Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wisdom from… [17 Apr]

FULGENTIUS OF RUSPE (468–533): A single heart and soul in all who believe

Scripture says that God's love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit he has given us. The Holy Spirit, who is the one Spirit of the Father and the Son, produces in those to whom he gives the grace of divine adoption the same effect as he produced among those whom the Acts of the Apostles describes as having received the Holy Spirit. We are told that the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, because the one Spirit of the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is one God, had created a single heart and soul in all those who believed.

That is why Saint Paul in his exhortation to the Ephesians says that this spiritual unity in the bond of peace must be carefully preserved. I, therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, he writes, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, with all humility and meekness and with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit.

God makes the Church itself a sacrifice pleasing in his sight by preserving within it the love which his Holy Spirit has poured out. Thus the grace of that spiritual love is always available to us, enabling us continually to offer ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to him for ever.
(Ad Monimum II, 11: CCL 91, 46-47.)

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

ST AUGUSTINE: Be an Ant of God

Emulate the tiny ant; be an ant of God. Listen to the word of God and hide it in your heart. Collect plenty of food during the happy days of your spiritual summers. You will then be able to endure the difficult days of temptations during the winters of your soul.
-- Sermon 38, 6

Prayer. Lord, you are delightful food for the pure of heart.
-- Confessions 13, 21


The chief intention that you must have in going to Communion should be to advance in the love of God. Communion should strengthen and comfort you in this love. Receive with love the gift of love. There is no more loving or more tender gift of the Savior than this. Here He annihilates Himself, so to speak, and changes Himself into food, so that He may fill our souls, intimately uniting Himself to the heart and body of the faithful person.
(Spiritual Treatises, II, Ch. 21; O. III, p. 121)


HOW high the sea of human happiness rose in the Middle Ages, we now only know by the colossal walls that they built to keep it in bounds. How low human happiness sank in the twentieth century, our children will only know by these extraordinary modern books, which tell people to be cheerful and that life is not so bad after all. Humanity never produces optimists till it has ceased to produce happy men. It is strange to be obliged to impose a holiday like a fast, and to drive men to a banquet with spears.
('George Bernard Shaw.')

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