A note from Augustine for your consideration

St. Augustine: from a Christmas sermon –  on the harmony between Matthew and Luke on the Lord’s genealogy:

And so, whatever else there is to be said regarding these hidden treasures among God’s mysteries, this is for others who are more diligent and more worthy than we, to bring out.  At all events, we have spoken on this subject to the best of our ability, as the Lord assisted us and inspired us, and as the limitations of time permitted us.  If there be anyone among you who has a profounder grasp of this, let him knock at the door of Him from whom we, too, receive what we are able to grasp, what we are able to say.  But this do keep in mind before all else – you must not lose your composure over matters in Sacred Scripture which you do not yet understand; and when you do understand them, you must not feel conceit.  What you do not understand, threat with reverence and be patient; and what you do understand cherish and keep.  (s. 51.35)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Peter says:

    Hmmm. Sounds like an ancient Mandatum to me. Excellent advice for anyone.

  2. Thomas says:

    Sounds like good advice to those who bad-mouth the Extraordinary Form, too.

  3. I took a class specifically on Augustine’s sermons, taught by someone you know, Fr. Daniel Doyle. Augustine’s Christmas sermons are among his greatest, so theologically rich, so beautiful, so timeless, so poignant – in other words, so Augustine.

  4. Mark says:

    Thank you for posting that, Father. I consider it a timely reminder to give my sometime frustration with the TLM time. I still find it difficult to experience like I experience the Novus ordo, but St. Augustine clearly knows best.

  5. Ohio Annie says:

    Corrie ten Boom said, “Don’t worry about what you read in the Bible and do not understand, worry about what you read and do not do.”

  6. Moonshadow says:

    Perhaps you translated this yourself but I am distracted by the typo – “threat” instead of “treat” – in this wonderful bit of wisdom.


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