Epistle of Fourteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Galatians 5:16-24

Brethren: Walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh: for the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another, so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the spirit is: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences.


Verse 17. So that you do not the things that you would. He does not say, so that you cannot do, as others falsely translate; as if men were under an absolute necessity of sinning, or doing ill; which is also contradictory to the foregoing words, walk by the spirit, and you will not accomplish the works of the flesh. Wi. — Here some suppose, says S. Austin, that the apostle denieth that we have free liberty of will: not understanding that this is said to them, if they will not hold fast the grace of faith conceived, by which only they can walk in the spirit, and not accomplish the lusts of the flesh. S. Austin, in c. v. Gal.

Verse 19-21. Uncleanness, immodesty, luxury. In the Greek there are but two vices named; luxury is not mentioned; and, perhaps, the Latin interpreter put two words to explain one Greek word. Wi. — S. Austin here sheweth that there are other damnable sins besides infidelity.

Verse 22. The fruit of the Spirit is charity, &c. There are numbered twelve of these fruits in the Latin, though but nine in the Greek text, in S. Chrys. S. Jerom, S. Aug. tract. lxxxvii. in Joan. p. 756. The difference may again happen by the Latin interpreter using two words to express one Greek word. It is observed, that longanimity and patience are in a manner the same; so are benignity and goodness; and so may be here continency and chastity. Wi.


1972: Americanism

Pope Leo XIII
From the Letter, "Testem benevolentiae," 
to Cardinal Gibbons, January 22, 1899

With this opinion about the natural virtues another is closely connected, according to which all Christian virtues are divided into two kinds, as it were, passive as they say, and active; and they add that the former were better suited for times past, that the latter are more in keeping with the present.… Moreover, he who would wish that the Christian virtues be accommodated some to one time and some to another, has not retained the words of the Apostle: “Whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be made conformable to the image of His Son” [Rom. 8: 29]. The master and exemplar of all sanctity is Christ, to whose rule all, as many as wish to be admitted to the seats of the blessed, must conform. Surely, Christ by no means changes as the ages go on, but is “yesterday, and today; and the same forever” [Heb. 13:8]. Therefore, to the men of all ages does the following apply: “Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart” [Matt. 11:23]; and at all times Christ shows himself to us “becoming obedient unto death” [Phil. 2:8]; and in every age the judgment of the Apostle holds: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified their flesh with the vices and concupiscences” [Gal. 5:24].

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