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103. Duration of the Ceremonial Precepts

1. When the Old Law was given to men, it made obligatorysome ceremonies that were already practiced by good men ofprophetic gifts. Other ceremonies were newly set up by the Law.

2. The cleansing ceremonies of the Old Law were to removeirregularities of a material nature which unfitted a man forceremonial worship. But they could not take away sin from the soul.They expressed faith in the Redeemer to come, and signified thepurifying of the soul to be achieved through the merits of Christ.But they could not confer grace.

3. The ceremonial law ceased with the coming of Christ.For, as we have seen, the ceremonies prescribed by the Old Law werealso prophecies. And when a prophecy has been fulfilled, it ceasesto exist; it has reached its term; it no longer has meaning. Evensuch Old Law ceremonies as prefigured heaven gave way to the moreperfect prophecies and prefigurings of the New Law.

4. It would be seriously sinful to observe the ceremoniesof the Old Law as though they still had significance and bindingforce. This would be a practical denial that the propheciesexpressed in the ceremonies had been fulfilled. It would be apractical denial of Christ, and of the necessity and sufficiency ofthe Christian order.

"He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed, should give but few orders."
St Philip Neri

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"For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live without grace and the love of God?"
Thomas á Kempis

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"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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