EWTN Catholic Q&A
St. Augustine and the will
Question from wayne on 11-22-2012:

Dr. Geraghty, At chapter 8, Book XII, the City of God, St. Augustine says, "...the will could not become evil, were it unwilling to become so; and therefore its failings are justly punished, being not necessary, but voluntary." I thought that through the Fall our wills were weakened with regard to sin. So it seems he is saying that we willed the evil in our will rather than any effect from the Fall. Please point out where I have erred in the interpretation. Thank you.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 12-25-2012:

Dear Wayne,

Our will is free both before and after the fall. It is the nature of an intelligent being to have free choice. Before the fall is was easier to choose to do good. After the fall it is more difficult to chose the good. But we can still do it with the help of God.

Dr. Geraghty

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