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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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St. Augustine

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 14-17
Psalm 96:10-13
Matthew 23:23-26

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an inside job

"You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, and leave the inside filled with loot and lust!" —Matthew 23:25

The religious leaders of Jesus' time were more interested in exterior than interior cleanness. Likewise, today we are more interested in baths, showers, dry cleaners, dishwashers, washing machines, mouthwashes, shampoos, toothpastes, dental floss, disinfectants, clean air, clean water, street cleaners, etc. than we are interested in the interior cleaning from our sins by means of repentance, Confession, prayer, and penance.

We have things backwards, for interior cleanness is much more important than exterior cleanness. Without interior cleanness, we will lose perspective on reality (see Mt 23:23-24), gradually go spiritually blind (see 2 Cor 4:4), be enslaved (Jn 8:34), and become spiritually paralyzed (see Mk 2:3, 5). Unless we let the Lord cleanse us interiorly, we will apostatize (see 2 Thes 2:3), deprive ourselves of the saving value of Jesus' death (1 Cor 1:17), "surely die" in our sins (Jn 8:21, 24), and go to hell forever.

God has provided for us "a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness" (Zec 13:1). Go to Confession as soon as possible and pray: "A clean heart create for me, O God" (Ps 51:12). "Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me" (Ps 51:4).

Prayer:  Father, make me pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

Promise:  "Therefore, brothers, stand firm. Hold fast to the traditions you received from us, either by our word or by letter." —2 Thes 2:15

Praise:  St. Augustine discovered the worthlessness of the earthly and the true worth of the heavenly. He wrote: "See what I was in myself and by myself. I had destroyed myself, but He Who made me remade me."

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our booklet, The Bible on Sex, or our tapes on Sexual Purity, on audio RA 323 and RA 392.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 30, 2012

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