Christian, when the devil again tempts thee to sin, telling thee that "God is merciful," remember that the Lord "showeth mercy towards them that fear Him," and not to them that despise Him. "God is merciful," it is true; yet how many does He daily condemn to the torments of hell! "God is merciful," but He is also just. He is merciful to those who repent of their sins, but not to those who abuse His mercy to offend Him the more freely. O God, how often have I done this! how often have I offended Thee because Thou wast good and merciful!
The devil will say to thee: "As He has pardoned thee many past sins, so will He pardon thee the sin which thou art now about to commit." No, thou must reply; because He has so often forgiven me, I ought to be the more afraid, that, if I should again offend Him, He will no more pardon me, but punish me for all the crimes I have ever committed against Him. Attend to the admonition of the Holy Ghost: Say not, I have sinned and what harm hath befallen me for the most High is a patient rewarder. Eccl. v. 4. O God, how basely have I corresponded with Thy favors! Thou hast bestowed graces upon me, and I have requited them with injuries: Thou hast loaded me with blessings, and I have insulted and dishonored Thee. But for the future it shall not be so. The more Thou hast borne with me, so much the more will I love Thee. Do thou assist my weakness.
The devil will say to thee: "But dost thou not see that thou canst not now resist this temptation?" Answer him: but if I do not resist now, how shall I be able to resist afterwards, when I shall have become weaker, and the divine assistance will fail me? Am I to be told that, in proportion as I multiply the number of my sins, God will multiply the number of His graces towards me? Finally, he will say to thee: "But although thou wert to commit this sin, thou mayest still be saved." Say to him in reply: I maybe saved; but is this a reason why I should write my own sentence of condemnation to hell? I may be saved; but I may also be lost, and this is more probable. This is not an affair to be left to the chance of a "may be." But, O Lord, how much hast Thou done for me? I have multiplied my faults, and Thou hast increased Thy graces! The thought of this imbitters my sorrow for having so heniously offended Thee. My good God, why have I offended Thee? O that I could die of grief! Help me, O Jesus, for I desire to be wholly Thine. Holy Mary, obtain for me perseverance in virtue, and suffer me not any more to live ungrateful to God who has so much loved me.