Parable of the Pearls before the Swine

Parable given in Matthew 7, and a doctrine of the sacraments as a warning to the pastors. The second half of a poem

Give not that which is holy to the dogs,
Neither cast your pearls before swine;
Lest perhaps they trample them under their feet,
And turning upon you they tear you.

Following the “law of fraternal correction” it seems to limit this where no hope of success or even danger from it might accrue. Literally the “holy” is sacrificial meat, and pearls resemble acorns, the food of swine. Spiritually dogs and swine are obstinate sinners. The disappointed swine might turn in rage upon the apparent deceiver. Imprudent correction not only misses its end but is dangerous. Others see in the parable an admonition to the Apostles to withhold the sacred truths from the unworthy, who would likely mock and ridicule the sacred mysteries. If the narrower sense be admitted as literal, the wider may be used as applied. The Early Church leaned on this parable in her “discipline of secrecy.” And the denial of the sacraments to obstinate sinners is justified by this parable.