Scouring off the rust
Sometimes reading familiar texts in another language, especially the original language, helps one notice things neglected before. In the Breviary’s morning reading for the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, St. Leo the Great says that Lent is principally for preparing new people to be born in baptism at Easter, but serves also for others as “the daily renewal we need against the rust we mortals gather” (contra rubiginem mortalitatis). Lancelot Andrews translated it: “for scouring off the rust which our mortality gathers by the sins and errors of the whole year.” A kind of spring-cleaning, I guess.
Less loftily, Leo’s phrase gives me a new way of referring to the age-spots I see as I type this: “the rust of mortality” indeed.