Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"On the miserable state of relapsing sinners" (part 2)

"St. Jerome in his Study," Ghirlandaio

The following is taken from a sermon for Easter Sunday by our Eastertide guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

". . . St. Jerome says, that the Devil seeks to catch in his nets all men, in order to sacrifice them to the divine justice by their damnation.  Sinners, who are already in the net, he endeavours to bind with new chains; but the friends of God are his dainty meats.  To make them his slaves, and to rob them of all they have acquired, he prepares stronger snares.  "The more fervently", says Denis the Carthusian, "a soul endeavours to serve God, the more fiercely does the adversary rage against her".  The closer the union of a Christian with God, and the greater his efforts to serve God, the more the enemy is armed with rage, and the more strenuously he labours to enter into the soul from which he has been expelled.  "When", says the Redeemer, "the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, seeking rest, and not finding, he saith:  I will return into my house, which I came out" - Luke, xi. 24.  Should he succeed in reentering, he will not enter alone, but will bring with him associates to fortify himself in the soul of which he has again got possession.  Thus, the second destruction of that miserable soul shall be greater than the first."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

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