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Do Not Delay Conversion

Taken from Medulla S. Thomae Aquinatis which arranges various short texts from St. Thomas Aquinas' corpus based on the liturgical year. I will be posting the day's meditation each day and will be bringing it into print once I'm through it.

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February 13th

Do Not Delay Conversion

Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. (Matthew 5:25)

I. Our adversary is God. I abhor the wicked. (Exod. 23:7) Or the Word of God, which opposes those who will to sin, All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice. (2 Tim. 3:16) Or a remorseful conscience, I will reprove thee, and set before thy face. (Ps. 49:21) And so, it is explained in all these ways.

Therefore be at agreement with thy adversary, that is, God and His Word in which it is necessary to hope in the promises, to fear the punishments, to do the commandments, and avoid that which is not permitted. Whilst thou art in the way with him, that is, in a state of meriting. I must work the works of him that sent me, whilst it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 6:4) With him, that is, when you are rightly walking in the way, that is, Christ, or the world. Quickly, that is, without delay. Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day. (Ecc. 5:8)

II. Lest perhaps the adversary deliver you to the judge, lest perhaps there be an occasion for handing you over. And he says perhaps, that the opportunity for repentance will not be taken from you. Lest your adversary delivers you, that is, the Word of God, or God, or a remorseful conscience, to the judge, that is, into the hand of Christ. And the judge, that is, Christ, deliver thee to the officer, that is, the Angel who gathers the tares to burn.

And thou be cast into prison, that is, into the abyss of hell. They shall be shut up there in prison. (Isa. 24:22) And he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up. (Apoc. 20:3) Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing, that is, never. Hence Augustine, until, does not signify an end to the punishment, as if to say: you will always be paying, and will never finish paying.

Till thou repay the last farthing, that is, the worst sin, since nothing will remain unpunished.

(From Petrus de Scala’s Lectura super Matthaeum)

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