in Hell for all eternity; what then will be our punishment
for many mortal sins? Then there is another thing
you should remember: God has fixed a certain
number of sins that He will suffer you to commit before
He sends His punishment. You do not know which
sin will complete the number and be the last.
The very sin you are now about to commit may be that
one, and the moment you have committed it, God will
call you to judgment, whether it be night or day,
whether you are at home or in the streets—though
perhaps not immediately, but before you commit another
sin. Such a thought alone should keep you from
sinning. Moreover, after confession you strongly
resist the first temptation to mortal sin, but after
you have yielded to the first you scarcely make any
more resistance, but easily yield again and again.
You should therefore, to prevent this, go to confession
just as soon as you possibly can after falling into
mortal sin. It is bad enough to commit mortal
sin, but it is terrible to be living in that state
day and night—always an enemy of God—losing
the merit of all the works you do and yet you must
stay in that state of sin till you go to confession
and receive absolution. Peter the Apostle committed
the sin of presumption. (Matt. 26). Our Lord
told him to watch and pray for he would be tempted
and yield that night, but Peter said: “No
Lord, I will never deny Thee.” Instead of
begging Our Lord’s help and grace, he trusted
to himself and fell miserably into sin. He went
into dangerous company and that was another cause of
his fall. But afterwards he saw his sin and folly
and never ceased to repent of it.
329 Q. What is despair? A. Despair is the loss
of hope in God’s mercy.
Despair is a sin because by it you deny that God is
infinitely merciful—that He is merciful
enough to forgive even your many and great sins if
you are truly sorry for them. Judas committed
the sin of despair. After he had betrayed Our
Lord, he went and hanged himself, thus committing,
besides the sin of betraying his divine Master, two
other great sins; namely, despair in God’s mercy
and suicide. If he had gone to Our Lord and confessed
his sin, and implored pardon and promised penance,
can we doubt that He would have forgiven even Judas,
as He forgave Peter, and those that crucified Him,
praying that His Father might not punish them for
their sins? Therefore, no matter what sins you
have committed, never lose confidence in God’s
mercy. See how Our Lord pardoned the thief on
the cross and Mary Magdalen and other sinners.
Be sorry for your sins, and God will hear your prayers.
Call upon the Blessed Virgin, your patron saint, and
guardian angel to help you, and ask others, especially
good persons, to pray for you.
330 Q. How do we sin against the love of God?
A. We sin against the love of God by all sin, but particularly
by mortal sin.