I would be remiss not to check in with you, readers. As you know, I am finishing the Liturgical Year: Catena Aurea project. It really is a mammoth project. I am glad that it is coming to its end. It means I will have more time to devote to the blog and to future projects.
Those of you on Instagram — I have a channel that I began in February of this year detailing the itinerary of the Lenten Station Churches. I have been expanding beyond that topic and I am currently speaking on the Aesthetics of Beauty. The channel name is @cruxstationalis. Being a one-man show, I find it difficult to translate my material to all these different platforms. Follow me there on Instagram to ensure access to the greatest amount of content. I will try to get the content here once I get more organized (that is, once the book project is done). Obviously, it would help me to begin with a blogpost and then translate THAT content beyond. But the ease of creating content quickly and hopefully beautiful on Instagram is all too tempting.
Now to my purpose of writing:
This morning I was looking over aspects of the Catena Aurea, specifically for the Feast of St. Thomas, the Apostle.
I was struck by the following two passages:
GREGORY. We must understand that those who first received the Holy Ghost, for innocence of life in themselves, and preaching to a few others, received it openly after the resurrection, that they might profit not a few only, but many. The disciples who were called to such works of humility, to what a height of glory are they led! Lo, not only have they salvation for themselves, but are admitted to the powers of the supreme Judgment-seat; so that, in the place of God, they retain some men’s sins, and remit others. Their place in the Church, the Bishops now hold; who receive the authority to bind, when they are admitted to the rank of government. Great the honour, but heavy the burden of the place. It is ill if one who knows not how to govern his own life, shall be judge of another’s.
CHRYSOSTOM. A priest though he may have ordered well his own life, yet, if he have not exercised proper vigilance over others, is sent to hell with the evil doers. Wherefore, knowing the greatness of their danger, pay them all respect, even though they be not men of notable goodness. For they who are in rule, should not be judged by those who are under them. And their incorrectness of life will not at all invalidate what they do by commission from God. For not only cannot a priest, but not even angel or archangel, do any thing of themselves; the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost do all. The priest only furnishes the tongue, and the hand. For it were not just that the salvation of those who come to the Sacraments in faith, should be endangered by another’s wickedness. At the assembly of the disciples all were present but Thomas, who probably had not returned from the dispersion: But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
We don’t have to be naive or ultramontane about this topic. But I think we ALL can re-examine the reverence we give to the successors of the Apostles.