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79. External Causes of Sin

1. In no way whatever, directly or indirectly, is God thecause of any sin.

2. God supports his creatures in being and existence. Godtherefore supports man's free will, even while man is abusingfree will by sinning. God causes the man who sins, and causes hiswill, and enables or causes it to act. But, though God is the causeof the act which free will makes sinful, he is in no waythe cause of the sin as such.

3. God is called the cause of spiritual blindness and ofhardness of heart, in the sense that he withdraws or withholds hisgrace from those in whom he finds an obstacle or block to the entryand effectiveness of such grace.

4. Spiritual blindness and hardness of heart indicate aman's determined abandonment of God, and, consequently, hisabandonment of the hope of heaven. Sometimes, however, atemporary spiritual blindness may work towards a man'sgood by warning him; just so a temporary blindness of the bodilyeyes may warn a man to avoid strain and unsuitable light whichcould permanently injure or destroy his vision.

"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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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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