What a great comfort!
I came across this gem today in my reading of St. Gregory the Great’s Pastoral Care (ACC Series):
If, then, the fear of punishment goes on restraining a man from evil-doing, surely, no liberty of spirit pervades the soul so dominated by fear. For if it did not fear the punishment, it would doubtless do evil. The mind, therefore, that is under the slavery of fear, does not know the grace of liberty. Good should be loved for its own sake, not pursued under the compulsion of established penalties. The man who acts well from fear of the evil of torments, wishes that what he fears did not exist, so that he might boldly commit sin. Wherefore, it is clearer than daylight that innocence is thus lost before God, for in His eyes sin of desire is present.
This is a really fancy way of saying that outward obedience is…
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