Monday, January 28, 2008

Wisdom from… [27 Jan.]

PETER CHRYSOLOGUS** (400–450): Your reward is certain

The Good Shepherd lost none of his sheep when he laid down his life for them; he did not desert them, but kept them safe; he did not abandon them but called them to follow him, leading them by the way of death through the lowlands of this passing world to the pastures of life.

Listen to the shepherd's words: My sheep hear my voice and follow me. Those who have followed him to death will inevitably also follow him to life; his companions in shame will be his companions in honor, just as those who have shared his suffering will share his glory. Where I am, he says, there shall my servant be also. And where is that? Surely in heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Do not be troubled, then, because you must live by faith, nor grow weary because hope is deferred. Your reward is certain; it is preserved for you in him who created all things. You are dead, scripture says, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ your life appears, you too will appear with him in glory. What was concealed from the farmer at seedtime he will see as he gathers in the sheaves, and the man who plows in sorrow will harvest his crop in gladness.
(Sermo 40: PL 52, 314.)

** As bishop of Ravenna, Peter was above all a pastor and preached many sermons to his people.

ST AUGUSTINE: The Sensitive Person

Give me persons in love: they know what I mean. Give me those who yearn; give me those who are hungry; give me those far away in this desert, who are thirsty and sigh for the spring of the eternal country. Give me those kinds of people: they know what I mean.

But if I speak to cold persons, they just do not know what I am talking about.
-- Sermon on John 26, 4

Prayer. Instruct me, Lord, and command what you will. But first heal me and open my ears that I may hear your words.
-- Soliloquies 1, 5


Self-love dies only when our body dies, so we must, while we live in this land of exile, continue to counterattack its assaults on our senses and its underhanded tactics. It is enough if we firmly withstand, giving no willful or deliberate consent…. When we feel within ourselves the first movements of self-love or of other passions, let us prostrate ourselves immediately before the heart of God and tell Him, in a spirit of confidence and humility, "Lord, have mercy on me because I am a very weak creature." Then let us tranquilly rest in peace and put ourselves at God's disposal.
(Letters 1675; O. XIX, pp. 272-273)


I GRAVELY doubt whether women ever were married by capture. I think they pretended to be; as they do still.
('What's Wrong with the World.')

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