Friday, January 25, 2008

Worthless sanctification

"How often when I was installed in the desert . . . I would imagine myself taking part in the gay life of Rome! . . . Although my only companions were scorpions and wild beasts, time and again I was mingling with the dances of girls. My face was pallid with fasting and my body chill, but my mind was throbbing with desires; my flesh was as good as dead, but the flames of lust raged in it."

Jerome, recalling his life of desert asceticism, quoted in J. N. D. Kelly, Jerome: His Life, Writings and Controversies, page 52.

"These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh." Colossians 2:23