Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Golden of Word

Today is the feast of St. Peter Chrysologus, Doctor of the Church; he is sometimes known as the 'Doctor of Homilies'. He was bishop of Ravenna at the time when Ravenna was effectively the Imperial city; he is said to have received the epithet Chrysologos from the Empress Galla Placidia, who was ruling the western Roman empire as regent at the time he was appointed.

Whoever is free from captivity to this mammon, and is no longer weighed down under the cruel burden of money, stands securely with his vantage point in heaven, and from there looks down over the mammon which is holding sway over the world and the worldly with a tyrant's fury.

It holds sway over nations, it gives orders to kingdoms, it wages wars, it equips warriors, it traffics in blood, it transacts death, it threatens homelands, it destroys cities, it conquers peoples, it attacks fortresses, it puts citizens in an uproar, it presides over the marketplace, it wipes out justice, it confuses right and wrong, and by aiming directly at morality it assails one's integrity, it violates truth, it eviscerates one's reputation, it wreaks havoc on one's honor, it dissolves affections, it removes innocence, it keeps compassion buried, it severs relationships, it does not permit friendship. And why should I say more? This is mammon: the master of injustice, since it is unjust in the power it wields over human bodies and minds.

[Sermon 126, section 5, from St. Peter Chrysologus, Selected Sermons, Volume 2, William Palardy, tr. Catholic University of America (Washington, DC: 2004).]

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