THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH

Her Doctrine and Morals

Third Sunday in Lent

15 March 2009

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"The last state of that man becomes worse than the first."

The relapse of the sinner is a very terrible and frightening situation, for those who still have the faith and clearness of sight to see it. The relapsed sinner has blinded himself and he can no longer see or fear his desperate situation. He often feels at ease or comfortable in his sins. Thus he is worse off than when he first sinned and felt the stings of his conscience. Not one devil occupies his soul now, but eight (The original and then seven others worse than the original.)

Such souls have had the demon chased out of them but they failed to continue in the path of virtue. Their devil returned and found them "swept and garnished". Their souls were devoid of the thought of God; all that is holy and good was swept out of their souls. And their souls were garnished with the vanity of the world and their own self-love. This emptiness occurs because of their carelessness and irresolution to avoid the occasions of sin. It occurs because they were not watching and praying and because they were not mortifying themselves and making their souls a worthy dwelling for God.

St. Bernard says: "The frequent repetition of sin begets the habit; the habit, the necessity; the necessity, the impossibility; the impossibility, despair; and despair, damnation." This is the simple cycle of the relapsed sinner and can only be broken with the aid of God, prayer, and sincere: repentance, contrition, and penance.

St. Augustine says: "Sins even great and horrible, as soon as they have become a habit, are looked upon as little or no sins at all, this is carried so far that it seems to some unnecessary to conceal them any more; they boast of them and make them notorious." Do we not likewise see immorality proudly and boastingly presented before us today? How many glory in their shame? How many boast of the evil that they commit as if they had done well? How many even exaggerate and boast of evil that they have not committed? They are under the illusion that they will be esteemed or thought better of the more evil that they are perceived to have committed. Does this not sound like one who has not only one devil but many?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Prov. 1, 7) And today are there any who fear God? The majority ignore Him altogether. Those that profess to believe in Him often prefer to think of Him as of no consequence. They wish to live with the lie that God does not care or that He will not judge them damnable for their vices.

"A young man, according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22: 6) Our children today are earlier and earlier accustomed to the evils of our modern society, especially those of Sodom and Gomorrah. They are presented with so many "alternative" lifestyles (non nuclear [traditional] families, i.e. two mommies or two daddies.) and told that they are acceptable and good. Some even go so far as to claim this is God's will and plan!

The Sodomites, in consequence of their prolonged wickedness, were so blinded that they believed themselves more just than Lot and rejected his warning with angry words. (Gen 19: 9.) St. Augustine, writing on this passage, says: "So far had it gone with the habit of this abominable vice that the Sodomites considered it a virtue, and he who tried to prevent it was rebuked more than he who committed it." We witness this again today with the homosexual agenda that is being forced upon us in our "entertainment" industry and in the "education" of our school children. They are working diligently to gain a special status so that honest people will be labeled as criminals and guilty of hate crimes for the condemnation of their "life style". Lot was the lonely voice crying out in condemnation in his day, will there be any in our days?

Will we have the courage of Susana? She said: "I am straitened on every side, for if I do this thing, it is death to me, and if I do it not, I shall not escape your hands. But it is better for me to fall into your hands without doing it than to sin in the sight of the Lord." (Dan. 13: 22, 23)

There are relapsed sinners with eight or more devils in them all around us. They look "normal" and often act "normal" but they are dead to God's graces, and are treacherous advocates for the cause of the fallen angels _ our relapse and eternal damnation. We must always be cautious of our association with such people for they have not just the spirit of men but those of eight or more devils, and are very cleaver in their treacheries.

Let us do our best to not allow such people to get close enough to contaminate us or the ones that we love with the acceptance of their sins. Let us pray to God for the grace to persevere in His goodness. Let us devoutly receive the Sacraments frequently. And in this state we will be guarded against the return of the devil that has been originally cast from us and from the seven worse than him.

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