Deadly Effects of Mortal Sin

Cardinal Manning lists the seven capital sins: “First of all there is pride, which separates the soul from God; secondly, there is envy, or jealousy, which separates a man from his neighbour; thirdly, there is sloth, which is a burden pressing down the powers of man, so that he becomes weary of his duty towards God, and forsakes Him; fourthly, there is avarice, which plunges a man deep into the mire of this world, so that he makes it to be his god; fifthly, there is gluttony, which makes a sensual fool; sixthly, there is anger, which makes a man a slave to himself; and lastly, there is impurity, which makes a man a slave of the devil. In those seven kinds there are seven ways of eternal death; and all those who, with their eyes open, with the knowledge of the intellect, and the full consent of the will, commit sin in any of those seven kinds, are walking in the way towards sin unto death.”

“God, when He created man, constituted him, as I said before, with three perfections—the perfection of nature, that is, of body and soul; the supernatural perfection or the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and of sanctification; and the preternatural perfection or the perfect harmony of the soul in itself and with God, and the immortality of the body. These three perfections, natural, supernatural, and preternatural, make up what is called original justice; and in that state man was constituted when he was created.”

He mentions five effects of mortal sin. As for the first, he states: “The first effect of one mortal sin is to strike the soul dead. The grace of God is the life of the soul as the soul is the life of the body. . . . One single sin unto death strikes the soul dead at once, and that for this reason: the grace of God is the life of the soul, and one mortal sin separates the soul from God.”

Quotations from Henry Edward Manning, Sin and Its Consequences, 2d ed. (London: Burns and Oates, 1874).

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