From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jul 30 00:01:56 2021
The Interior Life
You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly
united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the
place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing
glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together
with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be
entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray
unceasingly to Christ.
--Thomas à Kempis --Imitation of Christ Book 2, Chapter 1
30 July – St Peter Chrysologus
31 July (Imola, Italy)
4 December from 1729 to 1969
“Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church – Bishop of Ravenna, Italy.
Today we celebrate the Memorial of Saint Peter Chrysologus, a
fifth-century Italian bishop known for testifying courageously to
Christ’s full humanity and divinity during a period of the heresy
The saint’s title, Chrysologus, signifies “golden speech” in Greek.
Named as a Doctor of the Church in 1729, he is distinguished as the
“Doctor of Homilies” for the concise but theologically rich
reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna.
His surviving works offer eloquent testimony to the Church’s
traditional beliefs about Mary’s perpetual virginity, the penitential
value of Lent, Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and the primacy of St
Peter and his successors in the Church.
Few details of St Peter Chrysologus’ biography are known. He was born
in the Italian town of Imola in either the late fourth or early fifth
century, but sources differ as to whether this occurred around 380 or
as late as 406.
Following his study of theology, Peter was ordained to the diaconate
by Imola’s local bishop Cornelius, whom he greatly admired and
regarded as his spiritual father. Cornelius not only ordained Peter
but taught him the value of humility and self-denial. The lessons of
his mentor inspired Peter to live as a monk for many years, embracing
a lifestyle of asceticism, simplicity and prayer. His simple monastic
life came to an end, however, after the death of Archbishop John of
Ravenna in 430. After John’s death, the clergy and people of Ravenna
chose a successor and asked Cornelius, still the Bishop of Imola, to
journey to Rome and obtain papal approval for the candidate. Cornelius
brought Peter, then still a deacon, along with him on the visit to
Pope Sixtus III.
Tradition relates that the Pope had experienced a vision from God on
the night before the meeting, commanding him to overrule Ravenna’s
choice of a new archbishop. The Pope declared that Peter, instead, was
to be ordained as John’s successor.
In Ravenna, Peter was received warmly by the Western Roman Emperor
Valentinian III and his mother Galla Placidia. She is said to have
given him the title of “Chrysologus” because of his preaching skills. Throughout the archdiocese, however, he encountered the surviving
remnants of paganism along with various abuses and distortions of the
Catholic faith. Peter exercised zeal and pastoral care in curbing
abuses and evangelising non-Christians during his leadership of the
Church in Ravenna.
One of the major heresies of his age, Monophysitism, held that Christ
did not possess a distinct human nature in union with His eternal
divine nature. Peter laboured to prevent the westward spread of this
error, promoted from Constantinople by the monk Eutyches.
The Archbishop of Ravenna also made improvements to the city’s
cathedral and built several new churches. Near the end of his life he
addressed a significant letter to Eutyches, stressing the Pope’s
authority in the Monophysite controversy.
Having returned to Imola in anticipation of his death, St Peter
Chrysologus died in 450, one year before the Church’s official
condemnation of Monophysitism. 176 of his sermons have survived; it
is the strength of these beautiful explanations of the Incarnation,
the Creed, the place of Mary and John the Baptist in the great plan of salvation, etc., that led to his being proclaimed a Doctor of the
Church in 1729 by Pope Benedict XIII.
“Anyone who wishes
to frolic with the devil
cannot rejoice with Christ.”
“We exhort you, in every respect, honourable brother,
to heed obediently what has been written
by the Most Blessed Pope of the City of Rome;
for Blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see,
provides the truth of faith to those who seek it.”
--St Peter Chrysologus “Golden Words”
Prayer for the Hurricane Season and the Gulf
Oh God, Master of this passing world,
hear the humble voices of your children.
The Sea of Galilee obeyed your order and
returned to its former quietude.
You are still the Master of land and sea.
We live in the shadow of a danger,
over which we have no control.
The Gulf, like a provoked and angry giant,
can awaken from its seeming lethargy,
overstep its conventional boundaries,
invade our land and spread chaos and disaster.
During this hurricane season, we turn to You, O Loving Father.
Spare us from past tragedies whose memories are still so vivid,
and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time.
O Virgin, Star of the Sea, our Beloved Mother,
we ask you to plead with your Son on our behalf,
so that spared from calamities common to this area,
and animated with a true spirit of gratitude we will walk
in the footsteps of your Divine Son to reach
Heavenly Jerusalem, where a stormless eternity awaits us.
Written by Bishop Maurice Schexnayder, second Bishop of Lafayette
Roman Catholic Diocese. in the weeks after Hurricane Audrey made
landfall in June of 1957.