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86. The Stain of Sin

1. Sin is called, by metaphor, "a stain on thesoul." A stain is a blot or ugly mark which destroys what isbright and comely. A stain is caused by contact with soiling andunsuitable things. Sin dims or blots out the brightness ofperfected human nature; it blots out the wisdom and grace of God inthe soul. It is therefore a stain upon the soul. We speak here ofgrave sin, not of the actual sin which is called venial.

2. A stain remains after the contact that caused it hasceased. So also the stain of serious sin remains in the soul afterthe act of sin has been completed. This stain is not removed exceptby a new act of returning by recovered grace to the unsmirchedbeauty of the soul.

"Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them."
St Philip Neri

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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