Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Augustine Day by Day - September 11-14

Yes, I did completely forget about these. Brainfart remedied!

September 11 - The Way of Correction

"Be assured that abuses are not done away with by harsh or severe or autocratic measures, but by teaching rather than by commanding, by persuasion rather than by threats. This is the way to deal with the people in general, reserving severity for the sins of the few.

"If we make threats, let it be done sorrowfully, in the words of Scripture, and in the terms of the world to come. In this way, it is not we who are feared because of our power, but God because of our words."

-- Letter 22, 5

This, from the man that allegedly infused the Western Church with militance and worldy aggression in his battle with the Donatists. Good grief, can't he keep the story straight?

Prayer. Thanks and praise to you, my God, who sound in my ears and illuminate my heart. Keep me away from every temptation.

-- Confessions 10, 31

September 12 - Love the Creator in the Creature

"Now, may our God be our hope. He who made all things is better than all things. He who made all beautiful things is more beautiful than all of them. He who made all mighty things is more mighty than all of them. He who made all great things is greater than all of them.

"Learn to love the Creator in his creature, and the maker in what he has made."

-- Commentary on Psalm 39, 9

Prayer. O Lord, my God, you alone do I love; you alone do I follow; you alone do I seek. You alone am I prepared to serve, for you alone justly rule, and under your authority I long to be.

-- Soliloquies 1, 1

September 13 - Charity Constitutes Your Roots

"Watch the tree. First it seeks the depths in order to grow high. It drives roots into the depths so that it can raise its top toward the sky. Does it have any other foundation than lowness?

"In the light of this, do you wish to attain to the heights without charity? Without roots do you seek the upper airs?"

-- Sermon 117, 17

Prayer. Alas for me, O Lord, how high you are in the heights, and how deep in the depths! Nowhere do you withdraw, yet we scarcely return to you!

-- Confessions 8, 3

September 14 - Mystery of the Wooden Cross

"Know this: just as the wood of the ark saved the just from drowning, so too, by the mystery of his wooden Cross, does Christ, the Church's God and King, save us from drowning in the sea of this world.

"In the symbol of a thing made of wood he gave human beings a foreshadowing of both the judgment to come and the salvation of the just."

-- Catechetical Instructions 31

Prayer. Lord, you help those who turn to you. Redeem us so that we may come to you.

-- Commentary on Psalm 17, 15

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