Meditation for Tuesday
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

Mortal sin

I.

Consider, O my soul! That having been created to love God, you have rebelled against him, and thereby been guilty of the basest ingratitude. You have treated him like an enemy; you have despised his grace and friendship. You were aware how much sin offends him, and still you have committed it. Yes, you have turned your back on God; you have insulted him; you have in a manner raised your hand to strike him; you have saddened his Holy Spirit. The man who sins says to God, if not in words at least in effect: Begone from me: I will not serve Thee, I will not acknowledge Thee for my God: the God whom I adore in this pleasure, this interest, this revenge. Such has been the language of your heart every time you have preferred any creature to God.

St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi could not conceive how a Christian could knowingly commit a mortal sin. O you who are reading these lines, what are your sentiments? How many mortal sins have you committed? O my God! pardon me, have mercy on me: I detest all my sins; I love Thee, and grieve sincerely for the insults that I have offered to Thee, who are deserving of infinite love.

II.

Consider that God thus spoke to your heart at the moment you were offending him: My son, I am your God, who created you and redeemed you with the price of my blood. I forbid you, then, to commit that sin under pain of incurring my eternal displeasure. But in yielding to the temptation you have replied: Lord, I will not obey Thee; I am resolved to gratify my passions; I value not Thy friendship. Thou hast said, I will not serve. Ah! My God: and this I have done many, perhaps thousands of times. How couldest thou bear with my insults? Why did I not die rather than live to offend Thee? But, O infinite goodness! I will do so no more; henceforth I will love Thee with all my heart. Give me perseverance; give me Thy holy love.

III.

Consider, O my soul! that, when sins reach a certain number, they cause God to abandon the sinner. The Lord patiently expecteth that when the day of judgment shall come, he may punish them in the fulness of sins. If therefore, you are again tempted to return to your sins, say no more within yourself, I will commit this one, and then repent. For what if the Lord should instantly strike you dead? Or what if he should forsake you forever? What has been the fate of thousands who have lost the grace of God? They flattered themselves with the hope of pardon; but death surprised them, and hell enveloped them in it’s flames. Tremble, then, lest your fate be the same. Those who abuse the goodness of God in order to offend him are undeserving of his mercy. After the multitude of crimes that he has pardoned you, you have too much reason to fear that, if you relapse into mortal sin, he will pardon you no more. Thank him, then, a thousand times for having borne patiently with you until now, and form the resolution rather to die than to offend him anymore. Say frequently to him: My God! I have already offended Thee enough: the remainder of my life shall be spent in loving Thee and in bewailing my past ingratitude. O my Jesus! I wish to love Thee; grant me the grace to do so. O Blessed Virgin, my Mother! Assist me by thy prayers. Amen.

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