Overcoming Sin: Part Five

02-26-2017Pastor Letter

St. Francis de Sales' most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin's book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpts from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. Today's bulletin letter is the fifth and final part of a series about "Overcoming Sin" from Fulfillment of All Desire.

Venial Sin (Part B)

To nourish affection for venial sin, Francis points out, weakens the powers of our spirit, stands in the way of God's consolations, and opens the door to temptations. At the same time, Francis doesn't want to engender a morbid scrupulosity about the myriad temptations and sometimes inadvertent venial sins that are part of life in this world. He assures us that inadvertent venial sins and faults are "not a matter of any great moment" if as soon as they occur we reject them, and refuse to entertain any affection for them.

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Overcoming Sin: Part Four

02-19-2017Pastor Letter

St. Francis de Sales' most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin's book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpt s from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. Today's bulletin letter is the fourth part of a series about "Overcoming Sin" from Fulfillment of All Desire. Next week's bulletin will feature the fifth and final excerpt.

The Second Purgation: The Affection for Sin (part B)

Francis knows that as long as we're alive in this body the wounds of original sin and our past actual sins will cause affection for sin to spring up again and again. But it's our response to this bent of our nature towards sin that is determinative of the progress we make on the spiritual journey. We need to grow in our hatred for sin so we can resist it when it makes its appeals. Catherine of Siena talks of the two-edged sword with which we fight the spiritual battle: one side is hatred for sin, the other is love for virtue. Bernard speaks of how miserable it is to turn back to the slavery of our disordered passions once having tasted the grace of God. Such a person is doomed to continual frustration, as the things of the world simply can't satisfy our hunger and "ravenous curiosity"since the forms of this world are passing away. He bemoans the fate of the soul "who once fed so delicately now lies groveling on the dunghill (Lam. 4: 5)."

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Overcoming Sin: Part Three

02-12-2017Pastor Letter

St. Francis de Sales’ most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin’s book, Fulfillment of All Desire, gives excerpt s from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. For the next several weeks, this bulletin letter will feature a series about “Overcoming Sin” from Fulfillment of All Desire.

The Second Purgation: The Affection for Sin (part A)

One of Francis's most helpful insights is his teaching on the affection for sin. He points out that oftentimes we might turn away from serious sins in our life and try hard not to commit them, but still nurture affection for such sin, which greatly slows down our spiritual progress and disposes us to future falls. He points out that although the Israelites left Egypt in effect, many did not leave it in affection; and the same is true for many of us. We leave sin in effect, but reluctantly, and look back at it fondly, as did Lot's wife when she looked back on the doomed city of Sodom.

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Overcoming Sin: Part Two

02-05-2017Pastor Letter

St. Francis de Sales’ most notable work is Introduction to the Devout Life — a guide to holiness written for lay people in 1609. Ralph Martin’s book, Fulfillment of A ll Desire, gives excerpts from Francis and other Saints to inspire us to grow in the Spiritual life. For the next several weeks, this bulletin letter will feature a series about “Overcoming Sin” from Fulfillment of All Desire.

The First Purgation: Mortal Sin

Obviously, turning away from serious sin is one of the first things that needs to happen in true conversion. As Francis writes: What is your state of soul with respect to mortal sin? Are you firmly resolved never to commit it for any reason whatsoever? …In this resolution consists the foundation of the spiritual life. Francis recommends that a person in such a situation—coming back to the Lord from a life that included serious sin—consider the possibility of making a "general confession." This entails making an appointment with a trusted confessor and going over one's whole life as a way of making a fresh start. Francis acknowledges that this is not absolutely necessary, but he strongly advises it.

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