Showing posts with label Patristic Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patristic Reading. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

St. Jerome Priest and Doctor of the Church Sept. 30

St. Jerome (or Jerome) Priest and Doctor of the Church
    Sept. 30
Stridone (border between Dalmatia and Pannonia), ca. 347 - Bethlehem, 420
He studied and encyclopedic but led to asceticism, he retired to the desert at Antioch, living in penance.Became a priest on condition of preserving its independence as monaco, began an intense literary activity.In Rome he worked with Pope Damasus, and, at his death, he returned to Jerusalem where he participated in numerous disputes through faith, founding not far from the Church of the Nativity, the monastery where he died. Of fiery character, especially in his writings, he was a mystic and provoked controversy or consensus, castigating vices and hypocrisies. Indefatigable writer, great scholar and excellent translator, he was responsible for the Latin Vulgate Bible, to which he added the comments, still as important as those on the books of the Prophets.
Patronage: archaeologists, librarians, scholars
Etymology: Jerome = name of the sacred, from the greek
Emblem: Hat Cardinal Leone
Martyrology: Memory of St. Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church, was born in Dalmatia, in today's Croatia, a man of great literary culture, he made ​​all his studies in Rome and was baptized here; then abducted by the charm of a life of contemplation, he embraced the ascetic life and, when he went to the East, he was ordained priest. Back in Rome, he became secretary of Pope Damasus, and then settled at Bethlehem in Judah, he retired to monastic life. He was an outstanding doctor in translating and explaining the Scriptures and was a participant in a wonderful way the different needs of the Church. Finally arrived at an advanced age, he rested in peace. 
Then you will generously be granted entrance
into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

From the prologue of the commentary on Isaiah by Saint Jerome, priest
(Nn. 1. 2: CCL 73, 1-3)

Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ

I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: Search the Scriptures, and Seek and you shall find. Christ will not say to me what he said to the Jews: You erred, not knowing the Scriptures and not knowing the power of God. For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.

Therefore, I will imitate the head of a household who brings out of his storehouse things both new and old, and says to his spouse in the Song of Songs: I have kept for you things new and old, my beloved. In this way permit me to explain Isaiah, showing that he was not only a prophet, but an evangelist and an apostle as well. For he says about himself and the other evangelists: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news, of those who announce peace. And God speaks to him as if he were an apostle: Whom shall I send, who will go to my people? And he answers: Here I am; send me.

No one should think that I mean to explain the entire subject matter of this great book of Scripture in one brief sermon, since it contains all the mysteries of the Lord. It prophesies that Emmanuel is to be born of a virgin and accomplish marvelous works and signs. It predicts his death, burial and resurrection from the dead as the Savior of all men. I need say nothing about the natural sciences, ethics and logic. Whatever is proper to holy Scripture, whatever can be expressed in human language and understood by the human mind, is contained in the book of Isaiah. Of these mysteries the author himself testifies when he writes: You will be given a vision of all things, like words in a sealed scroll. When they give the writings to a wise man, they will say: Read this. And he will reply: I cannot, for it is sealed. And when the scroll is given to an uneducated man and he is told: Read this, he will reply: I do not know how to read.

Should this argument appear weak to anyone, let him listen to the Apostle: Let two or three prophets speak, and let others interpret; if, however, a revelation should come to one of those who are seated there, let the first one be quiet. How can they be silent, since it depends on the Spirit who speaks through his prophets whether they remain silent or speak? If they understood what they were saying, all things would be full of wisdom and knowledge. But it was not the air vibrating with the human voice that reached their ears, but rather it was God speaking within the soul of the prophets, just as another prophet says: It is an angel who spoke in me; and again, Crying out in our hearts, Abba, Father, and I shall listen to what the Lord God says within me.

See 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Proverbs 28:7

All Scripture is inspired by God and is valuable
for teaching and for showing the way to holiness,
 so that the man of God might be fully qualified and equipped for every good work.

The wise son is one who keeps God’s law.
 So that the man of God might be fully qualified and equipped for every good work.


Let us pray.

you gave Saint Jerome delight
in his study of holy scripture.
May your people find in your word
the food of salvation and the fountain of life.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Br Kentigern Thomas Heenan, 28 September 2015 Patristic Reading of St. Fulgentius

   90th Birthday Wishes to Brother Kentigern   

Sent: Monday, 28 September 2015, 1:20
 Happy 90th Birthday Brother Kentigern

Church Fathers

Church Fathers

Before Mass; the thought of ‘The Holy Sacrifice Mass’ of priests for souls, Redemption.
Mt 7:21. Not everyone who says to me, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father in heaven.
Saint Fulgentius reminds us in the words. 
"What can I offer the Lord that is worthy?...
Therefore those who want to offer God a worthy gift should begin by offering themselves". 

Patristic Lectionary.   
COMMENT: Check the Lectionary: 

Sent: Monday 28, September 2015, 
Subject: St Fulgentius echoing Augustine   iPad random after Night Office
And opens the horizons of 'enlargingtheheart' with Sermons of Fulgentius of Ruspe.   

Second Reading special in Lectionary...
 the variations of the translation, can be moving in prayer....throughout highlighted "children of God".
First Reading
Responsorq       Sir 35:1-2Ps 4:6
To keep thlaw iworth many offerings; to heed thcommand­mentia peace-offeringTreturkindness is a grain-offering,
to give alms a thank-offering.
VMakjustice your sacrificand trust in thLord. Treturn ...

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe

Let us reflect together upon the passage from Saint Micah which we have listened to together, and as we reflect on it in words, my friends, may we fulfil it in deeds. For we have listened to the words of a holy man, a righteous man, a devout man, a man concerned for his own salvation, a man who knew he had been created by God and considered himself subject to, a man who awaited the divine Judgment in great fear and trembling, knowing that then, before the tribunal of the just Judge, he would have to give an account not only of his words and deeds but even of his thoughts. And so, pondering on the future judgment of God - which each one of us should also fear and whatever we are doing remember with hearts full of dread - pondering on this, that holy and just man asked what he should do, or rather with what gifts he should implore the divine Judge.

But he knew that almighty God, who created the universe, who made everything from nothing, who made nothing be­cause he felt the pinch of poverty but all from a wealth of goodness, asks not only for our gifts but for our deeds. Or rather he knew that the gifts most pleasing to God and acceptable to him were a holy life and good works. So when he asked what gift one should offer God, he said: What can I offer the Lord that is worthy? But what can be worthy to offer God but the most excellent creature he has made? And assuredly, of all the creatures God has made upon earth none better can be found than the one he created in his own image; and that earthly creature is a human being.
Therefore those who want to offer God a worthy gift should begin by offering themselves. For since God made us in his own image he is delighted to be offered that image, and commands us to present it to him pure and innocent. Hence our Saviour’s answer to some who were trying to trap him: Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. In other words, just as you give Caesar his image on a coin, so give God his image in yourself. And when you give your Creator his own image it must be righteous, not evil; humble, not proud; not debased by greed, deformed by rapacity, reduced by vicious anger, worn away be earthly affections, soiled by envy, defiled by debauchery; but kept undiminished by prudent care, pure by true faith, and shining by good habits and deeds. The holy prophet tells us how to give God his own image in ourselves when he says: I will show you what is good and what the Lord requires of you. It is to act justly and righteously, to love mercy, and to walk mindfully with your God.   

Sent from my iPad..
Second Reading  From a sermon by Fulgentius of Ruspe.   

When our Lord gave the commandment of love for one's enemies, .......
Fulgentius of RuspeSain(468-533) Fulgentiuleft thRoman civil service for thmonastic life at the age of twenty-one. In 50hbecame bishop oRuspe in North Africa. A faithful disciple of Saint Augustine, he was the best theologian of his time, and possessed a fluent knowledge of
GreekMany of his writings were directeagainst the Arians, from whom he suffered constant persecution.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Midweek Blog - Shepherd of Hermas

Church History/ Historical Theology

Midweek Blog: Anger Choking the Holy Spirit in the Shepherd of Hermas

Well, faithful readers, we have reached the end of our series on the Apostolic Fathers. Today’s installment will be the last before we switch gears. I want to begin a new series on Augustine next week, which I am excited about. Be on the lookout for those blogs in the future. Today’s post returns us to the Shepherd of Hermas, a second-century text which we have looked at previously. I wanted to highlight a small passage on anger from Hermas.
The picture above is of the character “anger” from the recent movie, “Inside Out.” Obviously it’s a bit of a humorous take on a very real and very powerful emotion. The picture of anger in Hermas is unfortunately much darker. The passage we are examining today comes from the “Commandments” section of Hermas, which, as the text relates, were given by the Shepherd to Hermas in order that they might be written down for later generations. The passage is from chapter 33:
“3 But if an angry temper approaches, immediately the holy spirit, which is very sensitive, is distressed because it does not have a clean place, and it seeks to leave the place. For it is choked by the evil spirit and does not have the room to serve the Lord the way it wants to, because it is polluted by the angry temper. For the Lord lives in patience, but the devil lives in an angry temper. 4 So if both spirits live together, it is unfortunate and evil for that person in whom they live.” (Hermas 33.3-4)
I find a few things intriguing about this passage. The first being that the holy spirit is “sensitive.” Now, it’s possible that Hermas is just talking about a “holy spirit” and not the third person of the Trinity. For example, above in verse 2, the text says, “If you are patient, the holy spirit that lives in you will be pure, uncontaminated by some other, evil spirit; living in a spacious room.” Side-stepping a possible question about the Holy Spirit being contaminated, I would argue that since the text is likely from the second century, it is unlikely that the author had a strong Trinitarian understanding of God. Therefore, the big theological question that one might want to ask, can’t be asked of such a text. Suffice it to say, Hermas understood there to be a holy spirit dwelling in believers that was indeed “sensitive” to other, evil spirits.
Additionally, the spirit can be “choked” by the evil spirit which comes from anger. I don’t know if this scares you as much as it does me, but the very idea that 1) our anger arises from an evil spirit and 2) that said evil spirit limits or obstructs a spirit from God shows just how powerful anger is. For those who have been angry before (likely most of you, I think) you know how anger can take over in a flash, compromising our ability to see things clearly and intelligently. That fits in with Hermas’ depiction of anger here.
Another element from the above passage is that the “Lord lives in patience” and the “devil lives in an angry temper.” Again, the attribution of anger to a demonic source is unsettling to say the least. However, it might be equally unnerving to note that in verse 6, Hermas notes that “if an angry temper is mixed with patience, the patience is polluted, and its intercession is no longer useful to God.” If we connect the dots here, it would seem that the author cautions against anger because the the devil can use it to pollute the patience in which the Lord lives (v. 3). Is the devil that powerful? Is anger? What about when Jesus is angry and “cleanses the temple?” Is that the devil’s work? Just some fun questions to leave hanging. (I honestly don’t know what Hermas would say with regard to Jesus using anger in cleansing the temple, but it would be a fun exercise).
To begin to wrap up our discussion today, I wanted to address the conclusions drawn above, namely that anger is the key to the devil unraveling God’s plan within our lives. Now, as with the rest of the Apostolic Fathers, Hermas should not be weighed the same as biblical books, despite the fact that some of the books in the collection were included in early codices, including Hermas). Hermas obviously is cautioning against allowing one’s anger to flourish within his or her own life. The purpose in doing so could be reflective of a culture which generally saw emotional outbursts and other displays of emotion as a weakness, particularly among men. See Peter Brown’s The Body and Society in my “Recommended Books” page.
However, I think the point that Hermas makes regarding anger is appropriate: that it is a dangerous emotion that has side effects which we mostly do not want in our lives. We should take heed that anger, especially going unchecked, can begin to breed other habits or general sourness of disposition. Hermas in the next chapter describes the chain of emotions that are linked to anger: “An angry temper is first of all foolish, fickle, and senseless. Then from foolishness comes bitterness, and from bitterness wrath, and from wrath anger, and from anger vengefulness. Then vengefulness, being composed of all these evil elements, becomes a great and incurable sin.” (Hermas34.4)
To close, I think that many emotions can be linked to anger; certainly bitterness and vengeful thoughts. However, if we make an effort to curtail anger, can we stay on the side of patience, as Hermas would seem to suggest? Also, is anger at situations, people, places, injustices all on equal ground? Can there be good anger? If so what does it look like? These are some grandiose questions which I have considered for many years, particularly the latter two. I think I have come to the conclusion that “good anger” is truly hard to define, but does exist. Helpful right? What do you all think? I’d love to hear from you on this.