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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.

"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."
The Cure D'Ars

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"Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those which lead to salvation is very unwise. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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