Wednesday, May 31, 2017

St. Teresa of Avila on Venial Sin

"St. Teresa in Ecstasy"  Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 - 1680)

In case you thought one venial sin was not a big deal, consider what St. Teresa of Avila, mystic and Doctor of the Church, wrote on that subject:

May it please His Majesty that we fear Him whom we ought to fear, and understand that one venial sin can do us more harm than all hell together; for that is the truth.  The evil spirits keep us in terror, because we expose ourselves to the assaults of terror by our attachments to honours, possessions, and pleasures.  For the the evil spirits, uniting themselves with us, - we become our own enemies when we love and seek what we ought to hate, - do us great harm. We ourselves put weapons into their hands, that they may assail us; those very weapons with which we should defend ourselves,  It is a great pity.  But if, for the love of God we hated all this, and embraced the cross, and set about His service in earnest, Satan would fly away before such realities, as from the plague,  He is the friend of lies, and a lie himself.  He will have nothing to do with those who walk in the truth.  When he sees the understanding of any one obscured he simply helps to pluck out his eyes; if he sees any one already blind, seeking peace in vanities, - for all the things of this world are so utterly vanity, that they seem to be but the playthings of a child, - he sees at once that such a one is a child, and ventures to wrestle him - not once but often.

from "The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila," by herself

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