HOW TO ADMONISH THOSE WHO
WEEP FOR THEIR SINS BUT DO NOT DESIST FROM THEM.
Those who lament for their
sins but do not give them up, these are to be admonished to make them
realize and observe carefully, that, though bewailing their sins,
their attempts to cleanse themselves are vain if they continue
defiling themselves with evil in their way of life.
This is what was referred
to as "The dog has returned to his vomit and the sow that was washed
to her wallowing in the mire." So he who bewails his sins but does not
abandon them, subjects himself to punishment for a more grievous sin.
Cleanliness of life must be added to weeping for one's
He who does not keep
innocence of life after weeping, neglects to be clean after washing,
and those are not clean after washing who, though not ceasing to weep
for their sins, yet commit again what has to be wept
St. Gregory the Great,
Pastoral Rule, Part III, Chapter 30