64 – The privileged place for the encounter with Jesus Christ is our sins

When a tiny drop of poison has been added to a pitcher of water, no one would claim that it is suitable to drink. This is true also of our spiritual life, in which it is not justifiable to choose the path of mediocrity, establishing a compromise between the pure water of virtue and the poison of sin. Sanctity is a gift from God and is not possible to obtain without his assistance; however, it is also true that to achieve it, the cooperation of our will is necessary, just as Saint Augustine aptly explained: ‘He who formed you without your aid, will not justify you without you – what He made without its own knowledge, He will justify with its desire’ (Sermon 169, 11). It is not enough to just believe and recognize oneself as a sinner, it’s also necessary to make all possible efforts to enter through the narrow gate (cf. Mt 7:13).


Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study


I – Sin and grace do not coexist in the same soul
II – A true Christian should adequate his life to the faith he professes
III – No one may approach the Eucharist without being well prepared
IV – To truly ‘recognize oneself as a sinner’ is above all to repent

I – Sin and grace do not coexist in the same soul

Catechism of Trent

Sin is opposed to grace


The difference between truth and error

John Paul II

Grace is incompatible with grave sin
The true path of the Church is fidelity to Christ

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Faith cannot co-exist even with sin
Vice is directly contrary to virtue, even as sin to virtuous act
Mortal sin excludes altogether the habit of grace
Charity and wisdom are incompatible with mortal sin

Saint John Chrysostom

It is not possible to do penance and live in luxury

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Those unwilling to change an evil and shameful life should not be admitted to the Sacraments
That there are good and bad in the Church does not mean that an attenuation or suppression of severe discipline

II – A true Christian should adapt his life to the faith he professes

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Faith without works is of no avail; the correct interpretation of St. Paul’s affirmation about justification through faith without works
Deception of those who promise themselves salvation based on a dead faith: the same profession of Christ’s divinity was praised in Peter and rebuked in the devils
The Lord said: If thou wilt come unto life, keep the Commandments

Pius XII

Dangerous error: certain quietism, that pretends to neglect our collaboration in spiritual life, attributing all to God’s action
The Spirit does not will to act unless men contribute
Illusion: to believe that the efficacy of the Eucharist dispenses from cooperation in the acquisition of salvation

Paul VI

The Gospel is not a code that is easily fulfilled: it demands effort and fidelity

Leo X

Condemnation of Martin Luther, for preaching that sacramental absolution is unnecessary, and that faith alone makes one pure and worthy

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

No one should flatter himself because of faith alone, when he suffer not with Christ

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons

The love of God: we may reach this prize for ourselves by striving after it

Saint Cyprian of Carthage

There is need of righteousness, that one may deserve well of God the Judge; the Lord says ‘I know you not’ to those who work iniquity

Saint Gregory of Nyssa

Faith without works of justice is not sufficient for salvation

Saint John Chrysostom

Believing is not sufficient for your salvation

Saint Basil the Great

Besides renunciation of sin the fruits of penance are also necessary

III – No one may approach the Eucharist without being well prepared

Saint Teresa of Jesus

Jesus Christ leaves Himself inclusively in the hands of His enemy

Saint Ambrose of Milan

Jesus Christ chastises and the Apostles persecute the sacrilegious with holy anger

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Sacrilege is especially grave when committed against the Eucharist

Saint Augustine of Hippo

The gifts of God come to those who receive with faith, even through the hands of Judas
The sacrilegious defile the temple of God within themselves

Saint Anthony of Padua

He who eats unworthily, eats damnation to himself

Saint John Chrysostom

He who approaches to receive the Eucharist in sin is worse than one possessed by the devil

Sacred Scripture

For anyone who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks judgment on himself
Blasphemies come from the heart

Saint Thomas Aquinas

There are two ways of receiving the Eucharist: one to life, the other to death

IV – To truly ‘recognize oneself as a sinner’ is above all to repent

John Paul II

Recognize oneself a sinner so that God manifest his power
To acknowledge one’s sin is the essential first step in returning to God

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The two conversions: the water of Baptism and the tears of repentance
Conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and reconciliation with the Church, which are accomplished by the sacrament of Penance

Council of Trent

Contrition demands a detestation of sin with a determination of not sinning in the future

Saint Augustine of Hippo

It behooves you to hate your own work and to love the work of God in you
Sin is chastised either by man when he repents or by God when he judges
Let us feel displeasure with ourselves when we sin, for God is displeased with sins

Pius XII

To ensure progress in virtue the practice of frequent confession is important
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5 thoughts on “64 – The privileged place for the encounter with Jesus Christ is our sins

  1. Dear Fathers, it seem, at least to to me, that the great problem with the Synod will not be the doctrine, but the ‘pastoral application’ that Francis is determined to carry out. Could you please include a study on the rift between doctrine and pastoral practice? Can a pastoral approach be different from a doctrinal one? I mean- how can we welcome gays if they still want to continue as they are? know that what is being said is wrong, but do not have the learning. Could you help with this?

    • Glad that someone commented on ‘the way you are doing’ the work you do – one can see the immense love for the Church behind these pages. It is heartening to know that still today there are priests like you. I wish my own was the same…

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