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.

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

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. "
Thomas á Kempis

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