"It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for things to come."

Thomas á Kempis

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"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."

St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it."

St Philip Neri

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PART 2 - The Purification of the Soul in Beginners (cont)

Ch 20: Mortification According to St. Paul and the Reasons for Its Necessity
 

The doctrine of the Gospel on the necessity of mortification is
explained at considerable length by St. Paul in his epistles. Frequent quotation is made of his words: "I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway." (1) Likewise he says to the Galatians: "They that are Christ's have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." (2)

Not only does St. Paul affirm the necessity of mortification, but he gives reasons for it which may be reduced to four; they are precisely those which are disregarded by practical naturalism. The mortification of all that is inordinate in us is necessary: (1) because of the consequences of original sin; (2) because of the results of our personal sins; (3) because of the infinite elevation of our supernatural end; (4) because we must imitate our crucified Lord.

Considering these different motives, we shall see what interior and exterior mortification is for St. Paul. It is attached to many of the virtues, since each one excludes the contrary vices, and particularly to the virtue of penance, which ought to be inspired by love of God, and which has for its end the destruction in us of the consequences of sin as an offense against God.(3)

THE CONSEQUENCES OF ORIGINAL SIN

First of all, St. Paul draws a parallel between Christ the Author of our salvation and Adam the author of our ruin, and notes the consequences of original sin. To the Romans he says: "By one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death." (4) And again: "By the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners. . . . Where sin abounded, grace did more abound. . . through Jesus Christ our Lord." (5)

With infirmities and maladies, death is one of the results of original sin, but there is also concupiscence, of which St. Paul speaks when he says: "Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit." (6)

According to the Apostle, this is the condition of the "old man," that is, of man such as he is born of Adam, with a fallen and wounded nature. We read in the Epistle to the Ephesians: "You have heard Him, and have been taught in Him. . . to put off, according to former conversation, the old man, who is corrupted according to the desire of error. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth." (7) St. Paul writes in the same vein to the Colossians: "Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds, and putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of Him that created him." (8)

Again, he writes to the Romans: "For I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man: but I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind and captivating me in the law of sin that is in my members. Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (9)

The old man, such as he is born of Adam, has a certain lack of balance in his wounded nature. This will be evident if we recall the nature of original justice. In it there was perfect harmony between God and the soul, made to know Him, to love Him, and o serve Him; and also between the soul and the body. In fact, as long as the soul was subject to God, the passions or sensible emotions were obedient to right reason enlightened by faith, and to the will vivified by charity. The body itself shared this harmony by privilege, in the sense that it was not subject to sickness or death.

Original sin destroyed this harmony. The first man, by his sin, as the Council of Trent says, "lost for himself and for us sanctity and original justice," (10) and transmitted to us a fallen nature, deprived of grace and wounded. Without falling into the exaggerations of the Jansenists, we must admit, with St. Thomas, that we are born with our will turned away from God, inclined to evil, weak in regard to the good,(11) with our reason prone to error,(12) our sensitive appetites strongly disposed to inordinate pleasure and to anger, source of every type of injustice.(13) Whence come pride, forgetfulness of God, egoism under all its forms, often a gross almost unconscious egoism, which wishes at any cost to find happiness on earth without aspiring any higher. In this sense, we can truly say with the author of The Imitation: "Nature proposes self as her end, but grace does all things purely out of love for God." (14) St. Thomas speaks in the same way: "Inordinate love of self is the cause of every sin."(15)

The fathers, in particular Venerable Bede, state in their explanation of the parable of the Good Samaritan that fallen man is not only stripped of grace and of the privileges of the state of original justice, but is even wounded in his nature. "By the sin of the first parent, man was despoiled of grace and wounded in nature." This is explained especially by the fact that we are born with our will turned away from God, directly averted from our supernatural last end, and indirectly from our natural last end; for every sin against the supernatural law is indirectly contrary to the natural law which obliges us to obey whatever God may command.(16)

This disorder and weakness of the will in fallen man are shown by the fact that we cannot, without healing grace, love God, the Author of our nature, efficaciously and more than ourselves.(17) There is also the disorder of concupiscence, which is visible enough for St. Thomas to see in it "a quite probable sign of original sin," a sign which adds its confirmation to what revelation says about the sin of the first man.(18) In place of the original triple harmony (between God and the soul, between the soul and the body, between the body and exterior things), appears the triple disorder which St. John speaks of when he writes: "For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world." (19)

Undoubtedly baptism cleanses us from original sin by applying Christ's merits to us, by giving us sanctifying grace and the infused virtues. Thus, by the virtue of faith our reason is supernaturally enlightened, and by the virtues of hope and charity our will is turned to God. We also receive the infused virtues which rectify the sensible appetites. However, there remains in the baptized who continue in the state of grace an original weakness, wounds in the process of healing, which sometimes cause us to suffer, and which are left to us, says St. Thomas, as an occasion for struggle and merit.(20)

This is what St. Paul says to the Romans: "Our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer. . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof." (21) Not only must this "old man" be moderated, regulated; he must be mortified or made to die. Otherwise we shall never succeed in obtaining the mastery over our passions and we shall remain more or less their slaves. This will mean opposition, perpetual struggle between nature and grace. If unmortified souls do not perceive this struggle, it is because grace is scarcely alive in them; egoistic nature has free play, with some virtues of temperament, natural happy inclinations that are judged to be true virtues.

Mortification is, therefore, imposed upon us because of the consequences of original sin, which remain even in the baptized as an occasion of struggle, and of struggle indispensable in order not to fall into actual and personal sin. We do not repent of original sin, which is a "sin of nature," which was voluntary only in the first man; but we must labor to rid ourselves of the withering effects of original sin, in particular concupiscence, which inclines us to sin. By so doing, the wounds of which we spoke above are healed more and more with the increase of the grace which heals and which, at the same time, raises us up to a new life (gratia sanans et elevans). Far from destroying nature by the practice of mortification, grace restores it, heals it, and renders it increasingly pliable or docile in the hands of God.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF OUR PERSONAL SINS

A second motive that renders mortification necessary is found in the consequences of our personal sins. St. Paul insists on this point in the Epistle to the Galatians, by noting especially the effects of sins against charity: "By charity of the spirit serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed you be not consumed one of another. I say then, walk in the spirit (that is, the spirit of the new man enlightened and fortified by the Holy Spirit),(22) and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. . . . Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions. . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. . . . They that are Christ's have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences." (23)

Mortification is clearly imposed on us by reason of the effects of our personal sins. Renewed actual sin engenders a habitual bad disposition which, when grave, is called a vice or at least a defect. These defects are habitual modes of seeing, judging, willing, and acting, which combine to form an imperfect mentality, a spirit which is not that of God. And sometimes they translate themselves to our exterior, so much so that someone has rightly said that at thirty or forty years of age every man is responsible for his own countenance, according as it expresses pride, self-sufficiency, presumption, contempt, or disillusionment. These defects become traits of character, and little by little God's image is effaced in us.

When sins are confessed with contrition or sufficient attrition, absolution obliterates sin, but it leaves certain dispositions, called the remnants of sin, reliquiae peccati, 24 which are, as it were, im­printed in us, like a furrow in our faculties, in our character and temperament. Thus the seat of covetousness remains after baptism. It is certain, for example, that although a man who has fallen into the vice of drunkenness and who accuses himself of it with sufficient at­trition receives together with pardon sanctifying grace and the infused virtue of temperance, he preserves an inclination to this vice, and, unless he flees from the occasions, he will fall again. This trying inclination must not only be moderated, it must be mortified, made to die in order to unfetter both nature and grace.

The same is true of our unreasonable antipathies. They must be not merely veiled, not only moderated, but mortified, because they are seeds of death. That from this point of view an idea may be formed of the necessity of mortification, we must bear in mind the numerous vices that are born of each of the seven capital sins. For example, from envy are born hatred, slander, calumny, joy at the misfortune of another, and sadness at his success. From anger, which is opposed to meekess, come disputes, fits of passion, insults, abusive words, and at times blasphemy. From vainglory spring disobedience, boasting, hypocrisy, contention through rivalry, discord, love of novelties, and stubbornness. St. Thomas lays emphasis on each of these vices which spring from the capital sins (25) and which are sometimes more grave than they. The field of mortification is consequently very wide.

Finally in a spirit of penance, we must mortify ourselves to expiate past sin that has already been forgiven and to help us avoid sin in the future. The virtue of penance leads us, in fact, not only to hatred of sin as an offense against God, but still more to reparation. For this last, to stop sinning is not sufficient; a satisfaction must be offered to divine justice, for every sin merits a punishment, as every act inspired by charity merits a reward.(26) Consequently, when sacramental absolution, which remits sin, is given to us, a penance or satisfaction is imposed upon us that we may thus obtain the remission of the temporal punishment, which ordinarily remains to be undergone. This satisfaction is a part of the sacrament of penance which applies the Savior's merits to us; and as such, it contributes to our restoration to grace and to its increase in us.(27)

Thus is paid, at least in part, the debt contracted by the sinner in regard to divine justice. To this end, man must also bear patiently the sufferings of this life, and if this patient endurance does not suffice to purify him completely, he must pass through purgatory, for nothing defiled can enter heaven. The dogma of purgatory thus strongly confirms the necessity of mortification, because it shows us that we must pay our debt, either in this life while meriting, or after death without meriting.

A repentance full of love effaces both the sin and the punishment, as did those blessed tears on which Christ bestowed His benediction, saying: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much." (28)

It is important to accuse ourselves especially of sins that are becoming habitual and most hinder our union with God. This is more important than to aim at a complete enumeration of venial sins

Since penance is necessary to every Christian, how can the necessity of mortification be denied? Such a denial would be an utter disregard of the gravity of sin and its consequences. He who is opposed to mortification comes little by little to drink of iniquity as if it were water; he reaches the point where he calls what is often truly venial sin, an imperfection, and what is a mortal sin, a human weakness. Let us remember that Christian temperance differs specifically from acquired temperance, and that it exacts a mortification unknown to the pagan philosophers.(29)

Neither ought we to forget that we have to contend against the spirit of the world and against the devil, according to St. Paul's words to the Ephesians: "Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. . . . Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace." (30)

To resist the enemy's temptation, which leads first of all to light faults and then to graver ones, Christ Himself told us that we must have recourse to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.(31) And then the temptation will become the occasion of meritorious acts of faith, confidence in God, and love of God. We shall find ourselves in the happy necessity of being unable to rest content with imperfect acts of virtue (actus remissi); we shall have to resort to more intense and more meritorious acts.

THE INFINITE ELEVATION OF OUR SUPERNATURAL END DEMANDS A SPECIAL MORTIFICATION OR ABNEGATION

We saw in the preceding chapter that in the Sermon on the Mount our Lord demands the mortification of the slightest inordinate interior movements of anger, sensuality, and pride, because we ought, He says, to be "perfect as also your heavenly Father is perfect," (32) since we have received a participation in His intimate life, and since we are called to see Him immediately as He sees Himself, and to love Him as He loves Himself.

From the fact that we are called to a supernatural end of infinite elevation, since it is God Himself in His intimate life, it is not sufficient for us to live according to right reason, subordinating our passions to it. We must always act not only as rational beings, but as children of God, in whom reason is subordinate to faith, and every action is inspired by charity. This obliges us to detachment in regard to all that belongs only to the earth, or is purely natural, in regard to all that cannot be a means of drawing nearer to God and of leading souls to Him. In this sense we must combat the different forms of natural eagerness, which would absorb our activity to the detriment of the life of grace.

In virtue of this principle, St. Paul says to us: "Therefore, if you be risen with Christ (by baptism), seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth. For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God. . . . Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, . . . evil concupiscence, and covetousness, . . . anger, indignation." (33)

Likewise he writes to the Ephesians: "For by Him we have access both in one Spirit to the Father. Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone: in whom all the building, being framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you also are built together into a habitation of God in the Spirit." (34)

Therefore, even if a person does not bind himself to the effective practice of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience, he must have the spirit of the counsels, that is, the spirit of detachment: "The time is short (for the journey toward eternity). It remaineth, that they also who have wives be as if they had none; and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not. For the fashion of this world passeth away." (35) A man must not try to settle down in this world if he truly wishes to make progress toward God, if he wishes to make profitable use of time to advance toward eternity. The infinite loftiness of our supernatural end demands a special abnegation in regard to whatever is simply human, even though legitimate, for we might become absorbed in it to the detriment of the life of grace.

This is particularly true for apostles: "No man, being a soldier to God, entangleth himself with secular businesses; that he may please Him to whom he hath engaged himself." (36) Likewise, the soldier of Christ ought to avoid becoming entangled in the things of the world; he should use them as though not using them; otherwise he would become as "a tinkling cymbal," and would lose the spirit of Christ. He would be like salt that has lost its savor "and is good for nothing anymore but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men."

Nothing is more certain. From all that is purely of this earth the Christian ought to have a detachment, a special abnegation which is demanded by the infinite loftiness of the eternal goal toward which he ought to advance every day with greater rapidity; for the nearer we approach to God, the more we are drawn by Him.

THE NECCESSITY OF IMITATING JESUS CRUCIFIED

A fourth reason obliging us to mortification or abnegation is the necessity of imitating Jesus crucified. He Himself tells us: "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily." (37) St. Paul adds: "For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. . . . And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint-heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him. For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us." (38)

Evidently this spirit of detachment is so much the more imposed on us as we are called to a higher, more abundant, and more radiating interior life, in which we ought to follow more closely the example of Christ, who came, not as a philosopher or a sociologist, but as the Savior, and who out of love willed to die on the cross in order to redeem us. He came to accomplish, not a human work of philanthropy but a divine work of charity, even to complete sacrifice, which is the great proof of love. Without a doubt this is what St. Paul means.

The Apostle of the Gentiles completely lived what he taught. Consequently, while describing his life of hardship and suffering, he could write: "But we have this treasure (the light of life of the gospel) in earthen vessels, that the excellency (of the gospel) may be of the power of God and not of us. In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; we suffer persecution, but are not forsaken (by God); we are cast down, but we perish not: always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies. . . . So then death worketh in us, but life in you." (39)

In his commentary on II Cor. 4: 7, St. Thomas says: "If the apostles were rich, powerful, noble according to the flesh, everything great that they accomplished would be attributed to them and not to God. But because they were poor and despised, what was sublime in their ministry is attributed to God. This explains why our Lord willed that they should be exposed to tribulations and to contempt. . . . And because they trusted in God and hoped in Jesus Christ, they were not crushed. . . . They bore affliction and the dangers of death patiently that they might thus attain to the life of glory as the Savior did: 'Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.' "

St. Paul says further: "For I think that God hath set forth us  apostles, the last. . . . We are reviled; and we bless. We are persecuted; and we suffer it. We are blasphemed; and we entreat. Weare made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all, even until now." (40) St. Paul here describes the life of the apostles from Pentecost until their martyrdom. Thus we read in the Acts of the Apostles that, after they had been scourged, "they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus." (41) They truly carried their cross and were thus stamped in the image of Christ that they might continue the work of the redemption by the same means as the Savior Himself had employed.

This spirit of detachment through imitation of Jesus crucified was singularly striking during the first three centuries of persecution which followed the founding of the Church. The letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch and the acts of the martyrs make this clear.

This same spirit of detachment and of configuration to Christ is found in all the saints, both ancient and modern: in St. Benedict, St. Bernard, St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa, St. John of the Cross, and, nearer our day, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, the Cure of Ars, and, among the most recently canonized, St. John Bosco, and St. Joseph Cotolengo.

The spirit of detachment, of abnegation, is the condition of a close union with God, whence supernatural life overflows in a manner ever new, and at times stupendous, for the eternal welfare of souls. This is evidenced by the lives of all the saints without exception, and we ought to nourish our souls daily with the examples of these great servants of God. The world is not so much in need of philosophers and sociologists, as of saints who are the living image of the Savior among us.

According to St. Paul, the following reasons show the necessity of mortification or abnegation: (1) the consequences of original sin which incline us to evil; (2) the results of our personal sins; (3) the infinite loftiness of our supernatural end; (4) the necessity of imitating Jesus crucified. These are precisely the four motives disregarded by practical naturalism which reappeared some years ago in Americanism and Modernism.

These four motives of mortification can be reduced to two: hatred of sin and love of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such is the spirit of holy realism, and basically of Christian optimism, which ought to inspire exterior and interior mortification. These remain to be treated more in detail. The true answer to practical naturalism is the love of Jesus crucified, which leads us to resemble Him and to save souls with Him by the same means as He used.

Mortification or abnegation thus understood, far from destroying nature, liberates it, restores it, heals it. It opens up to us the profound meaning of the maxim: To serve God, is to reign: that is, to reign over our passions, over the spirit of the world, its false principles and its example, over the devil and his perversity; to reign with God by sharing increasingly in His intimate life, in virtue of this great law, namely, that if life does not descend, it ascends.

Man cannot live without love, and if he renounces every inferior love which leads to death, he opens his soul ever wider to the love of God and of souls in God. The Savior Himself declares: "If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink. . . . Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" for the eternal good of souls.

 

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Footnotes
 
 

1. See I Cor. 9:27.

2. Ga1.5:24f.

3. St. Thomas, in IlIa, q. 85, a. 2 f., says that penance is a special virtue which labors to efface sin and its consequences, inasmuch as sin is an offense against God. Wherefore penance is a part of justice, and, inspired by charity, it commands other subordinate virtues, in particular temperance, as exemplified in fasting, abstinence, vigils. A distinction may be made between mortification, properly so called, which depends on the virtue of penance, and mortification in the broad sense, which depends on each virtue, inasmuch as each one rejects the vices that are contrary to it. Correctly speaking, we cannot repent of original sin, but we should labor to diminish those of its results which incline us to personal sin.

4. Rom. 5:12.

5. Ibid., 19-21.

6. Gal.5:16f.

7. Eph.4::21-24.

8. Col. 3:9 f.

9. Rom. 7: 22-24. The meaning is: who will deliver me from the law of sin which is in my members, and consequently from spiritual or eternal death. As has often been pointed out, the idea of deliverance by physical death is
foreign to the context.

10. Council of Trent (Denzinger, no. 789): "Adam acceptam a Deo sanctitatem et justitiam non sibi soli sed etiam nobis perdidit."

11. St. Thomas, Ia IIae, q.83, a.3: "Two things must be considered in the infection of original sin. First, its inherence to its subject; and in this respect it regards first the essence of the soul. . . . In the second place, we must consider its inclination to act; and in this way it regards the powers of the soul. It must therefore regard first of all that power in which is seated the first inclination to commit a sin, and this is the will." Ia IIae, q.85, a.3: "In so far as the will is deprived of its order to the good, there is the wound of malice."
Ibid., ad 2um: "Malice is not to be taken here as a sin, but as a certain proneness of the will to evil, according to Gen. 8:21: 'Man's senses are prone to evil from his youth.'" (Vulg.: The imagination and thought of man's heart
are prone to evil from his youth.)

12. Ibid.: "Hence, in so far as the reason is deprived of its order to the true, there is the wound of ignorance."

13. Ibid.: "In so far as the irascible (appetite) is deprived of its order to the arduous, there is the wound of weakness; and in so far as the concupiscible (appetite) is deprived of its order to the delectable, moderated by reason, here is the wound of concupiscence. Accordingly, these are the four wounds inflicted on the whole of human nature as a result of our first parent's sin."

14. The Imitation, Bk. III, chap. 54.

15. See Ia IIae, q.77, a.4: "Inordinate love of self is the cause of every sin." We explained elsewhere at greater length the Thomistic doctrine of the consequences of original sin in relation to the spiritual life. Cf. L'amour de Dieu et la croix de Jesus, I, 292 ff.

16. If man had been created in a purely natural state (or of pure nature), he would he born with a will not turned away from God, but capable of turning freely toward Him (Author of our nature and of the natural moral law) or of turning away from Him. There is, therefore, a notable difference between this state and that in which man is actually born. As a result of original sin, our powers to observe the natural moral law are less than they would have been in a state of pure nature. This is why, without the aid of healing grace, we cannot succeed in efficaciously loving God, the Author of our nature, more than ourselves.

17. St. Thomas, Ia IIae, q.109, a. 3: "In the state of corrupt nature man falls short of this (of the efficacious love of God, the Author of nature) in the appetite of his rational will, which, unless it is cured by God's grace, follows its private good, on account of the corruption of nature." See also, De malo, q.4, a.2; q.5, a.2; De veritate, q.24, a.I2 ad 2um.

18. St. Thomas, Contra Gentes, Bk. IV, chap. 42, no. 3: "Considering divine providence and the dignity of the superior part of human nature, it can with sufficient probability be proved that defects of this kind are penalties; and thus it can be concluded that the human race is somewhat infected by original sin."

19. See I John 2: 16.

20. Cf. IIIa, q.69, a.3 ad 3um: "Original sin spread in this way, that at first the person infected the nature, and afterward the nature infected the person. Whereas Christ in reverse order at first repairs what regards the person, and afterward will simultaneously repair what pertains to the nature in all men. Consequently, by baptism He takes away from man forthwith the guilt of original sin and the punishment of being deprived of the heavenly vision. But the penalties of the present life, such as death, hunger, thirst, and the like, pertain to the nature, from the principles of which they arise, inasmuch as it is deprived of original justice. Therefore these defects will not be taken aay until the ultimate restoration of nature through the glorious resurrection."

Ibid., in corp. a. 3: "Wherefore a Christian receives grace in baptism, as to his soul; but he retains a passible body, so that he may suffer for Christ therein (Rom. 7: II, 17). . . . Secondly, this is suitable for our spiritual training: namely, in order that, by fighting against concupiscence and other defects to which he is subject, man may receive the crown of victory" (Rom. 6:6).

The Council of Trent (Denzinger, no. 792) says that baptism remits original sin perfectly by giving us habitual grace and the infused virtues, but that in the baptized the "coal of concupiscence" remains, which is left ad agonem (for the struggle) and which cannot harm those who do not consent to it and who struggle manfully by the grace of Christ.

21. Rom. 6:6, 12.

22. Ibid., 8:4 f.

23. Gal. s: 13-24.

24. Cf. St. Thomas, IIIa, q.86, a.5.

25. Cf. Ia IIae, q.77, a.4 f.; q.84, a.4.

26. See IIIa, q.85, a.3; Ia IIae, q.87, a. 1,3-5.

27. Cf. IIIa, q.86, a.4 ad 2um; Suppl., q.10, a.2 ad:2um.

28. Luke 7:47.

29. Cf. Ia IIae, q.63, a.4: "In the consumption of food, the proper measure is fixed by human reason so that it should not harm the health of the body, and should not hinder the use of reason: whereas, according to the divine rule, it behoves man to chastise his body, and bring it into subjection (I Cor. 9:27) by abstinence in the matter of food and drink and the like. . . . Those infused moral virtues, whereby men behave well in respect of their being fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household (Douay, domestics) of God (Eph. 2:19), differ from the acquired virtues, whereby man behaves well in respect of human affairs."

30. Eph. 6:11 f., 14f.

31. Matt. 17:20: "But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting." Cf. St. Thomas, IIIa, suppl., q. 15, a.3.

32. Matt. 5:48.

33. Col. 3: 1-3,5,8.

34. Eph. 2: 18-22.

35. See I Cor. 7:29-31.

36. See II Tim. 2:4.

37.  Luke 9:23; 14:27; Matt. 9:38; Mark 8:34.

38. Rom. 8: 14, 17 f.

39 Cf. II Cor. 4:7-10, 12.

40. Cf. I Cor. 4:9. 12 f.

41. Acts 5:41.