“And he took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes” ( Job 2:8).
This is why our Redeemer came—to scrape the scabs off our wounds, so to speak, when he said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
The scab is scraped off when sin is separated not only from the deed, but from the thought as well. This is why Jerubbaal saw the angel when he was winnowing corn from the chaff. On the angel’s orders, he immediately dressed a kid and set it on a rock, and poured over it the broth of the meat. Then the angel touched it with a rock, and fire came out of the rock and burned it up ( Judg. 6:11-21).
What is beating corn with a rod but separating the grains of virtue from the chaff of vices with a righteous judgment? The angel appears to those who do that—meaning that, the more earnestly you get rid of external things, the more likely the Lord is to communicate inner truths. –St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 3.59
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Even if I’m separated from most obvious sins, how completely do I separate myself from sinful thoughts? Am I winnowing hard enough to see the angel?
Guardian Angel, I know that you are with me even when I cannot see you. Give me your aid in resisting temptation, and stand by me as I winnow the chaff from my life.
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