Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daily Dose of Discernment: 2/24/08

It is constantly assumed, especially in our Tolstoian tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like. But that is brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb. That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb. The real problem is -- Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity? That is the problem the Church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved.
-- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
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For us who have been called to live a life of holiness through faith the true lamb has been sacrificed, the lamb that takes away the sin of the world. To this sacrifice we must add a food that is spiritual, wholly good, and truly sacred, a food typified in the law by the unleavened bread, which we now understand in a spiritual way.

In the divinely inspired scriptures yeast always signifies wickedness and sin. Our Lord Jesus Christ, warning his holy disciples to be on their guard, said: Beware of the yeast of the scribes and Pharisees. And Paul in his great wisdom wrote that those who have once been sacrificed should put far from them the yeast of impurity that corrupts mind and heart. Purify yourselves of the old yeast, he urged, and become a fresh batch of bread, since you really are unleavened.

This urgent plea prompted by concern for our well-being shows that spiritual communion with Christ the Savior of us all is not only a benefit to us but also a real need. It also shows how important it is for us to keep our minds pure by refraining from sin and washing away every stain. In a word, we must avoid everything that defiled us in the past, for it is then, when no fault of ours bars the way and we are wholly free from reproach, that we shall open the way to this communion with Christ.
-- Cyril of Alexandria, Paschal Homilies 19, 2: PG 77, 824-825

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