From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Fri Sep 10 23:50:53 2021
"All the good deeds of our present life, however many they may appear
to be, are few in comparison with our eternal recompense. The faithful
servant is put in charge of many things after overcoming all the
troubles brought him by perishable things. He glories in the eternal
joys of his heavenly dwelling. He is brought completely into the joy
of his master when he is taken into his eternal home and joined to the
company of angels. His inner joy at his gift is such that there is no
longer any external perishable thing that can cause him sorrow."
by Gregory the Great (540-604 AD)(excerpt from FORTY GOSPEL HOMILIES 9.2)
September 11th - Saint Paphnutius, Bishop in Egypt
The holy confessor Paphnutius was an Egyptian who, after having spent
several years in the desert under the direction of the great St.
Antony, was made bishop in the Upper Thebaid. He was one of those
confessors who under the Emperor Maximinus 305-313 lost the right eye,
were hamstrung in one leg, and were afterwards sent to work in the
Peace being restored to the Church, Paphnutius returned to his flock,
bearing all the rest of his life the glorious marks of his sufferings
for the name of his Crucified Master. He was one of the most zealous
in defending the Catholic faith against the Arian heresy and for his
holiness. As one who had confessed the Faith before persecutors and
under torments, he was an outstanding figure of the first General
Council of the Church, held at Nicaea in the year 325.
Paphnutius, a man who had observed the strictest continence all his
life, is said to have distinguished himself at the Council by his
opposition to clerical celibacy. Paphnutius said that it was enough to
conform to the ancient tradition of the Church, which forbade the
clergy marrying after their ordination. To this day it is the law of
the Eastern Churches, whether Catholic or dissident, that married men
may receive all Holy Orders below the episcopate, and continue to live
freely with their wives. St. Paphnutius is sometimes called "the
Great" to distinguish him from other saints of the same name; the year
of his death is not known.
The most celebrated personage of this name was bishop of a city in
the Upper Thebaid in the early fourth century, and one of the most
interesting members of the Council of Nicæa (325). He suffered
mutilation of the left knee and the loss of his right eye for the
Faith under the Emperor Maximinus (308-13), and was subsequently
condemned to the mines. At Nicæa he was greatly honoured by
Constantine the Great, who, according to Socrates (H. E., I, 11), used
often to send for the good old confessor and kiss the place whence the
eye had been torn out.
He took a prominent, perhaps a decisive, part in the debate at the
First Œcumenical Council on the subject of the celibacy of the clergy.
It seems that most of the bishops present were disposed to follow the
precedent of the Council of Elvira (can. xxxiii) prohibiting conjugal
relations to those bishops, priests, deacons, and, according to
Sozomen, sub-deacons, who were married before ordination. Paphnutius
earnestly entreated his fellow-bishops not to impose this obligation
on the orders of the clergy concerned. He proposed, in accordance
"with the ancient tradition of the Church", that only those who were
celibates at the time of ordination should continue to observe
continence, but, on the other hand, that "none should be separated
from her, to whom, while yet unordained, he had been united".
The great veneration in which he was held, and the well known fact
that he had himself observed the strictest chastity all his life, gave
weight to his proposal, which was unanimously adopted. The council
left it to the discretion of the married clergy to continue or
discontinue their marital relations. Paphnutius was present at the
Synod of Tyre (335).
We ought not, as soon as we leave church, to plunge into business
unsuited to church, but as soon as we get home, we should take the
Scriptures into our hands, and call our wife and children to join us
in putting together what we have heard in church.
Bear ye one another's burdens: and so you shall fulfil the law of
Christ. For if any man think himself to be something, whereas he is
nothing, he deceiveth himself. [Galatians 6:2-3] DRB
PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS DE SALES
Lord, I am yours,
and I must belong to no one but you.
My soul is yours,
and must live only by you.
My will is yours,
and must love only for you.
I must love you as my first cause,
since I am from you.
I must love you as my end and rest,
since I am for you.
I must love you more than my own being,
since my being subsists by you.
I must love you more than myself,
since I am all yours and all in you.