Thursday, April 04, 2019

Last Scholar of the Ancient World

Today is the feast of St. Isidore of Seville, Doctor of the Church. From his Etymologies, Book VII, 38-39:

So one speaks of the vestiges of God, because now God is known by way of mirror, but in the completion is recognized as omnipotent when in the future he is presented face to face for all the chosen, so that they contemplate his beauty, whose vestiges they now strive to comprehend, that is, whom they are said to see by way of mirror. For position and vestment and place and time are not said properly of God, but are said metaphorically by way of similitude; thus 'sitting on the Cherubim' is said with relation to position, and 'abyss like a garment his clothing' is said with relation to vestment, and 'your years are not lacking' is said with relation to time, and 'if I ascend to heaven, you are there' is said with relation to place.

The Etymologies are the reason why St. Isidore is popularly considered patron saint of the Internet, being a grab-bag encyclopedia of ideas. There seems to be a very widespread view that this was given some sort of official status by John Paul II in 1997, but this is certainly not true. It is nonetheless poetically fitting, as popular attributions often are.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.