Thursday, June 13, 2024

Doctor Evangelicus

 Today is the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church. From his Easter Cycle sermons, on the sacrament of reconciliation:

Note that "in every judicial proceeding six persons are required: a judge, an accuser, the accused, and three witnesses." The judge is the priest; the accuser and the accused are one and the same, namely, the sinner who must accuse himself; the three witnesses are contrition, confession, and satisfaction, which testify that the sinner is truly repentant. Augustine says: "Climb, O human, unto the tribunal of your own soul; let reason be the judge, conscience the accuser, sorrow the torturer, fear the executioner; and let your own deeds take the place of witnesses." Because the wordly do not wish to undergo now such a judgment, along with their prince, the devil, who has already been judged, they will be given the irrevocable sentence of eternal condemnation at the time of scrutiny in the final judgment.

[Anthony of Padua, Sermones for the Easter Cycle, McCarron, tr., The Franciscan Instiute (St. Bonaventure, NY: 1994) p. 177. The first quotation is from Isidore's Etymologies, and according to the footnote, the Augustine quotation may be a paraphrase of a passage in Sermones de diversis.]