Monday, July 12, 2004

Christian Heritage - July 11 - Heaven and Earth

"Love constantly rejoices because the more it grows the more generously it gives itself away. Consequently, while those who desire evil are impoverished by their getting, lovers are enriched by their giving. The desirous are troubled even as they seek revenge for injuries done to them; lovers are at peace as they delight in giving to others the love that has been given to them. The desirous avoid the works of mercy, while lovers do them cheerfully. The desirous act to harm their neighbors; lovers do not do evil to their neighbors. The desirous exalt themselves and are thereby dragged down into hell; lovers humble themselves and rise up to heaven.

"On earth love is fed by the words of God; in heaven it is filled by the words of God. On earth it has the company of friends; in heaven the fellowship of the angels. It toils in the world, it finds rest in heaven. Here below it is guided aright by growing; in that other world it is possessed in its perfection without threat."

Fulgentius of Ruspe (AD 468-533), Sermo 5, 6: CCL 91A, 923

Fulgentius was the bishop of Ruspe in northern Africa, a faithful disciple of Augustine, and the best theologian of his time.

No comments: