St. Hilary continues to examine the specific words of the First Psalm, and what they mean:
Not every man that is a sinner is also undutiful: but the undutiful man cannot fail to be a sinner. Let us take an instance from general experience. Sons, though they be drunken and profligate and spendthrift, can yet love their fathers; and with all these vices, and, therefore, not free from guilt, may yet be free from undutifulness. But the undutiful, though they may be models of continence and frugality, are, by the mere fact of despising the parent, worse transgressors than if they were guilty of every sin that lies outside the category of undutifulness.
In Psalm 1 we have laid out for us three different kinds of people the blessed man should avoid: the ungodly, the sinner and the pestilent. For the purposes of understanding the differences between these three types of people, St. Hilary has chosen to use the word undutiful as a synonym for ungodly. One might not immediately see the similarity, until one considers the Christian understanding of God, which dares to call the heavenly God and creator of all things, Father:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
It is in this context that St. Hilary’s comparison becomes clear. As Christians we all sin. Despite this sin, we still love Our Father and strive to do His will despite our many failings. Though sinners, we are not ungodly or undutiful. In contrast, those who, for various and sundry reasons, do not follow the Christian path both sin and are ungodly and undutiful. This latter path, according to St. Hilary, is the worse of the two even if this ungodly person is a model of frugality (staying away from extravagant behaviors) and continence (demonstrating self-restraint).