-- G. K. Chesterton, George Bernard Shaw
- - - - - - - - - -We are soon to celebrate the passion of our crucified Lord. It is therefore in keeping with our commitment to him that we should crucify ourselves by restraining the desires of the flesh. As the apostle says: You cannot belong to Christ Jesus unless you crucify all your self-indulgent passions and desires. Such is the cross upon which we Christians must continually hang, since our whole lives are beset by trials and temptations. Not for us, as long as we live, to be rid of those nails we read of in the psalm: Pierce my flesh with the nails of your fear.
Flesh means the desires of our lower nature; nails, the demands of God's justice and holiness. With these the fear of the Lord pierces our flesh and fastens us to the cross as an acceptable sacrifice to him. In a similar passage the apostle Paul appeals to us by the mercy of God to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
-- Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 205, 1