The Second Greatist Evil in the World

Before I can know and understand what the second greatest evil in the world is it’s important for me to come to grips with the first. What is the first and foremost evil in the world? The greatest evil in the world is mortal sin. According to the Baltimore catechism mortal sin is a grievous offense against the law of God. Continuing in the Baltimore catechism I’m told that this sin is called mortal, or deadly, because it deprives the sinner of sanctifying grace, the supernatural life of the soul. Mortal sin makes the soul an enemy of God, takes away the merit of all its good actions, deprives it of the right to everlasting happiness in heaven, and makes it deserving of everlasting punishment in hell. These facts are taken from questions number 66 thru 68. Short version, my version if you will: Mortal sin is an act so serious, so bad in God’s sight that it keeps me from His presence (Heaven) forever (hell).

Now there is forgiveness of mortal sin. There is perfect contrition, a good subject for another post. There is sacramental confession. Of course both of these precludes the existence of repentance in the heart and mind of the sinner. The fallen ought never give up hope of God’s mercy. That would be despair and total despair is also a mortal sin. God is infinite. To give in to despair would be to limit Him in His ability to love and forgive. And of all things this is no doubt one of the greatest insults a person could ever fling in the very Face of God.

Given all that we approach the second greatest evil. What is it? The second greatest evil in the world is venial sin. It does not kill the grace in the soul. It doesn’t separate me from God. And so it is a much smaller thing than mortal sin because its effects seem so much smaller. God is not so petty as to cast me into hell forever over a white lie. To think so would again be to limit God and His goodness. But it is for just these reasons that it, venial sin, is so insidious.

I think the white lie no great thing and so I tell it. This small sin does not inflict a mortal wound. I am, however, just that much weaker because of it. And this weakness makes me susceptible to tell a lie that is perhaps a tad darker. From there, using a lie as an example, it gets easier and easier until what began as a small thing has now become a major obstacle, a serious sin, that places itself between me and God blocking my path to Him. This is why venial sin is the second greatest evil in the world. It almost never stays small and it can lead in no other direction than away from God. No venial sin, unchecked, has ever brought someone closer to God.

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Published in: on October 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm  Comments Off on The Second Greatist Evil in the World