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The Church of Christ does not require worldly favor and ambitious men to sustain her January 21, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, episcopate, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, manhood, paganism, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, Tradition, true leadership.

So said the great opponent of Arianism St. Hilary of Poitiers, as related in Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year.  From an exhortation the great Doctor of the Church gave to the Arian eastern bishops about AD 350.  The problem then was that bishops said they had to become Arian heretics because the civil 350px-Hilaryofpoitiersauthority, the Emperor Constantius, was an Arian, and he demanded they be, too.  You might find that Hilary’s diagnosis of the problems facing the Church under Arianism are rather reminiscent of those facing the Church today, and that the good Doctor’s leadership has meaning still today:

We have a contempt for all the trouble that men these days are giving themselves; and I am grieved to see them holding such mad opinions as that God needs man’s patronage, and that the Church of Christ requires to be upheld by an ambition that curries favor with the world. I ask of you Bishops, what favor did the Apostles court, in order that they might preach the Gospel?  Who were the princes that helped them to preach Christ, and convert almost the whole world from hofpidolatry to God?  Did they, who sang hymns to God in prisons and chains, and whilst bleeding from being scourged – did they accept offices from the state?  Did Paul wait for a royal permission, to draw men to the Church of Christ?  Did he, think you, cringe for the patronage of a Nero, or a Vespasian, or a Decius, whose very hatred of our faith was the occasion fo its being more triumphantly preached?  These Apostles, who lived by the labor of their own hands, who assembled the Faithful in garrets and hiding places, who visited villages and towns, and well nigh the whole world, travelling over sea and land, in spite of the Senate’s decrees and Imperial Edicts – these men, according to your principles, had not received the keys of the kingdom of Heaven!  What say you to all this manifestation of God’s power in the very face of man’s opposition, when the more there was a prohibition to preach Christ, the more that preaching was exercised……..

….But nowadays we have to do with a disguised persecutor, a smooth-tongued enemy, a Constantius who had put on Antichrist; who scourges us, not with lashes, but with caresses; who instead of robbing us, which would give us spiritual life, bribes us with riches, that hilario13-1he may lead us to eternal death; who trusts us not into the liberty of a prison, but into the honors of his palace, that he may enslave us: who tears not our flesh, but our hearts; who beheads not with a sword, but kills the soul with gold; who sentences not by a herald that we are to be burnt, but covertly enkindles the fire of hell against us through temptations. He does not dispute with us, that he may conquer; but he flatters us, that so he may lord it over our souls. He confesses Christ, the better to deny Him; he tries to procure a unity which shall destroy peace; he puts down some few heretics, so that he may crush the Christians; he honors bishops, that they may cease to be bishops; he builds up churches, that he may pull down the Faith…….

———–End Quote————

That second paragraph describes many of the ways in which the modern culture slowly corrodes and ultimately destroys the Faith today, or at least, how it did for much of the latter half of the 20th century.  Souls were bribed with riches, and tempted in their hearts with things like contraception and fornication.  The whiff of “everybody’s doing it” was very much in the air.  Many governments bought silent complicity from the Church in vast immoralities like abortion by funding many Church activities (I’m looking at you still, Germany).  We have all been scourged by the caresses of a soft existence that encourages growth in vice and inhibits growth of virtue.

And in seeking to procure a false unity we may be destroyed by islam and leftism.

Brilliant rhetoric.  I need to read more Hilary.  Thanks to Fr. W for bringing this to mind. Just super.





1. c matt - January 22, 2015

More support for “there is nothing new under the sun” and “plus ca change, plus the meme chose.”

If I hear the “argument” for relaxing rules that “things are different now” one more time, I’ll puke.

Also another argument in support of accident/substance – accidents such as technology have changed, but the substance of human nature has not.

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