28 August 2009

St. Augustine

Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth: and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.

Msgr. Hogan invited us to join him in Vienna at the Augustinerkirche for Mass in honor of St. Augustine. The Mass was set to glorious music by Schubert.

The celebration continued after the Mass with a fine dinner at a French restaurant on the north side of Vienna. Their specialty was seafood, and especially seafood crepes, which allowed us to obey the letter of the law of observing penance on Fridays even if not the spirit.

Encyclical Letter of Pope Pius XI Ad salutem (On St. Augustine), 1930.

1. It is eminently befitting the nature and necessity of the case, that Christ Jesus has been and shall continue to be ready to safeguard the Church, which His provident care established for the salvation of the human race. This certainty is warranted by the promise of her Divine Founder, which we read in the Gospel; and it must be clear to evidence from the annals of that Church, on which error has never set a stain, which no falling awayhowever widespread-of her sons has made to waver, which regains her youthful vigor and ceaselessly renews her strength despite the assaults of impious men, even when carried to the most shocking extremes. While our Lord in securing the stability and promoting the growth of His foundation, which belongs to all time, did not limit Himself to a single method nor proceed always in the selfsame way, yet it is noteworthy that in every age He raised up distinguished men, who, by talents and efforts suited to the times and their exigencies, should rejoice the heart of the Christian people, by successively curbing and conquering the "power of darkness." This choice of Divine Providence, when it fell upon Augustine of Tagaste, was marked by a discrimination that was more than ordinarily striking. He was the light set upon the candlestick, he was the vanquisher of every heresy and a guide to eternal salvation for his contemporaries. What is more, he continued to teach and console Christians as age succeeded age. Nay, even in our time we owe it to him in large measure that among believers the truth of Faith maintains its luster, while love for God has not ceased to burn. Indeed, it is a matter of common knowledge that the writings of Augustine, by their exceptional sublimity and charm, cast a spell over many who are at variance with us or who seem utter strangers to the Faith. Hence it is, that since the current year brings in its course with happy auspices the fifteenth centennial anniversary of the death of this peerless Bishop and Doctor, Christians the world over are eager to hold his memory in honor and are preparing to give public proof of their admiration and devotion. Yielding, therefore, to a sense of Our Apostolic office and to the delight that stirs Our soul, while desirous of adding to the chorus of praise, We urge you all, Venerable Brethren, and the clergy and flock of each of you, to join Us in offering special thanks to the Heavenly Father for enriching His Church by means of Augustine with so many matchless blessings-the Saint who profited so much by the Divine gifts lavished on him and turned the current of this wealth upon the Catholics of the world. It beseems us all today not merely to exult that by a miracle, so to speak, was once united to the Mystical Body of Christ a genius so great and lofty, that in the judgment of history his superior can hardly be found anywhere in any age, but rather to steep and nourish ourselves with his learning and copy the model of his holy life.

5 comments:

big daddy said...

Wow! Cool picture of St. Augustine!

Cousin Monica said...

I thought Augustine was African, but whatever.

What about St. Monica?

John said...

I must admit, I just love pictures of popes wearing the tiara. Besides, I couldn't find any pictures of St. Augustine as a black man.

Cousin Monica said...

Yeah, I'd like a tiara like that.

Anna said...

That's called a tiara? Rather feminine isn't it?