Today is Thursday of Reformed Quotes; and the words I will share with you here are from the Sermo CXCVIII by Augustine of Hippo. I have been reading this season Augustine's Sermons to the People; Advent, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany.
"Now here’s my point. If you don’t believe, hope, love the way the Gentile Pagans do, then you’re no longer one of them. Yes, you do rub shoulders with them every day, but do remember that in mind and spirit you and they live in two very different worlds.
How would I describe these two extremes? Well, the Gentile Pagans believe in many false gods, also known as demons or Daemons or Daimons, while you, the Gentile Christians, believe in the One True God. They hope against hope for the half-lives of this world, while you hope for the eternal life with Christ. They love the artifacts of this world while you love the Artificer of the world as a whole"
"Just put Faith, Hope, and Charity into practice in your daily life, and you’ll see the distance between them and you’ll increase with every passing day..."
First, the more time you spend with the Gentile Pagans, the less time you'll have to spend with Him, your Lord and Redeemer.
Second, if you live and love, believe and hope the way the Gentiles do, then you're an ingrate, ungrateful to your Redeemer, regarding as worthless the horrific price He paid for you; that's to say, masquerading as the Perfect Lamb, the Perfect Sacrifice.
Two possible courses of action.
Continue to do what the Gentiles do. Or...
Rearrange your schedule to spend more time following your Redeemer, His blood still damp upon your soul. That's to say, don't continue to commingle with the Gentile Pagans when it comes to do's and don't's of the moral life.
They may binge, but you should fast. And today, if you can’t fast, then at least dine in moderation. If you do all these, or indeed any one of these, then you have chanted well those happy words, “Save us, O Lord God of Ours; save us from the fate of the Gentile Pagan Disbelievers.”