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101. Ceremonial Precepts of the Old Law

1. The ceremonial precepts of the Old Law were divinelydetermined ways of giving God proper external worship. Now, theduty of worshiping God, outwardly as well as interiorly, rests onman as a moral obligation. Hence, the ceremonial precepts weredeterminate applications of the moral law.

2. The fullness of revelation had not been made when theOld Law was promulgated. Hence, it was fitting that the ceremoniesprescribed in the Old Law should look forward to that fullness:they should have a figurative and prophetic meaning; they shouldprophetically refer to Christ and His Church and the way to heavenopened by the Christian dispensation. And so indeed they do.

3. The Old Law had many ceremonial precepts to instructand guide the people, and to counteract their tendency toidolatry.

4. The ceremonies of the Old Law may be classified underfour heads: sacrifices; sacred things (tabernacles, vessels,instruments of worship); purifying preparations for divine worship(sometimes called consecrations or sacraments); and observanceswith reference to special food, vestments, actions, etc.

"Whoever wants to stand alone without the support of a master and guide will be like the tree that stands alone in a field without a proprietor. No matter how much the tree bears, passers-by will pick the fruit before it ripens. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"A tree that is cultivated and guarded through the care of its owner produces its fruit at the expected time. "
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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