Friday, October 1, 2004

Augustine Day by Day - September 30 & October 1

September 30 - Lead Us Not Into Temptation

"Some persons [viz., Pelagians] think we receive no divine aid to avoid sins, since free choice of the will has been granted to our nature. Hence, according to them, it is not necessary to pray that we may not enter into temptation. Their opinion is a harmful error, contrary and prejudicial to our salvation, which is in Christ."

-- On Merit and Forgiveness 2

This should signal at least one crucial difference between Catholics (and Orthodox) and the Pelagians they are so often, and so recklessly, grouped with by Protestants. Catholics, like all faithful Christians, can and must rely only on God's grace, both to forgive their sins and animate their virtue. We ask Him for what He has already given: His bgrace in Christ. To say Catholics are Pelagians is about as credible as saying Augsutine was a Manichean.

Prayer. My faith, O Lord, which you gave me through the humanity of your Son, calls upon you.

-- Confessions 1, 1

October 1 - Possess Us

"The Church is the Body of Christ and his temple and house and state. So he who is the Head of the Body dwells in this house, sanctifies this temple, and is King of this state. As the Church is all these, so too is Christ.

"What then have we promised to God, except that we be God's temple? We can offer him nothing that is more pleasing than to say to him: 'Possess us!'"

-- Commentary on Psalm 131, 3

Prayer. I want to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. In it lies something wonderful to see, the delight of the Lord himself, awaiting our contemplation.

-- Commentary on Psalm 26 (2), 8

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