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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.

"A single act of uniformity with the divine will suffices to make a saint."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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

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