ADMONISHING THOSE WHO HAVE
COMMITTED SINS OF THE FLESH
Those who have survived a
shipwreck are wisely dreadful of the sea. And so must those who have
sinned in the flesh. Having been mercifully preserved, they must be
careful not to die by repeating their sins.
Having failed to retain
their original chastity, they must at least repair it when violated.
Many have shown that chastity can be preserved; we, the weaker ones,
must at least work to overcome our aberrations.
They must be reminded of
their past sins and threatened with the others that tend to overtake
them. The memory of past sins is what makes us blush at the defilement
of future sins.
God condemns wives who
leave their husbands and marry another. What is in store for those who
have many women? Nevertheless, the Lord says: "Return to
me." Thus, because of God's loving kindness, if we do not repent,
the greater are our sins.
In Paradise, God told man
what he must do and what he must not do. And man, out of pride, chose
what he must not do. And though he showed he despised God, He gave all
the help a loving Father would give a favorite child.
While in our days of
innocence we chose sin to God's commands, we showed we despised Him.
But God continue to call us from behind. We should at least return to
Him after sinning. If we do not fear His justice, at least we should
be ashamed in view of that loving kindness with which He invites us to
return. Our contempt for Him is more wicked in that in spite of this
contempt, He does not disdain to call us back with loving
St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral
Care, Chapter XXVIII, Part III