God hates virtues and sacrifices not motivated by Love of God

January 21, 2022 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 464
By Venerable Louis of Granada

In still stronger language the prophet again denounces exterior practices that are not actuated by interior virtue: “He that sacrificeth an ox, is as if he slew a man; he that killeth a sheep in sacrifice, as if he should brain a dog; he that offereth an oblation, as if he should offer swines’ blood; he that remembereth incense, as if he should bless an idol.” [Isaias i. 16, 17, 18.]

Why, O Lord! these terrible words? Why didst Thou repute as abominable those sacrifices which Thou hadst formerly commanded? “All these things,” I hear Thee say, “have they chosen in their ways, and their soul is delighted in their abominations.” [Ib.]

Behold the nothingness of exterior practices which are not animated by an interior spirit of virtue, but which are done solely according to the ways of men.

“Take away from Me the tumult of thy songs,” God says by the prophet Amos, “and I will not hear the canticles of thy harp.” [Amos v. 23.]

Even more strongly does He reject these works, speaking through Malachias: “I will scatter upon your face the dung of your solemnities.” [Mal. ii. 3.]

Do not these suffice to show us how little value exterior virtues have when not animated by the love and fear of God, and by hatred of sin, which are the foundations of true justice?

Still another reason which causes God to repel these external observances, comparing sacrifice to murder, incense to idolatry, chanting to discordant noise, solemn feasts to dung, is not only the want of merit in these practices when devoid of an interior spirit, but the fact that they frequently inflate us with pride, excite in us contempt for others, and inspire us with a false security, a fatal confidence, which effectually hinders all amendment for one who is satisfied with his condition and does not desire a change.

The prayer, or rather boasting, of the Pharisee, is a proof of this: “O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess.” [St. Luke xviii. 11, 12.]

Does not this so-called prayer illustrate the three dangers against which we warned you? His pride and presumption exclaim: “I am not as the rest of men”; his contempt of others says: “I am not as this publican”; and his false security shows itself in the thanks which he gives to God for the life he leads, and in which he believes himself safe from all evil.

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