Saint Irenaeus Thursday 28 June 2007
In this introduction, Fr. Thomas refines his focus at Community Mass.
One of the written works of St. Irenaeus, whose feast we keep today, was called "The Presentation of the Apostolic Teaching".It is a handbook of Christian teaching for the faithful in the 2nd cent. St. Irenaeus says there: the teaching of the successors of the Apostles, ie, the bishops, is a safe norm of truth, but since their teaching is sometimes difficult to find out, it is sufficient to quote the teaching of the Ch. of Rome. Irenaeus says that every Church should agree with this Church - because of its pre-eminent authority .And that is our faith today. Irenaeus died for his faith in the year 200.
Note: Irenaeus was taught by St. Polycarp, who was himself a disciple of St. John the Apostle.
Solemnity of Peter & Paul
If the feast the Holy Day of Peter and Paul may be celebrated because it is the end of the school term, and the day is often also the occasion of Ordinations to the Priesthood in Cathedrals, in the monastery it is felt by monks to have a real sense of a joyful mid summer season. At the community Mass this morning, Fr. Mark, Prior, had us smiling at his description of St. Paul. It did not need an illustration to have a graphic image of Paul.
". . . Paul too had a difficult and complex personality. He seems at first sight to have been quite an unattractive character.
An early Christian document called 'The Acts of Paul' describes him as 'small of stature, balding, with bow legs, eyebrows meeting and nose slightly hooked.' We know from his autobiographical remarks throughout his second letter to the Corinthians that he was hypersensitive to criticism of any kind. But in his letter to the Romans we are given an insight into a deeper level of his mental anguish. 'This seems to be the rule,' he writes, ' that every single time I want to do good it is something evil that comes to hand. In my inmost self I dearly love God's law but I can see that my body follows a different law that battles against the law which my reason dictates.' (7: 21-23)".
This excerpt from Fr. Mark brought out a smile to faces and a lift to our thoughts.
"Like Peter and Paul we, too, encounter the risen Jesus. In this Eucharist, for example, we meet Christ, risen in the power of the Spirit. We enjoy the opportunity to have our lives transformed, consecrated and made holy."