December 21

The lovely people rarely come to God; they take their moral tone from the society in which they live. Like the Pharisees in front of the temple, they believe themselves respectable citizens. Elegance is their test of virtues; to them, the moral is aesthetic, and the evil is ugly. Every move they make is dictated not by a love of goodness but by the influence of their age. Their intellects are cultivated–in the knowledge of current events; they read only the bestsellers, but their hearts are undisciplined. They say that they would go to church if the Church were only better–but they never tell you how much better the Church must be before they will join it. They sometimes condemn the gross sins of society, such as murder; they are not tempted to do these because they fear the opprobrium which comes to those who commit them. By avoiding the sins that society condemns, they escape reproach, the consider themselves good par excellence.

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