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The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Augustine Homily of the Raising of the Dead
Trinity 16 Home

O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect - Bishop Gelasius' Sacrementary [494AD].One is reminded of Psalm 51 purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean and Rev 7:14, washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb

Job xix. 23., Psalms 98, 99 | 89, Ephesians iii. 13   &   St. Luke vii. 11

Homily of Augustine

Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.


The Gospel today speaks of Jesus raising the son of the widow of Nain. After the folk of Augustine's flock heard it read, he began to teach the lesson recored at the link. He compared the three separate instances when Jesus raised a person from the dead, and concluded with this:

Let us then, dearly Beloved, in such wise hear these things, that they who are alive may live; they who are dead may live again. Whether it be that as yet the sin has been conceived in the heart, and not come forth into open act; let the thought be repented of, and corrected, let the dead within the house of conscience arise. Or whether he has actually committed what he thought of; let not even thus his case be despaired of. The dead within has not arisen, let him arise when "he is carried out." Let him repent him of his deed, let him at once return to life; let him not go to the depth of the grave, let him not receive the load of habit upon him. But peradventure I am now speaking to one who is already pressed down by this hard stone of his own habit, who is already laden with the weight of custom, who "has been in the grave four days already, and who stinketh." Yet let not even him despair; he is dead in the depth below, but Christ is exalted on high. He knows how by His cry to burst asunder the burdens of earth, He knows how to restore life within by Himself, and to deliver him to the disciples to be loosed. Let even such as these repent. For when Lazarus had been raised again after the four days, no foul smell remained in him when he was alive. So then let them who are alive, still live; and let them who are dead, whosoever they be, in which kind soever of these three deaths they find themselves, see to it that they rise again at once with all speed. 

Here, Augustine preaches of the spiritual raising of those who have fallen into sin and are dead to the Lord, and the various stages of that death; emphasizing that none are two far gone for Jesus to raise up. He quotes or aludes to some very specific scriptures as bearing on this topic which will give us an understanding of how the early church regarded salvation; for instance:

"the Lord Himself saith, "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will." "

God is sovereign and "quickeneth whom he will"  God has promised everlasting life to the elect: they who believe on him are raised up from spiritual death in the moment of their union with Christ; fully justified, and remain so joined with him in life everlasting in holy sanctification.  Paul explains how there is to be the actual, promised, physical resurrection of God's chosen, 

finally glorified [1Th 4:16]. As Bishop Galasius chanted in our collect for this day, Lord, preserve thy church for evermore by thy help and goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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]



KEEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gelasius [494]. Jesus promised us the help of the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us [Jn 14:26]. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul tells us it is charity that is profitable. [Barbee & Zahl]

Psalms 96, 97 | 79, 80; Galatians vi. 11 & St. Matthew vi. 24

Homily of Eucebius on the Church at Jerusalem

On Monday of this week many celebrated Holy Cross Day, remembering the events of 14 September 326, the traditional date of the consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the veneration of the Holy Cross.

I thought it would be interesting to reflect on that event in view of today's Epistle to the Galatians. Paul wrote,

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

Consider if you will the history of Constantine, and how he virtually turned Rome upside down in respect to honor and glory to the Cross and Christ at the expense of the old, cold idols. Let us now look at the account given of this event in the history of the Early Church by Bishop Eusebius and specifically an extract of his quotation of Constantine's letter to Macarius (Bishop of Jerusalem) concerning the Church

"Victor Constantius, Maximus Augustus, to Macarius. "Such is our Saviour's grace, that no power of language seems adequate to describe the wondrous circumstance to which I am about to refer. For, that the monument of his most holy Passion, so long ago buried beneath the ground, should have remained unknown for so long a series of years, until its reappearance to his servants now set free through the removal of him who was the common enemy of all, is a fact which truly surpasses all admiration. For if all who are accounted wise throughout the world were to unite in their endeavors to say somewhat worthy of this event, they would be unable to attain their object in the smallest degree. Indeed, the nature of this miracle as far transcends the capacity of human reason as heavenly things are superior to human affairs. For this cause it is ever my first, and indeed my only object, that, as the authority of the truth is evincing itself daily by fresh wonders, so our souls may all become more zealous, with all sobriety and earnest unanimity, for the honor of the Divine law. I desire, therefore, especially, that you should be persuaded of that which I suppose is evident to all beside, namely, that I have no greater care than how I may best adorn with a splendid structure that sacred spot, which, under Divine direction, I have disencumbered as it were of the heavy weight of foul idol worship; a spot which has been accounted holy from the beginning in God's judgment, but which now appears holier still, since it has brought to light a clear assurance of our Saviour's passion.

You may read the entire history of this Church at the link above.

I must wonder if this section of Galatians was set here due to the proximity of this Sunday, year by year, to Holy Cross Day.

Recent archeological surveys about the current church have verified the design and splendor of the church as described by Constantine and Eusebius.

Like Paul, Constantine had a specific epiphany with the Risen Christ that changed his life. Like Paul, he began to employ the Fruits of the Spirit in those things he did, and did well. Specifically, as the Emperor he righted wrongs against the Church and began to demonstrate that he gloried in the Cross. His building of the Church in Jerusalem, consecrated on Holy Cross Day, was also a token of the glory shown throughout the Empire by Constantine to Christ, no less so than as demonstrated in his Legions where his soldiers bore the his sign on their shields (chi rho). We are not all called to be the greatest evangelists or the organizer of the Holy Catholic Church, but we, who are his own, all have be given the Holy Spirit, and may all be comforted (strengthened) to use the gifts in our daily lives and vocation for the glory of God.

I bid your prayer for us all.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who declarest thy glory and showest forth thy handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver us, we beseech thee, in our several callings, from the service of mammon, that we may do the work which thou givest us to do, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as thy servants, and to the benefit of our fellow men; for the sake of him who came among us as one that serveth, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Learn more about the Church here at Wikipedia

ps One will note that there is nothing said about the Holy Cross throughout the history or in Constantine's letter. However, next year we will look at the history of Sozomenus of 380 that does address Helena and the Cross.


-- 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] * ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM


14th Sunday after Trinity


ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source of Collect: Very earliest of the Sacramentaries [440]. 1 Corinthans 13:13 "now abideth faith, hope, and charity... There are two petitions, to give us increase, and secondly to make us to love reminds us of Romans 6:17... being "obdeient from the heart" [Barbee and Zahl]

Micah vi. 1, Psalm 84, 85 | 74 , Galatians v. 16   &  St. Luke xvii. 11

Homily of Augustine on Psalm LXXXIV

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.


How does the above verse set with you? Do you long for the presence of  God? Does you heart rejoice when you enter a sacred place, set aside to honor him? Is your whole person, body and soul, in earnest desire for the Lord's presence? Do you know your church to be a safe haven, a "nest", of orthodox worship where you may without doubt worship in the beauty of holiness and truth?

Augustine wrote,

"My soul longeth and faileth for the courts of the Lord:" hear how it holdeth out, rejoicing in hope: "My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God." Here they have rejoiced for that cause. Whence cometh rejoicing, but of hope? Wherefore have they rejoiced? "In the living God." What has rejoiced in thee? "My heart and my flesh." Why have they rejoiced? "For," saith he, "the sparrow hath found her a house, and the turtle-dove a nest, where she may lay her young" (ver. 3). What is this? He had named two things, and he adds two figures of birds which answer to them: he had said that his heart rejoiced and his flesh, and to these two he made the sparrow and turtle-dove to correspond: the heart as the sparrow, the flesh as the dove. The sparrow hath found herself a home: my heart hath found itself a home. She tries her wings in the virtues of this life, in faith, and hope, and charity, by which she may fly unto her home: and when she shall have come thither, she shall remain; and now the complaining voice of the sparrow, which is here, shall no longer be there. For it is the very complaining sparrow of whom in another Psalm he saith, "Like a sparrow alone on the housetop." From the housetop he flies home. Now let him be on the housetop, treading on his carnal house: he shall have a heavenly house, a perpetual home: that sparrow shall make an end of his complaints. But to the dove he hath given young, that is, to the flesh: "the dove hath found a nest, where she may lay her young." The sparrow a home, the dove a nest, and a nest too where she may lay her young. A home is chosen as for ever, a nest is framed for a time: with the heart we think upon God, as if the sparrow flew to her home: with the flesh we do good works. For ye see how many good works are done by the flesh of the saints; for by this we work the things we are commanded to work, by which we are helped in this life. "Break thy bread to the hungry, and bring the poor and roofless into thy house; and if thou see one naked, clothe him:" and other such things which are commanded us we work only through the flesh....We speak, brethren, what ye know: how many seem to do good works without the Church? how many even Pagans feed the hungry, clothe the naked, receive the stranger, visit the sick, comfort the prisoner? how many do this? The dove seems, as it were, to bring forth young: but finds not herself a nest. How many works may heretics do not in the Church; they place not their young in a nest. They shall be trampled on and crushed: they shall not be kept, shall not be guarded....In that faith lay thy young: in that nest work thy works. For what the nests are, what that nest is, follows at once. Having said, And the dove hath found herself a nest, where she may lay her young; as if thou hadst asked, What nest? "Thy altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God." What is, "My King and my God?" Thou who rulest me, who hast created me.

Augustine's curse on heretics is strong. He doesn't play around with niceties. That makes some very uncomfortable today; for they feel no one may judge another. Everyone is OK in their belief. Today this has become part of the "post-modern" culture and philosophy which denies any objective truth, and bows to every weird and apostate belief and practice that emerges.  Men of good will understand that there will be some disagreements about the meaning of scripture and certainly about theology, but they at the same time recognize that there are some core truths that must be accepted on faith to be a Christian. This was always defined by the Symbol of the Faith, the Watchword of the faithful, the Baptismal Creed.

Is the place of your worship orthodox? Does the minister preach the apostolic Gospel?  Does he believe the Christian faith? Are your children given the knowledge and inspiration that they need to provide a moral and faithful compass through life?

I pray so; and I pray that you may always find your church to be a safe haven that affirms the essential Gospel truths layed down in the creeds, for all to many of us have endured the tyranny of clerical heretics preaching a different Gospel than that which Paul and the fathers handed down to us.

We command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. [2 Thessalonians 3:6]


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 Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
Augustine on Psalm 81
Trinity 13 Home

Then thought I to understand this; but it was too hard for me, Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I the end of these men; Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, and castest them down, and destroyest them.

Augustine examined Psalm 73 in today's homily. This is an imprecatory psalm, ascribed to Asaph, and contrasts the plight of the wicked with the reward of the righteous: looking at the end times.

Let us hear now Augustine on the verse cited above:

.And he hath done this; for he saith how long labour is before him; "until I enter into the sanctuary of God, and understand upon the last things" (ver. 17). A great thing it is, brethren: now for a long time I labour, he saith, and before my face I see a sort of insuperable labour, to know in what manner both God is just, and doth care for things human, and is not unjust because men sinning and doing wicked actions have happiness on this earth; but the godly and men serving God are wasted ofttimes in trials and in labours; a great difficulty it is to know this, but only "until I enter into the Sanctuary of God." For in the Sanctuary what is presented to thee, in order that thou mayest solve this question? "And I understand," he saith, "upon the last things:" not present things. I, he saith, from the Sanctuary of God stretch out mine eye unto the end, I pass over present things. All that which is called the human race, all that mass of mortality is to come to the balance, is to come to the scale, thereon will be weighed the works of men. All things now a cloud doth enfold: but to God are known the merits of each severally. "And I understand," he saith, "upon the last things:" but not of myself; for before me there is labour. Whence "may I understand upon the last things"? Let me enter into the Sanctuary of God. In that place then he understood also the reason why these men now are happy.

Paul wrote in Romans 1:28:   And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

God does not prevent the reprobate from their course. He allows perfect freedom for man to peruse temporal lusts while ignoring his call to righteousness. Indeed God will set him on a "slippery slope" and through their rise in this temporal world, with evil ways, they are falling further into the promise of everlasting damnation. Yet, he stands at the door and knocks and any who seek him shall find him.

I cannot help but to think of those in the world who have knowingly advanced their personal welfare through fraud and deceit  at the expense of others. The recent financial fall in the world, Enron, and other examples come to mind.  The other day in contemplating my role as a financial consutant, I browsed the proverbs and came across this which I think is applicable today, and with this psalm

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. [Proverbs 11:1]

Those who follow our Lord's admonitions and practice honesty with their fellows are a delight to the Lord, and those who practice deceit and fraud are abomination.

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]