DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     March 12-14, 1999     vol. 10, no. 50


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    INTRODUCTION      "Getting to the Heart of the Matter" is what Sister Mary Lucy Astuto pinpoints in every issue when she takes a common sense approach to living our faith with her practical columns.

          She continues her series on Lent, devoting today's column to something that is not sin, but could easily lead to sin if we allow our imperfections to go unchecked. In striving for perfection we need to prune the imperfections as best we can a little at a time in order to build up a protective armor of grace that will help deflect the advances of temptations that, without the shield of good habits, can make us very vulnerable to sin as Sister explains in her column Remember Imperfections?

          Her column provides effective, vital insights into our faith and ways of fulfilling God's Will every day in every way. You can visit Sr. Lucy at her web site for Heart of Mary Ministry at http://www.heartofmaryministry.com or you can reach her at Srmarylucy@aol.com by e-mail.


          Two weeks ago, I wrote about mortal sin and the three things necessary for a sin to be mortal sin. (I kindly refer you to that article entitled Remember Mortal Sin?.) I have since learned that in some RCIA classes, potential converts are being instructed that there is a difference between GRAVE sin and MORTAL sin.

          Well, Iím here to tell you, dear reader, that that is NOT Catholic teaching. Liberal thinkers like to convey the idea that it is near impossible to commit MORTAL sin so they have come up with an excuse idea called GRAVE sin.

          Donít buy into that! It is NOT the teaching of the Catholic Church.

          It IS possible for any of us to commit grave sin - mortal sin. Remember Our Lady of Fatima said: "There are many souls who go to hell every day because there is no one to pray for them."

          What sends a soul to hell? MORTAL SIN!!! The deliberate choosing to go against Godís Commandments in a serious matter.

          If it (according to liberal thinking) is near impossible to commit mortal sin, why did Jesus go through His Passion to save all of us? Was it a needless Redemption? Can people live immoral lives and believe they are definitely going to Heaven? See how the diabolic is using even good people to confuse and misdirect? Mortal sin and venial sin are called ACTUAL SINS because they are sins that we ourselves commit.

          Last week I wrote about venial sin. This week I choose to write about imperfections.

          An imperfection is an omission of some good act that does not oblige us by any law, but which charity may invite us to do. We can say that it is ignoring or rejecting an inspiration of grace. An inspiration of grace is a thought to do some good act. We can cooperate with it and thereby deepen our union with God, or we can refuse to cooperate. We may not sin thereby, but repeated rejections of good inspirations might lead us to sin or at least certainly hinder our progress in the spiritual life. Every rejection of a good inspiration takes something away from God to satisfy our ego. The root is a wrong kind of self-love.

          We cannot call imperfections "sins," as they do not go contrary to Godís Commandments. But refusal to cooperate with an inspiration of grace MIGHT lead to sin. Let me give you an example.

          Suppose you are walking along and someone near you drops their sack of groceries. You think to yourself: "I should assist this person." (An act of charity being inspired by the Holy Spirit.) You have a choice. You can stop and help and thereby increase your love for God and neighbor or you could think: "Tough luck, buddy! You made a mess! Clean it up!" And so you keep going. Thereís an act of selfishness perhaps based on meanness or fondness for our own comfort, the root of which is pride.

          If you want to love God, avoid all mortal sin. If you want to love Him more, avoid deliberate venial sin. And if you want to love Him unselfishly, watch those inspirations of grace and follow them. Then you will rise to great heights of holiness.

          But be at peace! Getting ready to go to confession? Great graces are waiting for you!

          Hope you are preparing to make a good confession before Easter. Again, I remind you that I have a great examination of conscience booklet that can help you, just e-mail me at Srmarylucy@aol.com. Iíd be happy to send you one.

          God bless you!

March 12-14, 1999       volume 10, no. 50


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