To face up to this fight against venial sin in a determined way one must recognize venial sin for what it is: an offence against God which delays and can prevent union with Him. One must call it by its name, without excuses, without reducing the transcendental importance it has for a soul truly wishing to go to God. Flashes of anger, promptings of envy or sensuality not immediately rejected: a desire to be the centre of attention or attraction: not being concerned with anyone but oneself or with anything but our own interest and losing the capacity for being interested in others: acts of piety performed out of routine, with little attention and even less love: inconsiderately rash and less than charitable judgements about others...these are not faults or mere imperfections, but venial sins.I must say that this passage in today's reading gave me pause. Yes. How easily we justify or even ignore certain venial sins. We tend to think of them as minor character flaws or weaknesses. But venial sins are sins. Earlier in the same passage Fernandez writes, "These venial sins make the soul insensitive to the inspirations and motions of the Holy Spirit. They weaken the life of grace and make the virtues more difficult to practice, and incline one towards mortal sin."
Kind of puts things into perspective doesn't it. We must be diligent. May this Lent give all of us victory over sin, large and small, and may we never underestimate the effect venial sin is having in our life.