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76. Ignorance as a Cause of Sin

1. The active cause of sin is the will under the light andjudgment of intellect; that is, the cause of sin is the reason.Now, ignorance may deprive reason of guiding knowledge that itought to have, and therefore may bear upon the committing of sin.Thus, in some sense, ignorance may be the cause of sin.

2. Ignorance is itself a sin when it is a man's ownfault and pertains to things that he is under obligation toknow.

3. Ignorance which is not one's own fault, and whichdeprives one of knowledge which would have prevented a sinful act,excuses from the guilt of sin.

4. Ignorance that is not directly willed tends to diminishthe guilt of sin that comes as a result of it.

"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"The supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone."
St Albert the Great

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