“Therefore God suffers that we thus suffer; for but very lately, in condemning a Christian woman to the leno [brothel] rather than to the leo [lion] you made confession that a taint on our purity is considered among us as something more terrible than any punishment and any death. Nor does your cruelty, however exquisite, avail you; it is rather a temptation to us. The oftener we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed.” Tertullian, Apology, 50, ANF 3:55
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Innocent III, 1198-1216
- high point of the medieval papacy - a brilliant administrator of the church - he insisted on the 4th crusade, only to have it go astray - he wanted another crusade to be directed against the Moslems in Spain, only to find it was directed against heretics in southern France (indirectly strengthening French royal power)
- 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council - (1) the Lord’s Supper was decreed to be the most important Sacrament , (2) transubstantiation was proclaimed as the “way” the Eucharist happened and (3) it was decreed that Christians had to confess and commune once a year to be considered Christian
Friday, June 29, 2012
“I wish, and it ought to be so, that no mass at all would be celebrated except at such times as the people were present who really desired the sacrament and asked for it, and this would be only once a week or once a month, for the sacrament should never be celebrated except at the instigation had a request of hungry souls, never because of duty, endowment, custom, ordinance or habit.” Martin Luther, Receiving Both Kinds in the Sacrament, LW, AE, 36:256-7
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Est amor velox, sincerus, pius, prudens, longanimis, virilis, et seipsum nunquam quærens. Ubi enim seipsum aliquis quærit, ibi ab amore cadit. Est amor circumspectus, humilis et rectus, non mollis, non levis nec vanis intendens rebus, sobrius, stabilis, castus, quietus, et in cunctis sensibus custoditus. Est amor subjectus et obediens Prælatis, sibi vilis et despectus, Deo devotus et gratificus fidens, et semper sperans in eo, etiam cum sibi non sapit Deus, quia sine dolore non vivitur in amore.
Love is swift, sincere, pious, pleasant, gentle, strong, patient, faithful, prudent, long-suffering, manly, and never seeking her own; for wherever a man seeks his own, there he falls from love. Love is circumspect, humble, and upright; not weak, not fickle, nor intent on vain things; sober, chaste, steadfast, quiet, and guarded in all the senses. Love is subject and obedient to all that are in authority, vile and lowly in its own sight, devout and grateful towards God, faithful and always trusting in Him even when God hides His face, for without sorrow we cannot live in love.
Imitation of Christ, III, 5:7
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
“The truth is, the human race has always deserved ill at God's hand. First of all, as undutiful to Him, because when it knew Him in part, is not only did not seek after Him, but even invented other gods of its own to worship;....” Tertullian, Apology, 41, ANF 3:48
Voces Filii Dei et Filii Hominis in casu recto denotant personam, quae habet naturam sive divinam, sive humanum.
The voices of the Son of God and the Son of Man in the right event indicate the person, which has the nature, either divine or human.
Louis IX, “St. Louis”, 1226-1270,
- the ideal medieval king, renowned for his justice and bravery - 1244, went on his first crusade, but it was poorly managed, he was captured and most of his army was killed - in 1270 went on another crusade where he died of disease - he was the first king to issue laws to the whole nation solely on his own authority
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
“It will take them a good long while before they ever prove that Christ administered the sacrament in consecrated vessels, clothes, and houses, or commanded that it should be administered in that way, or that it should be placed in the mouth and not in the hands.” Martin Luther, Receiving Both Kinds in the Sacrament, LW, AE, 36:243
Philip II “Augustus”, 1180-1123
- he took the last of John’s possessions in northern France away from him - he supported towns and the middle class - started the ancestor of today’s taxes and formed a relatively “permanent” royal army - in 1208-1213, he “allowed” his northern nobles to “crusade” in the south against the Albigensians and Waldensians
- 7/27/1214, Philip won the Battle of Bouvines, which established France as one of the great powers of Europe
Monday, June 25, 2012
Amans volat, currit, lætatur, liber est, et non tenetur. Dat omnia pro omnibus, et habet omnia in omnibus, quia in uno summo super omnia quiescit, ex quo omne bonum fluit et procedit. Non respicit ad dona, sed ad donantem se convertit super omnia bona. Amor sæpe modum nescit, sed super omne bonum fervescit. Amor onus non sentit, labores non reputat, plus affectat, quam valet, de impossibilitate non causatur, quia cuncta sibi licere posse arbitratur. Valet igitur ad omnia, et multa implet, et effectui mancipat. Ubi vero amans deficit et jacet, amor vigilat, et dormiens dormitat, fatigatus non laxatur, arctatus non arctatur, territus non conturbatur, sed, sicut vivax flamma et ardens favilla, sursum erumpit secureque pertransit.
He who loves flys, runs, and is glad; he is free and not hindered. He gives all things for all things, and has all things in all things, because he rests in One who is high above all, from whom every good flows and proceeds. He looks not for gifts, but turns himself to the Giver above all good things. Love oftentimes knows no measure, but breaks out above all measure; love feels no burden, considers no labors, strives after more than it is able to do, pleads no impossibility, because it judges all things which are lawful for it to be possible. It is strong therefore for all things, and it fulfills many things, and is successful where he who loves not
Conrad IV, 1250-1254
The Great Interregnum, 1254-1273
- the papacy was against any of Frederick’s relatives and the princes of Germany really didn’t want a king over them, so Germany had no king
Rudolf I, 1273-1291
- elected king finally, Rudolf ignored Italy completely and concentrated on increasing the power of his family
Sunday, June 24, 2012
“We are a body knit together as such by a common religious profession, by unity of discipline, and by the bond of a common hope. We meet together as an assembly and congregation, that, offering up prayer to God as with united force, we may wrestle with Him in our supplications.” Tertullian, Apology, 39, ANF 3:46
Civil War in Germany, 1197-1212, between Philp of Swabia and Otto of Brunswick
Frederick II, 1212-1259
- “Stupor Mundi” (The Wonder of the World) - “the most brilliant ruler and one of the most learned men of his day” - raised in Sicily, supported the bishops of Germany and gave them many privileges, really making them into secular princes
- he went on a crusade 1227-1229, but returned sick, but the Pope didn’t believe he was really sick so was excommunicated for breaking his crusader’s oath - he did, however, negotiate a peace with Egypt that made him the master of Jerusalem
- when his son Henry began making moves against him, he had Henry arrested and imprisoned, where Henry committed suicide - throughout his life he was involved in a terrific struggle for control of Italy with the Pope - and after he died the popes “violently persecuted” his relatives and followers - in 1224, the University of Naples was founded
Saturday, June 23, 2012
“And this is what the minister is indicating when he elevates the host and the cup. He is not referring to any sacrifice with as much as a single word, which is what would have to happen if it were a sacrifice. Actually, it would make no difference if there were no elevation, for that is something men have invented; Christ did not institute it.” Martin Luther, Misuse of the Mass, LW, AE, 36:183
Edward I “Longshanks”, 1272-1307
- able ruler, great lawmaker, the “English Justinian” - 1276-1284, war with Wales, conquering it, and he made his heir the Prince of Wales - 1285-1307, war with Scotland, defeating and capturing William Wallace [”Braveheart”]
- 1293-1303, war with France - 1295, he expelled the Jews from England (and took all their money and possessions) - 1297, "Confirmation of Charters”, he renewed the Magna Charta along with a provision that no tax would be imposed England without the approval of a parliament
Friday, June 22, 2012
Magna res est amor, magnum omnino bonum quod solum leve facit esse onerosum, et fert æqualiter omne inæquale: nam onus sine onere portat, et omne amarum dulce ac sapidum efficit. Amor Jesu nobilis ad magna operanda impellit, et desideranda semper perfectiora excitat. Amor vult esse sursum, nec ullis infimis rebus retineri. Amor vult esse liber, et ab omni mundana affectione alienus, ne internus ejus impediatur aspectus; ne per aliquod commodum temporale implicationes sustineat, aut per incommodum succumbat. Nil dulcius est amore, nil fortius, nil altius, nil latius, nil jucundius, nil plenius, nil melius in cælo et in terra, quia amor a Deo natus est, nec potest nisi in Deo super omnia creata quiescere.
Love is a great thing, a good above all others, which alone makes every heavy burden light, and equalises every inequality. For it bears the burden and makes it no burden, it makes every bitter thing to be sweet and of good taste. The surpassing love of Jesus impells to great works, and excites to the continual desiring of greater perfection. Love wants to be raised up, and not to be held down by any mean thing. Love wants to be free and aloof from all worldly affection, lest its inward power of vision be hindered, lest it be entangled by any worldly prosperity or overcome by adversity. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing loftier, nothing broader, nothing pleasanter, nothing fuller or better in heaven nor on earth, for love was born of God and cannot rest save in God above all created things.
Imitation of Christ, III, 5:3
Henry III, 1216-1272
- he came to the throne at the age of 9, under the guardianship of Earl William Marshal - at Marshal’s death, he made the pope the young king’s guardian - Henry was very devoted to the papacy, which led to a large increase in “nationalism”, the feeling of being “English” - while trying to regain his French possessions, the pope was allowed to take a lot of money out of England
- when Henry finally asked the ‘grand council’ to give the pope 1/3rd of the revenue of England, there was a revolt - Simon de Montfort, Henry’s brother-in-law captured him and held him captive - under de Montfort the ‘great council’ of England began to be called “parliament” to which “two knights from each shire and two burgesses [citizens] from every borough [town]” were called to help make decisions
Thursday, June 21, 2012
“We never do good with respect of persons; for in our own interest we conduct ourselves as those who take no payment either praise or premium from man, but from God, who both requires and remunerates an impartial benevolence. We are the same to emperors as to our ordinary neighbors. For we are equally forbidden to wish ill, to do ill, to speak ill, to think ill of all men.” Tertullian, Apology, 36, ANF 3:45
John “Lackland”, 1196-1216
- “cruel, mean, ..., faithless, greedy, weak-willed”, a womanizer with “no virtues” - lost most of his French possessions, which forced the English nobles to focus on problems at home - along with that he feuded with the pope about who should be archbishop of Canterbury - the pope finally appointed Stephen Langton, and John exiled him - the pope put England under the “interdict” (no religious services of any kind), but John survived it all until his defeat by Philip II of France - that led to the Magna Charta of 1215, which was a document forced on the king by his nobles basically stating that the king was not above the law
- two important parts of the Magna Charta were (1) no unusual taxes were to placed on people without their consent and (2) no free man could be arrested and held or punished without “lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land”
- in 1209 the University of Cambridge was founded
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
“For it would be safer and more wholesome for the father of the household to read the gospel and, since the universal custom and use allows it to the laity, to baptize those who are born in his home, and so to govern himself and his according to the doctrines of Christ, even if throughout life they did not dare or could not receive the Eucharist. For the Eucharist is not so necessary that salvation depends on it. The gospel and baptism are sufficient, since faith alone justifies and love alone lives rightly.” Martin Luther, Concerning the Ministry, LW, AE, 40:9
The Second Crusade, 1147-1149, started by the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux - the leaders of the crusade were Conrad III of Germany and Louis VII of France - both the French and German armies were soundly defeated by the Turks, so the second crusade was a complete failure
The Third Crusade, 1189-1192, was started by the success of the Moslem leader Saladin, who united the Moslems and eliminated most of the gains the First Crusade had made, including capturing Jerusalem. The great kings of Europe, Frederick I Barbarossa of Germany, Richard I the Lionheart of England and Philip II Augustus of France led the Crusade. Frederick I drowned and his army fell apart under the leadership of his son. Philip Augustus and Richard the Lionheart quarreled and Philip returned home. Richard
displayed amazing skill in defeating Saladin in battle, but didn’t have the strength to actually free Jerusalem, so he negotiated a peace with Saladin which guaranteed special rights to Christian pilgrims going to Jerusalem.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Noli autem discutere opera Altissimi, sed tuas iniquitates perscrutare, in quantis dereliquisti, et quam multa bona neglexisti. Quidam portant solum suam devotionem in libris, quidam in imaginibus; quidam autem in signis exterioribus et figuris. Quidam habent me in ore, sed modicum in corde. Sunt alii qui intellectu illuminati et affectu purgati ad æterna sempe anhelant, de terrenis graviter audiunt, necessitatibus naturæ dolenter inserviunt, et hi sentiunt, quid veritatis spiritus loquitur in eis. Quia docet eos terrena despicere, et amare cælestia, mundum negligere, et cælum tota die et nocte desiderare.
Fear the judgments of God, fear greatly the wrath of the Almighty. Shrink from debating upon the works of the Most High, but search narrowly your own iniquities into what great sins you have fallen, and how many good things you have neglected. There are some who carry their devotion only in books, some in pictures, some in outward signs and figures; some have Me in their mouths, but little in their hearts. Others there are who, being enlightened in their understanding and purged in their affections, continually long after eternal things, hear of earthly things with unwillingness, obey the necessities of nature with sorrow. And these understand what the Spirit of truth speaks in them; for He teaches them to despise earthly things and to love heavenly; to neglect the world and to desire heaven all the day and night.
Imitation of Christ, III, 4:4
The discontent about the richness of the church (1/3rd of all property and wealth in Europe) and the luxury in which the great bishops lived led to another movement, the rise of various heresies during this century. Many different groups rose of Christians who just wanted to live a more Christian life, but other groups started having strange ideas.
The Waldensians - ‘founded’ by Peter Waldo c. 1173 - a merchant who gave away all his property to the poor in order to live a life of “apostolic poverty” - eventually growing to distrust the priests and clergy who seemed to be living such a good life, Waldo and his followers started preaching to people with or without permission of the church.
The Cathari or Albigensians - most strong in the area of southern France, this group was characterized by two important elements - (1) a strong distrust and protest against the wealth and power of the clergy and (2) teachings that basically came from Persia (e.g., there were two gods, one good, the other evil; Christ was the ‘good god,’ who was purely spiritual with no real human body; a person was reincarnated at death and the purpose of life was to break free from that cycle)
Many of these heretical movements were accompanied by outbreaks of hatred and mob activity against the heretics.
Monday, June 18, 2012
“For see that you do not give a further ground for the charge of irreligion, by taking away religious liberty, and forbidding free choice of deity, so that I may no longer worship according to my inclination, but am compelled to worship against it. Not even a human being would care to have unwilling homage rendered him; and so the very Egyptians have been permitted the legal use of their ridiculous superstition, liberty to make gods of birds and beasts, nay, to condemn to death anyone who kills a god of their sort.” Tertullian, Apology, 24, ANF 3:39
Adelard of Bath, d. 1144
- an example of the Western scholar who were intensely curious about all the Greek learning that had been preserved by the Moslems - he translated many Arabic works into Latin so that
they could be used in the West, especially Euclid’s Elements (on geometry and math) and an Arabic work on arithmetic that used Arabic numerals (thereby introducing them to Europe)
- other translators provided Latin versions of works on science, logic, algebra, astrology and medicine
Sunday, June 17, 2012
“You say you don't baptize children because they don't believe. Why do you preach the Word to adults who don't believe, unless perhaps in the hope that they may believe? You do it on the strength of God's command alone. For if you baptize me because I say I believe, and you baptize on account of me and in my name. Therefore, since you don't know whether I believe or don't believe, it is only because of God's command. It isn't necessary to exclude children, since as a rule you baptize all, whether they believe or not.
…, and that his faith and salvation be committed to God's keeping.” Martin Luther, Tabletalk, Dietrich #549, summer or fall 1533, LW, AE, 54:98-99
John of Salisbury, 1115-1180
- another student of Abelard’s, devoted to classical literature - is most famous for his Policraticus, a study on politics - it said that the king got his authority to reign from God, but that he had to rule for the benefit of his subjects, and give them peace and justice - if he neglected his duties, he became a tyrant, not a king, his subjects no longer were bound to obey him, and if all else failed, the tyrant should be killed
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Nihil ergo tibi magnum videatur ex omnibus, quæ agis. Nihil grande, nihil prætiosum et admirabile, nil reputatione appareat dignum, nil altum, nil vere laudabile, et desiderabile, nisi quod æternum. Placeat tibi super omnia æterna veritas, displiceat tibi super omnia vilitas maxima tua. Nil sic temeas et fugias, sicut vitia, et peccata tua, quæ magis displicere debent, quam quælibet rerum damna. Quidam non sincere coram me ambulant, sed quadam curiositte et arrogania ducti volunt secreta mea scire, et alta Dei intelligere, se et suam salutem negligentes. Hi sæpe in magnas tentationes, et peccata, propter suam jactantiam, superbiam et curiositatem, labuntur me eis adversante. Time judicia Dei, expavesce iram Omnipotentis.
Let, therefore, nothing which you do seem great to you; let nothing be grand, nothing of value or beauty, nothing worthy of honor, nothing lofty, nothing praiseworthy or desirable, save what is eternal. Let the eternal truth please you above all things, let your own great vileness displease you continually. Fear, denounce, flee nothing so much as your own faults and sins, which ought to be more displeasing to you than any loss whatsoever of goods. There are some who walk not sincerely before me, but being led by curiosity and pride, they desire to know my secret things and to understand the deep things of God, while they neglect themselves and their salvation. These often fall into great temptations and sins because of their pride and curiosity, for I am against them. Fear the judgments of God, fear greatly the wrath of the Almighty.
Imitation of Christ, III, 4:3
Hildegard of Bingen, 1098-1179
- a German nun, she was a mystic, seeing visions, as well as a medical scholar, a composer (her songs, as well as an opera, Ordo Virtutum, are still performed in the 21st century), and a “prophetess” who was consulted by popes, kings and religious leaders all across Europe - her visions of Christ led people to ask her for answers to political and theological questions that bothered the greatest people of the century
Friday, June 15, 2012
“Thereafter, having given them commission to preach the gospel through the world, He was encompassed with the cloud and taken up to heaven, – a fact more certain far than the assertions of your Proculi concerning Romulus. All of these things Pilate did to Christ; and now in fact a Christian in his own convictions, he sent word of Him to the reigning Caesar, who was at the time Tiberius.” Tertullian, Apology, 21, ANF 3:35
Thursday, June 14, 2012
“When they say, 'children cannot believe,' how can they be sure of that? Where is the Scripture by which they would prove it and on which they would build? They imagine this, I suppose, because children do not speak or have understanding. But such a fancy is deceptive, yea, altogether false, and we cannot build on what we imagine.” Martin Luther, Concerning Rebaptism, LW, AE, 40:241-242
Peter Abelard, 1079-1142
- one of the most famous teachers of the Middle ages, for his brains, and his mistakes - he had a love affair with Heloise, a girl 20 years younger and his student which was the most famous romance of the Middle Ages - he eventually married her, but her uncle was so angry that the uncle hired thugs to castrate Abelard
- they both took monastic vows and never saw each other again - a devoted Christian, but an intellectual ‘show-off’, some of his ideas were later condemned by a church council, and Abelard retired to Cluny where he died - his most famous work was Sic et Non, “Yes and No,” a collection of contradictory statements by church authorities on a number of theological issues (e.g. is it ever permissable to lie, etc.), which influenced many people to study, and others to despair that there was one united voice of the church
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Ego te docebo, ait Veritas, quæ recta sunt et placita coram me. Cogita peccata tua cum displicentia magna et memorare, et nuquam reputes te aliquid esse propter opera bona. Revera peccator es, et multis passionibus obnoxius, et implicatus. Ex te semper ad nihil tendis, cito laberis, cito turbaris, cito dissolveris. Non habes quidquam, unde possis gloriari. Sed multa habes unde te debes vilificare, quia multo infirmior es quam vales comprehendere.
"I will teach you," says Truth, "the things which are right and pleasing before Me. Think upon your sins with great displeasure and sorrow, and never think yourself anything because of your good works. Truly you are a sinner, liable to many passions, yes, tied and bound with them. Of yourself you always tend to nothing, you will quickly fall, quickly be conquered, quickly disturbed, quickly undone. You have nothing to glory about, but many reasons why you should reckon yourself vile, for you are far weaker than you are able to comprehend.
Imitation of Christ, III, 4:2
Monday, June 11, 2012
“And yet, nailed upon the cross, He exhibited many notable signs, by which His death was distinguished from all others. At His own free will, He with a word dismissed from Him His spirit, anticipating the executioner's work. In the same hour, too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze. Those who are not aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it was an eclipse. You yourselves have the account of the world-portent in your archives.” Tertullian, Apology, 21, ANF 3:35
Homo putans se ad gratiam velle pervenire faciendo, quod in se est, peccatum addit peccato, ut duplus reus fiat.
The man who thinks to himself that he wishes to come to grace by doing, what is in himself, he adds sin to sin, so that the accusation is double.
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1092(?)-1154
- as a young man joined the Cistercians at a time when all thought that no one could keep their strict rule - Bernard and some 30 friends joined and made it a challenge to live according to it
- because of that and his own personality, Bernard became one of the most famous people in the 12th century - he was a good preacher, a gifted writer - “His moral influence was so immense that he became Europe’s leading arbiter of political and ecclesiastical disputes.”
- was considered to be a saint in his own time and people came to him from all over Europe to be healed by his miracles (like Mother Theresa in our own time but much more influential)
Sunday, June 10, 2012
“Heresy can never be restrained by force. One will have to tackle the problem in some other way, for heresy must be opposed and dealt with otherwise than the sword. Here God's word must do the fighting.” Martin Luther, Temporal Authority, LW, AE, 45:114
Peter the Venerable - at a time when the monastery of Cluny had been given so much money that the abbot was able to live in the highest of luxury, Peter the Venerable became the abbot of Cluny and started reforming the whole order
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Fili, ambula coram me in veritate et in simplicitate cordis tui quære me semper. Qui ambulat coram me in veritate, tutabitur ab incursibus vanis et veritas liberabit eum a seductoribus et detractionibus iniquorum. Si veritas te liberaverit, vere liber eris et non curabis de vanis hominum verbis. Domine verum est ut dicis, ita quæso mecum fiat. Veritas tua ipsa me doceat, ipsa me custodiat, et usque ad salutarem finem me conservet; ipsa me liberet ab omni affectione mala et inordinata at ambulabo tecum in magna cordis libertate.
"My Son! walk before Me in truth, and in the simplicity of your heart seek Me continually. He who walks before Me in the truth shall be safe from evil assaults, and the truth shall deliver him from the wiles and slanders of the wicked. If the truth will make you free, you will be free indeed, and will not care for the vain words of men." Lord, it is true as You say; let it, I pray You, be so with me; let Your truth teach me, let it keep me and preserve me safe unto the end. Let it free me from all evil and inordinate affection, and I will walk before You in great freedom of heart.
Imitation of Christ, III, 4:1
The Reforming Monastic Orders
At a time when many priests and preachers seemed to be interested only in money and power, the various ‘orders’ of monks were virtually the only examples of Christian faith and life. For that reason these orders, and individuals in them, had tremendous influence in society.
William of Champeaux, founded the Canons Regular of St. Victor in 1113 - it was a reforming movement, but these were not monks, separated from the world, but “ordinary” priests who voluntarily took up the monkish life style
Norbert of Xanten - after almost being hit by a bolt of lightning, this very worldly priest became a reformer - he founded an order headquartered at Premontre in France, and this became the Premonstratensian Order - the main thing that strikes one about this order was that they emphasized complete silence, all the time
Friday, June 8, 2012
“No one of your gods is earlier than Saturn: from him you trace all your deities, even those of higher rank and better-known. What, then, can be proved of the first, will apply to those that follow. So far, then, as books give us information, neither the Greek Diodorus or Thallus, neither Cassius Severus or Cornelius Nepos, nor any writer upon sacred antiquities, have ventured to say that Saturn was any but a man: ….” Tertullian, Apology, 10, ANF 3:26
Isaac Angelus, 1185-1195
- the leader of rebels, ended the reform against corruption and increased the corruption in the government and the power of the nobles - during his reign the empire began the process of disintegration - deposed and blinded by his own brother
Thursday, June 7, 2012
“In like manner you may deal harshly with the liars and hardened tyrants, and act boldly in opposition to their teaching and their works, for they will not listen. But the simple people, whom they have bound with the ropes of their teaching and whose lives are endangered, you must treat quite differently. You must with caution and gentleness undo the teachings of men, providing them a defense an explanation, and in this way gradually set them free.” Martin Luther, Sincere Admonition to all Christians, LW, AE, 45:73
Andronicus I Comnenus, 1183-1185
- got rid of the Latins - started reforming the government to strengthen it and reduce the power of the nobility - when the Normans attacked the city of Constantinople, the nobles rose against him, had him deposed and executed
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Scribe verba mea in corde tuo, et pertracta diligenter: erunt enim in tempore tentationis valde necessaria. Quod non intelligis, cum legis, cognosces in die visitationis. Dupliciter soleo electos meos visitare, tentatione scilicet et consolatione: et duas lectiones eis quotidie lego, unam increpando eorum vittia, alteram exhortando ad virtutum incrementa. Qui habet verba mea et spernit ea, habet qui judicet eum in novissimo die.
"Write My words in your heart and consider them diligently, for they will be very needed in time of temptation. What you do not understand when you read, you will know in the time of your visitation. I usually visit Mine elect in twofold manner, even by temptation and by comfort, and I teach them two lessons day by day, the one in chiding their faults, the other in exhorting them to grow in grace. He who has My words and rejects them, has one who shall judge him at the last day."
Imitation of Christ, III, 3:5
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
“In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to the birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed.” Tertullian, Apology, 9, ANF 3:25
Manuel I Comnenus, 1143-1180
- one of the greatest Byzantine rulers - under him Constantinople was recognized as the “capitol of the world and the center of culture” - his focus on the West (including attempts to ‘reunite’ with the Latin West) allowed the Turks to recover from a disastrous defeat and regain their strength - led wars against Roger of Sicily, Hungary, Venice and the Turks - married a Latin “princess”
Monday, June 4, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Ego, inquit Dominus, docui Prophetas ab initio, et usque nunc non cesso omnibus loqui. Sed multi ad vocem meam surdi sunt, et muti et duri. Plures mundum libentius audiunt quam Deum, facilius sequuntur carnis suæ appetitum, quam dei beneplacitum. Promittit temporalia, et parva mundus, et servitur ei aviditate magna. Ego promitto summa, et æterna, et torpescunt mortalium corda. Quis tanta cura in omnibus mihi servit et obedit, sicut mundo et dominis ejus servitur? Erubesce, Sidon, ait mare. Et si causam quæris audi, quare. Pro modica præbenda longa via curritur, pro vita æterna vix a multis pes a terra semel movetur et levatur. Vile prætium quæritur, pro uno numismate interdum turpiter litigatur, pro vana re et parva promissione die noctuque fatigari non timetur.
"I," says the Lord, "taught the prophets from the beginning, and even now cease I not to speak unto all; but many are deaf and hardened against My voice; many love to listen to the world rather than to God, they follow after the desires of the flesh more readily than after the good pleasure of God. The world promises things that are temporal and small, and it is served with great eagerness. I promise things that are great and
Saturday, June 2, 2012
“So far from that, we, on the contrary, bring before you one who was their protector, as you will see by examining the letters of Marcus Aurelius, that most grave of emperors, in which he bears his testimony that that Germanic drought was removed by the rains obtained through the prayers of the Christians who chanced to be fighting under him.” Tertullian, Apology, 5, ANF 3:22
Friday, June 1, 2012
“In short, it [worshiping God according to our 'own pleasure'] is the most horrible and frightful misuse that one can imagine or express, for it is equivalent to the denial of God himself and of his first, highest and noblest commandment.” Martin Luther, Misuse of the Mass, LW, AE, 36:148
Paschal II, 1099-1118
- was humiliated by Henry V of Germany - renounced all secular power, but he and his decision were repudiated by his own clergy - eventually arrested by Henry V (which made a huge impression on Europe)