Sunday, May 02, 2004

If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. As I noted last year, he was one of Venerable Newman's favorite saints, and he wrote about him and referred to him often.
" 'Did St. Athanasius, or St. Ambrose, come suddenly to life, it cannot be doubted,' I said ironically, 'what communion they would mistake for their own. All surely will agree that these Fathers, with whatever differences of opinion, whatever protests, if we will, would find themselves more at home with such men as St. Bernard, or St. Ignatius Loyola, or with the lonely priest in his lodgings, or the holy sisterhood of Charity, or the unlettered crowd before the altar, than with the rulers or members of any other religious community. And may we not add, that were the two Saints, who once sojourned in exile or on embassage at Treves, to come more northward still, and to travel until they reached another fair city, seated among groves, green meadows, and calm streams, the holy brothers would turn from many a high aisle and solemn cloister which they found there, and ask the way to some small chapel, where mass was said, in the populous alley or the forlorn suburb? And, on the other hand, can any one who has but heard his name, and cursorily read his history, doubt for one instant, how the people of England, in turn, "we, our princes, our priests, and our prophets," Lords and Commons, Universities, Ecclesiastical Courts, marts of commerce, great towns, country parishes, would deal with Athanasius,-Athanasius, who spent his long years in fighting against kings for a theological term? ' "- Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine


Post a Comment

<< Home