I believe in order to understand

Thursday, April 21, 2016

 I believe in order to understand
Easter, Day 26

In the reading from Acts today, St. Paul has been invited to speak in the synagogue and is telling them how the history of the Jewish people prepared them for the Christ.  One of the things he mentioned was David of whom he said ”I have found David, son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will carry out my every wish”.  Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) was a person who was a leader after the heart of David.  When King Saul questioned David about his ability to be a soldier.  He told Saul that when he was shepherding his flock, if a wolf or lion grabbed one of his sheep, he would run up to them, fight with the animal and take the sheep out of his mouth. 

 St. Anselm was also courageous.  He had many challenges with the English kings.  He was exiled twice but ended up stabilizing the Church in his era.   Anselm was Born in Italy, he was a Benedictine Abbot in France and the Archbishop of Canterbury, England.  He is a Doctor of the Church and is credited as the founder of Scholasticism.  He had a very rational and philosophical approach in his writings and he had a very personal and respectful approach in his relationship with those he lead and those with whom he negotiated.  He lived at a time when there was much controversy about whether the church leader or the civic leader had authority over the church property and income. 

These are some of his quotes

“For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe-that unless I believe I shall not understand.

Remove grace, and you have nothing whereby to be saved. Remove free will and you have nothing that could be saved.

Spare me through your mercy, do not punish me through your justice.

A Prayer of Anselm “My God, I pray that I may so know you and love you that I may rejoice in you. And if I may not do so fully in this life let me go steadily on to the day when I come to that fullness . . . Let me receive That which you promised through your truth, that my joy may be full.”

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