The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for December, 2014

Commentaries for the First Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 27, 2014

SUNDAY, JANUARY 11, 2015
FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Year B.

MONDAY, JANUARY 12, 2015
MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-6.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-6.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-6. On 1-8.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-6.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 97.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 97.

St Augustine’s Commentary on Psalm 97.

My Notes on Mark 1:14-20.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:14-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:14-20.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2015
TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Resources.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 2:5-12.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Hebrews 2:5-12. On 5-15.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 2:5-12.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 2:5-12. On 5-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 2:5-12.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 8.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 8.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 8.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 8.

My Notes on Psalm 8.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:21-28.

My Notes on Mark 1:21-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:21-28.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2015
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 2:14-18.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 2:14-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 2:14-18.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 105.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 105.

My Notes on Mark 1:29-39.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:29-39.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:29-39.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 15, 2015
THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 3:7-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 3:7-14.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 95.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 95.

Father Tauton’s Commentary on Psalm 95.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:40-45.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:40-45.

My Notes on Mark 1:40-45.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 16, 2015
FRIDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 4:1-5, 11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 4:1-5, 11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 78.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 78.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:1-12.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 17, 2015
MEMORIAL OF SAINT ANTHONY, ABBOT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 4:12-16.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 4:12-16.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 4:12-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 4:12-16.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 19.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 19.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:13-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:13-17.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2015
SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B.

Next Week’s Posts.

 

Posted in Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Daily Catholic Lectionary, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Commentaries for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 27, 2014

COMMENTARIES OF THE FIRST READING: 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19.

Word-Sunday Notes on 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 40.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 40.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 40.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20. This post is on all of chapter 6, I’ll try and post an abbreviated version of commentary focusing on the verses of the reading tomorrow.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20. This post is on verses 12-20.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20. This post is on verses 12-20.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20. This post is on verses 12-20.

Word-Sunday Notes on 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20.

St Irenaeus Ministries’ Podcast Study of 1 Corinthians 6. Online audio study of chapters 6 and 7 of the letter.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: John 1:35-42.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 1:35-42.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on John 1:35-42. Scroll down and read lecture 15.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 1:35-42.

Word-Sunday Notes on John 1:35-42.

A Lectio Divina Meditation on John 1:35-42.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 1:35-42.

OTHER RESOURCES: On one or more of the readings.

Is God a Person or “The Force.” Blog post on the Sunday readings by Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma.

St Charles Borromeo Parish Bible Study Notes.

Lector Notes.

Scripture in Depth.

Thoughts From the Early Church. Excerpt from an exhortatory homily by Caesarius of Arles.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic Sunday Lectionary, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Commentaries from Epiphany Sunday–The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 26, 2014

THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Commentaries for the Epiphany of the Lord.

Last Week’s Posts. Actually from 4th week of Advent to Epiphany.

MONDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 3:22-4:6.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 3:22-4:6.

St Augustine’s Homily on 1 John 3:22-4:6. On 3:19-4:12. It covers today and tomorrow’s first reading.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 3:22-4:6.

Father Maas’ Introduction to Psalm 2.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 2.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 2.

St Albert The Great’s Commentary on Psalm 2.

My Notes on Psalm 2.

Aquinas Catena Aurea on Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25. On 12-25.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25. On 12-25.

My Notes on Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25. On 12-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25.

TUESDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Augustine’s Exegetical Homily on 1 John 4:7-10.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 4:7-10.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 4:7-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 4:7-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 72.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 72.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:34-44.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:34-44.

WEDNESDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Augustine’s Homiletic Commentary on 1 John 4:11-18.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 4:11-18.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 4:11-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 4:11-18.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 72.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 72.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:45-52.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:45-52.

THURSDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Augustine’s Exegetical Homily on 1 John 4:19-5:4.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 4:19-5:4.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 4:19-5:4.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 72.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 72.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 4:14-22.

St Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 4:14-22. Fragmented.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 4:14-22.

FRIDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 5:5-13.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 5:5-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 5:5-13.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 147 in Two Parts:

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 147 in Two Parts:

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 5:12-16.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke 5:12-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 5:12-16.

SATURDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 5:14-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 5:14-21.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 149.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 149.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 149.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 149.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 149.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 3:22-30.

Nolan and Brown on Commentary on John 3:22-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 3:22-30.

FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Note: we are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Year B: Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Year C: Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Next Week’s Posts.

 

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Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 26, 2014

Please Note That There Are Alternate Readings.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7.

Father Maas’ Introduction and Brief Notes on Isaiah 42:1-43:13.

Alternate: Commentaries on the First Reading: Isaiah 55:1-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 55:1-11. On 1-13. Scroll down for commentary.

Word-Sunday Notes on Isaiah 55:1-11.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Isaiah 55:1-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 29:1-2, 3-4, 9-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 29.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 29.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Psalm 29.

Alternate: Commentaries on the Responsorial: Is 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6.

Word-Sunday Notes on Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Acts 10:34-38.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 10:34-38.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Acts 10:34-38.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Acts 10:34-38.

Alternate: Commentaries on the Second Reading: 1 John 5:1-9.

Father Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 5:1-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 5:1-9.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Mark 1:7-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:7-11.

Pending: Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 1:7-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:7-11.

 

 

 

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Commentaries From Christmas Through Epiphany

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 13, 2014

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD
CHRISTMAS

Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Dec 24).

Mass During the Night: The Nativity of the Lord (Midnight Mass).

Mass at Dawn: The Nativity of the Lord.

Mass During the Day: The Nativity of the Lord.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014
FEAST OF ST STEPHEN THE FIRST MARTYR

Commentaries for the Feast of St Stephen.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2014
FEAST OF ST JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST

Commentaries for the Feast of St John the Apostle.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2014
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY, JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH

Commentaries for the Feast of the Holy Family. The Lectionary allows several alternate readings and I have not yet added commentaries to these.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2014
THE FIFTH DAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 2:3-11.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 2:3-11.

St Augustine on 1 John 2:3-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 2:3-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

St Augustine’ Notes on Psalm 96.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 2:22-35.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 2:22-35.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2014
THE SIXTH DAY IN THE OCTAVE OF CHRISTMAS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Augustine on 1 John 2:12-17.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 2:12-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 2:12-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 96.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 2:36-40.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 2:36-40.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2014
THE SEVENTH DAY IN THE OCTAVE OF EASTER

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapdie’s Commentary on 1 John 2:18-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 2:18-21.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 96.

Father Callan’s Commentary on John 1:1-18.

Fathers Nolan and Brown’s Commentary on John 1:1-18.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 1:1-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 1:1-18.

SERMONS FOR THE NEW YEAR’S EVE/NEW YEARS DAY.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 1, 2015
THE OCTAVE DAY OF CHRISTMAS
SOLEMNITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, MOTHER OF GOD

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Mother of God (Octave of Christmas).

FRIDAY, JANUARY 2, 2015
MEMORIAL OF SAINT BASIL THE GREAT AND SAINT GREGORY NANZIANZEN, BISHOPS AND DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 2:22-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 2:22-28.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 98.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 98.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 98.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 98.

Father MacIntryre’s Commentary on John 1:19-28.

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 1:19-28.

Father Callan’s Commentary on John 1:19-28.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 1:19-28.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 1:19-28.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on John 1:19-28. Scroll down and read lectures 12 & 13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 1:19-28.

A Lectio Divina Meditation on John 1:19-28. Prayer and reflection on the Gospel in the Carmelite tradition.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 3, 2015
CHRISTMAS WEEKDAY
OPTIONAL MEMORIAL OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 2:29-3:6.

Father MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 John 2:29-3:6.

St Augustine’s Homily on 1 John 2:29-3:6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 2:29-3:6.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 98.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 98.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 98.

Father MacIntyre’s Commentary on John 1:29-34.

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 1:29-34.

Father Callan’s Commentary on John 1:29-34.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 1:29-34.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on John 1:29-34. Scroll down and read lecture 14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 1:29-34.

A Lectio Divina Meditation on Today’s Gospel (John 1:29-34).

SUNDAY, JANUARY 4, 2015
THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

Commentaries for the Epiphany of the Lord.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, Daily Catholic Lectionary, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on1 John 2:12-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 13, 2014

Text in purple indicates Fr. MacEvilly’s paraphrasing of the verse he is commenting on.

1 Jn 2: 12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.

I write unto you, my spiritual children of every age and degree of advancement in Christian virtue, because your sins are remitted on account of the merits of Christ, which is a subject of the deepest congratulation.

“Little children,” τεχνια (teknia). It is disputed what class of Christians is designated by the words, “little children.” By some they are understood of those who have not yet left their childhood, and have received the remission of sin in baptism. These also understand the words, “fathers,” “young men,” and “babes,” in the following verses, of the different ages of men and their advancement in years. This opinion derives probability from the circumstance of the Apostle attributing to the different ages, what forms the peculiar matter for glorying, pertaining to each; old men, or “fathers,” glory in their knowledge (verse 13)—“young men,” in their bodily vigour and strength, and in their active feats; and “babes” or children in fawning on, and lisping the names of their fathers.

It is, however, more probable, that the Apostle refers to the different periods or stages of advancement in the spiritual life (as St. Augustine understands the passage), and to Christians placed in each of these, he ascribes perfections, and congratulates them on qualities, in the spiritual order, analogous to the natural perfections, in which men, during the several stages of physical existence, are prone to glory. Even following the opinion of St. Augustine, interpreters are divided about the meaning of “little children,” in this verse. Some understand the word to mean the same as “babes,” as in verse 14, where, according to them, the idea is repeated; and refer it to a state of spiritual childhood. Others, more probably, understand the word of Christians generally, as in verse 1, and verse 28, which is again subdivided into “fathers,” “young men,” and “babes,” in the following verses.

The Apostle, then, writes to all Christians in general, congratulating them on having received the remission of their sins, and all graces through the merits of Christ, “for his name’s sake.” The heart of the Apostle was so full of Christ, that he does not express his name. Who else could it be but Christ that thus occupied all his thoughts?

1 Jn 2:13 I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.

I write to you, who are perfect in the Christian faith, able to instruct and bring forth others spiritually in the gospel; because, you have known and loved him, who was from eternity. I write to you also, and congratulate you, who have arrived at the stage of spiritual youth and manly vigour; because, in your spiritual strength, you have been proof against the temptations of the wicked one, viz., the devil, and have overthrown both him and his leagued auxiliaries, the flesh and the world.

He now divides “little children,” or Christians in general, into “fathers,” or, such as are for a long time professing the faith, and able to instruct and spiritually beget others; and “young men,” or Christians advanced in virtue and spiritual knowledge, who though not so far advanced, as the class termed “fathers,” still need not the milk of babes to support them. He congratulates this class, on their spiritual strength.

1 Jn 2:14 I write unto you, babes, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

I write to you who have lately received the faith, and require still to be fed with the milk of babes and to be assisted in your Christian progress; and congratulate you, on having known your heavenly Father, and lisped forth his sacred and endearing name. I once more, as I have done already (5:13) congratulate you, who have attained a state of spiritual youth, on the strength which God has imparted to you, on becoming armed with his word and your having conquered the devil.

The next class of Christians are those whom he terms “babes,” or persons in their spiritual infancy, who require to be fed with the milk of babes, and to be supported and propped up in their spiritual progress. These he congratulates on having known the father. Their lisping accents in the spiritual life show that they acknowledge God by faith to be a Father in their regard; and as it is the glory of infants, in the order of nature, to lisp and know the name of father; so, it is likewise in the spiritual order of grace … Some, say these words. “I write unto you, babes,” &c., are only a repetition of the words (verse 12), “I write unto you, little children,” with an additional reason for addressing them. The interpretation now given is the more probable, and accords better with the order observed by the Apostle in marking out the different ages. (In the Greek, we find inserted here, a repetition of the words of verse 13, I have written to you, fathers, because you have known that which was from the beginning).

“I write” (in Greek, ἔγραψα = graphia, I have written), “unto you, young men,” or such as have arrived at the stage of spiritual youth—it is a repetition of the words (verse 13), with a fuller reason, “because you are strong,” and I congratulate you on being valiant in grace; “and the word of God abideth in you.” You have taken the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit to resist your enemies (Ephes. chap. 5)—“and you have overcome the wicked one,” the devil and his leagued auxiliaries, the flesh and the world.

It is, then, most likely, as St. Augustine maintains, that the Apostle is referring to the different stages of spiritual life; and to those constituted in each, he attributes the perfections, in the spiritual order, analogous to those of which men in the different stages of life are apt to boast, in the natural order. The old men, or those advanced in spiritual life, have acquired an exalted knowledge of him who existed from eternity. Those who had attained the state of spiritual youth, he congratulates on their active feats; they overcame their enemy, the devil; and the “babes,” or those lately converted, he congratulates on having known and lisped the name of their common Father, whom they are taught by faith to address as such.

1 Jn 2:15 Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him.

What I write to you, and exhort you to, Christians of every age and degree, is this—love not this world, as your fixed, permanent dwelling-place, as your final end, nor the riches, pleasures, honours, &c., that are found therein. If any one love the world in the prohibited sense now explained, the love of the Father, who cannot endure a divided heart, or partial service, is not in him.

The Apostle now explains what it is he writes to the different classes of Christians, whom he congratulates on the good qualities suited to each, and furnishing an earnest, that they will attend to the injunction he is now about giving them, viz., to avoid the greatest obstacle to their advancement in Christian virtue, and to the perfect fulfilment of the precept of fraternal charity. “Love not the world.” This is understood by some to refer to men of worldly habits and principles, who are not to be loved as such; although, as creatures of God, capable of eternal beatitude, they are to be loved by us. Others understand it (as in Paraphrase), of making this world our final resting-place; making it, instead of God, our last end. The following words, “nor the things that are in the world,” render this interpretation very probable. “If any man love the world,” fixing his heart and affections on it, as his last end; “the charity of the Father is not in him;” because, God cannot endure a divided heart. The world and God are two rivals, that cannot be served at the same time.

1 Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father but is of the world.

(Neither love the things that are in the world); for, all that is in the world are, the corrupt pleasures and inordinate gratification of sense; the greedy acquisition of wealth, and other goods of this life; and the inordinate desire of procuring honours, dignities, and elevated stations—this triple concupiscence in its present sinful state has not God for author; but, has its origin in the corruption of the world.

The Apostle having already, in the preceding verse, given a reason why they should not “love the world,” now in this, shows why they should not love “the things that are in the world,” by describing what these things are, and their utter worthlessness and opposition to the things of God. “For all that is in the world,” or all the things that corrupt and worldly men set their heart upon, all the things that they prize or value, “is the concupiscence of the flesh,” the inordinate gratification of their carnal and impure passions. In this member of the sentence, as well as in the following, the act of passion or concupiscence is employed, for the objects of concupiscence.

“The concupiscence of the eyes,” commonly understood of avarice or the inordinate affection for the sensible goods of this life, viz., the riches and worldly substance of any kind, which fall beneath the sense of seeing; in Eccles. 4:8, the eyes of the covetous man are said to be insatiable. Others, with St. Augustine, understand the words to refer to curiosity of every kind, of which the eyes are the principal inlets, not even excluding knowledge, when pursued from a mere spirit of curiosity, and from a desire of acquiring the reputation of learning. The former is, however, the more common interpretation of the words.

“And the pride of life,” understood commonly of the inordinate desire of honours, dignities, elevated stations, &c. From the words of St. John, then, it is clear, that these great ruling maxims of the world, which are the sources of all other sins, and the bane of fraternal charity, are, the inordinate desire of sensual gratification, avarice, and ambition. Hence it is, that those who renounce the world, and serve God in a religious state, having their conversation and all their cares centered in another and a better world, take care to renounce altogether, and at once, all connexion with these corrupt maxims of the world. By vows of chastity, they renounce all carnal pleasures; by vows of poverty, they renounce avarice; and by vows of humble obedience, they renounce ambition; and our Redeemer has proposed to all the faithful in general a triple remedy against these three corrupt principles, viz., fasting, almsdeeds, and prayer (Matthew, 6).

“Which,” triple concupiscence (as appears from the Greek, ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἐν τῷ κοσμῷ, η επιθυμία της σαρκος … ουκ εστιν εκ του πατρος, because everything in the world, the concupiscence of the flesh, &c., is not of the Father), “is not of the Father,” in its present corrupt state, as the fomes peccati impelling us to the violation of God’s holy law; “but is of the world,” it is the effect of fallen human nature corrupted by sin; for, “God created man right” (Eccles. 7:30). This concupiscence, to which the Apostle refers, is evil; and hence, our Redeemer, who assumed our common infirmities, was not subject to it.

In the Greek, the verb “is” is wanting in the words, “all that is in the world,” as appears from the foregoing. The Syriac supports the Vulgate.

1 Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever.

And, moreover, the world passes, and is daily becoming more and more subject to decay; so will all the darling objects of worldly esteem, viz., pleasures, riches, and honours, also pass away; but, the man who does the will of God, and observes his commandments, will remain for ever, and his works will entitle him to an everlasting reward.

Another reason why they should not love the world nor the things of the world is derived from the fleeting, transitory nature of their existence and enjoyment. “The world passeth.” The “world” may refer either to the present creation, daily approaching decay and dissolution; or, to worldly men, who daily die and relinquish all their present enjoyments. This latter meaning is rendered probable by the contrast between the world and the man “who doth the will of God.” “The concupiscence,” the darling objects, prized by the world, such as pleasures, riches, honours. “But he that doth the will of God,” that observes God’s commandments, and renounces all inordinate attachment to the objects of this threefold concupiscence, “abideth for ever,” will enjoy for ever eternal life, as the reward of his good works, and of his resistance to his corrupt passions.

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St Augustine’s on 1 John 2:12-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 13, 2014

“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven through His name. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, children, because ye have known the Father. I write5 unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever (even as God also abideth for ever).

1. ALL things that are read from the Holy Scriptures in order to our instruction and salvation, it behoves us to hear with earnest heed. Yet most of all must those things be commended to our memory, which are of most force against heretics; whose insidious designs cease not to circumvent all that are weaker and more negligent. Remember that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ both died for us, and rose again; died, to wit, for our offenses, rose again for our justification.6 Even as ye have just heard concerning the two disciples whom He met with in the way, how “their eyes were holden that they should not know Him:”1 and He found them despairing of the redemption that was in Christ, and deeming that now He had suffered and was dead as a man, not accounting that as Son of God He ever liveth; and deeming too that He was so dead in the flesh as not to come to life again, but just as one of the prophets: as those of you who were attentive have just now heard their own words. Then “He opened to them the Scriptures, beginning at Moses,” and going through all the prophets, showing them that all He had suffered had been foretold, lest they should be more staggered if the Lord should rise again, and the more fail to believe Him, if these things had not been told before concerning Him. For the firmness of faith is in this, that all things which came to pass in Christ were foretold. The disciples, then, knew Him not, save “in the breaking of bread.” And truly he that eateth and drinketh not judgment to himself in the breaking of bread doth know Christ.2 Afterward also those eleven “thought they saw a spirit.” He gave Himself to be handled by them, who also gave Himself to be crucified; to be crucified by enemies, to be handled by friends: yet the Physician of all, both of the ungodliness of those, and of the unbelief of these. For ye heard when the Acts of the Apostles were read, how many thousands of Christ’s slayers believed.3 If those believed afterwards who had killed, should not those believe who for a little while doubted? And yet even in regard of them, (a thing which ye ought especially to observe, and to commit to your memory, because that which shall make us strong against insidious errors, God has been pleased to put in the Scriptures, against which no man dares to speak, who in any sort wishes to seem a Christian), when He had given Himself to be handled by them, that did not suffice Him, but He would also confirm by means of the Scriptures the heart of them that believe: for He looked forward to us who should be afterwards; seeing that in Him we have nothing that we can handle, but have that which we may read. For if those believed only because they held and handled, what shall we do? Now, Christ is ascended into heaven; He is not to come save at the end, to judge the quick and the dead. Whereby shall we believe, but by that whereby it was His will that even those who handled Him should be confirmed? For He opened to them the Scriptures and showed them that it behoved Christ to suffer, and that all things should be fulfilled which were written of Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms. He embraced in His discourse the whole ancient text of the Scriptures. All that there is of those former Scriptures tells of Christ; but only if it find ears. He also “opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures.” Whence we also must pray for this, that He would open our understanding.

2. But what did the Lord show written of Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms? What did He show? Let Himself say. The evangelist has put this briefly, that we might know what in all that great compass of the Scriptures we ought to believe and to understand. Certainly there are many pages, and many books; the contents of them all is this which the Lord briefly spake to His disciples. What is this? That “it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again the third day.” Thou hast it now concerning the Bridegroom, that “it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again:” the Bridegroom has been set forth to us. Concerning the Bride, let us see what He saith; that thou, when thou knowest the Bridegroom and the Bride, mayest not without reason come to the marriage. For every celebration is a celebration of marriage: the Church’s nuptials are celebrated. The King’s Son is about to marry a wife, and that King’s Son is Himself a King: and the guests frequenting the marriage are themselves the Bride. Not, as in a carnal marriage, some are guests, and another is she that is married; in the Church they that come as guests, if they come to good purpose, become the Bride. For all the Church is Christ’s Bride, of which the beginning and first fruits is the flesh of Christ: there was the Bride joined to the Bridegroom in the flesh. With good reason when He would betoken that same flesh, He brake bread, and with good reason “in the breaking of bread,” the eyes “of the disciples were opened, and they knew Him.” Well then, what did the Lord say was written of Him in the Law and Prophets and Psalms? That “it behoved Christ to suffer.” Had He not added, “and to rise again,” well might those mourn whose eyes were holden; but “to rise again” is also foretold. And wherefore this? Why did it behove Christ to suffer and to rise again? Because of that Psalm which we especially commended to your attention on the fourth day, the first station, of last week.4 Why did it behove Christ to suffer and to rise again? For this reason: “All the ends of the earth shall be reminded and converted unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Him.”1 For that ye may know that it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise again; in this place also what hath He added, that after setting forth the Bridegroom He might also set forth the Bride? “And that there be preached,” saith He, “in His name, repentance and remission of sins throughout all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Ye have heard, brethren; hold it fast. Let no man doubt concerning the Church, that it is “throughout all nations:” let no man doubt that it began at Jerusalem, and hath filled all nations. We know the field where the Vine is planted: but when it is grown we know it not, because it has taken up the whole. Whence did it begin? “At Jerusalem.” Whither has it come? To “all nations.” A few remain: it shall possess all. In the mean time, while it is taking possession of all, it has seemed good to the Husbandman to cut off some unprofitable branches, and they have made heresies and schisms. Let not the branches that are cut off induce you to be cut off: rather exhort ye them that are cut off that they be graffed in again. It is manifest that Christ hath suffered, is risen again, and is ascended into heaven: made manifest also is the Church, because there is “preached in His name repentance and remission of sins throughout all nations.” Whence did it begin? “Beginning at Jerusalem.” The man hears this; foolish and vain, and (how, shall I express it?) worse than blind! so great a mountain, and he does not see it; a candle set upon a candlestick, and he shuts his eyes against it!

3. When we say to them, If ye be Catholic Christians, communicate with that Church from which the Gospel is spread abroad over the whole earth: communicate with that Jerusalem:2 when this we say to them, they make answer to us, we do not communicate with that city where our King was slain, where our Lord was slain: as though they hate the city where our Lord was slain. The Jews slew Him whom they found on earth, these scorn3 Him that sitteth in heaven! Which are the worse; those who despised Him because they thought Him man, or those who scorn the sacraments of Him whom now they confess to be God? But they hate, forsooth, the city in which their Lord was slain! Pious men, and merciful! they much grieve that Christ was slain, and in men they slay Christ! But He loved that city, and pitied it: from it He bade the preaching of Him begin, “beginning at Jerusalem.” He made there the beginning of the preaching of His name: and thou shrinkest back with horror from having communion with that city!4 No marvel that being cut off thou hatest the root. What said He to His disciples? “Sit ye still in the city, because I send my promise5 upon you.” Behold what the city is that they hate! Haply they would love it, if Christ’s murderers dwelt in it. For it is manifest that all Christ’s murderers, i.e., the Jews, are expelled from that city.6 That which had in it them that were fierce against Christ, hath now them that adore Christ. Therefore do these men hate it, because Christians are in it. There was it His will that His disciples should tarry, and there that He should send to them the Holy Ghost. Where had the Church its commencement, but where the Holy Ghost came from heaven, and filled the hundred and twenty sitting in one place? That number twelve was made tenfold. They sat, an hundred and twenty persons, and the Holy Ghost came, “and filled the whole place, and there came a sound, as it were the rushing of a mighty wind, and there were cloven tongues like as of fire.” Ye have heard the Acts of the Apostles: this was the lesson read today:7 “They began to speak with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” And all who were on the spot. Jews who were come from divers nations, recognised each his own tongue, and marvelled that those unlearned and ignorant men had on the sudden learned not one or two tongues, but the tongues of all nations whatsoever. There, then, where all tongues sounded, there was it betokened that all tongues should believe. But these men, who much love Christ, and therefore refuse to communicate with the city which killed Christ, so honor Christ as to affirm that He is left to two tongues, the Latin and the Punic, i.e. African. Christ possess only two tongues! For there are but these two tongues on the side of Donatus, more they have not. Let us awake, my brethren, let us rather see the gift of the Spirit of God, and let us believe the things spoken before concerning Him, and let us see fulfilled the things spoken before in the Psalm: “There are neither speeches nor discourses,8 but their voices are heard among them.9 And lest haply the case be so that the tongues themselves came to one place, and not rather that the gift of Christ came to all tongues, hear what follows: “Into all the earth is their sound gone out, and unto the ends of the world their words.” Wherefore this? Because “in the sun hath He set His tabernacle,” i.e., in the open light. His tabernacle, His flesh: His tabernacle, His Church: “in the sun” it is set; not in the night, but in the day. But why do those not acknowledge it? Return to the lesson at the place where it ended yesterday, and see why they do not acknowledge it: “He that hateth his brother, walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the darkness hath blinded his eyes.” For us then, let us see what follows, and not be in darkness. How shall we not be in darkness? If we love the brethren. How is it proved that we love the brotherhood? By this, that we do not rend unity, that we hold fast charity.

4. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you through His name.”1 Therefore, “little children,”2 because in forgiveness of sins ye have your birth. But through whose name are sins forgiven? Through Augustin’s? No, therefore neither through the name of Donatus. Be it thy concern to see who is Augustin, or who Donatus: no, not through the name of Paul, not through the name of Peter. For to them that divided unto themselves the Church, and out of unity essayed to make parties, the mother charity in the apostle travailing in birth with her little ones, exposeth her own bowels, with words doth as it were rend her breasts, bewaileth her children whom she seeth borne out dead, recalleth unto the one Name them that would needs make them many names, repelleth them from the love of her that Christ may be loved, and saith, “Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”3 What saith he? “I would not that ye be mine, that so ye may be with me: be ye with me; all we are His who died for us, who was crucified for us”: whence here also it is said, “Your sins are forgiven you through His name,” not through the name of any man.

5. “I write unto you, fathers.”4 Why first sons? “Because your sins are forgiven you through His name,” and ye are regenerated into a new life, therefore sons. Why fathers? “Because ye have known Him that is from the beginning:” for the beginning hath relation unto fatherhood. Christ new in flesh, but ancient in Godhead. How ancient think we? how many years old? Think we, of greater age5 than His mother? Assuredly of greater age than His mother, for “all things were made by Him.”6 If all things, then did the Ancient make the very mother of whom the New should be born. Was He, think we, before His mother only? Yea, and before His mother’s ancestors is His antiquity. The ancestor of His mother was Abraham; and the Lord saith, “Before Abraham I am.”7 Before Abraham, say we? The heaven and earth, ere man was, were made. Before these was the Lord, nay rather also is. For right well He saith, not, Before Abraham I was, but, “Before Abraham I AM.” For that of which one says, “was,” is not; and that of which one says, “will be,” is not yet: He knoweth not other than to be. As God, He knoweth “to be:” “was,” and “will be,” He knoweth not. It is one day there, but a day that is for ever and ever. That day yesterday and to-morrow do not set in the midst between them: for when the ‘yesterday’ is ended, the ‘to-day’ begins, to be finished by the coming ‘to-morrow.’ That one day there is a day without darkness, without night, without spaces, without measure, without hours. Call it what thou wilt: if thou wilt, it is a day; if thou wilt, a year; if thou wilt, years. For it is said of this same, “And thy years shall not fail.”8 But when is it called a day? When it is said to the Lord, “To-day have I begotten Thee.”9 From the eternal Father begotten, from eternity begotten, in eternity begotten: with no beginning, no bound, no space of breadth; because He is what is, because Himself is “He that Is.” This His name He told to Moses: “Thou shalt say unto them, HE THAT IS hath sent me unto you.”10 Why speak then of “before Abraham”? why, before Noe? why, before Adam? Hear the Scripture: “Before the day-star have I begotten Thee.”11 In fine, before heaven and earth. Wherefore? Because “all things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made.”12 By this know ye the “fathers:” for they become fathers by acknowledging “That which is from the beginning.”

6. “I write unto you, young men.” There are sons, are fathers, are young men: sons, because begotten; fathers, because they acknowledge the Beginning; why young men? “Because ye have overcome the wicked one.” In the sons, birth: in the fathers, antiquity: in the young men, strength. If the wicked one is “overcome” by the young men, he fights with us. Fights, but not conquers.1 Wherefore? Because we are strong, or because He is strong in us who in the hands of the persecutors was found weak? He hath made us strong, who resisted not His persecutors. “For He was crucified of weakness, but He liveth by the power of God.”2

7. “I write3 unto you,4 children.”5 Whence children? “Because ye have known the Father. I write unto you fathers:” he enforceth this, and repeateth,6 “Because ye have known Him that is from the beginning.” Remember that ye are fathers: if ye forget “Him that is from the beginning,” ye have lost your fatherhood. “I write unto you, young men.” Again and again consider that ye are young men: fight, that ye may overcome: overcome, that ye may be crowned: be lowly, that ye fall not in the fight. “I write unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

8. All these things, my brethren,—“because we have known That which is from the beginning, because we are strong, because we have known the Father,”—do all these, while they in a manner commend7 knowledge, not commend charity? If we have known, let us love: for knowledge without charity saveth not. “Knowledge8 puffeth up, charity edifieth.”9 If ye have a mind to confess and not love, ye begin to be like the demons. The demons confessed the Son of God, and said, “What have we to do with Thee?”10 and were repulsed. Confess and embrace. For those feared for their iniquities; love ye Him that forgiveth your iniquities. But how can we love God, if we love the world? He prepareth us therefore to be inhabited by charity.11 There are two loves: of the world, and of God: if the love of the world inhabit, there is no way for the love of God to enter in: let the love of the world make way, and the love of God inhabit; let the better have place. Thou lovedst the world: love not the world: when thou hast emptied thine heart of earthly love, thou shall drink in love Divine: and thenceforth beginneth charity to inhabit thee, from which can nothing of evil proceed. Hear ye therefore his words, how he goes to work in the manner of one that makes a clearance. He comes upon the hearts of men as a field that he would occupy: but in what state does he find it? If he finds a wood, he roots it up; if he finds the field cleared, he plants it. He would plant a tree there, charity∙ And what is the wood he would root up? Love of the world. Hear him, the rooter up of the wood! “Love not the world,” (for this comes next,) “neither the things that are in the world; if any man love the world, the12 love of the Father is not in him.”13

9. Ye have heard that “if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Let not any say in his heart that this is false, brethren: God saith it; by the Apostle the Holy Ghost hath spoken; nothing more true: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” Wouldest thou have the Father’s love, that thou mayest be joint-heir with the Son? Love not the world. Shut out the evil love of the world, that thou mayest be filled with14 the love of God. Thou art a vessel; but as yet thou art full. Pour out what thou hast, that thou mayest receive what thou hast not. Certainly,15 our brethren are now born again of water and of the Spirit: we also some years ago were born again of water and of the Spirit. Good is it for us that we love not the world, lest the sacraments remain in us unto damnation, not as means of strengthening16 unto salvation. That which strengthens unto salvation is, to have the root of charity, to have the “power of godliness,” not “the form” only.17 Good is the form, holy the form: but what avails the form, if it hold not the root? The branch that is cut off, is it not cast into the fire? Have the form, but in the root. But in what way are ye rooted so that ye be not rooted up? By holding charity, as saith the Apostle Paul, “rooted and grounded in charity.”18 How shall charity be rooted there, amid the overgrown wilderness of the love of the world? Make clear riddance of the woods. A mighty seed ye are about to put in: let there not be that in the field which shall choke the seed. These are the uprooting words which he hath said: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”1

10. “For all that is in the world, is2 the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride3 of life,”4 three things he hath said, which5 are not of the Father, but are of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever, even as He abideth for ever.”6 Why am I not to love what God made? What wilt thou? Whether wilt thou love the things of time, and pass away with time; or not love the world, and live to eternity with God? The river of temporal things hurries one along: but like a tree sprung up beside the river is our Lord Jesus Christ.7 He assumed flesh, died, rose again, ascended into heaven. It was His will to plant Himself, in a manner, beside the river of the things of time. Art thou rushing down the stream to the headlong deep? Hold fast the tree. Is love of the world whirling thee on? Hold fast Christ. For thee He became temporal, that thou mightest become eternal; because He also in such sort became temporal, that He remained still eternal. Something was added to Him from time, not anything went from His eternity. But thou wast born temporal, and by sin wast made temporal: thou wast made temporal by sin, He was made temporal by mercy in remitting sins. How great the difference, when two are in a prison, between the criminal and him that visits him! For upon a time a person comes to his friend and enters in to visit him, and both seem to be in prison; but they differ by a wide distinction. The one, his cause presses down: the other, humanity has brought thither. So in this our mortal state, we were held fast by our guiltiness, He in mercy came down: He entered in unto the captive, a Redeemer not an oppressor. The Lord for us shed His blood, redeemed us, changed our hope. As yet we bear the mortality of the flesh, and take the future immortality upon trust: and on the sea we are tossed by the waves, but we have the anchor of hope already fixed upon the land.

11. But let us “not love the world, neither the things that are in the world. For the things that are in the world, are the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” These three are they: lest haply any man say, “The things that are in the world, God made: i.e. heaven and earth, the sea: the sun, the moon, the stars, all the garniture of the heavens. What is the garniture of the sea? all creeping things. What of the earth? animals, trees, flying creatures. These are ‘in the world,’ God made them. Why then am I not to love what God hath made?” Let the Spirit of God be in thee, that thou mayest see that all these things are good: but woe to thee if thou love the things made, and forsake the Maker of them! Fair are they to thee: but how much fairer He that formed them! Mark well, beloved. For by similitudes ye may be instructed: lest Satan steal upon you, saying what he is wont to say, Take your enjoyment in the creature of God; wherefore made He those things but for your enjoyment? And men drink themselves drunken, and perish, and forget their own Creator: while not temperately but lustfully they use the things created, the Creator is despised. Of such saith the apostle: “They worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever.”8 God doth not forbid thee to love9 these things, howbeit, not to10 set thine affections upon them for blessedness, but to approve and praise them to this end, that thou mayest love thy Creator. In the same manner, my brethren, as if a bridegroom should make a ring for his bride, and she having received the ring, should love it more than she loves the bridegroom who made the ring for her: would not her soul be found guilty of adultery in the very gift of the bridegroom, albeit she did but love what the bridegroom gave her? By all means let her love what the bridegroom gave: yet should she say, “This ring is enough for me, I do not wish to see his face now:” what sort of woman would she be? Who would not detest such folly? who not pronounce her guilty of an adulterous mind? Thou lovest gold in place of the man, lovest a ring in place of the bridegroom: if this be in thee, that thou lovest a ring in place of thy bridegroom, and hast no wish to see thy bridegroom; that he has given time an earnest, serves not to pledge thee to him, but to turn away thy heart from him! For this the bridegroom gives earnest, that in his earnest he may himself be loved. Well then, God gave thee all these things: love Him that made them. There is more that He would fain give thee, that is, His very Self that made these things. But if thou love these—what though God made them—and neglect the Creator and love the world; shall not thy love be accounted adulterous?11

12. For “the world” is the appellation given not only to this fabric which God made, heaven and earth, the sea, things visible and invisible: but the inhabitants of the world are called the world, just as we call a “house” both the walls and them that inhabit therein. And sometimes we praise a house, and find fault with the inhabitants. For we say, A good house; because it is marbled and beautifully1 ceiled: and in another sense we say, A good house: no man there suffers wrong, no acts of plunder, no acts of oppression, are done there. Now we praise not the building, but those who dwell within the building: yet we call it “house,” both this and that. For all lovers of the world, because by love they inhabit the world, just as those inhabit heaven, whose heart is on high while in the flesh they walk on earth: I say then, all lovers of the world are called the world. The same have only these three things, “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, vain glory of life.” For they lust to eat, drink, cohabit: to use these pleasures. Not surely, that there is no allowed measure in these things? or that when it is said, Love not these things, it means that ye are not to eat, or not to drink, or not to beget children? This is not the thing said. Only, let there be measure, because of the Creator, that these things may not bind you by your loving of them: lest ye love that for enjoyment, which ye ought to have for use. But ye are not put to the proof except when two things are propounded to you, this or that: Wilt thou righteousness or gains? I have not wherewithal to live, have not wherewithal to eat, have not wherewithal to drink. But what if thou canst not have these but by iniquity? Is it not better to love that which thou losest not, than to lose thyself by iniquity? Thou seest the gain of gold, the loss of faith thou seest not. This then, saith he to us, is “the lust of the flesh,” i.e. the lusting after those things which pertain to the flesh, such as food, and carnal cohabitation, and all other such like.

13. “And the lust of the eyes:” by “the lust of the eyes,” he means all curiosity. Now how wide is the scope of curiosity! This it is that works in spectacles, in theatres, in sacraments of the devil, in magical arts, in dealings2 with darkness: none other than curiosity. Sometimes it tempts even the servants of God, so that they wish as it were to work a miracle, to tempt God whether He will hear their prayers in working of miracles; it is curiosity: this is “lust of the eyes;” it “is not of the Father.” If God hath given the power, do the miracle, for He hath put it in thy way to do it: for think not that those who have not done miracles shall not pertain to the kingdom of God. When the apostles were rejoicing that the demons were subject to them, what said the Lord to them? “Rejoice not in this, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”3 In that would He have the apostles to rejoice, wherein thou also rejoicest. Woe to thee truly if thy name be not written in heaven! Is it woe to thee if thou raise not the dead? is it woe to thee if thou walk not on the sea? is it woe to thee if thou cast not out demons? If thou hast received power to do them, use it humbly, not proudly. For even of certain false prophets the Lord hath said that “they shall do signs and prodigies.”4 Therefore let there be no “ambition of the world:” Ambitio sæculi, is Pride. The man wishes to make much of himself in his honors: he thinks himself great, whether because of riches, or because of some power.

14. These three there are, and thou canst find nothing whereby human cupidity can be tempted, but either by the lust of the flesh, or the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life. By these three was the Lord tempted of the devil.5 By the lust of the flesh He was tempted when it was said to Him, “If thou be the Son of God, speak to these stones that they become bread,” when He hungered after His fast. But in what way repelled He the tempter, and taught his soldier how to fight? Mark what He said to him: “Not by bread alone doth man live, but by every word of God.” He was tempted also by the lust of the eyes concerning a miracle, when he said to Him, “Cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” He resisted the tempter, for to do the miracle, would only have been to seem either to have yielded, or to have done it from curiosity; for He wrought when He would, as God, howbeit as healing the weak. For if He had done it then, He might have been thought to wish only to do a miracle. But lest men should think this, mark what He answered; and when the like temptation shall happen to thee, say thou also the same: “Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God:” that is, if I do this I shall tempt God. He said what He would have thee to say. When the enemy suggests to thee, “What sort of man, what sort of Christian, art thou? As yet hast thou done one miracle, or by thy prayers have the dead been raised, or hast thou healed the fevered? if thou wert truly of any moment, thou wouldest do some miracle:” answer and say: “It is written, Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God:” therefore I will not tempt God, as if I should belong to God if I do a miracle, and not belong if I do none: and what becomes then of His words, “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven”? By “pride of life” how was the Lord tempted? When he carried Him up to an high place, and said to Him, “All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” By the loftiness of an earthly kingdom he wished to tempt the King of all worlds: but the Lord who made heaven and earth trod the devil under foot. What great matter for the devil to be conquered by the Lord? Then what did He in the answer He made to the devil but teach thee the answer He would have thee to make? “It is, written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Holding these things fast, ye shall not have the concupiscence of the world: by not having concupiscence of the world, neither shall the lust of the flesh, nor the lust of the eyes, nor the pride of life, subjugate you: and ye shall make place for Charity when she cometh, that ye may love God. Because if love of the world be there, love of God will not be there. Hold fast rather the love of God, that as God is for ever and ever, so ye also may remain for ever and ever: because such is each one as is his love. Lovest thou earth? thou shalt be earth. Lovest thou God? what shall I say? thou shalt be a god? I dare not say it of myself, let us hear the Scriptures: “I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you sons of the Most High.”1 If then ye would be gods and sons of the Most High, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all the things that are in the world, is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world:”2 i.e. of men, lovers of the world. “And the world passeth away, and the lusts thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever, even as God also abideth for ever.”

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