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Impossible to be without externals

Mon­day. [Gal. 4:28-5:10; Mark 6:54-7:8] The Lord re­bukes the Phar­i­sees not for their ex­ter­nal rou­tines and rules of con­duct, but for par­tial­i­ty to­ward them — for lim­it­ing them­selves to ex­ter­nal wor­ship of God, with no con­cern for what was in the heart. It is im­pos­si­ble to be with­out externals. The high­est in­ter­nal things re­quire the ex­ter­nal as their ex­pres­sion and gar­ment. In re­al­i­ty, in­ter­nal things are nev­er alone, but are al­ways u­nit­ed with the out­er; on­ly in false the­o­ries are they sep­a­rated. But again it is ob­vi­ous that externals alone are noth­ing; their worth comes from the pres­ence of the in­ter­nal things contained in them. Thus, once the in­ter­nal ceases to be, the ex­ter­nal might as well not be there. Mean­while, we have a weak­ness for out­ward ap­pear­ances in which the in­ter­nal is de­pict­ed and takes def­i­nite form, to such an ex­tent that we are sat­is­fied with ful­fill­ing them alone, with­out even think­ing that there might be in­ter­nal things. And since the in­ter­nal is harder to at­tain than the ex­ter­nal, it is quite nat­u­ral to get stuck on the lat­ter, not striv­ing for the for­mer. What can we do? We must gov­ern our­selves and keep the in­ter­nal things in mind, al­ways push­ing our­selves to­ward them through the externals, on­ly con­sid­er­ing a work to be re­al when the in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal are u­nit­ed in it. There is no oth­er way. At­ten­tive­ness to­ward one­self, so­ber­ness, and vig­i­lance are the on­ly le­vers for rais­ing up our na­ture which is fat and has a pen­chant for low­ly things. No­tice that those who pos­sess the in­ter­nal nev­er aban­don the ex­ter­nal, though they con­sid­er it to be of no par­tic­u­lar val­ue.

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