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…every time we commit a mortal sin, there doth pass through our heart and mind (though we mark it not) a certain practic [sic] discourse of our understanding and will (as there doth also in every other election) whereby we lay before us on the one side the seeming commodity of that sin which we are tempted to commit — that is to say the pleasure that allures us thereunto; and on the other part the offence of God, which is the losing of his grace and friendship by that sin, if we yield unto it. And thus, having, as it were, the balance there before us, and setting God in one end thereof, and in the other, the aforesaid pleasure, we stand in the midst deliberating and examining in a certain manner, the value and weight of both parts. And finally do make choice of the pleasure and reject Almighty God, that is we choose rather to lose the favor of God, together with is grace, and whatsoever he is worth besides, than to lack that pleasure and delectation of sin. Now then, what can be more opprobrious and horrible than this? — “A Christian Directory Guiding Men to their Eternal Salvation,” by Robert Parsons, SJ.

Robert Parsons (1546–1610) was an English Jesuit and companion of English martyr of the Catholic Church St. Edmund Campion (1540–1581), known for his apologetic writings during the English persecution of Catholics. Born to yeoman farmers, through the help of a local pastor, Parsons became Oxford-educated and in 1568 became a tutor at Balliol College. Six years later, with the persecution of English Catholics by Queen Elizabeth I in full swing, he resigned his position due to his Catholic leanings and was ordained a Jesuit priest in Rome a year later. He founded St. Omer School in France — later to become Stonyhurst College in England.

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