth.

     

  1. All men have common bodily characteristics.

    The beat of the pulse, the temperature of the body, the physical structure, and even such faculties as the sense of smell, of sight, of hearing,–all these vary little among different races. Differences are results of variations in climate, food, ways of living, and opportunity.

     

  2. Emotionally and intellectually all races are the same.

    Researches have discovered a universal sameness in ideas of right and wrong; there is a universal moral code, even among the most primitive of tribes. For example, all men consider wrong the murder of those who are not enemies, cruelty to children, incest, and irreverence. If the moral code were the result of fear of reprisal, why was not stealing considered wrong when committed against an enemy? Science almost compels the conviction of the origin of mankind from only one pair of ancestors; Religion declares it.

    What was the chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God? — The chief gift bestowed on Adam and Eve by God was sanctifying grace, which made them children of God and gave them the right to heaven.

       

    1. God created Adam and Eve in the state of innocence and holiness. This made them pleasing to God, and full of love for Him. It made them children of God, and therefore heirs of heaven. This state of innocence we term “sanctifying grace”.

      “God filled them with wisdom and the knowledge of understanding…. He created in them the science of the spirit, he filled their heart with wisdom. … And their eye saw the majesty of his glory, and their ears heard his glorious voice” (Ecclus. 17:6,11).

    2. God’s abiding grace made Adam and Eve so happy that their happiness almost equaled that of the angels.

      “Thou hast made him a little less than the angels; thou hast crowned him with glory and honor” (Ps. 8:6).

    What other gifts were bestowed on Adam and Eve by God? — The other gifts bestowed on Adam and Eve by God were happiness in the Garden of Paradise, great knowledge, control of the passions by reason, and freedom from suffering and death.

    If our first parents had not sinned these gifts would have been transmitted to all men as the possession of human nature.

       

    1. God put Adam and Eve in the “paradise of pleasure”, a garden which contained all kinds of plants, flowers, birds, and beasts, – everything good that could be imagined.

      All the birds and beasts were perfectly obedient to Adam and Eve. In the midst of the garden grew the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Near it was the tree of life, which protected Adam and Eve from disease.

       

    2. God also gave Adam and Eve infused knowledge; that is, without experience or study they knew all that full-grown persons needed to fulfill the purpose of their creation, and as educators of men.

      For example, Adam knew the indissolubility of marriage; his insight helped him give suitable names to the animals.

       

    3. God blessed Adam and Eve with a freedom from subjection to their lower appetites, such as impurity, drunkenness, etc. They had no inclination to evil.

      Their will was free from all weakness, weakened by no sensual desires. On account of the absence of rebellion of the flesh against the spirit, they felt no shame even though they were naked in Paradise.

       

    4. Lastly, God gave Adam and Eve freedom from bodily disease and death.

      Adam and Eve were created immortal, and were made free from all subjection to sickness, which is the prelude to death. Had Adam and Eve been faithful to God, they would never have died, nor suffered disease.

    What commandment did God give Adam and Eve? — God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree that grew in the garden of Paradise.

       

    1. God wanted Adam as head and representative of the human race to meritheaven. And so, after granting him His abiding grace, and blessing him with wonderful gifts, and giving him the Garden of Paradise to live in, He commanded him not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree.

      “Of every tree of Paradise thou shalt eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat; for in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death” (Gen. 2:16,17). The fruit of the forbidden tree was not evil in itself, for in Paradise God did not place anything bad. It was bad only because it was forbidden; and if Adam and Eve partook of it they would have disobeyed God.

       

    2. If Adam and Eve had been faithful to God, they would have passed without disease and without bodily death from their earthly Paradise to heaven, God’s home, where they would see Him face to face.

      All the children of Adam, the entire human race, would have been born as Adam had been Created, in a state of friendship with God, and with all his gifts. If one had sinned, he would have been punished by God, but not being the head of the entire human race, he would not have passed on the stain to his descendants. Everybody would then have suffered for his own sins alone.

    Did Adam and Eve obey the commandment of God? — Adam and Eve did not obey the commandment of God, but ate of the forbidden fruit.

    The devil tempted Eve to eat of the fruit. and she ate; then she gave some to Adam, and he also ate (Gen. 3:1-13).

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

​The Devils/Temptation

 

It was the archangel Michael who led the good angels: “And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Ap. 12:7,8).

 

What happened to the angels who did not remain faithful to God? — The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell, and these are called bad angels, or devils.

“Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).

 

  1. We also call them demons or fallen angels. Led by the most excellent of the angels created by God, Lucifer or Satan, the bad angels refused to obey God when He tested them. God did not give them a chance to repent, but cast them at once into hell.

    “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer. … Thou saidst in thy heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, … I will be like the Most High,'” (Is. 14:12-14). Jesus said, “I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

     

  2. God did not create devils, but glorious angels. The rebel angels turned themselves into devils by their sin.

    By one grave sin against God these angels of light became vile demons, and were condemned to hell for all eternity. We should draw a lesson from this and determine never to sin.

     

What is the chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us? — The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

 

  1. The bad angels tempt man and try to draw him away from God. Often the devil appears as an angel of light, and we are tempted by evil which appears good. Under this guise the devil is most dangerous.

    “Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8-9).

     

  2. Without God’s permission, the devil can do us no harm. God sometimes permits the devil to tempt just men, to cleanse them from imperfections.

    Our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil. God permitted Job to be harmed bodily by the devil. Saint Anthony, Saint Teresa, and many other saints suffered from the temptations of the evil one. But these temptations only drive the just to greater love of God. “The life of man is a warfare” (Job. 7:1).

     

  3. Sometimes devils are permitted to enter the body of a man, exercising power over his faculties; this is called diabolic “possession”. At other times devils torment one from without; and this state is called diabolic “obsession”.

    When God permits diabolic obsession or possession, it is to show in some way His glory, or to punish sin, convert sinners, or provide some means for the practice of virtue.

     

  4. In cases of diabolic possession or obsession, the aid of the Church should be sought; for the Church received from Christ the power of exorcism. This is the act of driving out or warding off evil spirits. It is only with the permission of his bishop that a priest is permitted to exorcise evil spirits.

     

  5. The Church forbids Catholics to have anything to do with spiritism. This is calling up the spirits of the dead.

    Some manifestations are spirit-rapping, table-lifting, slate-writing, apparitions, communications through mediums in a state of trance. Most of the spiritist seances are fraudulent, but sometimes the devil manifests himself. God can permit the souls of the dead to return to earth. But there is no indication that He permits Himself to obey mediums. The devil may sometimes impersonate the spirits of the dead. Satan is old and skillful in deceit, and can assume the appearance of an angel of light.

     

Do all temptations come from the bad angels? — Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us.

 

  1. This is what we mean when we say that temptations come to us from the flesh, the world, and the devil.

    The evil inclinations of our weak and corrupted nature tempt us to sin. The world, with its sinful wants and vanities, tempts us to sin. The devil goes about continually tempting us, making use of both our nature and the world for his evil purposes.

     

  2. In itself, temptation is not a sin. It becomes sinful only when: (a) we bring it upon ourselves by carelessness or overconfidence; (b) we play with, take pleasure in, or yield to it.

    The greatest saints have often been most strongly tempted. Our Lord even permitted Himself to be tempted. Thus we see that temptation is not a sin, because we are not responsible for it.

     

  3. God permits us to be tempted in order to try us, to let us win an eternal reward.

    God subjected the angels to a test. Those who passed it are now enjoying Him in heaven, their reward. “Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee” (Tob. 12:13).

    God permitted the devil to tempt our first parents. Temptations serve to keep us humble. God permits all mankind to have temptations but never temptation beyond their strength to resist. “God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength” (1 Cor. 10:13).

     

  4. The stronger the temptation, the greater the graces God gives for its conquest.

    The conquest by the saints of wicked temptations have made them greater saints. Christ Himself was tempted by the devil, to gluttony, to avarice, and to pride. He wanted to show us that by resisting we may rise to greater love of God. Good men who art worried because so many temptations assail them should remember that ants quickly gather over a jar of honey; the devil strives to catch the good, because he is already sure of the wicked.

     

Can we always resist temptations? — We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into Sin, and God will always help us if we ask Him.

The length of time during which a temptation persists does not make it sinful, if we continue resisting it. A temptation may attack us all our lives, but as long as we fight it, or pay no attention to it, as long as we do not yield, we commit no sin. We have not been conquered, and God will reward us for the good fight.

 

  1. No temptation can do us harm if we obey God’s laws and keep away from sin. If we resist, temptation will flee from us.

    Our lot for all eternity depends entirely on ourselves. God votes for heaven; the devil votes for hell. The deciding vote is ours. Shall we vote for heaven or for hell? “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

     

  2. When assailed by temptation, one must at once resist. It is easier to conquer temptation at the beginning than later on, just as a fire is easier to put out at the outset.

    Since nothing can be done without divine grace, one must pray. One must imitate the Apostles who had recourse to Jesus when a storm arose. Let him say at once, “Lord, make haste to help me!”

     

  3. Some remedies against temptation are:

     

    1. Watchfulness and prayer.

      “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). Avoid idleness, keeping always occupied, either by work, or by wholesome recreation. If evil thoughts enter the mind, think of other things, in this way ignoring the temptation.

       

    2. Frequent confession and Holy Communion.

       

    3. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Guardian Angels

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.

God Bless BJS!!