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1
General Catholic Discussion / Re: Capital Punishment
« Last post by Traditionallyruralmom on Today at 12:41:24 PM »
y'all arguing over petty scruples and still haven't addressed the important question: why the electric chair?

I am all for a skillfully placed bullet, much more economical.
2
Coffee and Donuts / Re: Hello
« Last post by Heinrich on Today at 12:38:06 PM »
Are you a Larry Wheels fan?

Welcome to the forum.
3
The Sacred Sciences / Re: The purpose of life?
« Last post by St. Columba on Today at 12:34:42 PM »
I have a real question:

How does someone who rightly talks about the importance of theosis reconcile its underlying Eastern theology with a Western radical understanding of divine simplicity? These two are mutually exclusive, albeit one is an experienceable reality and the other piece of rationalistic philosophising.

Questions like this, although interesting, would necessitate something akin to a doctoral thesis to adequately answer.  These questions are so broad, that on an internet forum no less, all that is really likely to happen is that the person answering the question will move it into a space they want to speak about.

I much prefer Daniel's posting style: ask specific, bite-sized, questions, with the result, hopefully, of getting some specific answers, in order to learn.  This way, posters are getting the most educational bang for buck of time invested hanging around here.   Some of us are extremely busy. Broad questions are simply laced with so many nested assumptions, presuppositions, and personal biases, as to be relatively useless for drawing any firm conclusions.

That aside, I do enjoy reading your posts Kreuzritter!  ;)

4
So the Latin Vulgate is riddled with errors?

So the church that is based on "Holy" Scripture and Tradition is now left with only Tradition.

Wow. What a revelation.

When "supposedly" Christ said when he returns will he find any faith is coming true.

Changing she to he in Genesis was one of the very first things the "reformers" did after Vatican II. They were right???????

Well smack me down. The changes after Vatican II were not all wrong. Now us Trads are going to have to start saying: LONG LIVE VATICAN II
5
Non-Catholic Discussion Subforum / Re: Why not hedonism?
« Last post by Arvinger on Today at 12:18:23 PM »
Of course, "negative reprobation" cannot be reconciled with the Catholic doctrine of God's universal salvific will, so ultimately it must be rejected as untenable with said doctrine.

And yet it hasn't been rejected because you can't have election without reprobation.

It is a dogma of the faith that "God, by an eternal resolve of His will, predestines certain men, on account of their foreseen sins, to eternal rejection."
Then if God is condemning  men for their foreseen sins, ergo, He isn't predestining them before considering their sins, which is what "negative reprobation" holds. Therefore, God does not condemn any man to Hell except in view of their deliberate rejection of His graces, and not as the Thomists hold, because He withholds the necessary graces that would enable them to be saved.

Exactly. Case closed.

The problem is that acceptance of grace is in itself a grace. If man can't do anything without God's grace, then he can't accept the graces necessary for salvation without receiving a grace of acceptance of these graces.

Therefore, saying "God condemns them for rejection of graces" is merely moving a problem one step back - if they rejected the graces, it means that God did not give them grace of acceptance of graces. Unless you want to say that man is able to accept graces by his own power, apart from God's grace, which leads to semi-Pelagianism.

As I wrote numerous times here, no theological system accurately explains predestination, all of them taking to logical conclusion result in Calvinism or semi-Pelagianism. We have to accept that predestination is a mystery which we cannot understand.
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General Catholic Discussion / Re: Capital Punishment
« Last post by Lambda Phage on Today at 12:05:14 PM »
y'all arguing over petty scruples and still haven't addressed the important question: why the electric chair?

bout spat muh own saliva out muh nose when i read that.

I wrote that post in all lower case because I believe in capital punishment.
7
General Catholic Discussion / Re: Capital Punishment
« Last post by Lambda Phage on Today at 12:01:56 PM »
y'all arguing over petty scruples and still haven't addressed the important question: why the electric chair?

bout spat muh own saliva out muh nose when i read that.
8
Jan 15 ST. PAUL, THE FIRST HERMIT

[From his life, compiled by St. Jerom, in 365. Pope Gelasius[1]., in his learned Roman council. In 494, commends this authentic history. St. Paul is also mentioned by Cassian, St. Fulgentius, Sulpinus Severes Sidonius, Paulinus, In the life of St. Ambrose, &c. St. Jerom received this account from two disciple of St. Antony, Amathas and Macarius. St. Athanasius says, that he only wrote what he had heard from St. Antony’s own mouth, or from his disciples; and desires others to add what they know concerning his actions. On the various readings and MS. copies of this life, see the disquisition of F. Jer de Prato, an oratorlan of Verona, In his new edition of the works of Sulpitius Severus, t. 1. app. 2. p. 403. The Greek history of St. Paul the hermit, which Hollandus imagines St. Jerom to have followed, is evidently posterior; and horrows from him, as Jos. Assemanl shows. Comm. in Calend. Univ. t. 6. p. 82. See Gudij Epistolæ, p. 278.]

A. D. 342.

ELIAS and St. John the Baptist sanctified the deserts, and Jesus Christ himself was a model of the eremitical state during his forty days’ fast in the wilderness; neither is it to be questioned but the Holy Ghost conducted the saint of this day, though young, into the desert, and was to him an instructor there; but it is no less certain, that an entire solitude and total sequestration of one’s self from human society, is one of those extraordinary ways by which God leads souls to himself, and is more worthy of our admiration, than calculated for imitation and practice: it is a state which ought only to be embraced by such as are already well experienced in the practices of virtue and contemplation, and who can resist sloth and other temptations, lest, instead of being a help, it prove a snare and stumbling-block in their way to heaven.

This saint was a native of the Lower Thebais, in Egypt, and had lost both his parents when he was but fifteen years of age: nevertheless, he was a great proficient in the Greek and Egyptian learning, was mild and modest, and feared God from his earliest youth. The bloody persecution of Decius disturbed the peace of the church in 250; and what was most dreadful, Satan, by his ministers, sought not so much to kill the bodies, as by subtle artifices and tedious tortures to destroy the souls of men. Two instances are sufficient to show his malice in this respect: A soldier of Christ, who had already triumphed over the racks and tortures, had his whole body rubbed over with honey, and was then laid on his back in the sun, with his hands tied behind him, that the flies and wasps, which are quite intolerable in hot countries, might torment and gall him with their stings. Another was bound with silk cords on a bed of down, in a delightful garden, where a lascivious woman was employed to entice him to sin; the martyr, sensible of his danger, bit off part of his tongue and spit it in her face, that the horror of such an action might put her to flight, and the smart occasioned by it be a means to prevent, in his own heart, any manner of consent to carnal pleasure. During these times of danger, Paul kept himself concealed in the house of another; but finding that a brother-in-law was inclined to betray him, that he might enjoy his estate, he fled into the deserts. There he found many spacious caverns in a rock, which were said to have been the retreat of money-coiners in the days of Cleopatra, queen of Egypt. He chose for his dwelling a case in this place, near which were a palm-tree* and a clear spring the former by its leaves furnished him with raiment, and by its fruit with food; and the latter supplied him with water for his drink.

Paul was twenty-two years old when he entered the desert. His first intention was to enjoy the liberty of serving God till the persecution should cease; but relishing the sweets of heavenly contemplation and penance, and learning the spiritual advantages of holy solitude, he resolved to return no more among men, or concern himself in the least with human affairs, and what passed in the world: it was enough for him to know that there was a world, and to pray that it might be improved in goodness. The saint lived on the fruit of his tree till he was forty-three years of age, and from that time till his death, like Elias, he was miraculously fed with bread brought him every day by a raven. His method of life, and what he did in this place during ninety years, is unknown to us: but God was pleased to make his servant known a little before his death.

The great St. Antony, who was then ninety years of age, was tempted to vanity, as if no one had served God so long in the wilderness as he had done, imagining himself also to be the first example of a life so recluse from human conversation: but the contrary was discovered to him in a dream the night following, and the saint was at the same time commanded, by Almighty God, to set out forthwith in quest of a perfect servant of his, concealed in the more remote parts of those deserts. The holy old man set out the next morning in search of the unknown hermit. St. Jerom relates from his authors, that he met a centaur, or creature not with the nature and properties, but with something of the mixed shape of man and horse,[1] and that this monster, or phantom of the devil, (St. Jerom pretends not to determine which it was,) upon his making the sign of the cross, fled away, after having pointed out the way to the saint. Our author adds, that St. Antony soon after met a satyr,* who gave him to understand that he was an inhabitant of those deserts, and one of that sort whom the deluded Gentiles adored for gods. St. Antony, after two days and a night spent in the search, discovered the saint’s abode by a light that was in it, which he made up to. Having long begged admittance at the door of his cell, St. Paul at last opened it with a smile: they embraced, called each other by their names, which they knew by divine revelation. St. Paul then inquired whether idolatry still reigned in the world. While they were discoursing together, a raven flew towards them, and dropped a loaf of bread before them. Upon which St. Paul said, “Our good God has sent us a dinner. In this manner have I received half a loaf every day these sixty years past; now you are come to see me, Christ has doubled his provision for his servants.” Having given thanks to God they both sat down by the fountain; but a little contest arose between them who should break the bread; St. Antony alleged St. Paul’s greater age, and St. Paul pleaded that Antony was the stranger: both agreed at last to take up their parts together. Having refreshed themselves at the spring, they spent the night in prayer. The next morning St. Paul told his guest that the time of his death approached, and that he was sent to bury him, adding “Go and fetch the cloak given you by St. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, in which I desire you to wrap my body.” This he might say with the intent of being left alone in prayer, while he expected to be called out of this world; as also that he might testify his veneration for St. Athanasius, and his high regard for the faith and communion of the Catholic church, on account of which that holy bishop was then a great sufferer. St. Antony was surprised to hear him mention the cloak, which he could not have known but by divine revelation. Whatever was his motive for desiring to be buried in it. St. Antony acquiesced to what was asked of him: so, after mutual embraces, he hastened to his monastery to comply with St. Paul’s request He told his monks that he, a sinner, falsely bore the name of a servant of God, but that he had seen Elias and John the Baptist in the wilderness, even Paul in Paradise. Having taken the cloak, he returned with it in all haste, fearing lost the holy hermit might be dead, as it happened. While on his road, he saw his happy soul carried up to heaven, attended by choirs of angels, prophets, and apostles. St. Antony, though he rejoiced on St. Paul’s account, could not help lamenting on his own, for having lost a treasure so lately discovered. As soon as his sorrow would permit, he arose, pursued his journey, and came to the cave. Going in, he found the body kneeling, and the hands stretched out. Full of joy, and supposing him yet alive, he knelt down to pray with him, but by his silence soon perceived he was dead. Having paid his last respects to the holy corpse, he carried it out of the cave. While he stood perplexed how to dig a grave, two lions came up quietly, and, as it were, mourning; and tearing up the ground, made a hole large enough for the reception of a human body. St. Antony then buried the corpse, singing hymns and psalms, according to what was usual and appointed by the church on that occasion. After this he returned home praising God, and related to his monks what he had seen and done. He always kept as a great treasure, and wore himself on great festivals, the garment of St. Paul, of palm-tree leaves patched together. St. Paul died in the year of our Lord 342, the hundred and thirteenth year of his age, and the ninetieth of his solitude, and is usually called the first hermit, to distinguish him from others of that name. The body of this saint is said to have been conveyed to Constantinople, by the emperor Michael Comnenus, in the twelfth century. and from thence to Venice in 1240.2 Lewis I., king of Hungary, procured it from that republic, and deposited it at Buda, where a congregation of hermits under his name, which still subsists in Hungary, Poland, and Austria, was instituted by blessed Eusebius of Strigonium, a nobleman, who, having distributed his whole estate among the poor, retired into the forests; and being followed by others, built the monastery of Pisilia, under the rule of the regular canons of St. Austin. He died in that house, January the 20th, 1270.

St. Paul, the hermit, is commemorated in several ancient western Martyrologies on the 10th of January, but in the Roman on the 15th, on which he is honored in the anthologium of the Greeks.

An eminent contemplative draws the following portraiture of this great model of an eremitical life:[3] St. Paul, the hermit, not being called by God to the external duties of an active life, remained alone, conversing only with God, in a vast wilderness, for the space of near a hundred years, ignorant of all that passed in the world, both the progress of sciences, the establishment of religion, and the revolutions of states and empires; indifferent even as to those things without which he could not live, as the air which he breathed, the water he drank, and the miraculous bread with which he supported life. What did he do? say the inhabitants of this busy world, who think they could not live without being in a perpetual hurry of restless projects; what was his employment all this while? Alas! ought we not rather to put this question to them; what are you doing while you are not taken up in doing the will of God, which occupies the heavens and the earth in all their motions? Do you call that doing nothing which is the great end God proposed to himself in giving us a being, that is, to be employed in contemplating, adoring, and praising him? Is it to be idle and useless in the world to be entirely taken up in that which is the eternal occupation of God him self, and of the blessed inhabitants of heaven? What employment is better, more just, more sublime, or more advantageous than this, when done in suit able circumstances? To be employed in any thing else, how great or noble soever it may appear in the eyes of men, unless it be referred to God, and be the accomplishment of his holy will, who in all our actions demands out heart more than our hand, what is it, but to turn ourselves away from our end, to lose our time, and voluntarily to return again to that state of nothing out of which we were formed, or rather into a far worse state?
9
Jan 14 ST. HILARY, BISHOP

[From his own writings, and the histories of that age, which furnish the most authentic memoirs of his life. See what Dom Coutant, the Benedictin monk, has recorded of him in his excellent edition of his works; as also Tillemont, t. 7, Cellier, t. 5, and Rivet, Hist. Lit. t. 1, part 2, p. 139. The two books, the one of his life, the other of his miracles, by Fortunatus of Poictiers, 600, are inaccurate. Both the Fortunatuses were from Italy; and probably one was the author of the first, and the other of the second book.]

A. D. 368.

ST. AUSTIN, who often urges the authority of St. Hilary against the Pelagians, styles him the illustrious doctor of the churches.[1] St. Jerom says[2] that he was a most eloquent man, and the trumpet of the Latins against the Arians; and in another place, that in St. Cyprian and St. Hilary, God had transplanted two fair cedars out of the world into his church.[3]

St. Hilary was born at Poictiers, and his family one of the most illustrious in Gaul.[4] He spent his youth in the study of eloquence. He himself testifies that he was brought up in idolatry, and gives us a particular account of the steps by which God conducted him to the knowledge of his saving faith.[5] He considered by the glimmering or faint light of reason, that man, who is created a moral and free agent, is placed in this world for the exercise of patience, temperance, and other virtues, which he saw must receive from God a recompense after this life. He ardently set about learning what God is; and after some researches into the nature of the Supreme Being, quickly discovered the absurdity of polytheism, or a prutality of gods; and was convinced that there can be only one God, and that he same is eternal, unchangeable, all-powerful, the first cause and author of all things. Full of these reflections, he met with the holy scriptures, and was wonderfully affected with that just and sublime description Moses gives of God in those words, so expressive of his self-existence,[6] I AM WHO AM: and was no less struck with the idea of his immensity and supreme dominion, illustrated by the most lively images in the inspired language of the prophets. The reading of the New Testament put an end to, and completed his inquiries; and he learned from the first chapter of St. John, that the Divine Word, God the Son, is coeternal and consubstantial with the Father. Here he checked his natural curiosity, avoided subtilties, and submitted his understanding to divine revelation, resolving what seemed incomprehensible into the veracity and power of God; and not presuming to measure divine mysteries by his shallow capacity. Being thus brought to the knowledge of faith, he received the heavenly regeneration by baptism From that time forth he so squared his whole life by the rules of piety, and so zealous were his endeavors to confirm others in the faith of the holy Trinity, and to encourage all to virtue, that he seemed, though a layman, already to possess the grace of the priesthood.

He was married before his conversion to the faith; and his wife, by whom he had a daughter named Apra, or Abram, was yet living, when he was chosen bishop of Poictiers, about the year 353; but from the time of his ordination he lived in perpetual continency.* He omitted no endeavors to escape this promotion: but his humility only made the people the more earnest to see him vested with that dignity; and indeed their expectations were not frustrated in him, for his eminent virtue and capacity shone forth with such a lustre, as soon drew upon him the attention, not only of all Gaul, but of the whole church. Soon after he was raised to the episcopal dignity he composed, before his exile, elegant comments on the gospel of Saint Matthew, which are still extant. Those on the Psalms he compiled after his banishment.[7] Of these comments on the Psalms, and on St. Matthew, we are chiefly to understand St. Jerom, when he recommends, in a particular manner, the reading of the works of St. Hilary to virgins and devout persons.[8] From that time the Arian controversy chiefly employed his pen. He was an excellent orator and poet. His style is lofty and noble, beautified with rhetorical ornaments and figures, but somewhat studied; and the length of his periods renders him sometimes obscure to the unlearned,† as St. Jerom takes notice.[9] It is observed by Dr. Cave, that all his writings breathe an extraordinary vein of piety. Saint Hilary solemnly appeals to God,[10] that he held it as the great work of his life, to employ all his faculties to announce God to the world, and to excite all men to the love of him. He earnestly recommends the practice of beginning every action and discourse by prayer,‡ and some act of divine praise;[11] as also to meditate on the law of God day and night, to pray without ceasing, by performing all our actions with a view to God their ultimate end, and to his glory.[12] He breathes a sincere and ardent desire of martyrdom, and discovers a soul fearless of death and torments. He had the greatest veneration for truth, sparing no pains in its pursuit, and dreading no dangers in its defence.

The emperor Constantius, having labored for several years to compel the eastern churches to embrace Arianism, came into the West: and after the overthrow of the tyrant Magnentius, made some stay at Arles, while his Arian bishops held a council there, in which they engaged Saturninus, the impious bishop of that city, in their party, in 353. A bolder Arian council at Milan, in 355, held during the residence of the emperor in that city, required all to sign the condemnation of St. Athanasius. Such as refused to comply were banished; among whom were St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari, and St. Dionysius of Milan, into whose see Auxentius, the Arian, was intruded. St. Hilary wrote on that occasion his first book to Constantius, in which he mildly entreated him to restore peace to the church. He separated himself from the three Arian bishops in the West, Ursacius, Valens, and Saturninus, and exhibited an accusation against the last in a synod at Beziers. But the emperor, who had information of the matter from Saturninus, sent un order to Julian, then Cæsar, and surnamed afterwards the Apostate, who at that time commanded in Gaul, for St. Hilary’s immediate banishment into Phrygia, together with St. Rhodanius, bishop of Toulouse. The bishops in Gaul being almost all orthodox, remained in communion with St. Hilary, and would not suffer the intrusion of any one into his see, which in his absence he continued to govern by his priests. The saint went into banishment about the middle of the year 356, with as great alacrity as another would take a journey of pleasure, and never entertained the least disquieting thought of hardships, dangers, or enemies, having a soul above both the smiles and frowns of the world, and fixed only on God. He remained in exile somewhat upwards of three years, which time he employed in composing several learned works. The principal and most esteemed of these is that On the Trinity, against the Arians, in twelve books. In them he proves the consubstantiality of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He teaches that the church is one, out of which all heresies spring; out that by this she is distinguished, as standing always one, always alone against them all, and confounding them all: whereas they by perpetual divisions tear each other in pieces, and so become the subject of her triumph.[13] He proves that Arianism cannot be the faith of Christ, because not revealed to St. Peter, upon whom the church was built and secured forever; for whose faith Christ prayed, that it might never fail; who received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whose judiciary sentence on earth is that of heaven:[14] all which arguments he frequently urges.[15] He proves the divinity of Christ by the miracles wrought at the sepulchres of the apostles and martyrs, and by their relics: for the devils themselves confess Christ’s godhead, and roar and flee at the presence of the venerable bones of his servants,[16] which he also mentions and urges in his invective against Constantius.[17] In 358, he wrote his book On Synods, or On the Faith of the Orientals. to explain the terms and variation of the eastern Arians in their synods.

In his exile he was informed that his daughter Apra, whom he had left on Gaul, had thoughts of embracing the married state; upon which he implored Christ, with many tears, to bestow on her the precious jewel of virginity. He sent her a letter that is still extant, in which he acquaints her, that if she contemned all earthly things, spouse, sumptuous garments, and riches, Christ had prepared for her, and had shown unto him, at his prayers and tears, an inestimable never-fading diamond, infinitely more precious than she was able to frame to herself an idea of. He conjures her by the God of heaven, and entreats her not to make void his anxiety for her, nor to deprive herself of so incomparable a good. Fortunatus assures us that the original letter was kept with veneration in the church of Poictiers, in the sixth century, when he wrote, and that Apra followed his advice, and died happily at his feet after his return.* St. Hilary sent to her with this letter two hymns, composed by himself; one for the evening, which does not seem to have reached our times; the other for the morning, which is the hymn Lucis largiton splendide.

The emperor, by an unjust usurpation in the affairs of the Church, assembled a council of Arians at Seleucia, in Isauria, to undermine the great council of Nice. St. Hilary, who had then passed four years in banishment, in Phrygia, was invited thither by the Semi-Arians, who hoped from his lenity that he would be useful to their party in crushing the stanch Arians, that is, those who adhered strictly to the doctrine of Arius. But no human considerations could daunt his courage. He boldly defended the decrees of Nice, till at last, tired out with hearing the blasphemies of the heretics, he withdrew to Constantinople. The weak emperor was the dupe sometimes of the Arians, and at other times of the Semi-Arians. These last prevailed at Seleucia, in September, 359, as the former did in a council held at Constantinople in the following year, 360, where having the advantage, they procured the banishment of the Semi-Arians, less wicked than themselves. St. Hilary, who had withdrawn from Seleucia to Constantinople, presented to the emperor a request, called his second book to Constantius, begging the liberty of holding a public disputation about religion with Saturninus, the author of his banishment. He presses him to receive the unchangeable apostolic faith, injured by the late innovations, and smartly rallies the fickle humor of the heretics, who were perpetually making new creeds, and condemning their old ones, having made four within the compass of the foregoing year; so that faith was become that of the times, not that of the gospels, and that there were as many faiths as men, as great a variety of doctrine as of manners, as many blasphemies as vices.[18] He complains that they had their yearly and monthly faiths; that they made creeds to condemn and repent of them; and that they formed new ones to anathematize those that adhered to their old ones. He adds, that every one had scripture texts, and the words Apostolic Faith, in their mouths, for no other end than to impose on weak minds: for by attempting to change faith, which is unchangeable, faith is lost; they correct and amend, till weary of all, they condemn all. He therefore exhorts them to return to the haven from which the gusts of their party spirit and prejudice had driver them, as the only means to be delivered out of their tempestuous and perilous confusion. The issue of this challenge was, that the Arians, dreading such a trial, persuaded the emperor to rid the East of a man that never ceased to disturb its peace, by sending him back into Gaul; which he did, but without reversing the sentence of his banishment, in 360.

St. Hilary returned through Illyricum and Italy to confirm the weak. He was received at Poictiers with the greatest demonstrations of joy and triumph, where his old disciple, St. Martin, rejoined him, to pursue the exercises of piety under his direction. A synod in Gaul, convoked at the instance of St. Hilary, condemned that of Rimini, which, in 359, had omitted the word Consubstantial. Saturninus, proving obstinate, was excommunicated and deposed for his heresy and other crimes. Scandals were removed, discipline, peace, and purity of faith were restored, and piety flourished. The death of Constantius put an end to the Arian persecution. St. Hilary was the mildest of men, full of condescension and affability to all: yet seeing this behavior ineffectual, he composed an invective against Constantius, in which he employed severity, and the harshest terms; and for which undoubtedly he had reasons that are unknown to us. This piece did not appear abroad till after the death of that emperor. Our saint undertook a journey to Milan, in 364, against Auxentius, the Arian usurper of that see, and in a public disputation obliged him to confess Christ to be true God, of the same substance and divinity with the Father. St. Hilary indeed saw through his hypocrisy; but this dissembling heretic imposed so far on the emperor Valentinian, as to pass for orthodox. Our saint died at Poictiers, in the year 368, on the thirteenth of January, or on the first of November, for his name occurs in very ancient Martyrologies on both these days. In the Roman breviary his office is celebrated on the fourteenth of January. The one is probably that of some translation of his relics. The first was made at Poictiers in the reign of Clovis[1]., on which see Cointe.[19] From St. Gregory of Tours, it appears that before his time some part of St. Hilary’s relics was honored in a church in Limousin.[20] Alcuin mentions the veneration of the same at Poictiers;[21] and it is related that his relics were burned by the Huguenots at Poictiers.[22] But this we must understand of some small portion, or of the dust remaining in his tomb. For his remains were translated from Poictiers to the abbey of St. Denys, near Paris, as is proved by the tradition of that abbey, a writer of the abbey of Richenow, in the ninth century,[23] and other monuments.[24] Many miracles performed by St. Hilary are related by Venantius Fortunatus, bishop of Poictiers, and are the subject of a whole book added to his life, which seems to have been written by another Fortunatus. St. Gregory of Tours, Flodoard and others, have mentioned several wrought at his tomb. Dom Coutant, the most judicious and learned Maurist monk, has given an accurate edition of his works, in one volume in folio, at Paris, in 1693, which was reprinted at Verona by the Marquis Scipio Maffei, in 1730, together with additional comments on several Psalms.

St. Hilary observes, that singleness of heart is the most necessary condition of faith and true virtue, “For Christ teaches that only those who become again as it were little children, and by the simplicity of that age cut off the inordinate affections of vice, can enter the kingdom of heaven. These follow and obey their father, love their mother; are strangers to covetousness, ill-will, hatred, arrogance, and lying, and are inclined easily to believe what they hear. This disposition of affections opens the way to heaven. We must therefore return to the simplicity of little children, in which we shall bear some resemblance to our Lord’s humility.”25 This, in the language of the Holy Ghost, is called the foolishness of the cross of Christ,[26] in which consists true wisdom. That prudence of the flesh and worldly wisdom, which is the mother of self-sufficiency, pride, avarice, and vicious curiosity, the source of infidelity, and the declared enemy of the spirit of Christ, is banished by this holy simplicity; and in its stead are obtained true wisdom, which can only be found in a heart freed from the clouds of the passions, perfect prudence, which, as St. Thomas shows, is the fruit of the assemblage of all virtues, and a divine light which grace fails not to infuse This simplicity, which is the mother of Christian discretion, is a stranger to all artifice, design, and dissimulation, to all views or desires of self-interest, and to all undue respect or consideration of creatures. All its desires and views are reduced to this alone, of attaining to the perfect union with God. Unfeignedly to desire this one thing, to belong to God alone, to arrive at his pure love, and to do his will in all things, is that simplicity or singleness of heart of which we speak, and which banishes all inordinate affections of the heart, from which arise the most dangerous errors of the understanding. This is the essential disposition of every one who sincerely desires to live by the spirit of Christ. That divine spouse of souls, loves to communicate himself to such.[27] His conversation (or as another version has it, his secret) is with the simple.[28] His delight is in those who walk with simplicity.[29] This is the characteristic of all the saints:[30] whence the Holy Ghost cries out, Approach him not with a double heart.[31] That worldly wisdom is not subject to the law of God, neither can it be.[32] Its intoxication blinds men, and shuts their eyes to the light of divine revelation. They arrogate to themselves the exclusive privilege of learning and clear understanding but the skepticism, the pitiful inconsistencies, and monstrous extravagances, which characterize their writings and discourses, make us blush to see so strong an alliance of ignorance and presumption; and lament that the human mind should be capable of falling into a state of so deplorable degeneracy. Among the fathers of the church we admire men the most learned of their age, the most penetrating and most judicious, and at the same time the most holy and sincere; who, being endowed with true simplicity of heart, discovered in the mysteries of the cross the secrets of infinite wisdom which they made their study, and the rule of their actions.
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