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Venial sin does not diminish sanctifying grace in our souls. When we sin venially, we are still God’s friends- pretty mean friends, at times, it is true, but still friends- and so we do not lose or diminish sanctifying grace. Venial sin does not diminish it in even the lightest way; and so even after having committed 1,000 or 1,000,000 venial sins we still have the same amount of sanctifying grace as when we started.

So! It is all right then to commit venial sin then??? Not at all,

  • On the grounds of decency. It is a pretty mean
    friend who doesn’t care how much he offends another
    friend provided he doesn’t lose his friendship,
    wouldn’t you think?
  • On the grounds of theology. We prove ourselves
    unworthy of God’s special graces which we all need
    to conquer serious temptations when they come,
    and to practice virtue under trying circumstances.
  • On the grounds of merit. By sinning, we fail to practice                                            virtue and so fail to grow in grace, lessening our happiness                          throughout all eternity.
  • On the grounds of psychology. By repeated venial sin, especially along one definite line, we grow weaker psychologically, i.e., we yield more readily to the sinful attraction each time it comes. The result is that if a strong temptation to a mortal sin comes along, we are most apt to yield.

For example: a tank of water is supported by wooden supports. The tank is full of water. Termites begin to eat away the supports. No water is lost. The tank may remain a long time on the weak supports. But if a big wind come! Then this “big wind,” which is a serious temptation to which the could actually yield, knocks over the tank, smashes it, and all the water (grace) is lost. None of it was lost through the termites, i.e., venial sin, but all of it was lost by yielding to the big wind.
Let’s Look at Sanctifying Grace – Francis P. Le Buffe, S.J. Queen’s Work Publication 1944

St. Laurence Justinian

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St. Laurence Justinian, Bishop and Confessor

A.D. 1455.

[First Patriarch of Venice.] ST. LAURENCE was born at Venice, in 1380. His father Bernardi Justiniani 1 held an illustrious rank among the prime nobility of the commonwealth; nor was the extraction of his mother Querini less noble. By the death of Bernardo she was left a disconsolate widow with a nursery of tender children; though very young, she thought it her duty to sanctify her soul by the great means and advantages which her state afforded for virtue, and resolutely rejected all thoughts of any more altering her condition. She looked upon herself as called by her very state to a penitential and retired life, and devoted herself altogether to the care of her children’s education, to works of charity, fasting, watching, assiduous prayer, and the exercises of all virtues. Under her inspection her children were brought up in the most perfect maxims of Christian piety. Laurence discovered, even from the cradle, an uncommon docility, and an extraordinary generosity of soul; and disdaining to lose any part of his time, loved only serious conversation and employs. His mother fearing some spark of pride and ambition, chid him sometimes for aiming at things above his age; but he humbly answered that it was his only desire, by the divine grace, to become a saint. Reflecting from his infancy that he was made by God only to serve him, and to live eternally with him, he kept this end always in view, and governed all his thoughts and actions so as to refer them to God and eternity. 1 Continue reading

Saint Rose of Viterbo

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Saint Rose of Viterbo

Saint Rose was born in the spring of 1235 at Viterbo, capital of the patrimony of Saint Peter. In those days the emperor Frederick II was oppressing the Church, and many were faithless to the Holy See. But this infant at once seemed filled with grace; she never cried; with tottering steps she sought Jesus in His tabernacle; she knelt before sacred images and listened to sermons and pious conversation, retaining all she heard, and this when she was scarcely three years old. One coarse habit covered her flesh; fasts and disciplines were her delight.

At the age of seven she wished to enter a monastery of nuns; but God had other designs for her, and she resolved to create a solitude in her father’s house, where she would forever spend all her days. Her mortifications there seem incredible to our time of laxity; she gave herself the discipline three times a day until she fainted from fatigue and loss of blood, and she scarcely ate at all. To those who urged her to mitigate her austerities, she explained so perfectly that happiness consists in suffering for God, that no one could doubt this was so for her. Continue reading