The Fifth Effect of Sins of Omission

Cardinal Manning states that slothfulness ends in the sin of sloth, which is “the state of the soul which, having fallen from charity and having lost hope, has become sick of God and weary of God. Such a man says: ‘I wish to God that I had never been born! . . . I wish to God I had never heard the name of Jesus Christ; I should not then have been responsible. I would to God I had never known the truth; for I should not have to answer for it.'”

“The soul weary and sick of God turns away from the Holy Sacraments, turns away from prayer, turns away from holy people, from every memorial of God and His service, until at last such a man will say: ‘Almighty God, why dost Thou persecute me with Thy perfections? Thy justice, which I cannot deny, is like the blaze of the noonday sun, terrible and scorching; and Thy holiness is like the light that pervades the world, and I cannot escape from it.’ Souls in that state say in an inverted sense the very words of the Psalmist: ‘Whither shall I go from Thy presence, and whither shall I flee from Thy face? . . . If I say, Darkness shall cover me, the darkness is no darkness to Thee. The darkness and the light to Thee are both alike.’ (Ps 139:7, 12)”

“This is what the sin of sloth comes to at last. I have traced it from its beginning in a sin of omission—a sin of omission in prayer; because, as I said, prayer is the life and breath of the soul, and the soul that prays is united to God. The soul that loses its union with God by prayer may fall into the bottomless pit. There is no depth of eternal death into which a soul that ceases to pray may not fall. It will not fall all at once; it falls very gradually, little by little, insensibly, and there is the chief danger.”

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

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