Sacramentum Mundi Online

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(808 words)

1. Despair as a sin consists in the relinquishing of present or possible hope. It is, therefore, the voluntary rejection of a consciously recognized dependence of man upon his fellowmen and upon God, as well as of the corresponding duty of seeking perfection and salvation in harmony with them. The motives for despair can be various; it may be, for example, moral sloth (accidie, acedia) which shrinks from the effort of following Christ and which prefers earthly blessings to union with men or God; or …

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Waldemar Molinski, “Despair”, in: Sacramentum Mundi Online, General Editor Karl Rahner, SJ. Consulted online on 23 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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