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78. Malice as the Cause of Sin

1. Malice is badly disposed reason. It is commonly calledbad will. A sin committed through malice or bad will is a kind ofcold-blooded sin. From the standpoint of the disposition of reasontowards sin, there are three types of sin: (a) sins of negligence;for example, sins that come from culpable ignorance; (b) sins ofpassion; (c) sins of malice.

2. There is malice in a sin committed through habit. For ahabit is not compelling; the victim of habit is free to reject itsinfluence. So long as a person knowingly allows a sinful habit tocontinue, and does not take effective measures to banish it, heshows malice or bad will.

3. Yet a man may sin, and sin with malice, without havingthe habit of such a sin.

4. Malice makes a sin more grievous than it would be if itwere committed under the stress of passion. For malice shows acoldly purposive will to sin, despite the clear judgment of reasonwhich is at the will's service. But passion surges hotly upon aperson and blurs the judgment that precedes the act of will.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"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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