Choose a topic from Part 2B:

20. Despair

1. Despair, which is the loss or abandonment of hope, is a sin, and it leads to other sins. St. Paul says (Eph. 4:19): "Who, despairing, have given themselves up to lasciviousness, unto the working of all uncleanness, and unto covetousness."

2. Not everyone who despairs has lost or rejected the faith. A person may know by faith that all sin is pardonable, and yet, by a corrupted judgment on his own particular case, may abandon all hope of pardon for himself.

3. Despair is a most grievous sin. It turns a person completely away from God. In itself, despair is not so grievous as unbelief or hatred of God. Yet for man it is more dangerous than these sins. For despair leads a person to fling himself headlong into all manner of sins.

4. Despair arises from disorders in the soul, such as lust. But in a special way, it comes from the sin of sloth, from spiritual laziness which will not let the soul grapple with difficulties, and overcome them in the strength and grace of supernatural hope.

"To do God's will -- this was the goal upon which the saints constantly fixed their gaze. They were fully persuaded that in this consists the entire perfection of the soul. "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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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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"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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