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3. Degrees of Contrition

1. Contrition is the greatest sorrow, for it is based onthe greatest charity, that is, the soul's supernatural love andfriendship with God. Sin is the greatest of evils; the sorrow whichcrushes it out of the soul is the greatest sorrow. Contrition is,indeed, not felt as the keenest sorrow in the sensitive part of aman, but as an act of the penitent's will it is the deepestsorrow of all.

2. In the sentient order, grief for sin may be excessive.It is not right or reasonable to become emotionally distrait, evenover sin. True contrition is in the will; here, it cannot be toogreat. But its sentient reaction must be regulated by reason, sothat the sinner retains calmness and patience.

3. Sins have degrees of evil in them; one is worse thananother. Therefore sorrow for one sin may, and sometimes should, begreater than sorrow for another.

"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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

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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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