Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Et Verbum Caro Factum Est et Habitavit in Nobis

St. Augustine is incomparable and can truly reassure. I was reading over a homily he preached on Christmas Day. The Gospel read was the same then as now: John's Prologue. One could stop alone to marvel at the Bishop of Hippo's reflection on the dynamic of the word shared through his preaching, but he renders it all absolutely boundless and awe inspiring focusing on the Child born of the Virgin. Let me quote just a bit from one of my Kindle favorites:

The human word and the divine Word 

2. Why should all this surprise us about the Word of God, seeing that this sermon I am addressing to you flows so freely into your senses, that you hearers both receive it, and don’t imprison or corner it? I mean, if you didn’t receive it, you wouldn’t learn anything; if you cornered it, it wouldn’t reach anyone else. And of course this sermon is divided up into words and syllables; and yet for all that, you don’t each take portions and pieces of it, as you would of food for the stomach; but you all hear it all, each of you hears it all. Nor am I afraid, while I’m talking, that one of you by hearing it may swallow it all, so that another would be left with nothing to eat; but I wish you all to be so attentive, cheating nobody’s ears and mind, that each of you may hear it all, and leave all of it for the others to hear too. Nor does this happen at successive times, in such a way that the sermon being delivered first comes into you, then has to go out from you if it is to enter someone else; but it comes simultaneously to all of you, and the whole of it to each of you. And if the whole of it could be retained in the memory, just as all of you have come to hear the whole of it, so you could each go away with the whole of it. How much more, then, could the Word of God, through which all things were made (Jn 1:3), and which while abiding in itself renews all things (Wis 7:27); which is neither confined in places, nor stretched out through times, nor varied by short and long quantities, nor woven together out of different sounds, nor ended by silence; how much more could this Word, of such a kind as that, make a mother’s womb fruitful by assuming a body, while still not departing from the bosom of the Father; come forth from there to be seen by human eyes, from here continue to enlighten angelic minds; go forth from there to all the earth, from here to stretch out the heavens; from there become man, from here make man? (Augustine, Saint; Daniel Doyle, O.S.A.; Edmund Hill, O.P. (2007-01-01). Essential Sermons (pp. 245-246). New City Press. Kindle Edition.)

The word.... the Word! Thank you, St. Augustine! 

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