Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Jerome: The Body and Blood of Christ are Poured into our Ears

We have read the Sacred Scriptures. I think the Gospel is the body of Christ; Holy Writ, His teaching. When he says: ‘He who does not eat my flesh and drink my blood,’ although the words may be understood in their mystical sense, nevertheless, I say the word of Scripture is truly the body of Christ and His blood; it is divine doctrine. If at any time we approach the Sacrament the faithful understand what I mean and a tiny crumb should fall, we are appalled. Even so, if at any time we hear the word of God, through which the body and blood of Christ is being poured into our ears, and we yield carelessly to distraction, how responsible are we not for our failing? FC, Vol. 48, The Homilies of St. Jerome: Vol. 1, On the Psalms (at Psalm 147), Homily 57 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1964), p. 410.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Jerome: Arians Controlled the Churches

After these proceedings the Council [i.e. the Synod of Ariminum] was dissolved. All returned in gladness to their own provinces. For the Emperor and all good men had one and the same aim, that the East and West should be knit together by the bond of fellowship. But wickedness does not long lie hid, and the sore that is healed superficially before the bad humor has been worked off breaks out again. Valens and Ursacius and others associated with them in their wickedness, eminent Christian bishops of course, began to wave their palms, and to say they had not denied that He was a creature, but that He was like other creatures. At that moment the term Usia was abolished: the Nicene Faith stood condemned by acclamation. The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian. NPNF2: Vol. VI, The Dialogue Against the Luciferians, §19.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Jerome: Church is Defined by Faith, not Walls

The Church does not consist in walls, but in the truths of her teachings. The Church is there where there is true faith. As a matter of fact, fifteen and twenty years ago, all the church buildings belonged to heretics, for heretics twenty years ago were in possession of them; but the true Church was there where the true faith was. Fathers of the Church, Vol. 48, The Homilies of St. Jerome: Vol. 1, On the Psalms, Homily 46 (Washington D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1964), p. 344. Latin text: Ecclesia non parietibus consistit, sed in dogmatum veritate. Ecclesia ibi est ubi fides vera est. Caeterum ante annos quindecim aut viginti, parietes omnes hic Ecclesiarum haeretici possidebant. Ante viginti enim annos, omnes Ecclesias has haeretici possidebant. Ecclesia autem vera illic erat, ubi vera fides erat. Breviarium in Psalmos, Psalmus CXXXIII, PL 26:1223.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jerome: Pretended Apostolic Tradition is that Lacking Scriptural Support

The sword of God smites whatever they draw and forge from a pretended (quasi) apostolic tradition, without the authority and testimony of the Scriptures. From Jerome’s Commentary on Haggai, Chapter 1 as cited in Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, trans. George Musgrave Giger, ed. James T. Dennison (Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1992), Vol. 1, p. 143. Latin text: Sed et alia quae absque auctoritate et testimoniis Scripturarum quasi traditione apostolica sponte reperiunt atque confingunt, percutit gladius Dei. Jacques Paul Migne, Patrologiae Latinae, Commentariorum In Aggaeum Prophetam,1:11, 25:1398 (Paris: J.-P. Migne, 1857-87).

Friday, February 1, 2013

Basil the Great: Fathers Derived their Doctrines from Scripture

That therefore which our fathers said, that also we say. . . . But it is not sufficient for us, that this is the tradition of the Fathers; for they also followed the mind of Scripture, taking their first principles from those testimonies which we just now placed before you from the Scripture. Basil the Great (from Book on the Holy Spirit), Trans. by William Goode, The Divine Rule of Faith and Practice, 2nd ed., 3 Vols. (London: John Henry Jackson, 1853), Vol. 3, p. 6. Greek text: Ὅπερ ἔλεγον τοίνυν οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν, καὶ ἡμεῖς λέγομεν,...Ἀλλʼ οὐ τοῦτο ἡμῖν ἐξαρκεῖ, ὅτι τῶν πατέρων ἡ παράδοσις• κὰκεῖνοι γὰρ τῷ βουλήματι τῆς Γραφῆς ἠκολούθησαν, ἐκ τῶν μαρτυριῶν, ἅς μικρῷ πρόσθεν ὑμῖν ἐκ τῆς Γραφῆς παρεθέμεθα, τὰς ἀρχὰς λαβόντες. Liber De Spiritu Sancto, Caput VII, PG 32:96. David King points out:
The translation of the NPNF2, Vol VIII, The Book of Basil on the Spirit, Chapter 7 is not the most accurate translation as reflected by the Greek text itself: “But we do not rest only on the fact that such is the tradition of the Fathers; for they too followed the sense of Scripture, and started from the evidence which, a few sentences back, I deduced from Scripture and laid before you.” The word only (μόνος) is not in the text as the NPNF2, Vol VIII infers, but rather the construction οὐ… ἐξαρκεῖ (it is not sufficient, i.e. does not suffice).”

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Augustine: Sirach's Prophetic Character Uncertain

Moreover, I do not seem to have correctly called prophetic the words in this passage: "Why is earth and ashes proud?" [Sirach 10:9] for the book in which this is read is not the work of one whom we can be certain that he should be called a prophet. Augustine, Retractions, Section 3 of the Retractions regarding On Genesis Against the Manicheans, p. 43, The Fathers of the Church, Volume 60, Sister M. Inez Bogan, R.S.M. translator.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Liberius: Athanasius is Separated from our Communion

From Liberius in exile to Ursacius, Valens and Germinius: 1. Because I know you to be sons of peace, lovers of concord and harmony in the Catholic Church, I address you, very dear lords and brothers, by this letter. I have not been forced by any necessity, as God is my witness, but to do it for the good of the peace and concord which has prior place to martyrdom. Your wise selves are to know that Athanasius, who was the bishop of Alexandria, was condemned by me, before I wrote to the court of the holy Emperor, in accordance with the letter of the Eastern bishops, that he separated from communion with the church of Rome; as the whole body of presbyters of the church of Rome is witness. The sole reason for my appearing slower in writing letters about his reputation to our Eastern brothers and fellow-bishops, was in order that my legates, whom I had sent from Rome to the Court, or the bishops who had been deported, might both together, if possible, be recalled from exile. 2. But I want you to know this also: I asked my brother Fortunatianus to take to the most clement Emperor my letter to the Eastern bishops, in order that they too might know that I was separated from communion with Athanasius along with them. I believe his Piety will receive that letter with pleasure for the good of peace, and a copy of it I have also sent to the Emperor’s trusty eunuch Hilary. Your Charities will perceive that I have done these things in a spirit of friendship and integrity. Which is why I address you in this letter and adjure you by God almighty and his son Jesus Christ our Lord and God, to see fit to travel to the most clement Emperor Constantius Augustus and ask him to order my return to the church divinely entrusted to me, for the sake of the peace and concord in which his Piety ever rejoices, in order that the church of Rome may undergo no distress in his days. But you ought by this letter of mine to know, very dear brothers, that I am at peace with you in a spirit of calm and honesty. Great will be the comfort you secure on the day of retribution, if through you has been restored the peace of the Roman church. I want our brothers and fellow bishops Epictetus and Auxentius also, to learn through you that I am at peace, and have ecclesastical communion, with them. I think they will be pleased to receive this news. But anyone who dissents from our peace and concord which, God willing, has been established throughout the world, is to know that he is separated from our communion. See Lionel R. Wickham, Hilary of Poitiers: Conflicts of Conscience and Law in the Fourth-century Church, Liber II Ad Constantium, section 8 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1997), pp. 78-79. Cf. also Migne, PL 10:686ff.