Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), whose feast day we celebrated on August 28. Bishop, confessor, Doctor of the Church, and one of the Four Great Fathers of the Latin Church, Augustine is one of the most influential thinkers and writers of Catholicism. His legacy in written works numbers at over 100 books, and 5,000,000 words! Within those words, the philosophy and virtues of our faith are revealed, inspiring us to a closer relationship with the Lord.
Today, we read an excerpt from the a sermon written by Saint Augustine, in which he reflects that “the City of the Lord is the Church.”
As we have heard, so also have we seen. Truly blessed Church! You have both heard and seen. You have heard the promises, and you see their fulfilment; you have heard in prophecy, and you see in the Gospel. Yes, all that has now been brought to completion was prophesied in times past. Raise up your eyes, then, and cast your gaze around the world. See God’s people, your heritage, spread to the ends of the earth. See the Scripture now fulfilled: All the kings of the earth will adore him, all the nations will serve him. See fulfilled what has been said: Be exalted above the heavens, O God, and your glory above all the earth. See him whose hands and feet were pierced by nails, whose bones were numbered as they hung upon the wood, and for whose garments they cast lots. See him reigning, whom they saw hanging upon the cross; see him enthroned in heaven, whom they despised when he walked on the earth. See the word fulfilled: All the ends of the earth shall turn to the Lord, and all nations shall worship in his sight. See all this and shout with joy: As we have heard, so also have we seen.
Deservedly then the Church is itself called from among the Gentiles: Hear, O daughter, and see, and forget your people and your father’s house. Hear and see. First you hear what you do not see; later you will see what you have heard. For he says: A people I did not know served me, as soon as they heard me they obeyed. If they obeyed as soon as they heard, it follows that they did not see. What then of the passage: Those who were not told of him will see, and they who have not heard will understand? Those to whom the prophets were not sent were the first to hear and understand the prophets, whereas those who at first did not hear them were astonished when they heard them later. Those to whom the prophets were sent remained behind, possessing the books of Scripture but not understanding the truth, possessing the tables of the law but not keeping their inheritance. As we have heard, so also have we seen also applies to us.
In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God, that is where we have heard; there too we have seen. God has made this city firm for ever. No one should say boastfully: See, here is Christ; see, he is there. Such a claim only leads to factions. But God has promised unity. The kings were gathered together in unity, not scattered through schisms. Yet perhaps that city which had gained possession of the world will at some time be overthrown? No, God has made it firm for ever. If God has made its foundation firm for ever, how can you fear that this foundation may collapse?
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."
| Labels: Saints