Friday, June 21, 2024


No Fun for Christians

Augustine, Sermons 198.1 (Patrologia Latina, vol. 38, col. 1024; tr. Edmund Hill):
And now, if the festival of the Gentiles which is taking place today in the joys of the world and the flesh, with the din of silly and disgraceful songs, with disgraceful junketing and dances, with the celebration of this false feast day—if the things the Gentiles are doing today do not meet with your approval, you will be gathered from among the Gentiles.

Et modo si solemnitas Gentium, quae fit hodierno die in laetitia saeculi atque carnali, in strepitu vanissimarum et turpissimarum cantionum, in conviviis et saltationibus turpibus, in celebratione ipsius falsae festivitatis, si ea quae agunt Gentes non vos delectent, congregabimini ex Gentibus.
Id. 198.2 (PL 38.1025):
But if you get mixed up with the Gentiles, it means you don't want to follow the one who has redeemed you; instead you're mixing with the Gentiles in life-style, actions, mind, and heart, by believing such things, hoping for such things, loving such things; you are being ungrateful to your Redeemer, you are not acknowledging the price paid for you, the blood of the Lamb without blemish. So in order to follow your Redeemer, who redeemed you with his blood, don't mix with the Gentiles by the same kind of morals, habits, and actions. They give good luck presents; see to it you give alms. They are entertained by lascivious songs; see to it you are entertained by the words of the scriptures. They run off to the theater, you to church; they get drunk, see to it you fast. Or if you can't fast today, at least dine with sobriety.

Si autem misceris Gentibus, non vis sequi eum qui te redemit: misceris autem Gentibus vita, factis, corde, talia credendo, talia sperando, talia diligendo: ingratus es Redemptori tuo, nec agnoscis pretium tuum, sanguinem Agni immaculati. Ut ergo sequaris Redemptorem tuum, qui te redemit sanguine suo, noli te miscere Gentibus similitudine morum atque factorum. Dant illi strenas, date vos eleemosynas. Avocantur illi cantionibus luxuriarum, avocate vos sermonibus Scripturarum: currunt illi ad theatrum, vos ad ecclesiam: inebriantur illi, vos ieiunate. Si hodie non potestis ieiunare, saltem cum sobrietate prandete.
Id. 198.3 (PL 38.1026):
So their morals give pleasure to their gods. But the man who said I do not wish you to become the associates of demons, wished them to set themselves apart in life and morals from those who served demons. Now those demons take pleasure, don't they, in idle songs, they take pleasure in the trifling spectacle, in the manifold indecencies of the theaters, in the mad frenzy of the chariot races, in the cruelties of the amphitheater, in the unrelenting rivalries of those who take up quarrels and disputes, to the point of open hostilities, on behalf of pestilential persons, on behalf of a comedian, an actor, a clown, a charioteer, a hunter. When they do these things, it's as if they were offering incense to demons from their hearts. These spirits, given to seduction you see, rejoice in the people they have seduced, and feed on the bad morals and shameful and shocking life-style of those they have seduced and deceived.

Ergo Deos ipsorum delectant mores eorum. Ille autem qui dixit: Nolo vos fieri socios daemoniorum, voluit ut ab illis qui daemonibus servirent, vita et moribus separarentur. Etenim illa daemonia delectantur canticis vanitatis, delectantur nugatorio spectaculo, et turpitudinibus variis theatrorum, insania circi, crudelitate amphitheatri, certaminibus animosis eorum qui pro pestilentibus hominibus lites et contentiones usque ad inimicitias suscipiunt, pro mimo, pro histrione pro pantomimo, pro auriga, pro venatore. Ista facientes, quasi thura ponunt daemoniis de cordibus suis. Spiritus enim seductores gaudent seductis; et eorum quos seduxerint atque deceperint, malis moribus et vita turpi infamique pascuntur.

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