Thursday, April 06, 2017

Lent XXXII

I found Israel like grapes in the desert, I saw their fathers like the firstfruits of the fig tree in the top thereof: but they went in to Beelphegor, and alienated themselves to that confusion, and became abominable, as those things were, which they loved. (Hosea 9:10)

If we love to be with God, then, and honor the one who called and chose us and plucked us from this worldly condition as if from a thorny desert like a bunch of grapes and an early fig that is attractive, we shall preserve unbroken our union with him, which is clearly of a spiritual kind. If, on the other hand, there is some inclination to what is ugly and what offends him, we shall be no different from the nations; we shall be loved ones who became objects of loathing, and duly hated. Scripture says, remember, "The righteousness of the righteous will not save them on the day they sin"; and very wisely the blessed Paul writes, "And so let the one who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall."

[St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Twelve Prophets, Volume 1, Hill, tr. The Catholic University of America Press (Washington, DC: 2007), p. 187.]

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