Posted by: fvbcdm | July 30, 2012

Feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus (30 July 2012)

Yesterday, July 29, was the commemoration day of Saint Martha who was a favorite saint of my mother.  That’s not surprising, since my mother was an eminently practical person and in the comparison between Saint Martha and her sister, Sant Mary of Bethany, my mother always sided with Martha and could never understand how Our Lord could say that Mary had chosen the better part by sitting at Our Lord’s feet and listening to him rather than help Martha in the kitchen.  In 1971, on July 30, I got word that I would be going to Saint  Dominic Parish in New Orleans. My mother, still alive and well at that time, was delighted at the prospect of our being together more frequently than we had for the past fifteen years when I was in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, and then Texas.  So as I gave some thought to Saint Martha yesterday, I hoped that she welcomed my mother into heaven when my mother died in 1993, and will also make intercession for me as my time on earth approaches its end and eternity begins.  


This Monday we celebrate one of the early doctors of the Church by the name of Peter Chrysologus.  As in many cases, the term “Chrysologus” is what is called an epithet; it’s a fancy word for “nickname.”  In Greek the words chrysos and logos mean “gold” and “word.”  Because of the beauty and eloquence of his preaching, Saint Peter was called the man of the golden word: Chrysologus.  Another of the doctors of the Church was Saint John Chrysostom, he of the golden mouth, for basically the same reason. Two epithets based upon the preaching of these holy men that was as precious and beautiful as gold.  


In a passage from one of his sermons which we read in the Liturgy of the Hours today, Saint Peter Chrysologus reflects upon the condescension of a God who first fashions the human race out of the earth, and then takes upon himself that human nature, far below his own divine nature.  And thinking of that, Saint Peter then writes: “Why then, man, are you so worthless in your own eyes and yet so precious to God?  Why render yourself such dishonor when you are so honored by him?  Why do you ask HOW you were created and do not seek to know WHY you were made? Let’s think of this and make it the subject of our prayer: the tremendous value that God confers upon us.  The fact that the Son of God takes upon himself a likeness to ourselves so that he is TRUE GOD AND TRUE MAN. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.


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