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102. Reasons for the Ceremonial Precepts of the Old Law

1. Since the ceremonial precepts were instituted by divinewisdom, they were most reasonable means to a necessary end.

2. Worship conducted according to the ceremonial preceptswas partly direct worship of God and partly a prefiguring of Christand his Church.

3. Sacrifice is the highest act of religion. It directsmen's minds to God, to recognize him as creator and lord ofall. It withdraws men from the worship of false gods. According toits importance, sacrificein the Old Law was the most vivid ofall ceremonial proceedings in prefiguring the New Law; it forecastin a striking way the coming of the perfect sacrifice, that of thecross.

4. The very instruments and vestments used in theceremonial service of the Old Law were treated with ceremoniousreverence. Thus were men's minds impressed with the truth thatthe formal worship of God is no routine action of ordinarylife.

5. The sacred things and the purifying preparations (suchas washings, sprinkling with ashes, prescribed anointings, and soforth) were significant both as contributing to the formal worshipof God and to the foreshadowing of Christ.

6. And the observances (clean and unclean foods, specialgarments, planting of divers seeds, etc.) helped to keep the mindsof an easily distracted people employed with truly religiousthoughts, making them aware in all things of their duty to God. Theobservances also prefigured the perfect food of the Eucharist, theperfect garment of grace, and the fruitful works of Christianpenance.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."
The Cure D'Ars

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"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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