On Mortal Sin

First Point - No one would commit sin if he could comprehend it perfectly. To know sin perfectly is to hate it infinitely. But to know sin perfectly one must know God perfectly. The holiness and grandeur of God is the only measure of the malice of sin. As God is the greatest good, so sin is the greatest evil. Moreover God hates sin in the measure that He loves Himself, and the same reasons that oblige God to love Himself, oblige Him to hate sin, because sin is infinitely opposed to Him. Have I not good reasons to love God? Have I not the same reasons to hate sin? How comes it then that I love sin?

Second Point - God's love for Himself is the motive and the measure of His hatred for sin. Just as God loves Himself with an eternal love, and as He has never for a moment ceased to love Himself, so He hates sin with an eternal hatred, and He has never for a moment ceased to hate it. Just as God loves Himself with a love so necessary that He can no more cease to love Himself than He can cease to be God, so He hates sin with a hatred so necessary that He can no more cease to hate it than He can cease to be God. If God, then, hates sin with such eternal, such necessary, such infinite hatred, how can I love it?

Third Point - What can inspire in God this eternal, necessary and infinite hatred for sin, if not a wrath proportionate to that hatred - an eternal, necessary, and infinite desire for vengeance? What bounds can there be to a wrath that springs from infinite hatred and is supported by an infinite power? And yet we do not fear this hatred, nor de we hate sin, which exposes us to the terrible consequences of an all-powerful wrath. We do not shun sin; we love it and we commit it daily. Oh! what blindness. In truth, do we not hate ourselves if we do not hate sin, since God hates it infinitely, and since it renders us the object of His hatred and His wrath?

Let us strive then to convince ourselves, that as sin is the only object of God's hatred, so it should be the only object of our hatred. And that we may know better how to hate sin, let us often ask of God the grace to know what sin is, since this is a sure means of hating and avoiding it.

To God the wicked and his wickedness are hateful alike. - Wisdom 14:9

The sinner is not satisfied with his own in justice; he would wish that God were also unjust, so that He would not hate and punish him. - Saint Augustine of Hippo

- text taken from Meditations for Every Day in a Month, by Father Fran├žois Nepveu