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CHAP. XVII.

 

How the Soul is to carry it self in the Faults it doth commit, that it may not be disquieted thereby, but reap good out of it.

 

124. When thou fallest into a fault, in what matter soever it be, do not trouble nor afflict thy self for it: for they are effects of our frail nature, stained by Original Sin; so prone to Evil, that it hath a necessity of a most special Grace and Priviledge, as the most holy Virgin had, to be free and exempt from Venial Sins. (Council of Trent, Sess. 6. Can. 23.)

125. If when thou fallest into a fault or a piece of neglect, thou dost disturb and chide thy self, ‘tis a manifest sign, that secret pride doth still reign in thy soul: didst thou believe, that thou could’st not more fall into faults and frailties? if God permits some failings even in the most holy and perfect men, it is to leave ‘em some remnant of themselves of the time that they were beginners, to keep ‘em more secure and humble, it is that they may think always, that they are never departed from that state, whilst they still keep upon the faults of their beginnings.

126. What dost thou marvel at, if thou fallest into some light fault or frailty? humble thy self; know thy misery and thank God that he has preserved thee from infinite sins, into which thou mn’t have infallibly fallen, and wouldst have fallen according to thy inclination and appetite: What can be expected from the slippery ground of our nature, but stumps, bryers and thorns? ‘Tis a Miracle of Divine Grace, not to fall every moment into faults innumerable. We should offend all the World, if God should not hold his hand continually over us.

127. The common enemy will make thee believe, that, as soon as thou fallest into any fault, thou dost not go well grounded in the way of the Spirit, that thou walkest in Error, that thou hast not in earnest reformed thy self, that thou didst not make well the general confession, that thou hast not true grief, and therefore art out of God and of his favour: and if thou shalt sometimes commit again, by misfortune, a venial fault, how many fears, frights, confusions, discouragements and various discourses will the Devil put into thy herrt? he will represent to thee, that thou employest thy time in vain; that thou dost just as much as comes to nothing; that thy Prayer doth thee no good; that thou disposest not the self, as thou oughtest, to receive the holy Sacrament; that thou dost not mortifie thy self, as thou promiseth to God daily; that Prayer and Communion without Mortification is meer vanity: herewith would he make thee distrust of the Divine Grace, telling thee of thy misery and making a Gyant of it, and putting into thy head, that every day thy Soul grows worse instead of better, whilst it so often repeats those failings.

128. O blessed Soul, open thine eyes, suffer not thy self to be carried away by the deceitful and gilded tricks of Satan, who seeks thy ruine and cowardise with these lying and seeming reasons: Cut off these discourses and considerations, and shut the gate against these vain Thoughts and diabolical Suggestions; lay aside these vain fears, and remove this faint-heartedness, knowing thy misery, and trusting in the Mercy Divine: and if to morrow thou dost fall again, as thou did’st to day, trust again the more in that supream, and more than infinite Goodness, so ready to forget our faults, and receive us into his Arms as dear Children.

 

 

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