Wednesday, February 24, 2016

More St. Augustine: Thoughts for Lent

St. Augustine and the Fire of Wisdom
Here's a quote from St. Augustine's Confessions that's particularly apt for this season of Lent:
"I struggle each day against concupiscence in eating and drinking.  It is not something I can resolve to cut off and touch no more, as I would with concubinage.  The bridle put on the throat must be held with moderate looseness and moderate firmness. Is there anyone, Lord, who is not carried a little beyond personal need?" St. Augustine,  as quoted in Augustine Day by Day for 24th Feb..
Lord, give me strength to be both moderate and firm.

Added 26th February:
"Your fast would be rejected if you were immoderately severe toward your servant.  Will it be approved if you fail to recognize your brother or sister?I am not asking what food you abstain from, but what you love.   Do you love Justice?   Well, let your love be seen!  ibid, for 26th Feb.. 
Added 28th February:

All these endeavors for fasting are concerned not about the rejection of certain foods as unclean, but about the subjugation of inordinate desire and the maintenance of neighborly love.Charity especially is guarded:  food is subservient to charity, speech to charity, and facial expressions to charity.   Everything works together for Charity alone."  ibid, for 27th February.
The last sentence in the last quote is difficult to understand.   I think it means that our Lenten vows as to what we speak and how we look at others are altogether subservient to what we do in love (charity) for our neighbors.

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