Saturday, August 30, 2014

The wisdom of Saint Gregory the Great

St Gregory in the Initial "U"
From The Letters of St Gregory the Great
Avranches - BM - ms. 0102, f. 001
Abbey Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

St Gregory writing while inspired by the Holy Spirit
From St Gregory the Great Homiliae in Evangelia
Before 1072
Avranches - BM - ms. 0103, f. 004v
Abbey Mont-Saint-Michel, Normandy

Gregory the Great in Initial "A" of Gregory`s Homily on "Luke 15"
From Lectionary F of the Chapter of Reims
Before 1096
Reims - BM - ms. 0294, f 252
Manassès de Châtillon, Reims

In these illustrations St Gregory the Great is shown blessed by the Hand of God and inspired by the Holy Spirit

Gregory (540-604) was the 64th Pope of the Latin Church, the first to take the title "servus servorum Dei" 

During the Middle Ages he was one of the most read and copied authors

It was during this time he was one of the four Doctors of the Latin Church

Pope Gregory the Great inspired by the Holy Spirit dictating to his secretary, the deacon Peter
From the Hartker-Antiphonar
Cod. Sang. 390, f 13
Stiftsbibliothek, St. Gallen

Saint Gregory the Great and his Deacon Peter
From Jean Mansel Fleur des histoires
c 1470
Illuminated manuscript
Paris - Bibl. Mazarine - ms. 1560, f. 219

"When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice" (Saint Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule, 3:21)

 "Holy Church has two lives: one that she lives in time, the other that she receives eternally; one with which she struggles on earth, the other that is rewarded in heaven; one with which she accumulates merits, the other that henceforth enjoys the merits earned. And in both these lives she offers a sacrifice: here below, the sacrifice of compunction, and in heaven above, the sacrifice of praise. Of the former sacrifice it is said: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit' (Ps 51[50]: 19); of the latter it is written:  "Then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and in whole burnt offerings' (Ps 51[50]: 21).... In both, flesh is offered, since the sacrifice of the flesh is the mortification of the body, up above; the sacrifice of the flesh is the glory of the resurrection in praise to God. In heaven, flesh will be offered as a burnt holocaust when it is transformed into eternal incorruptibility, and there will be no more conflict for us and nothing that is mortal, for our flesh will endure in everlasting praise, all on fire with love for him" 
(Saint Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezechiel, 2, Rome 1993, p. 271)

“The supreme art is the direction of souls” (Saint Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis, I, 1: PL 77, 14)

"[T]he faithlessness of Thomas was far more useful to us, as regards faith, than the faith of the other disciples. While, in fact, Thomas is brought back to faith through touch, our mind is consolidated in faith with the overcoming of all doubt, Thus the disciple, who doubted and touched, became a witness to the reality of the Resurrection" (Saint Gregory the Great, XL Homiliarum in Evangelia lib. III, Homil. 26, 7: P.L. 76, 1201)

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