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The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Augustine on Psalm LXXVI

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving unto us that that our prayer dare not presume to ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Leo [460], revised by Gelasius [494]. (An 1662 revision by Bishop Cosin added and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. [Barbee and Zahl]

In Judah is God known; his Name is great in Israel

xx, Psalms 76, 77 | 71,72 , 2 Corinthians iii. 4   &  St. Mark vii. 31
Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXVI


This week we examine the homily of Augustine on Psalm 76. He wrote concerning Christians as the true Jews:

The Jews are wont to glory in this Psalm which we have sung, saying, "Known in Judaea is God, in Israel great is the name of Him:" and to revile the Gentiles to whom God is not known, and to say that to themselves alone God is known; seeing that the Prophet saith, "Known in Judaea is God." In other places therefore He is unknown. But God is known in very deed in Judaea, if they understand what is Judaea. For indeed God is not known except in Judaea. Behold even we say this, that except a person shall have been in Judaea, known to him God cannot be. But what saith the Apostle? He that in secret is a Jew, he that is so in circumcision of the heart, not in letter but in spirit. There are therefore Jews in circumcision of the flesh, and there are Jews in circumcision of the heart. Many of our holy fathers  had both the circumcision of the flesh, for a seal of the faith, and circumcision of the heart, for the faith itself. From these fathers these men degenerating, who now in the name do glory, and have lost their deeds; from these fathers, I say, degenerating, they have remained Jews in flesh, in heart Heathens. For these are Jews, who are out of Abraham, from whom Isaac was born, and out of him Jacob, and out of Jacob the twelve Patriarchs, and out of the twelve Patriarchs the whole people of the Jews. But they were generally called Jews for this reason, that Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, a Patriarch among the twelve, and from his stock the Royalty came among the Jews. For all this people after the number of the twelve sons of Jacob, had twelve tribes. What we call tribes are as it were distinct houses and congregations of people. That people, I say, had twelve tribes, out of which twelve tribes one tribe was Judah, out of which were the kings; and there was another tribe, Levi, out of which were the priests. But because to the priests serving the temple no land was allotted,  but it was necessary that among twelve tribes all the Land of promise should be shared: there having been therefore taken out one tribe of higher dignity, the tribe of Levi, which was of the priests, there would have remained eleven, unless by the adoption of the two sons of Joseph the number twelve were completed. What this is, observe. One of the twelve sons of Jacob was Joseph....This Joseph had two sons, Ephraim and Manasse. Jacob, dying, as though by will, received those his grandsons into the number of sons, and said to his son Joseph, "The rest that are born shall be to thee; but these to me, and they shall divide the land with their brethren." As yet there had not been given nor divided the land of promise, but he was speaking in the Spirit, prophesying. The two sons therefore of Joseph being added, there were made up nevertheless twelve tribes, since now there are thirteen. For instead of one tribe of Joseph, two were added, and there were made thirteen. There being taken out then the tribe of Levi, that tribe of priests which did serve the Temple, and lived by the tithes of all the rest unto whom the land was divided, there remain twelve. In these twelve was the tribe of Judah, whence the kings were. For at first from another tribe was given King Saul, and he was rejected as being an evil king; after there was given from the tribe of Judah King David, and out of him from the tribe of Judah were the Kings.  But Jacob had spoken of this, when he blessed his sons, "there shall not fail a prince out of Judah, nor a leader from his thighs, until there come He to whom the promise hath been made."  But from the tribe of Judah there came Our Lord Jesus Christ. For He is, as the Scripture saith, and as ye have but now heard, out of the seed of David born of Mary.  But as regardeth the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, wherein He is equal with the Father, He is not only before the Jews, but also before Abraham himself; nor only before Abraham, but also before Adam; nor only before Adam, but also before Heaven and earth and before ages: for all things by Himself were made, and without Him there was made nothing.  Because therefore in prophecy hath been said, "there shall not fail a prince out of Judah," etc.:  former times are examined, and we find that the Jews always had their kings of the tribe of Judah, and had no foreign king before that Herod who was king when the Lord was born. Thence began foreign kings, from Herod.  Before Herod all were of the tribe of Judah, but only until there should come He to whom the promise had been made. Therefore when the Lord Himself came, the kingdom of the Jews was overthrown, and removed from the Jews. Now they have no king; because they will not acknowledge the true King. See now whether they must be called Jews. Now ye do see that they must not be called Jews. They have themselves with their own voice resigned that name, so that they are not worthy to be called Jews, except only in the flesh. When did they sever themselves from the name? They said, "We have no king but Caesar."  O ye who are called Jews and are not, if ye have no king but Caesar, there hath failed a Prince of Judah: there hath come then He to whom the promise hath been made. They then are more truly Jews, who have been made Christians out of Jews: the rest of the Jews, who in Christ have not believed, have deserved to lose even the very name. The true Judaea, then, is the Church of Christ, believing in that King, who hath come out of the tribe of Judah through the Virgin Mary; believing in Him of whom the Apostle was just now speaking, in writing to Timothy, "Be thou mindful that Jesus Christ hath risen from the dead, of the seed of David, after my Gospel."  For of Judah is David, and out of David is the Lord Jesus Christ. We believing in Christ do belong to Judah: and we acknowledge Christ. We, that with eyes have not seen, in faith do keep Him. Let not therefore the Jews revile, who are no longer Jews. They said themselves, "We have no king but Caesar."  For better were it for them that their king should be Christ, of the seed of David, of the tribe of Judah. Nevertheless because Christ Himself is of the seed of David after the flesh, but God above all things blessed for ever,  He is Himself our King and our God; our King, inasmuch as born of the tribe of Judah, after the flesh, was Christ the Lord, the Saviour; but our God, who is before Judah, and before Heaven and earth, by whom were made all things,  both spiritual and corporal. For if all things by Himself were made; even Mary herself, out of whom He was born, by Himself was made...

All that are the elect of Christ  are his brethren by adoption, and all are Jews indeed and have been circumcised in spirit and by adoption inherit every promise to the sons of Abraham.  As the Magnificat, which we sing, says:

He in his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel; as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed forever.


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Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Holmily of Augustine on Psalm LXIV
11th Sunday after Trinity Home

O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Gelasius [492-496]. This is the original as Cranmer translated it. It it was altered in the 1662 update by adding the phrase " running the way of thy commandments" The Collect's emphasis on Grace, compliments the story of the Pharisee and the Publican praying in today's Gospel story from Luke.

Comment  --

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

[Heb 9:27]

Augustine concludes his homily on Psalm 64 with this ,

 What followeth? If "there shall be praised all men right in heart," there shall be condemned the crooked in heart. Two things are set before thee now, choose while there is time....If of crooked heart thou hast become, there will come that Judgment, there will appear all the reasons on account of which God doeth all these things: and thou that wouldest not in this life correct thy heart by the rectitude of God, and prepare thyself for the right hand, where "there shall be praised all men right in heart," wilt be on the left, where at that time thou shalt hear, "Go ye into fire everlasting, that hath been prepared for the devil and his angels."  And will there be then time to correct the heart? Now therefore correct, brethren, now correct. Who doth hinder? Psalm is chanted, Gospel is read, Reader crieth, Preacher crieth; long-suffering is the Lord; thou sinnest, and He spareth; still thou sinnest, still He spareth, and still thou addest sin to sin. How long is God long-suffering? Thou wilt find God just also. We terrify because we fear; teach us not to fear, and we terrify no more. But better it is that God teach us to fear, than that any man teach us not to fear....Thou bringest forth grain, barn expect thou; bringest forth thorns, fire expect thou. But not yet hath come either the time of the barn or the time of the fire: now let there be preparation, and there will not be fear. In the name of Christ both we who speak are living, and ye to whom we speak are living: for amending our plan, and changing evil life into a good life, is there no place, is there no time? Can it not, if thou wilt, be done to-day? Can it not, if thou wilt, be now done? What must thou buy in order to do it, what specifics must thou seek? To what Indies must thou sail? What ship prepare? Lo, while I am speaking, change the heart; and there is done what so often and so long while is cried out for, that it be done, and which bringeth forth everlasting punishment if it be not done.


Will all men will be "saved" eventually and go to heaven regardless of their faith? Will God reconcile even Satan?  These very beliefs have worked their way into many unorthodox churches.  Even thoughts along this line have been voiced by the leaders of seemingly Catholic and Orthodox denominations.

In the early church, Alexander, Gregory of  Nyssa, and Origen leaned toward universal salvation. Origen wrote that even the devil himself might eventually be "saved" [declared heretical in the 5th Council]  Augustine was adamantly opposed to these heretical teachings. He preaches the Gospel here. Choose while there is time. Turn while it is the light of day, for when the Day of the Lord comes, it shall be too late. Remember the words of  our Lord,

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 

The belief our Lord speaks of is not some ephemeral spiritualist belief in a made-up god, but rather in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior from damnation, a belief that is validated and witnessed in a turning of one's heart to God Almighty.

 This is the gist of today's collect as well. It is only by the Grace of God through Christ that we may have as a gift that measure of Grace so that we may obtain the promise of life everlasting, and avoid the fate of damnation.

Note: Wikipedia has a page on universalism that cites several passages that purportedly support this heresy. The "all" often used in Scripture is to be taken in context and with cognizance of other scripture. The sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice for the sins of the world, and all men, does not give warrant to every man, regardless of faith, that Christ has saved him in his rebellion and sin. If it did, it would nullify the very words of Christ above and elsewhere.

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



10th Sunday after Trinity

Homily of Augustine on Psalm 49 Part I
Home, Tenth Sunday after Trinity

LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and, that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Gelasian Sacramentary [492-496] and one similar appeared before in the Sacrementary of Leo. The petition reminds one of Romans: Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. [Barber & Zahl]"8:26-27

2nd Kings xix 32, Psalms 61, 62 | 48, 49 , 1 Corinthians xii. 1   &   St. Luke xix. 41

Homily of Augustine on Psalm XLVIII

O HEAR ye this, all ye people; ponder it with your ears, all ye that dwell in the world; High and low, rich and poor, one with another.

Comment -

Psalm 49 was preached by Augustine in two parts. One is presented for this Sunday, one will be, Lord willing, offered next year on the 10th Sunday after Trinity.


I was struck in reading this of the tone. I would have to call it a "Hellfire and Brimstone" type of sermon.  The psalm itself deserves this treatment, for the theme is a comparison of those who are of God's people, and their promise of everlasting life, and the rest whose promise is of everlasting labor.


This is a message that has been abandoned by many preachers in the church (see more below). They will not preach of the end times and the difference between God's people and the rest. They preach of love and mercy, but never of God's righteousness and judgment. All men need to hear these words: The people of God to their comfort; and those who reject Christ as Savior to their discomfort. If Christ did not come as Savior, then your faith is in vain, and you have little or nothing to offer to any pagan. The call to preaching, and for them that will, hearing, is embodied in today's quotation from the 1st verse of the psalm:


O HEAR ye this, all ye people; ponder it with your ears, all ye that dwell in the world; High and low, rich and poor, one with another.

Augustine writes:


"Hear ye these things, all ye nations" (ver. 1). Not then you only who are here. For of what power is our voice so to cry out, as that all nations may hear? For Our Lord Jesus Christ hath proclaimed it through the Apostles, hath proclaimed it in so many tongues that He sent; and we see this Psalm, which before was only repeated in one nation, in the Synagogue of the Jews, now repeated throughout the whole world, throughout all Churches; and that fulfilled which is here spoken of, "Hear ye these words, all ye nations."...Of whom ye are: "With ears ponder, all ye that dwell in the world." This He seemeth to have repeated a second time, lest to have said "hear," before, were too little. What I say, he saith, "hear, with ears ponder," that is, hear not cursorily. What is, "with ears ponder"? It is what the Lord said, "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear:" [1607] for as all who were in His presence must have had ears, what ears did He require save those of the heart, when He said, "he that hath ears to hear, let him hear"? The same ears also this Psalm doth smite. "With ears ponder, all ye that dwell in the world." Perhaps there is here some distinction. We ought not indeed to narrow our view, but there is no harm in explaining even this view of the sense. Perhaps there is some difference between the saying, "all nations," and the saying, "all ye that dwell in the world." For perchance he would have us understand the expression, "dwell in," with a further meaning, so as to take all nations for all the wicked, but the dwellers of the world all the just. For he doth inhabit who is not held fast: but he that is occupied is inhabited, and doth not inhabit. Just as he doth possess whatever he hath, who is master of his property: but a master is one who is not held in the meshes of covetousness: while he that is held fast by covetousness is the possessed, and not the possessor....Therefore let even the ungodly hear: "Hear ye this, all ye nations." Let the just also hear, who have not heard to no purpose, and who rather rule the world than are ruled by the world: "with ears ponder, all ye that dwell in the world."And again he saith, "both all ye earthborn, and sons of men" (ver. 2).


Our Lord commanded that we should go throughout the world preaching the Gospel-the whole Gospel. That is that Jesus saves his elect from damnation and judgment. Friends, when you obey his commandment, I beg you keep in mind the seriousness of the mission and the effect. God has promised to open his banquet to those who are in the wedding dress (have put on Christ), and to cast the rest out into utter darkness where there will be wailing and crying in anguish [Matt 22:13], and as Abraham told Dives, once the die is cast there is no chance for reconciliation-the gulf is for all times and unassailable [Luke 16:26]. In full consideration of the 5th century collect for this Sunday, I pray that the ministers of this Order shall not be afraid to preach, in accordance with Scripture, what Jesus "saves" his elect from enduring.


I came across this interesting and timely article after drafting the above on the very subject of preaching and believing the Gospel concerning Hell.


We study how Augustine regarded things in the 5th century, and so the following is pertinent to today's topic from the article at the link


"In 410 A.D., St. Augustine defined four states of afterlife: those so good they go to heaven; those so bad they go to hell; those who deserve some relief in their eternal torment; and those who deserve to be lifted out of torment after repenting for their sins. That set the stage for the doctrine of purgatory in 1237 A.D."




Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



The Ninth Sunday after Trinity

Augustine on Psalm XLV
9th Sunday after Trinity Home

GRANT to us Lord we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, which cannot be without thee, may by thee be able to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source Leonine [440-461] taken in the Gelasian Sacramentary [492-496]. One is reminded of Paul's Epistle to Philemon vs 1:6 "That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus." The 1662 Anglican Prayer Book revision read "that we, who cannot do anything that is good, may..." The Collect clearly points to God's grace and the work of the Holy Spirit in aiding us to do good. This theme was made a canon in the ecumenical councils and is part of the Order's vow.

1 Corinthians x. 1   &   St. Luke xvi. 1

1928 BCP Version with Luke xv. 11 - The Prodigal Son

Homily of Augustine on Psalm XLV


This week we look at the homily of Augustine on Psalm 45:  In thinking of the regal tone of this psalm I was mindful of a note I sent to Centurion this week. I had admired his facebook entry for political affiliation. He wrote something after the fashion of "Theocratic, Christ is my King."  I asked if I might use that as well and he heartily concented. I would encourage all to think in terms of Theocracy. It is what God established from the beginning for his people, and all his elect really are theocratic if they follow Christ and not the world.

It proceeds: "I speak of the things which I have made unto the King." Is the Father still speaking? If the Father is still speaking, let us enquire how this also can be understood by us, consistently with the true Catholic Faith, "I speak of the things that I have made unto the King." For if it is the Father speaking of His own works to His Son, our "King," what works is the Father to speak of to the Son, seeing that all the Father's works were made by the Son's agency? Or, in the words, "I speak of My works unto the King," does the word, "I speak," itself signify the generation of the Son? I fear whether this can ever be made intelligible to those slow of comprehension: I will nevertheless say it. Let those who can follow me, do so: lest if it were left unsaid, even those who can follow should not be able. We have read where it is said in another Psalm, "God hath spoken once."  So often has He spoken by the Prophets, so often by the Apostles, and in these days by His Saints, and does He say, "God has spoken once"? How can He have spoken but "once," except with reference to His "Word"?  But as the "Mine heart hath uttered a good Word,"  was understood by us in the other clause of the generation of the Son, it seems that a kind of repetition is made in the following sentence, so that the "Mine heart hath uttered a good Word," which had been already said, is repeated in what He is now saying, "I speak." For what does "I speak" mean? "I utter a Word." And whence but from His heart, from His very inmost, does God utter the Word? You yourself do not speak anything but what you bring forth from your "heart," this word of yours which sounds once and passes away, is brought forth from no other place: and do you wonder that God "speaks" in this manner? But God's "speaking" is eternal. You are speaking something at the present moment, because you were silent before: or, look you, you have not yet brought forth your word; but when you have begun to bring it forth, you as it were "break silence;" and bring into being a word, that did not exist before. It was not so God begat the "Word." God's "speaking" is without beginning, and without end: and yet the "Word" He utters is but "One." Let Him utter another, if what He has spoken shall have passed away. But since He by whom it is uttered abideth, and That which is uttered abideth; and is uttered but once, and has no end, that very "once" too is said without beginning, and there is no second speaking, because that which is said once, does not pass away. The words "Mine heart hath uttered a good Word," then, are the same thing with, "I speak of the things which I have made unto the King." Why then, "I speak of the things which I have made"? Because in the Word Itself are all the works of God. For whatever God designed to make in the creation already existed in "the Word;" and would not exist in the reality, had it not existed in the Word,  just as with you the thing would not exist in the building, had it not existed in your design: even as it is said in the Gospel: "That which was made in Him was life."  That which was made then was in existence; but it had its existence in the Word: and all the works of God existed there, and yet were not as yet "works." "The Word" however already was, as this "Word was God, and was with God:" and was the Son of God, and One God with the Father. "I speak of the things I have made unto the King." Let him hear Him "speaking," who apprehends "the Word:" and let him see together with the Father the Everlasting Word; in whom exist even those things that are yet to come: in whom even those things that are past have not passed away. These "works" of God are in "the Word," as in the Word, as in the Only-Begotten, as in the "Word of God."

Our collect today supports this Theocratic idea, as we pray to our King, as did the ancient Christians: 
GRANT to us Lord we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, which cannot be without thee, may by thee be able to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This is also the theme that one of our senior centurion's used in crafting the prayer of the Centurion's Daily Litinay:

O Christ, our Leader in life's battle; We pray you; love all fellow officers of the Order of Centurions and teach them to love you with all their hearts and minds that they may think and speak and do only such things as are well-pleasing to you. Give them ready grace always to be strong and good, faithful and brave soldiers. Give them the courage to boldly witness their faith in you by their thoughts, words and actions. Graciously assist them with your heavenly help that they may ever diligently serve you and by no temptation be separated from you; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen



Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]