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Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 8:13 (The Earthly and the Heavenly Life)

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 18, 2012

The following notes can be used for homily ideas, points of meditation, or for further study. Romans 8:12-17 is the Lesson Reading for the 8th Sunday After Pentecost in the Extraordinary Form of the Rite.

THE EARTHLY AND THE HEAVENLY LIFE
EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY
“For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live”
Rom 8:13

THE Apostle does three things in these words:

Firstly, he commands us that we should mortify the pleasure of the flesh, “through the Spirit do ye mortify the deeds of the body.”

It is to be noted, that in a threefold manner we ought to mortify the flesh.

(1) By destroying its carnal desires and sin, Col 3:5-10, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry, for which things sake the wrath of God corneth on the children of disobedience; in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.”

(2) By macerating it by fasting and afflictions to the likeness of the passion of Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 4:10, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

(3) In afflicting it by spiritual meditations, “Much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).  “Watching
for riches consumeth the flesh” (Sirach 31:1). That is carnal pleasures; the thought of it takes away sleep, i.e., the weariness of sluggishness. In the same chapter: “The thinking
beforehand taketh away the understanding” (Sirach 31:2),  i.e., he who sees beforehand the rewards of gifts turns away sense i.e., from all evil concupiscence; and heavy infirmity i.e., of the body makes the mind free from sin.

Secondly, he places the necessity of mortifying it, “if ye live after the flesh ye shall die.”

It is to be noted that it is necessary we should mortify the flesh, since if we live after the flesh we shall die; for it follows that there is a threefold death from the pleasure of the flesh

(1) the death of sin;

(2) the death of nature, “By surfeiting many have perished” (Sirach 37:34);

(3) the death of Gehena, “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption” (Gal 6:8;  “The death of the wicked is very evil” (Ps 34:22, Vulgate).

Thirdly, he places the profit of the mortification, “ye shall live.”

It is to be noted that a threefold life is acquired by the mortification of the flesh:

(1) prolongation of natural life,  “He that is temperate
shall prolong life”(Sirach 32:31).

(2) the life of grace, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace”(Rom 8:6).

(3) the prolongation of the life of glory, “Always bearing
about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the
life of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Cor 4:11).

 

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One Response to “Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 8:13 (The Earthly and the Heavenly Life)”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 8:13. By St Thomas Aquinas. […]

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