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85. The Effects of Sin

1. The good of human nature means one or all ofthree things: (a) the constitution and properties of human natureitself; (b) the inclination to virtue; (c) the original justice.Now, sin does not diminish or destroy the constitution of humannature. Nor does sin take away the original justice, for this wastaken away in the beginning by Adam's sin. Sin diminishes thegood of human nature inasmuch as this good is the inclination tovirtue.

2. Thus sin can never destroy the entire good of humannature, although it may go on diminishing a man's inclinationto virtue.

3. The wounds which sin inflicts on human nature may belisted as four: weakness, ignorance, malice, and concupiscence. Theconcupiscence mentioned here is an expression or stressing of theconcupiscence which is often used as a name for original sinitself.

4. A thing has good in its species, its mode, itsorder (cf. Ia, q. 5). Its species is a thing's completeessential kind. Its mode is discerned in both essential andaccidental qualities that it has. Its order is its purpose ordirection to an end or goal. Now, sin destroys or diminishes allthree types of goodness in the soul's inclinations,virtues, and actions. But sin does not diminish or destroy thegood of species, mode, and order in the soul's essence andsubstance.

5. By the sin of the first man, the original justice wasforfeited. In consequence, human nature was stricken with disorderin the soul, and, through this disorder, with corruption in thebody. Hence, death came by sin; bodily disorders and defects cameby sin.

6. Human nature, like every existing nature, tends topreserve itselfand to hold on to its perfections. In view ofthis fact, death and defects are not natural to man. Yet, despitethe inclination of bodily natures to preserve and perfectthemselves, the matter or bodiliness of their constitution cannotsupport them in endless existence. For matter as such is subject tocorruption, that is, to essential breakup. Therefore, in this view,death and defects are natural to man. In our firstparents, God supplied for the deficiency of matter, and bestowed onhuman nature the supernatural gift of incorruptibility orimmortality. This gift was rejected, together with the originaljustice, by human nature in Adam's sin. Hence, death camethrough sin, and is a penalty consequent upon sin.

"Spiritual persons ought to be equally ready to experience sweetness and consolation in the things of God, or to suffer and keep their ground in drynesses of spirit and devotion, and for as long as God pleases, without their making any complaint about it."
St Philip Neri

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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