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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.

"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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

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