‘”What is the worst thing in the world?” A little child put up its hand and said, Please, may I answer? Yes, said the teacher. Then, said the child, I think the worst thing in the world is a great pain. The child did not give the right answer. No doubt it is frightful to see any one burnt up with fever, or cramped with cholera, or to see death tearing away the soul from the body. It is a sad thing to say the last “good bye” to those whom we love. These things make tears run down from the eye and draw sighs out of the heart. But there is something which burns more than fever, and cramps more than cholera. There is a last parting more sorrowful than the last parting with father, mother, brother, or sister. What, then, is the great bad thing? The greatest of all evils — the evil of evils — what is it? The greatest of all evils is — Mortal sin. Mortal sin is so great an evil that no man living will be able to understand how great an evil it is.’
An extract from ‘The Great Evil’ by Rev. John Furniss, C.S.S.R.