Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Interior Teacher

Here now, brothers, see a great mystery. The sound of our words strikes your ears; the Master is within. Do not think that anyone learns anything from a man. We can suggest through the sound of the voice; if there were not One within who teaches, our sound is empty. Do you even so want to know it, brothers? Have not all of you heard the discourse? How many will leave here untaught! For my part, I have spoken to all. But those to whom that anointing does not speak within, whom the Holy Spirit does not teach within, go back untaught. Instructions from outside are kinds of aids and suggestions. He who teaches hearts has his chair in heaven. For this reason he also himself says in the Gospel, "Call no one your teacher on earth. One is your Teacher, Christ." Let him, therefore, speak to you within since no one of men is there, for even if someone is at your side, no one is in your heart. Let Christ be in your heart; let his anointing be in your heart, so that your heart may not be thirsting in a desert and having no springs by which it may be watered. There is, therefore, an Interior Master who teaches. Christ teaches, his inspiration teaches. Where his inspiration and his anointing are not, words from outside make useless sounds.

Augustine, Tractate on First John 3.13, in St. Augustine, Tractates on the Gospel of John 112-24; Tractates on the First Epistle of John, tr. by John W. Rettig, The Catholic University of America Press (Washington, D.C.: 1995), pp. 171-172.

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