Sunday, February 17, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/17/08

Some people do not like the word "dogma." Fortunately they are free, and there is an alternative for them. There are two things, and two things only, for the human mind -- a dogma and a prejudice. The Middle Ages were a rational epoch, an age of doctrine. Our age is, at its best, a poetical epoch, an age of prejudice. A doctrine is a definite point; a prejudice is a direction. That an ox may be eaten, while a man should not be eaten, is a doctrine. That as little as possible of anything should be eaten is a prejudice; which is also sometimes called an ideal.
-- G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World
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The paschal celebration is especially characterized by the rejoicing of the whole Church in the forgiveness of sins. This forgiveness is given not only to those then reborn in holy baptism but also to those already numbered among God's adopted children.

Although we receive new life in the first place by our rebirth in baptism, we all need a daily renewal to make up for the shortcomings of our mortal nature, and no matter how much progress we have made, every one of us is called to greater holiness. We should therefore make a real effort not to let the day of our redemption find us still falling into the same old sins.

What the Christian should be doing at all times should be done now with greater zeal and devotion, so that the Lenten fast enjoined by the apostles may be observed not simply by abstinence from food but above all by the renunciation of sin.
-- Leo the Great, Sermo 6 de Quadragesima 1-2: PL 54, 286

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