21. THE QUESTION WAS……..Which of the following was believed by St. Augustine (354-430 A.D.)?

A. each sin requires an equal penance

B. more wicked sins require harsher penances


The Answer is….B….Augustine said bigger sins deserved bigger penances


St. Augustine, Doctor of Christianity, wrote:

Yet those who do penance in accord with the kind of sin they have committed are not to despair of receiving God’s mercy in the Holy Church, for the remission of their crimes, however serious. In the penitential action, however, where the crime committed was such that he who committed it is separated from the body of Christ, it is not so much the length of time as the depth of sorrow that is to be considered.” (Augustine, Enchiridion of Faith, Hope, and Love, A.D. 421)

“Sins which are punished by an extremely lengthy period of penalties are committed in an extremely short time (34); nor is there anyone who would suppose that the punishments should be as quickly over as the offenses were quickly performed, whether murder or adultery or sacrilege or any other crime whatsoever that is to be measured, not by how long it took to do it, but by the magnitude of its wickedness and impiety. (Augustine “City of God” 21, 11)

 “But do not commit those sins on account of which you would have to be separated from the Body of Christ; perish the thought! For those whom you see doing penance have committed crimes, either adultery or some other enormities: that is why they are doing penance. If their sins were light, daily prayer would suffice TO BLOT THEM OUT.(emphasis mine) [8, 16] In the Church, therefore, there are three ways in which sins are forgiven: in Baptism, in prayer, and in the greater humility of penance; yet, God does not forgive sins except to the baptized.” (Augustine, Sermon to Catechumens, on the Creed, AD 395)

"It is not enough to change our ways for the better and quit the evil we have done, unless we make satisfaction to God for the evil we have done, by the sorrow of repentance... and accompanying alms." St. Augustine, ibid, p 252

St. Augustine wrote: The daily prayer, which Jesus Himself taught and for which reason it is called the Lord’s Prayer, certainly takes away daily sins, when we say daily: “Forgive us our debts.” (The Faith of the Early Fathers, Volume 3, p. 106)



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