Friday, November 23, 2007

Bérulle on the Spiritual Sun

An excellent mind of this age claimed that the sun and not the earth is at the center of the world. He maintained that it is stationary and that the earth, in conformity with its round shape, moves in relation to the sun. This position goes against all appearances, which constrain our senses to believe that the sun is in continuous movement around the earth. This new opinion, which has little following in the science of the stars, is useful and should be followed in the science of salvation.

For Jesus is the sun that is immovable in his greatness and that moves all other things....Jesus is the Sun of our souls and from him we receive every grace, every light and every effect of his power.

Pierre de Bérulle, Discourse on the State and Grandeurs of Jesus, Discourse 2, in Bérulle and the French School: Selected Writings. Glendon, tr. Paulist (New York: 1989) 116-117.

The "excellent mind" appears to be Copernicus. The Grandeurs is written around 1623, so this is about 80 years after the publication of the De revolutionibus. It also makes it about seven years after the big furor over Copernicanism that led to the ban on works advocating Copernicanism. Bérulle, of course, is chiefly interested in the analogy.

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