Friday, October 1, 2004

Christian Heritage - September 30 & October 1

Reading the Holy Scriptures - September 30

"In the Acts of the Apostles there is a holy eunuch, or rather, man (as holy scripture names him), who was reading Isaiah, and when Philip asked him: Do you really understand what you are reading? He answered: How can I without a teacher? To speak of myself for a moment, I am neither holier nor more zealous than that eunuch, who came to the temple from Ethiopia, that is, from the ends of the earth, setting out from the royal palace. He loved the law and divine knowledge so much that even while sitting in his chariot he read the sacred writings. And yet all the time that he was holding the book, ruminating on the Lord's words, reading them fluently and out loud, he did not know who he was unwittingly revering in the book. Then Philip came and showed him Jesus, who lay enclosed in the text in secret. The marvelous power of a teacher! In that same hour the eunuch believed, was baptized, was faithful and holy, and turned from a pupil into a master.

"I have touched briefly on these matters, to make you understand that you cannot enter upon the holy scriptures without someone to go before you and show you the way."

Jerome of Jerusalem (AD 342-420), Ep. 53 ad Paulinum: PL 22, 543-544

St. Jerome was a translator of the Bible into Latin from the original languages (known as the Vulgate). He commented on many books of sacred scripture and was considered the greatest bibical scholar of his time.

Each Little Flower- October 1

"I understood too that the love of our Lord is revealed in the simplest soul who offers no resistance to his grace as well as in the most sublime soul. In fact, since the essence of love is humility, if all souls were like those of the learned saints who have illuminated the Church by the light of their teaching, it would seem as if God would not have very far to descend in coming to their hearts. But he has created the baby who knows nothing and whose only utterance is a feeble cry; he has created people who have only the law of nature to guide them; and it is their hearts that he deigns to come down to, those are his flowers of the field whose simplicity delights him. In coming down in that way the good God proves his infinite greatness. Just as the sun shines at the same time on cedar trees and on each little flower as if it was the only one on earth, so our Lord takes special care of each soul as if it was his only care."

Thérèse of Lisieux (AD 1873-1897), Livre de Vie, pages 20-22

St. Thérèse pioneered in the Church of the nineteenth century the "little way" -- fidelity in small things, trust, and complete self-surrender to God. Please also notice her age.

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