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89. Recovery of Virtue by Penance

1. Sins are pardoned through penance, especially by meansof the sacrament of penance. Now, pardon of sin means infusion ofgrace. And from grace all virtues flow. Hence, virtues lost by sinare recovered by penance, and notably by the sacrament of penanceworthily received.

2. A man rises through penance to the virtue he lost, buthe has not always the full strength of that virtue immediately uponregaining it.

3. A man is restored by penance to his former dignity; bythe grace infused, he is numbered again with the children ofGod.

4. If a man with virtuous deeds to his credit commitsmortal sin, his good deeds are rendered lifeless and ineffective,because mortal sin turns the man completely away from God andeternal life.

5. But if a man by penance recovers the grace of God, hisgood deeds, deadened by his sin, come to life again. Hencemeritorious deeds done formerly are revived by penance. The lostmerits are regained.

6. However, good works done in the state of mortal sinhave not any power of merit in them when they are performed. Nor issuch power infused into them when penance restores their author tograce. Dead works (that is, good and meritorious works done in thestate of mortal sin), stay dead. They are not brought to life bypenance.

"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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