Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Earth Transcended Yields the Stars

Today is the feast of St. Severinus Boethius, killed in 524 by King Theodoric the Great. From his short treatise, De Fide Catholica:

Christ, then, was slain; He lay three days and three nights in the tomb; He rose again from the dead as He had predetermined with His Father before the foundation of the world; He ascended into heaven whence we know that He was never absent, because He is Son of God, in order that as Son of God He might raise together with Him to the heavenly habitation man whose flesh He had assumed, whom the devil had hindered from ascending to the places on high. Therefore He bestowed on His disciples the form of baptizing, the saving truth of the teaching, and the mighty power of miracles, and bade them go throughout the whole world to give it life, in order that the message of salvation might be preached no longer in one nation only but among all the dwellers upon earth. And because the human race was wounded by the weapon of eternal punishment by reason of the nature which they had inherited from the first transgressor and could not win a full meed of salvation because they had lost it in its first parent, God instituted certain health-giving sacraments to teach the difference between what grace bestowed and human nature deserved, nature simply subjecting to punishment, but grace, which is won by no merit, since it would not be grace if it were due to merit, conferring all that belongs to salvation.

From his most famous work, the Consolation of Philosophy:

...we have shown that happiness is the Good itself; the Good is the very thing for the sake of which all actions are undertaken; therefore it is the Good itself that has been placed before human actions as if it were their common reward. And yet, this reward cannot be separated from good people--for one would nto rightly be called good any longer if one lacked the Good--and for this reason its proper rewards to not abandon righteous conduct. Therefore, no matter how brutal evil people may be, the crown shall never fall from the head of the wise man and shall never wither; nor shall another person's unrighteousness pluck from the souls of the righteous the distinctions that are theirs alone....

...Since true happiness is the Good itself, it is clear that all good people, by the very fact that they are good, become truly happy. But it is agreed that those who are truly happy are gods. Therefore, this is the reward of good people, which no future day can grind down, which no other man's power can humble, which no other man's unrighteousness can stain--to become gods.
[Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, Relihan, tr., Hackett (Indianapolis: 2001) pp. 100-101.]

0372 - Pavia - S. Pietro - Cripta - Tomba Boezio - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto, Oct 17 2009

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