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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.

"Lord, take from me everything that hinders me from going to You. give me all that will lead me to You. Take me from myself and give me to Yourself."
St Nicholas Flue

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"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."
Thomas á Kempis

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"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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