Consonant with both Anglicanism’s and monasticism’s love of patristic theology-spirituality, I occasionally post selections from Durham University’s two-year lectionary for the Divine Office that draws mostly from patristic writings. The lectionary was initially edited by Stephen Mark Holmes (University of Edinburgh School of Divinity) and subsequently re-edited and formatted by Michele Freyhauf (Durham University). Click here for the link to the lectionary.]
Patristic Lectionary—31 October 2020, Feria after the Twentieth Sunday of Trinitytide (Saturday ~ 30th Week in Ordinary Time)
[This image is posted as a representation of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom. But I found no information about the statue in my online search. Any information on the statue would be appreciated.]
Wisdom, an Image of God
May God grant that I speak with judgement and have thought worthy of what I have received, for he is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise. For both we and our words are in his hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts. For it is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements; the beginning and end and middle of times, the alternations of the solstices and the changes of the seasons, the cycles of the year and the constellations of the stars, the natures of animals and the tempers of wild beasts, the powers of spirits and the reasonings of men, the varieties of plants and the virtues of roots; I learned both what is secret and what is manifest, for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me.
For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle. For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. Though she is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God and prophets; for God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail.
Anselm of Havelberg, O. Praem. (c. 1100-1158)
Dialogues 1, 2 (Sources Chrétiennes 118:41-44)
Let us consider how God’s Church is one in itself and by its own nature, and how it is manifold by the nature of its children, whom it has generated and continues to generate in different ways and ages, and has instructed and continues to instruct by different laws and institutions, from the descendants of righteous Abel to the last of the chosen. For in the words of the Bridegroom: My dove is one; she is her mother’s only child, her mother’s darling. The Church is one, with one faith, one love; one of one without stain of wicked faithlessness or wrinkly of perverse duplicity; and there is one generation of the good, of which it is written: The generation of the good will be blessed. And the body of the Church is one, which is given life and is ruled and governed by the Holy Spirit, to which the Holy Spirit is united, manifold, subtle, mobile, eloquent, undefiled, true, kind, loving the good, sagacious, whom nothing prevents from doing good, compassionate, gracious, steadfast, untroubled, all-powerful, taking care of everything, and permeating every spirit, wise and pure.
In other words, as the Apostle explains: In the Holy Spirit there are varieties of gifts, but the Spirit is the same. And: to each the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one, that is, words of wisdom are given by the Spirit; to another, words of learning according to the same Spirit; to one, faith by the same Spirit; to another, prophecy; to one the ability to distinguish between spirits; to another various kinds of language; to yet another the interpretation of languages. So all these gifts originate from one and the same Spirit, allotting them to each individually at will.
Thus it is manifestly clear that the one body of the Church is given life by the one Holy Spirit, which is both single in itself and manifold in the multiform distribution of its gifts. Yes, this body of the Church, given life by the Holy Spirit, divided and separated through the diversity of its members in different times and ages, began with the righteous Abel and will end with the last of the chosen, ever one with one faith, but distinguished by the manifold variety of its life.