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.

"It is not God's will that we should abound in spiritual delights, but that in all things we should submit to his holy will."
Blessed Henry Suso

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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