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VIRTUE AND VICE


 


 

THE CAPTIVE OF SIN

To be a captive of a barbarian is the worst fate a man can ever experience. But to be a captive of sin is even worse. Sin is worse than a barbarian; for it knows not how to spare but plays the tyrant to the ruin of all those who admit it. 

Sin is inconsiderate, senseless, foolish and outrageous.  It destroys everything it alights on. It is unsightly, disgusting and grievous. Sin was once painted by an artist as a beast, a savage, breathing flames, hideous, black and with a thousand tentacles that take hold of our minds, thoughts, memory. It unexpectedly traps us and tears to pieces every godt thing it gets hold of. 

We must see our goods as belonging to others; but the sinner looks at others' goods as his own. We must clothe the naked and feed the hungry; the sinner gets the poor man's last cloth and meal. We must relieve poverty; sinners aggravate poverty.

Sin turns man into a beast. . . nay, into demons who alone can show great hatred and cruelty towards their fellow-servants.

In the sinner is neither love of God's kingdom nor fear of hell; no reverence for man, no pity and sympathy for others, but he sins in shamelessness. Sinners give contempt for all things.

For sinners, God's words are a fable and His threats are a joke. Beasts are beasts by nature. But man is by nature gentle. Yet the sinner goes against his nature to be savage . . . and the demons are his helpers. The sinner is like the "Man . . .that is like a senseless beast."

St. John Chrysostom "I Cor."

 

 

  

(02-25-04)

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                                                                                        - Teresa of Avila

 


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