Saturday, June 19, 2004

Christian Heritage - June 18 - Keep our Tranquility

Let us bring together in Christ the gold of our thoughts and the silver of our speech, so that once we have been purified in the furnace of this world, the examiner of souls pleasing to him may transform us into refined gold, worthy of the stamp of his image, and we by our light reflecting actions may offer ourselves to him as precious stones. Let us make sure that our hearts are not hard like dead wood, our deeds arid like dry hay, our faith and love fickle and light like unsubstantial chaff.

To ensure that the work we have undertaken is not burnt up but rises safe and sound through our peaceful labor, let us implore the Most High to give us that peace for our building which prevailed in ancient times when the temple walls were under construction, so that no hammer or axe or any iron implement may be heard in it. For we shall become a house of prayer and peace only if preoccupation with earthly affairs does not impede us, or the tumult of the world disturb our tranquility.

Paulinus of Nola (AD 353-431), Ep. XXXII, 22-24: CSEL 28, 297-299"

Paulinus was the bishop of Nola, the leading Christian Latin poet of his time, and a close friend of three greats: Martin of Tours, Ambrose of Milan, and Augustine of Hippo. As far as I can tell, Paulinus is basing his imagrey in this letter on 1 Corinthians 3:9-17.

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