Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wisdom from…

ATHANSIUS OF SINAI: The legacy of the saints

Even while the saints seemed to be with us they were not so in reality, for their minds were turned to God. They lived on earth as citizens of heaven. Having here no lasting city, they sought the heavenly one; having no earthly riches, they sought the riches of heaven. They were strangers and sojourners as their ancestors were. Strangers to the world, to the things of the world, and to the ways of the world, their whole hearts were absorbed in the things of heaven; these were the things they thought about and were concerned about. They longed for the beauty of heaven, its mansions and dwellings, its choirs and hymnody, its feasts and its eternal blessedness.

The saints contemplated, sought, and hastened toward these things, and so at last they attained them. Their striving was rewarded by admission to the heavenly bridal chamber. Because they labored they now exult. Because they were not negligent they now rejoice. Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his saints.
(Sermon: PG 89, 1192-1193.)

Do Purgatory now or do it later. God's call to glory is common for all Christians, but our response to the fire of glory is often delayed postmortem. Even then, however, God's burning love does not abandon us, but purifies us from our last worldly entanglements and weights, that we stay erect and free in eternity.

Athanasius of Sinai, known for his theological writings, was the patriarch of Antioch.

ST. AUGUSTINE: Vocations in a Monastery

Although good order reigns in my household, I am human and I live among humans. I would not dare to say that my home is better than the community of the Lord Christ, in which eleven faithful souls put up with the faithless thief Judas. Yet with great difficulty have I met persons better than those who have made progress in the monastery.
-- Letter 78, 8-9

Prayer. Thanks be to Him Who is desired before he is seen, whose presence is felt, and who is hoped for in the future.
-- Sermon 24, 1


Remember to keep in mind that all the past is nothing and that every day we should say with David, "Now I begin to love my God." To work, to exhaust oneself for God, is love. Therefore, apply everything to this love––eating, drinking, repose. Be very devoted to Saint Louis and admire his great constancy in loving.
(Letters 334; O. XII, pp. 367-368)


THERE are only three things in the world that women do not understand; and they are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.
('What's Wrong with the World.')


[I]n the name of the divine Mercy, I have the confidence to embark upon the work of a wise man, even though this may surpass my powers, and I have set myself the task of making known, as far as my limited powers will allow, the truth that the Catholic faith professes, and of setting aside the errors that are opposed to it. …

To proceed against individual errors, however, is a difficult business, and this for two reasons. In the first place, it is difficult because the sacrilegious remarks of individual men who have erred are not so well known to us so that we may use what they say as the basis of proceeding to a refutation of their errors. This is, indeed, the method that the ancient Doctors of the Church used in the refutation of the errors of the Gentiles. For they could know the positions taken by the Gentiles since they themselves had been Gentiles, or at least had lived among the Gentiles and had been instructed in their teaching.

In the second place, it is difficult because some of them, such as the Mohammedans and the pagans, do not agree with us in accepting the authority of any Scripture, by which they may be convinced of their error. Thus, against the Jews we are able to argue by means of the Old Testament, while against heretics we are able to argue by means of the New Testament. But the Muslims and the pagans accept neither the one nor the other. We must, therefore, have recourse to the natural reason, to which all men are forced to give their assent. However, it is true, in divine matters the natural reason has its failings.
(Summa Contra Gentiles I, 2)


No comments: