Monday, August 23, 2010

Readings from…

[I have decided to post selections from the Summa contra gentiles separately, since, as you will see, the reading for today is not only quite long on its own, but also led me to add some fairly extensive commentary. Plus, unless you're a Catholic Scholastic nerd like me, there's not as much devotional profit from reading the SCG as from reading these other authors.]

ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM (347–407; patriarch of Constantinople): What God did for us

As one of Christ's ambassadors, the apostle Paul pleads his cause in the words: For our sake God made the sinless one into sin. If God had done nothing more for us than to give up his Son for those who scorned him, we should still need to marvel at the greatness of the gesture. But in addition to this tremendous generosity, God permitted him who did no wrong to be crucified for wrongdoers. The sinless one, who was holiness incarnate, God made into sin: that is, he allowed him to be judged as a malefactor, to die as one accursed, for a man hanged upon a tree is accursed by God. Such a sentence was far worse than mere death. Saint Paul implies this elsewhere in the words: He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Let us constantly remember, therefore, the many blessings we have received from him.
––Commentary on II Cor. 11, 3-4: PG 61, 478-480.

ST. AUGUSTINE (354–430; bishop of Carthage): Talents Are for Others

Jesus said: "To the person who has, it shall be given." God will give more to those who use for others that which they have received. He will fill up and pile to the brim what he first gave. Our reflections will be multiplied at his prompting. Thus, in our service of him we will suffer no shortage but will rather rejoice in a miraculous abundance of ideas.
-- Christian Doctrine 1, 1
[None too small an encouragement for a Christian blogger!]

Prayer. Lord, my knowledge and my ignorance lie before you. Where you have opened to me, let me enter. Where you have closed to me, open when I knock.
-- The Trinity 15, 51

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES (1567–1622; bishop of Geneva):

Look often with your inward eye on Christ Jesus, crucified, naked, blasphemed, slandered, forsaken, overwhelmed by every kind of weariness, sorrow and labor. Remember that your sufferings are not comparable to His, either in quality or in quantity, and that you can never suffer for His sake anything equal to what He has suffered for you.
(INT. Part III, Ch. 3, O. III, p. 138)


THIS world and all our powers in it are far more awful and beautiful than we ever know until some accident reminds us. If you wish to perceive that limitless felicity, limit yourself if only for a moment. If you wish to realize how fearfully and wonderfully God's image is made, stand upon one leg. If you want to realize the splendid vision of all visible things -- wink the other eye.
–– 'Tremendous Trifles.'

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