St. Augustine, Doctor, on The Holy Family

Standard

St. Augustine.1.Wikip.

St. Augustine, in just a few sentences, brilliantly explains how the Holy Family simply works. In his Harmony of the Evangelists [ca. 400 AD]:

“Matthew, therefore, follows out the human generation of Christ, noting His ancestors from Abraham onwards, carrying them on to Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom jesus was born.  For in this way it was not allowed that He should be thought of as apart from the marriage of Mary, although she bore Christ not from intercourse in that marriage but as a virgin.  By this example it is strongly intimated to the married faithful that even when continence is observed by their common consent, their marriage can still perdue and still be called a marriage, not by a physical joining of the sexes but by the maintaining of the affections of the mind.”

So this prescription calls for:

  • Meditate on the first and second chapter of Matthew’s Gospel to better appreciate this understanding of the Holy Family.

St. Mary and St. Joseph, pray for us.

Jesus, have mercy on us.

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.

Advertisements

St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor, on the Holy Innocents

Standard

St. Thomas Aquinas.1.Wikiped

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  The Gospel of Matthew (2:16) tells us, “Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was in a furious rage, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time which he had ascertained from the wise men.”

The Church recognizes these children as saints and venerates them because, as St. Thomas Aquinas said, they “suffered as martyrs and confessed Christ non loquendo, sed moriendo, not by speaking, but by dying.” Com. on Mt., in Loc.

So here are some things to consider:

  • If you were to ask the Holy Innocents for their intercession before God, what would you ask them?
  • They died as a result of the most hideous form of selfish jealousy.  Can you be inspired to be less selfish of jealous after reflecting on the passage?
  • Imagine the victories achieved by The Innocents; their distraction to Herod, their role in protecting the Lord, keeping Herod from achieving his evil goal, their happiness forever with God in heaven.

Oh dear, Holy Innocents, pray for us,

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.

St. Gregory Nazianzen, Doctor, on Chrism

Standard

St. Basil the Great.2

St. Gregory Nazianzen, whose Memorial we celebrate on January 2, was a 4th century Patriarch (Bishop) of Constantinople and known as a great teacher and orator.

St. Gregory was one of the first four Doctors named by the Eastern Church, (along with St. Athenasius, St. Basil, and St. John Chrysostom.)

Of his many theological works and impressive letters is a clear treatment of the meaning and importance of the Chrism used at a Christian baptism.  This small excerpt, from (paragraph 4) the Lecture on Chrism, as a prescription, is a worthy assignment.

“For as Christ after His Baptism, and the visitation of the Holy Ghost, went forth and vanquished the adversary, so likewise you, after Holy Baptism and the Mystical Chrism, having put on the whole armour of the Holy Spirit, are to stand against the power of the adversary, and vanquish      it, saying, I can do all things in him who strengthens         me.” (Phil 4:13)

So consider the following:

  • Have you ever considered the receiving the Gift of the Holy Spirit, those who have been baptized, as a “putting on the whole armour of the Holy Spirit” as taught by St. Gregory?
  • What is your responsibility as one who is baptized?
  • When you examine your conscience daily, do you plot ways to avoid and, when necessary, stand against Satan the adversary?

St. Basil the Great, pray for us.

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.

 

St. Basil the Great, Doctor, on Virtue

Standard

St. Basil the Great.2

St. Basil the Great, who’s feast we’ll celebrate on January 2, is the son of a saint (St. Basil, the Elder), the brother of two saints (St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Peter of Sebaste) and one of his best friends is a saint and also Doctor of the ChurchSt. Gregory Nazianzen.) St. Basil the Great defended the faith against the Arian Heresy (which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.)  He also preached on the Psalms.

Today’s prescription is a snippet of a homily by St.Basil the Great on Psalm 1

“…the exercise of piety is rather like a ladder, that ladder which once was seen by Blessed Jacob, of which one end was near the earth and reached to the ground, while the other end extended above and reached to heaven itself.

What is necessary is that those who are being introduced to the virtuous life should put their feet on the first steps and from there mount ever to the next, until at last they have ascended by degrees to such heights as are attainable by human nature.”

  • Is taking that first, or next step in virtue a difficulty?  If so, what is it that makes growth in virtue difficult?
  • Change toward virtue is often very difficult and may mean changing friends. for the head of a family, however, much humility and patience may be the virtues prayed for the most so as to allow for growth in overall holiness.
  • Moving a whole family toward holiness might seem, for quite some time, like turning a great ship 180 degrees

St. Basil the Great, pray for us.

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.

St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Detachment

Standard

John of the Cross.1

Prescription of the Day

“In order to arrive at having pleasure in everything, Desire to have pleasure in nothing.

In order to arrive at possessing everything, Desire to possess nothing.

In order to arrive at being everything, Desire to be nothing.

In order to arrive at knowing everything, Desire to know nothing…”

From Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book 1, Chap 13, #11

Tough at first glance.  Can you be inspired, without going clinically depressed, to detach yourself…at least a little, at first, and consider putting yourself in a humble position before God?

Let me know your thoughts…

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Obedience

Standard

John of the Cross.1

Prescription of the day

“My intention will not be to deviate from the true meaning of sacred scripture or from the doctrine of our holy Mother the Church.  If this should happen, I submit entirely to the Church, or even to anyone who judges more competently than I about the matter.” (Introduction to Ascent of Mount Carmel.)

A spiritual titan and Doctor of Mystical Theology, St. John of the Cross was also clear about his ascent to the authority of the Church.  Note this is not a blind obedience but one of discernment and well-formed conscience.  Consider:

  • Do you submit to holy Mother Church on matters of faith and morals?
  • Do you recognize the difference between the sinful people who populate the church (many of whom are, thanks be to God, striving for holiness) and the clear holiness of the Church?
  • If you find giving ascent to the Church reasonable, would you care to share how difficult (or comforting) the process has become for you? (in the comments section would be great.)

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

St. John of the Cross, Doctor, on Particular Judgment

Standard

John of the Cross.2

Prescription of the Day

“At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love.”

Recalling what St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “There are in the end three things that last; faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor 13:13.

The good news is that we have the opportunity to examine our lives daily against this simple concept.  Ask yourself:

  • Has my love increased today?
  • If not, why not?
  • How can I be judged more favorably in accord with love?

And pray for more love…

St. John of the Cross, pray for us!

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/