The Christian may not despair.

“The Christian may not despair; i.e ., he may not give up hoping that God will forgive his sins, or help him in adversity. Cain despaired when he said: “My sin is too great to be forgiven” ( Gen . iv. 13 ). Saul despaired by throwing himself on his sword when hard pressed in battle by the Philistines ( 1 Kings xxxi.)

The Christian may not despair, because God’s mercy is infinite, and God’s help is nearest when the need is greatest.

“Before sinning fear God’s justice,” says St. Gregory the Great; “after sinning trust in His mercy.”

Who would doubt of being able to pay off his paltry debts if he were placed before a kingly treasure and told to help himself? Much less should we doubt of God’s mercy.

“As a spark is to the ocean, so is the wickedness of man compared to the mercy of God,” says St. John Chrysostom. The greater a sinner is, the dearer is he to God in his repentance, for more glory is given to God when the sins that He forgives are very great. Despair often ends in suicide and everlasting death. Judas is an example of this. Despair is a sin against the Holy Ghost, and as such is never forgiven.

“Hope,” says St. Isidore, “opens heaven’s gates, while despair closes them.” St. Augustine says that he who despairs of God’s mercy, dishonors God as though be did not believe in His existence; and St. Jerome adds that the sin of Judas in despairing of God’s mercy was greater than his sin of betraying Christ.

He who sins kills his soul, but he who despairs is already in hell.” — Frs. Spirago and Clarke The Catechism Explained, 1927

St. Francis de Sales’ Consoling Words on Forgiveness and Self-Knowledge

—- I will not remember their sins. By Brian Kelly

I Am a Restorationist
By Anthony Esolen, Crisis Magazine

Hello. My name is Tony. I am a restorationist.

I wasn’t always this way. I grew up in the 1960s and the 1970s, and we all took for granted everything the priests and bishops said we had to do according to the directions of the Second Vatican Council. None of us had read the documents, but we figured that our leaders had, and we obeyed. They counted on it.

When our pastor removed the marble communion rail with its mosaic inlays of Eucharistic symbols (a basket of five loaves, two fish, a bunch of grapes, the Lamb of God), we figured he knew what he was doing, and we submitted. When he whitewashed the church walls, eliminating stenciled patterns of the fleur-de-lis, so that what had been warm and shady was now bare, with no color connection between the stained-glass windows, the mural paintings of figures from the Old Testament, and the painted ceiling above, we figured he knew what he was doing, and we obeyed. When he covered the hexagonal floor tiles, white and dark green in cruciform patterns, with a bright-red carpet, we wiped our feet and obeyed.

We obeyed a lot, then. The bishop had caught the fervor of the council, and soon the diocese was peppered with billboards reading “Project: Expansion.” It was an expansive time, we thought, a time for building new diocesan high schools, new parochial schools, new parishes. And all that expansion cost money. Every family was asked to pledge what they could afford. My family pledged—I don’t know how much, but my father and mother were devout and generous and obedient Catholics, and what they pledged, they paid…

I don’t blame the bishop. How could he know that we were on the brink of a calamitous collapse? … Continue



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