THE SINNER'S GRIEF
[continued from yesterday]
...But the evil does not stop there.
No one ever yet did wrong that good might come of it, but sooner or later found reason to repent of his decision.
Whether or not the expected good is gained is beside the mark; more often than not we fail to secure what we worked for, but even if we gain it, we have started a new misery that is worse.
For to yield to evil is to weaken one's own self, one's soul, one's character, one's power for doing good, one's interior peace of mind; without God no man can do anything, it is only in Him who strengthens us that we can do anything at all.
Hence the one evil thing we do leads inevitably to another; we would yield "just this once, and just this far," and we find we have taken the first step in a series of yieldings.
We are not what we were; that is the first agony which torrents of tears seem unable to assuage. We are at the mercy of new forces which before had no hold upon us, and we are less able to resist them; that is a second agony which is close akin to despair.
We have taken our own course, we have separated ourselves from those who before had held us up; and now, in the darkness and gloom, we are hedged about by a sense of loneliness, and untruth, and helpless weakness, which makes life itself an intolerable burden.
From The School of Love and Other Essays
by The Most Reverend Alban Goodier, S.J.
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