AUGUSTINE
of
 
HIPPO

SERMON 128,
On the Lordís Nativity 12

Augustine Admonishes an Arian
Avranches, ca. 1050

PL 39, 1997-1998 [error in The Liturgy of the Hours, vol. 1, pp. 541-542, where reference is incorrectly given as Sermon 13 de Tempore PL 39.1097-1098])

BELOVED, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to his Father's eternity.

Dominus noster Jesus Christus, fratres charissimi, qui in aeternum est cunctorum creator, hodie de matre nascendo, factus est nobis salvator. Natus est nobis hodie in tempore per voluntatem, ut nos perducat ad Patris aeternitatem.

GOD BECAME MAN

SO THAT MAN MIGHT BECOME GOD.

Factus est Deus homo,

ut homo fieret Deus.

So that man could eat the bread of angels,

the Lord of the angels became man today

Ut panem Angelorum manducaret homo,

Dominus Angelorum hodie factus est homo.

TODAY, the prophecy is fulfilled that said: Pour down, heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just one: let the earth be opened and bring forth a savior (Is 45:8). The Lord who had created all things is himself now created, so that he who was lost would be found. Thus man, in the words of the psalmist, confesses: Before I was humbled, I sinned (Ps 118: 67, 176). Man sinned and became guilty; God is born a man to free man from his guilt. Man fell, but God descended; man fell miserably, but God descended mercifully; man fell through pride, God descended with his grace. [...]

Hodie impleta est prophetia illa, quae dicit, Rorate, coeli, desuper; et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem (Isai. XLV, 8). Factus est igitur qui fecerat, ut inveniretur qui perierat. Sic enim in Psalmis homo confitetur, Priusquam humiliarer, ego peccavi; et iterum, Erravi sicut ovis quae periit (Psal. CXVIII, 67, 176). Peccavit homo, et factus est reus: natus est homo Deus, ut liberaretur reus. Homo igitur cecidit, sed Deus descendit: cecidit homo miserabiliter, descendit Deus misericorditer; cecidit homo per superbiam, descendit Deus cum gratia. Ö

MY brethren, what miracles! What prodigies! The laws of nature are changed in the case of man. God is born. A virgin becomes pregnant with man. The Word of God marries the woman who knows no man. She is now at the same time both mother and virgin. She becomes a mother, yet she remains a virgin. The virgin bears a son, yet she does not know man; she remains untouched, yet she is not barren. He alone was born without sin, for she bore him without the embrace of a man, not by the concupiscence of the flesh but by the obedience of the mind.

O miracula! o prodigia, fratres charissimi! Naturae jura mutantur in homine: Deus nascitur, virgo sine viro gravidatur. Mox viri nesciam sermo Dei maritat: simul facta est mater et virgo; mater facta, sed incorrupta; virgo habens filium, nesciens virum; semper clausa, sed non [Col. 1998] infecunda. Solus enim sine peccato est natus, quem sine virili complexu non concupiscentia carnis, sed obedientia genuit mentis. Virgo concepit, sola vulneri nostro medicinam parere potuit, quae non ex peccati vulnere germen piae prolis emisit.

 

 

 

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