Friday, April 07, 2017

Lent XXXIII

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11)

From this point on, he skillfully urges the various classes of the faithful not to show themselves unworthy of so great a grace of the spirit by living according to their bodily desires, lest any of those marked with the royal and priestly name, driven on by the wickedness of their vices, fall away from the glory of the nobility granted or promised them....Appropriately, however, he teaches those who are free to keep themselves from bodily desires, because the freedom of a more relaxed life is accustomed to be exposed to the greater dangers of enticing allurements that fight against the soul, because while the body body weakly gives in to pleasant concupiscences, the army of the vices is being strongly armed against the soul. He suitably calls them newcomers and strangers that they may the less subject their mind to earthly affairs the more they remember that they have a fatherland in heaven.

[St. Bede, Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles, Hurst, tr. Cistercian Publications (Kalamazoo, MI: 1985) p. 89.]

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