Page images
PDF
EPUB

So in Greek it is spoken of as ÉTTLOÚOLOS. Moreover the Latin has spoken of this bread as daily (cottidianum), because the Greeks speak of την επιούσιαν ημέραν, the coming day. Thus what the Latin has said and what the Greek, both seem useful. The Greek has signified both in one word; the Latin has spoken of it as daily.

(25) If bread is daily, why do you take it after a year, as the Greeks in the East are accustomed to do? Receive daily what is of benefit to you daily! So live that you may deserve to receive it daily! He who does not deserve to receive it daily does not deserve to receive it after a year. In this manner holy Job offered sacrifice for his sons daily, lest, perchance, they had committed some sin either in heart or in speech. Then do you hear that, as often as the sacrifice is offered, the death of the Lord, the resurrection of the Lord, the elevation of the Lord, is signified, and the remission of sins, and do you not take this bread of life daily? He who has a wound requires medicine. The fact that we are under sin is a wound; the medicine is the heavenly and venerable sacrament.

(26). 'Give us this day our daily bread.' If you receive daily, daily is today for you. If today is Christ for you, today for you He rises. How? 'Thou art my son, this day I have begotten thee.'17 Today then is when Christ arises. 'He himself is yesterday and today, the Apostle Paul says;

but elsewhere he says: “The night is passed, and the day is at hand.'18 Last night has passed; this day is at hand.

(27) There follows: 'And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.:19 What is a debt but a sin? So, if you had not accepted the money of a stranger's interest, you would not be poor, and so sin is imputed to you. You had money with which you would have been born rich. You had been

17 Ps. 2.7. 18 Cf. Heb. 13.8; Rom. 13.12.

made rich in the image and likeness of God.20 You lost what you had, that is humility; when you desire to assume arrogance, you have lost money. Like Adam, you were made naked.21 You accepted a debt from the Devil which was not necessary. And thus you were free in Christ, were made a debtor of the Devil. An enemy held your bond, but the Lord impaled it and destroyed it with His blood.22 He took away your debt, returned liberty.

(28) Well then does He say: 'And forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.' See what you say: 'As I forgive, so do you forgive me. If you have forgiven, you accost Him well, that you be forgiven. If you do not forgive, how do you accost him?

(29) ‘And suffer us not to be led into temptation, but deliver us from evil.23 See what He says: 'And suffer us not to be led into temptation, which we cannot endure. He does not say ‘Lead not into temptation, but like an athlete He wishes such temptation as human nature and that of each one can endure, that He be delivered 'from evil,' that is, from sin.

(30) Moreover, the Lord is able, who has taken away your sin and has forgiven your transgressions, to guard and protect you against the snares of the opposing Devil,24 that the enemy, who is accustomed to create fault, may not surprise you. But he who commits himself to God does not fear the Devil. For, 'if God be for us, who is against us?'25 So praise and glory be to Him from the ages and now and always, and forever and ever. Amen.

20 Cf. Gen. 1.26.
21 Cf. Gen. 3.7.
22 Cf. Col. 2.14.
23 Matt. 6.13.
24 Cf. Eph. 6.11.

THE SACRAMENTS: VI

Chapter 1

1

(1) Just as our Lord Jesus Christ is the true Son of God, not as man through grace, but as the Son of God from the substance of the Father, thus He is true flesh, as He himself said, which we receive and is His true drink.

(2) But perchance you say what the disciples of Christ also said at that time when they heard Him say: 'Unless one eat my flesh and drink my blood, he will not abide in me and will not have eternal life2—perchance you say: 'How true [flesh]? Certainly I see a likeness, I do not see true blood.'

(3) First of all, I told you about the words of Christ which operate so as to be able to change and transform the established orders of nature. Then, when His disciples did not tolerate the words of Christ, but hearing that He gave His flesh to eat and gave His blood to drink, went back, and yet Peter alone said: “Thou hast words of eternal life, and whither shall I go back from you?'3—lest, then, more might say that

1 Cf. Heb. 1.2,3; John 6.55.
2 Cf. John 6.54-61.
3 Cf. John 6.69.

they go, as if there were a kind of horror of the blood, but as if the grace of redemption did abide, thus indeed in likeness you receive the sacraments, but obtain the grace and virtue of true nature.

(4) 'I am the living bread,' He says, 'which came down from heaven.' But flesh did not come down from heaven, that is, He took on flesh on earth from a virgin. How, then, did bread come down from heaven and living bread? Because our same Lord Jesus Christ is a sharer of both divinity and body, and you who receive the flesh participate in that nourishment of His divine substance.

Chapter 2

(5) Therefore, you received of the sacraments; most fully do you know all. Because you have been baptized in the name of the Trinity, in all that we have done the mystery of the Trinity has been preserved. Everywhere the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one operation, one sanctification, although they seem to be, as it were, certain special things.

(6) How? God, who anointed you, and the Lord sealed you, and placed the Holy Spirit in your heart." Therefore, you have received the Holy Spirit in your heart. Take another example, as the Holy Spirit is in the heart, so also is Christ in the heart. How? You have this in the Canticle of Canticles, Christ saying to the Church: 'Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm.'

(7) Therefore, God anointed you, Christ sealed you. How? Because you were sealed unto the form of the cross itself,

2

4 John 6.41.

1 Cf. 2 Cor. 1.21,22.

unto His passion. You have received the seal unto His likeness, that you may rise again unto His form, may live unto His figure, who was crucified to sin and liveth unto God. And your old man is dipped in the font, was crucified unto sin, but arose again unto God.3

(8) Then you have elsewhere a special thing, that God has called you; in baptism, moreover, as if you were crucified in a special way unto Christ, then as if something special, when you receive the spiritual seal. You see that there is a distinction of persons, but a mystery of the Trinity all connected.

(9) Then what did the Apostle say to you, as it was read clearly and concisely? 'Now there are diversities of graces, but the same spirit; and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord, and there are diversities of operations, but the same God, who worketh all in all.* He says, God worketh all. But of the Spirit of God also it was read: 'One and the same Spirit, dividing to every one according as He will." Hear Scripture saying that the Spirit divides as according to His will, not according to obedience. So the Spirit divided grace for you, 'according as He will, not according as He is ordered, and especially because He is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ. And retain that, that He is the Holy Spirit Himself, the Spirit Himself of God, the Spirit Himself of Christ, the Spirit Paraclete Himself.

(10) The Arians think that they detract from the Holy Spirit if they call the Spirit Paraclete. What is a paraclete but a consoler? As if it were not read of the Father also, that He is the “God of consolation'! You see, then, that they think

3 Cf. Rom. 6.10,4-6. 4 1 Cor. 12.4-6. 5 1 Cor. 12.11.

« PreviousContinue »