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82. The Essence of Original Sin

1. A habit is a steady or enduring quality which inclinesa power to act. In this sense, original sin is not a habit in uswho inherit it. But, in a second sense, a habit is a lastingdisposition in a complex nature which makes for the well-being orill-being of that nature; this type of habit is sometimes called"almost a second nature." Original sin is this lattertype of habit in all who inherit it. It is an ill disposition offallen human nature. St. Augustine (In Ps. 118, serm. 3)calls it "the languor of nature."

2. Original sin is specifically one sin. It is not acomplexity or plurality of sins in each human individual. It is onesin in each individual.

3. In its own essence, original sin is the"deprivation of the original justice." In consequence ofthis deprivation, man's normal drive and desire for God arechanged into a drive and desire for temporary and changeable good.Since drive and desire are called concupiscence, it is accurate tocall original sin (as it works out in human beings) by the name ofconcupiscence.

4. Original sin is not more in one person than in another;it is equally in all, and is equal in each one.

"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."
St Philip Neri

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"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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