(2) APOLOGY: (a) Lit Word; (b) Charity towards Poor; (c) Agape
(3) PRAYER: (a) Characteristics; (b) Prostration (c) Constant Prayer. (d) Liturgy of Hours.
(e) PSALMODY = ALLELUIA. (f) PRAYER works only GOOD. (g) ALL BEINGS PRAY
ATHENS versus JERUSALEM
THESE are “the doctrines” of men and “of demons”62
produced for itching ears of the spirit of this world’s wisdom: this the
Lord called “foolishness,”63
and “chose the foolish things of the world” to confound even philosophy
itself. For (philosophy) it is which is the material of the world’s
rash interpreter of the nature and the dispensation of God.
heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy. From this source came
Aeons, and I known not what infinite forms, and the trinity of man67
in the system of
who was of
Hae sunt doctrinae hominum et
daemoniorum, prurientibus auribus (II Tim., IV, 3) natae de ingenio sapientiae saecularis ,
quam Dominus stultitiam vocans, stulta mundi in confusionem etiam
philosophiae ipsius elegit (I Cor. I, 27). Ea est enim materia sapientiae saecularis,
temeraria interpres divinae naturae et dispositionis. Ipsae denique
haereses a philosophia subornantur. Inde aeones, et formae nescio
quae, et trinitas hominis , apud Valentinum: platonicus fuerat .
From the same source came Marcion’s better god, with all his
tranquillity; he came of the Stoics. Then, again, the opinion that the
soul dies is held by the Epicureans; while
the denial of the restoration
of the body is taken from the aggregate school of all the philosophers;
also, when matter is made equal to God, then you have the teaching of
Zeno; and when any doctrine is alleged touching a god of fire, then Heraclitus comes in.
Inde Marcionis Deus melior [0019B]
de tranquillitate: a Stoicis venerat. Et ut anima
interire dicatur, ab Epicureis observatur. Et ut carnis restitutio negetur,
de una omnium philosophorum schola sumitur. Et ubi materia cum Deo
aequatur, Zenonis disciplina est; et ubi aliquid de igneo deo allegatur ,
Heraclitus intervenit :
subject-matter is discussed over and over again by the heretics and the
philosophers; the same arguments are involved. Whence comes evil? Why is
it permitted? What is the origin of man? and in what way does he come?
Besides the question which Valentinus has very lately proposed—Whence
comes God? Which he settles with the answer: From enthymesis and ectroma.70
Eadem materia apud haereticos et
philosophos volutatur, iidem retractatus implicantur. Unde malum, et quare?
et unde homo, et quomodo? et, quod proxime Valentinus proposuit, unde
Deus? Scilicet [0020A]
de enthymesi, et ectromate .
who invented for these men
dialectics, the art of building up and pulling down; an art so evasive in its propositions, so
far-fetched in its conjectures, so harsh, in its arguments, so productive
of contentions—embarrassing even to itself, retracting everything, and
really treating of nothing! Whence spring those “fables and endless
and “unprofitable questions,”75
and “words which spread like a cancer? ”76
Miserum Aristotelem ! qui illis dialecticam instituit, artificem
struendi et destruendi, versipellem in sententiis, coactam in conjecturis,
duram in argumentis, operariam contentionum , molestam etiam sibi ipsi,
omnia retractantem , ne quid omnino tractaverit. Hinc illae fabulae
et genealogiae interminabiles , et quaestiones infructuosae,
et sermones serpentes velut cancer (I Tim. I, 4; ibid., III, 4; II Tim. II, 17-23);
these, when the apostle [Paul] would restrain us, he
philosophy as that which he would have us be on our guard against.
Writing to the Colossians, he says, “See that no one beguile you through
philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, and contrary to
the wisdom of the Holy Ghost.”77
He had been at Athens, and had in his interviews (with its philosophers)
become acquainted with that human wisdom which pretends to know the truth,
whilst it only corrupts it, and is itself divided into its own manifold
heresies, by the variety of its mutually repugnant sects.
a quibus nos Apostolus refraenans,
nominatim philosophiam contestatur caveri oportere, scribens ad
Colossenses (II, 8):
Videte ne quis vos circumveniat per philosophiam et inanem
seductionem, secundum traditionem hominum, praeter providentiam Spiritus
Sancti. Fuerat Athenis, et istam sapientiam [0020B]
humanam, affectatricem et interpolatricem veritatis,
de congressibus noverat, ipsam quoque in suas haereses multipartitam
varietate sectarum invicem repugnantium.
What indeed has Athens to do with Jerusalem?
What concord is there between the Academy and the Church?
WHAT BETWEEN HERETICS AND CHRISTIANS?
Our instruction comes from
“the porch of Solomon,”78
who had himself taught that “the Lord should be sought in simplicity of
heart.”79 Away with all
attempts to produce a mottled Christianity of Stoic, Platonic, and
dialectic composition! We want no curious disputation after possessing
Christ Jesus, no inquisition after enjoying the gospel! With our faith, we
desire no further belief. For this is our primary faith, that there is
nothing which we ought to believe besides.
Quid ergo Athenis et Hierosolymis?
quid Academiae et Ecclesiae?
Quid haereticis et Christianis?
Nostra institutio de Porticu
Salomonis est, qui et ipse tradiderat Dominum in simplicitate cordis
esse quaerendum (Sap. I, 1).
Viderint, qui stoicum et platonicum et dialecticum Christianismum
protulerunt. Nobis curiositate opus non
est, post Christum Jesum; nec inquisitione, post
Evangelium. Cum credimus, nihil desideramus ultra credere. Hoc enim prius
credimus, non esse quod ultra credere debeamus.
APOLOGY for the CHRISTIANS
APOLOGETICUS ADVERSUS GENTES PRO CHRISTIANIS
39. I SHALL at once go on, then, to exhibit the peculiarities of the Christian society, that, as I have refuted the evil charged against it, I may point out its positive good.
PL 1, C. XXXIX. col 468-478 Edam jam nunc ego ipsa negotia christianae factionis, ut qui mala refutaverim, bona ostendam.
We are a body knit together as such by a common religious profession, by unity of discipline, and by the bond of a common hope.
Corpus sumus de conscientia religionis et disciplinae divinitate et spei foedere.
LITURGY of the WORD
WE meet together as an assembly and congregation, that, offering up prayer to God as with united force, we may wrestle with Him in our supplications. This violence God delights in.
Coimus in coetum et congregationem, ut ad Deum , quasi manu facta, precationibus ambiamus. Haec vis Deo grata est.
We pray, too,
for the emperors,
for their ministers
and for all in authority,
for the welfare of the world,
for the prevalence of peace,
for the delay of the final consummation.
pro ministeriis eorum
[0468B] ac potestatibus ,
pro statu seculi ,
pro rerum quiete,
pro mora finis.
We assemble to read our sacred writings, if any peculiarity of the times makes either forewarning or reminiscence needful. However it be in that respect, with the sacred words we nourish our faith, we animate our hope, we make our confidence more steadfast; and no less by inculcations of God’s precepts we confirm good habits.
Cogimur ad litterarum [0469A] divinarum commemorationem , si quid praesentium temporum qualitas aut praemonere cogit aut recognoscere. Certe fidem sanctis vocibus pascimus, spem erigimus, fiduciam figimus, disciplinam praeceptorum nihilominus in compulsationibus densamus;
In the same place also exhortations are made, rebukes and sacred censures are administered. For with a great gravity is the work of judging carried on among us, as befits those who feel assured that they are in the sight of God; and you have the most notable example of judgment to come when any one has sinned so grievously as to require his severance from us in prayer, in the congregation and in all sacred intercourse.
ibidem etiam exhortationnes, castigationnes et censura divina .Nam et judicatur magno cum pondere, ut apud certos de Dei conspectu, summumque futuri judicii praejudicium est, si quis ita deliquerit, ut a communicatione orationis et conventus et omnis sancti commercii relegetur,
|The tried men of our elders preside over us, obtaining that honor not by purchase, but by established character.||Praesident probati quique seniores, honorem istum non pretio [0470A] sed testimonio adepti;|
There is no buying and selling of any sort in the things of God. Though we have our treasure-chest, it is not made up of purchase-money, as of a religion that has its price. On the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation; but only if it be his pleasure, and only if he be able: for there is no compulsion; all is voluntary.
neque enim pretio ulla res Dei constat. Etiam si quod arcae genus est, non de honoraria summa, quasi redemptae religionis congregatur ; modicam unusquisque stipem menstrua die, vel quum velit, et si modo velit et si modo possit, apponit : nam nemo compellitur, sed sponte confert.
CHARITY towards the POOR
|THESE gifts are, as it were, piety’s deposit fund.||Haec quasi deposita pietatis sunt.|
For they are not taken thence and spent on feasts, and drinking-bouts, and eating-houses,
Nam inde non epulis nec potaculis, nec ingratis voratrinis dispensatur
but to support and bury poor people,
to supply the wants of boys and girls destitute of means and parents,
and of old persons confined now to the house;
such, too, as have suffered shipwreck;
and if there happen to be any in the mines,
or banished to the islands,
or shut up in the prisons,
, sed egenis alendis humandisque,
et pueris ac puellis re ac parentibus destitutis ,
jamque domesticis senibus ,
item naufragis ,
et si qui in metallis,
et si qui in insulis,
[0471A] vel in custodiis
for nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God’s Church, they become the nurslings of their confession. But it is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand upon us. See, they say, how they love one another, for themselves are animated by mutual hatred; how they are ready even to die for one another, for they themselves will sooner put to death.
, duntaxat ex caussa Dei sectae alumni confessionis suae fiunt. Sed ejusmodi vel maxime dilectionis operatio notam nobis inurit penes quosdam. Vide, inquiunt, ut invicem se diligant : ipsi enim invicem oderunt; et ut pro alterutro mori sint parati: ipsi enim ad occidendum alterutrum paratiores erunt.
And they are wroth with us, too, because we call each other brethren; for no other reason, as I think, than because among themselves names of consanguinity are assumed in mere pretence of affection.
Sed et quod fratrum appellatione censemur , non alias, opinor, infamant, quam quod apud ipsos omne sanguinis nomen de affectatione simulatum est.
But we are your brethren as well, by the law of I our common mother nature, though you are hardly men, because brothers so unkind. At the same time, how much more fittingly they are called and counted brothers who have been led to the knowledge of God as their common Father, who have drunk in one spirit of holiness, who from the same womb of a common ignorance have agonized into the same light of truth! But on this very account, perhaps, we are regarded as having less claim to be held true brothers, that no tragedy makes a noise about our brotherhood, or that the family possessions, which generally destroy brotherhood among you, create fraternal bonds among us.
Fratres autem etiam vestri sumus, jure naturae matris unius, etsi vos parum homines, quia mali fratres. At quanto dignius fratres et dicuntur et habentur , qui unum patrem Deum agnoverunt, qui unum Spiritum biberunt sanctitatis, [0472A] qui de uno utero ignorantiae ejusdem ad unam lucem expaverunt veritatis . Sed eo fortasse minus legitimi existimamur, quia nulla de nostra fraternitate tragoedia exclamat, vel quia ex substantia familiari fratres sumus, quae penes vos fere dirimit fraternitatem.
One in mind and soul,
we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another.
All things are common among us
but our wives.
Itaque qui animo animaque miscemur,
nihil de rei communicatione dubitamus.
Omnia indiscreta sunt apud nos,
We give up our community where it is practised alone by others, who not only take possession of the wives of their friends, but most tolerantly also accommodate their friends with theirs, following the example, I believe, of those wise men of ancient times, the Greek Socrates and the Roman Cato, who shared with their friends the wives whom they had married, it seems for the sake of progeny both to themselves and to others; whether in this acting against their partners’ wishes, I am not able to say. Why should they have any care over their chastity, when their husbands so readily bestowed it away? O noble example of Attic wisdom, of Roman gravity—the philosopher and the censor playing pimps!
in isto loco consortium solvimus, in quo solo caeteri homines consortium exercent, qui non amicorum solummodo matrimonia usurpant, sed et sua amicis patientissime subministrant, ex illa, credo, majorum et sapientissimorum disciplina, Graeci Socratis et Romani Catonis , qui uxores suas amicis communicaverunt, [0473A] quas in matrimonium duxerant liberorum caussa et alibi creandorum , nescio quidem an invitas; quid enim de castitate curarent, quam mariti tam facile donaverant? O sapientiae Atticae, o Romanae gravitatis exemplum! Leno est philosophus et censor .
What wonder if that great love of Christians towards one another is desecrated by you! For you abuse also our humble feasts, on the ground that they are extravagant as well as infamously wicked.
Quid ergo mirum, si tanta caritas convivatur ? Nam et coenulas nostras, praeterquam sceleris infames, ut prodigas quoque suggillatis.
To us, it seems, applies the saying of Diogenes: “The people of Megara feast as though they were going to die on the morrow; they build as though they were never to die!” But one sees more readily the mote in another’s eye than the beam in his own. Why, the very air is soured with the eructations of so many tribes, and curiµ, and decuriµ. The Salii cannot have their feast without going into debt; you must get the accountants to tell you what the tenths of Hercules and the sacrificial banquets cost; the choicest cook is appointed for the Apaturia, the Dionysia, the Attic mysteries; the smoke from the banquet of Serapis will call out the firemen. Yet about the modest supper-room of the Christians alone a great ado is made.
De nobis scilicet Diogenis dictum est: Megarenses obsonant quasi crastina die morituri, aedificant vero quasi nunquam morituri . Sed stipulam quis in alieno [0474A] oculo facilius perspicit, quam in suo trabem. Tot tribubus et curiis et decuriis ructantibus acescit aër . Saliis coenaturis creditor erit necessarius. Herculanarum decimarum et polluctorum sumptus tabularii supputabant. Apaturiis, Dionysiis, mysteriis Atticis coquorum delectus indicentur. Ad fumum coenae Serapiacae sparteoli excitabuntur. De solo triclinio Christianorum retractatur,
Our feast explains itself by its name. The Greeks call it agape, i.e., affection.
Coena nostra de nomine rationem sui ostendit; id vocatur, quod dilectio penes Graecos est .
|Whatever it costs, our outlay in the name of piety is gain,||Quantiscumque sumptibus constet, lucrum est pietatis [0475A] nomine facere sumptum,|
since with the good things of the feast we benefit the needy;
siquidem inopes quosque refrigerio isto juvamus,
|not as it is with you, do parasites aspire to the glory of satisfying their licentious propensities, selling themselves for a belly-feast to all disgraceful treatment,||non qua penes vos parasiti [0476A] affectant ad gloriam famulandae libertatis sub auctoramento ventris inter contumelias saginandi, [0477A]|
|—but as it is with God himself, a peculiar respect is shown to the lowly. If the object of our feast be good, in the light of that consider its further regulations. As it is an act of religious service, it permits no vileness or immodesty.||sed qua penes Deum major est contemplatio mediocrium. Si honesta caussa est convivii, reliquum ordinem disciplinae aestimate, qui sit de religionnis officio: nihil vilitatis, nihil immodestiae admittit ;|
The participants, before reclining, taste first of prayer to God. As much is eaten as satisfies the cravings of hunger; as much is drunk as befits the chaste. They say it is enough, as those who remember that even during the night they have to worship God; they talk as those who know that the Lord is one of their auditors.
non prius discumbitur, quam oratio ad Deum praegustetur ; editur quantum esurientes capiunt; bibitur quantum pudicis est utile. Ita saturantur, ut qui meminerint etiam per noctem adorandum Deum sibi esse; ita fabulantur, ut qui sciant dominum audire.
After manual ablution, and the bringing in of lights, each is asked to stand forth and sing, as he can, a hymn to God, either one from the holy Scriptures or one of his own composing,—a proof of the measure of our drinking.
Post aquam manualem et lumina, ut quisque de scripturis sanctis vel de proprio ingenio potest provocatur in medium Deo canere hinc probatur quomodo biberit.
As the feast commenced with prayer, so with prayer it is closed. We go from it, not like troops of mischief-doers, nor bands of vagabonds, nor to break out into licentious acts, but to have as much care of our modesty and chastity as if we had been at a school of virtue rather than a banquet. Give the congregation of the Christians its due, and hold it unlawful, if it is like assemblies of the illicit sort: by all means let it be condemned, if any complaint can be validly laid against it, such as lies against secret factions. But who has ever suffered harm from our assemblies? We are in our congregations just what we are when separated from each other; we are as a community what we are individuals; we injure nobody, we trouble nobody. When the upright, when the virtuous meet together, when the pious, when the pure assemble in congregation, you ought not to call that a faction, but a curia—[i.e., the court of God.]
Oeque oratio convivium dirimit . Inde disceditur non in catervas caesionum neque n classes discursationum, nec in eruptiones lasciviarum, [0477B] sed ad eamdem curam modestiae et pudicitiae ut qui non tam coenam coenaverint, quam disciplinam. Haec coitio christianorum merito sane illicita, [0478A] si illicitis pari merito damnanda, [si non dissimilis damnandis ,] si quis de ea queritur eo titulo, quo de factionibus querela est. In cujus perniciem aliquando convenimus? Hoc sumus congregati, quod et dispersi; hoc universi, quod et singuli; neminem laedentes , neminem contristantes. Quum probi, quum boni coeunt, quum pii, quum casti congregantur, non est factio dicenda, sed curia .
CHACTERISTICS of PRAYER: newness, brevity, humility
1. The Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God—Word of Reason, and Reason and Spirit of Word—Jesus Christ our Lord, namely, who is both the one and the other,2 —has determined for us, the disciples of the New Testament, a new form of prayer; for in this particular also it was needful that new wine should be laid up in new skins, and a new breadth be sewn to a new garment.3 Besides, whatever had been in bygone days, has either been quite changed, as circumcision; or else supplemented, as the rest of the Law; or else fulfilled, as Prophecy; or else perfected, as faith itself. For the new grace of God has renewed all things from carnal unto spiritual, by superinducing the Gospel, the obliterator of the whole ancient bygone system; in which our Lord Jesus Christ has been approved as the Spirit of God, and the Word of God, and the Reason of God: the Spirit, by which He was mighty; the Word, by which He taught; the Reason, by which He came.4
CAPUT PRIMUM[1149C] Dei spiritus et Dei sermo, et Dei ratio , et [1150C] sermo rationis et ratio sermonis, utrumque Jesus Christus Dominus noster, nobis discipulis [1151A] novi Testamenti novam orationis formam determinavit. Oportebat enim in hac quoque specie novum vinum novis utribus recondi et novam plagulam novo assui vestimento (Matth., VI; IX, 16; Luc., XI). Caeterum quidquid retro fuerat, aut demutatum est ut circumcisio; aut suppletum, ut reliqua lex; aut impletum, ut prophetia; aut perfectum, ut fides ipsa. Omnia de carnalibus in spiritualia renovavit, nova Dei gratia, superducto Evangelio expunctore totius retro vetustatis, in quo et Dei spiritus et Dei sermo et Dei ratio approbatus est Dominus noster Jesus Christus; spiritus quo valuit, sermo quo docuit, ratio qua venit.
|So the prayer composed by Christ has been composed of three parts. In speech,5 by which prayer is enunciated, in spirit, by which alone it prevails, even John had taught his disciples to pray,6 but all John’s doings were laid as groundwork for Christ, until, when “He had increased “—just as the same John used to fore-announce “that it was needful” that “He should increase and himself decrease”7 —the whole work of the forerunner passed over, together with his spirit itself, unto the Lord. Therefore, after what form of words John taught to pray is not extant, because earthly things have given place to heavenly. “He who is from the earth,” says John, “speaks earthly things; and He who is here from the heavens speaks those things which He hath seen.”8 And what is the Lord Christ’s—as this method of praying is—that is not heavenly?||Sic igitur oratio a Christo constituta ex tribus constituta est: ex sermone quo enuntiatur: [1152A] ex spiritu, quo tantum potest; ex ratione, qua suscipitur . Docuerat et Joannes discipulos suos adorare; sed omnia Joannis Christo praestruebantur, donec ipso aucto, sicut idem Joannes praenuntiabat, illum augeri oportere, se vero deminui, (Joan., III, 30), totum praeministri opus cum ipso spiritu transiret ad Dominum. Ideo nec exstat, in quae verba docuerit Joannes adorare, quod terrena coelestibus cesserint. Qui de terra est, inquit, terrena fatur; et qui de coelis adest quae vidit ea loquitur. (Jo., III, 31). Et quid non coeleste, quod Domini Christi est; ut haec quoque orandi disciplina?|
And so, blessed brethren, let us consider His
heavenly wisdom: first, touching the precept of praying secretly, whereby
He exacted man’s faith, that he should be confident that the sight and
hearing of Almighty God are present beneath roofs, and extend even into
the secret place; and required modesty in faith, that it should offer its
religious homage to Him alone, whom it believed to see and to hear
everywhere. Further, since wisdom succeeded in the following precept, let
it in like manner appertain unto faith, and the modesty of faith, that we
think not that the Lord must be approached with a train of words, who, we
are certain, takes unsolicited foresight for His own. And yet that very
brevity—and let this make for the third grade of wisdom—is supported on
the substance of a great and blessed interpretation, and is as diffuse in
meaning as it is compressed in words. For it has embraced not only the
special duties of prayer, be it veneration of God or petition for man, but
almost every discourse of the Lord, every record of His Discipline;
so that, in fact, in the Prayer
[i.e. the Lord's Prayer]
is comprised an epitome of the whole
Consideremus itaque, benedicti, coelestem
ejus sophiam, imprimis de praecepto secrete adorandi, quo et fidem hominis
[1153A] exigebat, ut Dei omnipotentis et
conspectum et auditum sub tectis et in abditis etiam adesse confideret: et
modestiam fidei desiderabat, ut quem ubique audire et videre fideret, ei
soli religionem suam offerre, sequente sophia in sequenti praecepto; quod
etsi proinde pertineat ad fidem et modestiam fidei, si non agmine verborum
adeundum putemus ad Dominum, quem ultro suis prospicere certi sumus :
attamen brevitas ista, quod ad tertium sophiae gradum faciat, magnae ac
beatae interpretationis substantia fulta est: quantumque substringitur
verbis, tantum diffunditur sensibus. Neque enim propria tantum orationis
officia complexa est, venerationem Dei, aut hominis petitionem, sed omnem
pene sermonem Domini, omnem commemorationem disciplinae, ut revera in [1153B]
oratione breviarium totius Evangelii comprehendatur.
17. But we more commend our prayers to God when we pray with
modesty and humility, with not even our hands too loftily elevated, but
elevated temperately and becomingly; and not even our countenance
over-boldly uplifted. For that publican who prayed with humility and
dejection not merely in his supplication, but in his countenance too, went
his way “more justified” than the shameless Pharisee.101
The sounds of our voice, likewise, should be subdued; else, if we are to
be heard for our noise, how large windpipes should we need! But God is the
hearer not of the voice, but of the heart, just as He is its inspector.
The demon of the Pythian oracle says:
CAPUT XVII .
“And I do understand the mute, and plainly hear the speechless one.”102
inquit, intelligo, et non loquentem exaudio.
Do the ears of God wait for sound? How, then, could Jonah’s prayer
find way out unto heaven from the depth of the whale’s belly, through the
entrails of so huge a beast; from the very abysses, through so huge a mass
of sea? What superior advantage will they who pray too loudly gain, except
that they annoy their neighbours? Nay, by making their petitions audible,
what less error do they commit than if they were to pray in public?103
Dei aures sonum exspectant? Quomodo ergo oratio Jonae de ventre [1176A]
ceti per tantae bestiae viscera, ab ipsis abyssis
per tantam aequoris molem ad coelum potuit evadere? Quid amplius referent
isti, qui clarius adorant, nisi quod proximis obstrepunt? Imo prodendo
petitiones suas, quid minus faciunt, quam si in publico orent?
CHACTERISTICS of PRAYER: kiss of peace seals prayer; not witheld while fasting: fasting does not preclude the Eucharist
Another custom has now become prevalent.
Such as are fasting withhold the
kiss of peace, which is the seal of prayer, after prayer made with
brethren. But when is peace more to be concluded with brethren than when,
at the time of some religious observance,104
our prayer ascends with more acceptability; that they may themselves
participate in our observance, and thereby be mollified for transacting
with their brother touching. their own peace?
What prayer is complete if
divorced from the “holy kiss? ”105
Whom does peace impede when rendering service to his Lord? What kind of
sacrifice is that from which men depart without peace? Whatever our prayer
be, it will not be better than the observance of the precept by which we
are bidden to conceal our fasts;106
for now, by abstinence from the kiss, we are known to be fasting.
But even if there be some reason for this practice, still, lest you
offend against this precept, you may perhaps defer your “peace“ at home,
where it is not possible for your fast to be entirely kept secret. But
wherever else you can conceal your observance, you ought to remember the
precept: thus you may satisfy the requirements of Discipline abroad and of
custom at home. So, too, on the day of the passover,107
when the religious observance of a fast is general, and as it were public,
we justly forego the kiss, caring nothing to conceal anything which we do
in common with all.
CAPUT XVIII .
Similarly, too, touching the days of Stations
[i.e. fasting - Wednesdays and Fridays] ,108
most think that they must not be present at the sacrificial prayers, on
the ground that the Station must be dissolved by reception of the Lord’s
Body. Does, then, the Eucharist cancel a service devoted to God, or bind
it more to God?
Will not your Station be more solemn if you have
withal stood at God’s altar?109
When the Lord’s Body has been received and reserved110
each point is secured, both the participation of the sacrifice and the
discharge of duty. If the “Station” has received its name from the example
of military life—for we withal are God’s military111 —of course no
gladness or sadness chanting to the camp abolishes the “stations” of the
soldiers: for gladness will carry out discipline more willingly, sadness
CAPUT XIX .
KNEELING, PROSTRATIONS and PRAYER
22. In the matter of kneeling also prayer is subject to diversity of observance, through the act of some few who abstain from kneeling on the Sabbath; and since this dissension is particularly on its trial before the churches, the Lord will give His grace that the dissentients may either yield, or else indulge their opinion without offence to others.
CAPUT XXIII .
We, however (just as we have received), only on the day of the Lord’s
Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture
and office of solicitude; deferring even our businesses lest we give any
place to the devil.156
Similarly, too, in the period of Pentecost; which period we distinguish by
the same solemnity of exultation.157
But who would hesitate every
himself before God,
at least in the first prayer with which we enter on the daylight? At
fasts, moreover, and Stations, no prayer should be made without kneeling,
and the remaining customary marks of humility; for (then)158
we are not only
praying, but deprecating, and making satisfaction to God our
Touching times of prayer nothing at all has been prescribed, except
clearly “to pray at every time and every place.”160
Nos vero, sicut accepimus,
solo die dominico Resurrectionis non ab isto tantum, sed omni anxietatis
habitu, et officia cavere debemus, differentes etiam negotia, ne quem
diabolo locum demus. Tantumdem et spatio Pentecostes, quae eadem
exultationis solemnitatem dispungimur. Caeterum omni die quis dubitet
prosternere se Deo vel prima saltem oratione, qua lucem ingredimur?
Jejuniis autem et stationibus nulla oratio sine genu, [1191B]
et reliquo humilitatis more, celebranda est. Non
oramus tantum, sed et deprecamur, et satisfacimus Deo Domino nostro. De
temporibus orationis nihil omnino praescriptum est, nisi plane omni in
tempore et loco orare.
|(023) PRAYER: (c) Constant Prayer. »cont.|
24. But how” in every place,” since we are prohibited161
(from praying) in public? In every place, he means, which opportunity or
even necessity, may have rendered suitable: for that which was done by the
apostles162 (who, in gaol, in the
audience of the prisoners, “began praying and singing to God”) is not
considered to have been done contrary to the precept; nor yet that which
was done by Paul,163
who in the ship, in presence of all, “made thanksgiving to God.”164
CAPUT XXIV .
Sed quomodo omni loco (I. Tim., I, 2), cum prohibeamur in publico? Omni, inquit, loco, quem opportunitas, aut etiam necessitas importaret. Non enim contra praeceptum reputatur ab Apostolis factum, qui in carcere audientibus custodiis orabant et canebant Deo, apud Paulum, qui in navi coram omnibus Eucharistiam fecit.
|(03) Liturgy of Hours. »cont.|
Threefold Prayer “Liturgy of the Hours”
|25. Touching the time, however, the extrinsic165 observance of certain hours will not be unprofitable—those common hours, I mean, which mark the intervals of the day—the third, the sixth, the ninth—which we may find in the Scriptures to have been more solemn than the rest. The first infusion of the Holy Spirit into the congregated disciples took place at “the third hour.”166 Peter, on the day on which he experienced the vision of Universal Community,167 (exhibited) in that small vessel,168 had ascended into the more lofty parts of the house, for prayer’s sake “at the sixth hour.”169 The same (apostle) was going into the temple, with John, at the ninth hour,”170 when he restored the paralytic to his health.||
CAPUT XXV .
De tempore vero non erit otiosa extrinsecus observatio etiam horarum quarumdam. Istarum dico communium, [1192B] quae diu inter spatia signant, tertia , sexta, [1193A] nona, quas solemniores in Scripturis invenire est. Primus Spiritus sanctus congregatis discipulis hora tertia infusus est (Act. ap., II, 15). Petrus, qua die visionem communitatis omnis in illo vasculo expertus est, sexta hora ascenderat orandi gratia in superiora (Ibid., X, 9). Idem cum Joanne ad nonam in templum adibat, ubi paralyticum sanitati reformavit suae (Ib., III, 1).
Albeit these practices
stand simply without any precept for their observance, still it may
be granted a good thing to establish some definite presumption, which may
both add stringency to the admonition to, pray, and may, as it were by a
law, tear us out from our businesses unto such a duty; so that—what we
read to have been observed by Daniel also,171
in accordance (of course) with Isreal’s discipline—we pray at least not
less than thrice in the day, debtors as we are to Three—Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit: of course, in addition to our regular prayers which are due,
without any admonition, on the entrance of light and of night. But,
withal, it becomes believers not to take food, and not to go to the bath,
before interposing a prayer; for the refreshments and nourishments of the
spirit are to be held prior to those of the flesh, and things heavenly
prior to things earthly.
|Etsi simpliciter se habeant sine ullius observationis praecepto, bonum tamen sit aliquam constituere praesumptionem, qua et orandi admonitionem constringat, et quasi lege ad tale munus extorqueat a negotiis interdum, ut quod Danieli quoque legimus observatum utique ex Israelis disciplina (Dan., VI, 10), ne minus ter die saltem adoremus, debitores Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus sancti. Exceptis utique legitimis [1193B] orationibus, quae sine ulla admonitione debentur ingressu lucis et noctis. Sed et cibum non prius sumere, et lavacrum non prius adire quam interposita oratione, fideles decet. Priora enim habenda sunt spiritus refrigeria et pabula, quam carnis, et priora coelestia, quam terrena.|
You will not dismiss a brother who has entered your
house without prayer.—“ Have you seen,” says Scripture, “a brother?
you have seen your Lord; ”172
—especially “a stranger,” lest perhaps he be “an angel.” But again, when
received yourself by brethren, you will not make173
earthly refreshments prior to heavenly, for your faith will forthwith be
judged. Or else how will you—according to the precept174
—say, “Peace to this house,” unless you exchange mutual peace with
them who are in the house?
CAPUT XXVI .
Fratrem domum tuam introgressum ne sine oratione
dimiseris. Vidisti, inquit, fratrem , vidisti Dominum tuum: maxime advenam,
ne angelus forte sit. Sed nec ipse a fratribus exemptis priora fecerit
refrigeria terrena coelestibus. Statim enim judicabitur [1194A]
fides tua. Aut quomodo secundum praeceptum pax
huic domui (Luc., X, 5) dices, nisi et eis, qui in
domo sunt, pacem mutuam reddas?
PSALMODY = ALLELUIA
The more diligent in prayer are wont to subjoin in their
prayers the “Hallelujah,”175
and such kind of psalms, in the closes of which the company respond. And,
of course, every institution is excellent which, for the extolling and
honouring of God, aims unitedly to bring Him enriched prayer as a choice
CAPUT XXVII .
Diligentiores in orando subjungere in orationibus Alleluia solent, et hoc genus psalmos, quorum clausulis respondeant, qui simul sunt. Et est optimum utique institutum omne, quod proponendo et honorando Deo competit, saturatam orationem velut optimam hostiam admovere.
The Office of Readings,
The Liturgy of the Hours,
vol.2, pp. 249-250
|28. For this is the spiritual victim177 which has abolished the pristine sacrifices. “To what purpose,” saith He, “(bring ye) me the multitude of your sacrifices? I am full of holocausts of rams, and I desire not the fat of rams, and the blood of bulls and of goats. For who hath required these from your hands? ”178 What, then, God has required the Gospel teaches. “An hour will come,” saith He, “when the true adorers shall adore the Father in spirit and truth. For God is a Spirit, and accordingly requires His adorers to be such.”179 We are the true adorers and the true priests,180 who, praying in spirit,181 sacrifice, in spirit, prayer,—a victim proper and acceptable to God, which assuredly He has required, which He has looked forward to182 for Himself! This victim, devoted from the whole heart, fed on faith, tended by truth, entire in innocence, pure in chastity, garlanded with love,183 we ought to escort with the pomp184 of good works, amid psalms and hymns, unto God’s altar,185 to obtain for us all things from God.||
Haec est enim hostia spiritalis, quae pristina
sacrificia delevit. Quo mihi, inquit, multitudinem
sacrificiorum vestrorum? Plenus sum haulocaustomatum arietum; et adipem
agnorum, et sanguinem taurorum et [1194B]
hircorum nolo. Quis enim requisivit ista de
manibus vestris (Isaiae, I, 11)? Quae ergo
quaesierit Deus, Evangelium docet. Veniet hora, inquit, cum
veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate
(Joan., IV, 23). Deus enim spiritus est (II Cor.,
III, 17): et adoratores itaque tales requirit. Nos sumus veri
adoratores, et veri sacerdotes, qui spiritu orantes spiritu sacrificamus
orationem Dei propriam, et acceptabilem quam scilicet requisivit, quam
sibi prospexit. Hanc de toto corde devotam, fide pastam, veritate curatam,
innocentia integram, castitate mundam, agape coronatam cum pompa operum
bonorum inter [1195A]
psalmos et hymnos deducere ad Dei altare debemus omnia nobis a Deo
|(05) PRAYER works only GOOD »cont.|
PRAYER Works Only GOOD
|29. For what has God, who exacts it ever denied186 to prayer coming from “spirit and truth? ”How mighty specimens of its efficacy do we read, and hear, and believe! Old-world prayer, indeed, used to free from fires,187 and from beasts,188 and from famine;189 and yet it had not (then) received its form from Christ. But how far more amply operative is Christian prayer! It does not station the angel of dew in mid-fires,190 nor muzzle lions, nor transfer to the hungry the rustics’ bread;191 it has no delegated grace to avert any sense of suffering;192 but it supplies the suffering, and the feeling, and the grieving, with endurance: it amplifies grace by virtue, that faith may know what she obtains from the Lord, understanding what—for God’s name’s sake—she suffers.||CAPUT ULTIMUM . Quid enim orationi de spiritu et veritate venienti negavit Deus, qui eam exigit? Legimus, et audimus, et credimus, quanta documenta efficaciae ejus. Vetus quidem oratio et ab ignibus, et a bestiis, et ab inedia liberabat, et tamen non a Christo acceperat formam. Caeterum quanto amplius oratur oratio Christianorum, non roris Angelum in mediis ignibus sistit, nec ora leonibus obstruit, nec esurientibus rusticorum prandium transfert, nullum sensum passionis delegata gratia avertit; sed patientes, et sentientes, et dolentes sufferentia instruit, virtute ampliat gratiam, ut sciat fides quid a Domino consequatur, intelligens quid pro [1195B] Dei nomine patiatur.|
|But in days gone by, withal prayer used to call down193 plagues, scatter the armies of foes, withhold the wholesome influences of the showers. Now, however, the prayer of righteousness avers all God’s anger, keeps bivouac on behalf of personal enemies, makes supplication on behalf of persecutors. Is it wonder if it knows how to extort the rains of heaven194 —(prayer) which was once able to procure its fires?195||Sed et retro oratio plagas irrogabat, fundebat hostium exercitus, imbrium utilia prohibebat. Nunc vero oratio justitiae omnem iram Dei avertit, pro inimicis excubat, pro persequentibus supplicat. Mirum si aquas coelestes extorquere novit, quae potuit et ignes impetrare?|
|Prayer is alone that which vanquishes196 God. But Christ has willed that it be operative for no evil: He had conferred on it all its virtue in the cause of good. And so it knows nothing save how to recall the souls of the departed from the very path of death, to transform the weak, to restore the sick, to purge the possessed, to open prison-bars, to loose the bonds of the innocent. Likewise it washes away faults, repels temptations, extinguishes persecutions, consoles the faint-spirited, cheers the high-spirited, escorts travellers, appeases waves, makes robbers stand aghast, nourishes the poor, governs the rich, upraises the fallen, arrests the falling, confirms the standing. Prayer is the wall of faith: her arms and missiles197 against the foe who keeps watch over us on all sides. And, so never walk we unarmed. By day, be we mindful of Station; by night, of vigil. Under the arms of prayer guard we the standard of our General; await we in prayer the angel’s trump.198||Sola est oratio, quae Deum vincit. Sed Christus eam nihil mali novit operari. Omnem illi virtutem de bono contulit. Itaque [1196A] nihil novit, nisi defunctorum animas de ipso mortis itinere vocare, debiles reformare, aegros remediare, daemoniacos expiare, claustra carceris aperire, vincula innocentium solvere. Eadem diluit delicta, tentationes repellit, persecutiones extinguit, pusillanimos consolatur, magnanimos oblectat, peregrinantes deducit, fluctus mitigat, latrones obstupefacit, alit pauperes, regit divites, lapsos erigit, cadentes suspendit, stantes continet. Oratio murus est fidei, arma et tela nostra adversus hominem, qui nos undique observat. Itaque nunquam inermes incedamus. Die stationis, nocte vigiliae meminerimus. Sub armis orationis signum nostri imperatoris custodiamus; tubam Angeli exspectemus.|
ALL BEINGS PRAY
|The angels, likewise, all pray; every creature prays; cattle and wild beasts pray and bend their knees; and when they issue from their layers and lairs,199 they look up heavenward with no idle mouth, making their breath vibrate200 after their own manner. Nay, the birds too, rising out of the nest, upraise themselves heavenward, and, instead of hands, expand the cross of their wings, and say somewhat to seem like prayer.201 What more then, touching the office of prayer? Even the Lord Himself prayed; to whom be honour and virtue unto the ages of the ages!||Orantes erant etiam Angeli omnes. Orat omnis creatura. Orant pecudes, et ferae, [1196B] et genua declinant, et egredientes de stabulis ac speluncis, ad coelum non otiosi ore suspiciunt, vibrantes spiritu suo movere. Sed et aves nunc exsurgentes eriguntur ad coelum, et alarum crucem pro manibus extendunt, et dicunt aliquid, quod oratio videatur. Quid ergo amplius de officio orationis? Etiam ipse Dominus oravit, cui sit honor et virtus in saecula saeculorum.|
Tim. iv. I.
1 Cor. iii. 18 and 25.
See Tertullian’s treatises,
adversus Valentinum, xxv., and de
xxxi.; also Epiphanius, Hae xxxi . 23.
“De enthymesi:” for this word
Tertullian gives animationem
(in his tract against Valentinus, ix.), which seems to mean, “the mind in
operation.” (See the same treatise, x. xi.) With regard to the other word,
Jerome (on Amos. iii.) adduces Valentinus as calling Christ e[ktrwma, that is, abortion.
1 Tim. i. 4.
Tit. iii. 9.
2 Tim. ii. 17.
Col. ii. 8. The last clause, “praeter
providentiam Spiritus Sancti,” is either Tertullian’s reading, or his gloss
of the apostle’s ouj kata; Cristovn—“not
Because in the beginning of the church
the apostles taught in Solomon’s porch, Acts iii. 5.
Wisdom of Solomon, i. 1.
[After the discipline of Repentance and
of Baptism the Laws of Christian Living come into view. Hence this is the
logical place for this treatise. See the Prolegomena
of Muratori and learned annotations, in Routh,
I. p. 173, et sqq. We may date it circa A.D. 192. For much of the Primitive
Discipline, concerning Prayer, see Bunsen, Hippol. III. pp. 88–91,
Oehler’s punctuation is followed here.
The sentence is difficult, and has perplexed editors and commentators
Matt. ix. 16, 17; Mark ii. 21, 22; Luke
v. 36, 37.
Routh suggests, “fortase
quâ sensit,” referring to the
Adv. Praxeam, c. 5.
This is Oehler’s punctuation. The
edition of Pamelius reads: “So the prayer composed by Christ was composed of
three pats: of the speech, by which it is enunciated; of the spirit, by
which alone it prevails; of the reason, by which it is taught.” Rigaltius
and subsequent editors read, “of the reason, by which it is conceived;” byt
this last clause is lacking in the
mss., and Oehler’s reading appears, as he says, to “have healed the
words.” [Oehler’s punctuation must stand; but, the preceding sentence
justifies the interpolation of Rigaltius and heals more effectually.]
John iii. 30.
John iii. 31, 32.
Luke xviii. 9–14.
Herod. i. 47.
Which is forbidden, Matt. vi. 5, 6.
Such as fasting.
See Rom. xvi. 16; 1 Cor. xvi 20; 2 Cor.
xiii. 12: 1 Thess. v. 26; 1 Pet. v. 14. [The sexes apart.]
Matt. vi. 16–18.
i.e. “Good Friday,” as it is now
The word Statio
seems to have been used in more than one sense in the ancient Church. A
passage in the Shepherd of Hermas, referred to above (B. iii. Sim.
5), appears to make it = “fast.”
“Ara,” not “altare.”
For receiving at home apparently, when
your station is over.
See 2 Tim. ii. 1, etc. [See Hermas,
Vol. I., p. 33.]
Eph. iv. 27.
i.e. abstaining from kneeling:
kneeling being more “a posture of solicitude” and of humility;
standing, of “exultation.”
i.e. at fasts and Stations. [Sabbath =
For the meaning of “satisfaction” as
used by the Fathers, see Hooker. Eccl. Pol. vi. 5.
Eph. vi. 18; 1 Thess. v. 17; 1 Tim. ii.
Matt. vi. 5, 6, which forbids praying
Paul and Silas (Acts xvi. 25).
I have followed Muratori’s reading
Mr. Dodgson renders “celebrated the
Eucharist;” but that rendering appears very doubtful. See Acts xxvii. 35.
Mr. Dodgson supposes this word to mean
“outward, as contrasted with the inward, ‘praying always._0’” Oehler
interprets, “ex vita communi.” But perhaps what Tertullian says lower down
in the chapter, “albeit they stand simply without any precept enjoining
their observance,” may give us the true clue to his meaning; so that
“extrinsecus” would = “extrinsic to any direct injunction of our Lord or His
Acts ii. 1–4, 14, 15.
Communitatis omnis (Oehler). Mr.
Dodgson renders, “of every sort of common thing.” Perhaps, as Routh
suggests, we should read “omnium.”
Vasculo. But in Acts it is, skeu`ov" ti wJ" ojqovnhn megavlhn
[Small is here comparatively used, with reference to Universality
of which it was the symbol.]
Acts x. 9.
Acts iii. 1: but the man is not said to
have been “paralytic,” but “lame from his mother’s womb.”
Dan. vi. 10; comp. Ps. lv. 17 (in the
LXX. it is liv. 18).
I have ventured to turn the first part
of the sentence into a question. What “scripture” this may be, no one knows.
[It seems to me a clear reference to Matt. xxv. 38, amplified by the 45th
verse, in a way not unusual with our author.] Perhaps, in addition to the
passages in Gen. xviii. and Heb. xiii. 2, to which the editors naturally
refer, Tertullian may allude to such passages as Mark. ix. 37, Matt. xxv.
40, 45. [Christo in pauperibus.]
I have followed Routh’s conjecture,
“feceris” for “fecerit,” which Oehler does not even notice.
Luke x. 5.
Perhaps “the great Hallelujah,” i.e.
the last five psalms.
[The author seems to have in mind (Hos.
xiv. 2) “the calves of our lips.”]
1 Pet. ii. 5.
Isa. i. 11. See the LXX.
John iv. 23, 24.
de Ex. Cast. c. 7.
1 Cor. xiv. 15; Eph. vi. 18.
perhaps “the love-feast.”
Routh would read, “What will God
1 Kings xviii.; Jas. v. 17, 18.
i.e. “the angel who preserved in the
furnace the three youths besprinkled, as it were, with dewy shower” (Muratori
quoted by Oehler). [Apocrypha, The Song, etc., verses 26, 27.]
2 Kings. iv. 42–44.
i.e. in brief, its miraculous
operations, as they are called, are suspended in these ways.
See Apolog. c. 5 (Oehler).
See 2 Kings i.
[A reference to Jacob’s wrestling.
Also, probably, to Matt. xi. 12.]
Or, “her armour defensive and
1 Cor. xv. 52; 1 Thess. iv. 16.
Or, “pens and dens.”
As if in prayer.
This beautiful passage should be
supplemented by a similar one from St. Bernard: “Nonne et aviculas levat,
non onerat penarum numerositas ipsa? Tolle eas, et reliquum corpus pondere
suo fertur ad ima. Sic disciplinam Christi, sic suave jugum, sic onus leve,
quo deponimus, eo deprimimur ipsi: quia portat potius quam portatur.”
Epistole, ccclxxxv. Bernardi Opp. Tom. i. p. 691. Ed. (Mabillon.) Guame,
Paris, 1839. Bearing the cross uplifts the Christian.]
This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 1990