Sunday, March 12, 2017

Trumpet of Theology

Today in Byzantine Catholic calendars is the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas. From one of the Ukrainian Catholic hymns in his honor:

What hymns of praise shall we sing in honour of the holy bishop?
He is the trumpet of theology,
the herald of the fire of grace, the honoured vessel of the Spirit,
the unshaken pillar of the Church, the great joy of the inhabited earth,
the river of wisdom, the candlestick of the light,
the shining star that makes glorious the whole creation.

From a sermon by St. Gregory on the Second Sunday of Lent:

Since the kingdom of God is at hand and within us and will soon arrive, let us make ourselves worthy of it by works of repentance. Let us exercise force on ourselves, driving away evil prejudices and habits. For the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force (Matt. 11:12). We should emulate the patience, humility and faith of our God-bearing Fathers. "Whose faith follow," it says, "considering the end of their manner of life" (Heb. 13:7). Let us mortify those parts of us which belong to the earth: fornication, impurity, evil passion and covetousness, especially during these holy days of the fast.

[St. Gregory Palamas, The Homilies, Veniamin, tr., Mount Thabor Publishing (Waymart, PA: 2009), pp. 65-66.]

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