Thursday, September 16, 2004

Christian Heritage - September 15-16

[We lost our ADSL last night, again, at the usual time: right before I wanted to finish my bidness online and go to bed. Newman!]

September 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows

"For God's mother, whose love was more intense than that of any other, shared her dying Son's agony so intimately as almost to experience it herself. Her grief was in fact proportionate to the intensity of her love. She loved her Son more than she did herself, and thus she received in her soul, with the keenest sense of spiritual pain, the very wounds he bore upon his body; and in this way Christ's passion was her martyrdom as well.

"For Christ's flesh was in a true sense hers too; it was indeed flesh of her flesh, and she loved the flesh Christ had derived from her more than that which constituted her own body. And the greater her love, the more intense her grief; her mental anguish far exceeded the physical torment of any martyr. Wherefore is she noteworthy for her unique privilege of a glorious if bloodless martyrdom. Other martyrs have borne their witness by laying down their lives, but she provided from her body the flesh that was to suffer and to die for the salvation of the world. And the intensity of her grief at and in Christ's passion so engulfed her soul as virtually to identify her with his actual sufferings, so that, next after Christ himself, she is rightly deemed to have attained the very peak of martyrdom."

Baldwin of Canterbury (ca. AD 1190), Tract. 6 De Verbis Apostoli: Vivus est sermo Dei et efficax: PL 214, 457-458

Baldwin was the archbishop of Canterbury and a member, and later abbot, of the Cistercian monastery at Ford, England. His writings form a bridge between the monastic schools and scholasticism. Rather large shoes to fil after Anselm. I'd like to know more about Baldwin, see how he walked in those shoes.

September 16 - The Heavenly Image Within Us

"We cannot bear the heavenly image within us unless we show a likeness to Christ in the life upon which we have now entered. This means changing from what we used to be and becoming something altogether new, so that our divine birth may be seen in us, so that we may imitate the Father by our holy way of life, and so that our lives may give honor and praise to God and he may be glorified in us. This is what he himself has taught and urged us to do, promising that those who glorify him will be rewarded. I will glorify those who glorify me, he says, and those who despise me shall be despised. To instruct us and prepare us for this glorification and produce in us a likeness to God the Father, our Lord, the Son of God, says in his gospel: You have heard it said: Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven."

Cyprian of Carthage (ca. AD 285), On Jealousy and Envy 12-13: CSEL 3/1, 427-430

Cyprian was the bishop of Carthage in Northern Africa and had a keen sense of the unity of the Church. Much has been made of his works, especially *De Unitate Ecclesiae*, in Catholic and Orthodox interactions. For the former, Cyprian provides very early, very solid support for the Petrine supremacy of the bishop of Rome. For the latter, he simply enforces the patristic idea of eucharistic ecclesiology, in which each bishop is given the authority of Peter in the eucharistic structure of each local, catholic church. You can find me if you need me mining my way through this discussion.

No comments: