The Third Effect of Sins of Omission

Cardinal Manning notes that slothfulness gives rise to “a certain animosity against those who love God. Just as the soul turns away from God, in that proportion it has an animosity against those who continue to persevere in the love of God; so much so, that the very sight of any one who is fervent in the love of God becomes an eye-sore.”

“We can tolerate anybody as a companion who is less pious than we are, but we cannot easily tolerate anybody who is more pious. Any one who prays more, or any one who makes more of his duties towards God and his neighbour: any one who is more just or more holy is a constant reproof and rebuke to us. We are ill at ease in his presence; but anybody who is lower than ourselves we can tolerate easily. He is neither a reproof nor a rebuke; on the contrary we think we can teach him, and we are soothed by thinking that we can set him an example. There is nothing galling or painful in the companionship of those who are lower than ourselves in the spiritual life; but those who are above us, unless we are humble, make us restless.”

“One sign of those who are declining from God is this: they do not like to see people go so often to Communion; they get impatient at hearing of their going so often to confession; or if they know that they often visit the Blessed Sacrament, or that they spend a long time in their room in prayer, all this makes them uneasy. Finally, even the grace of God which they see in others becomes to them a trial. . . . They are conscious that they are not like them, and that consciousness is painful.”

Examples may be found in Holy Scripture. For instance, “when the Prodigal Son came home, and the father forgave him, and gave him shoes on his feet, and the first robe, and made the festival of joy, the elder brother, when he heard the music, refused to come in. He was jealous and angry.”

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

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