Total Pageviews


The Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, on Courtesy

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 St. Peter iii. 8   &  St. Luke v. 1

Reading from Ambrose

be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.


The collect in Latin reads:

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, ut et mundi carsus pacific nobis tue ordine dirigatur, et ecclesia tua tranquilla debotione laetetur. 
Per Dominum  - Leo Sac. -- Miss. Sar.

Which has been interpreted by Ed. Gulburn as

Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, that both the course of the world may be directed peaceably for us by thy ordering, and that thy Church may rejoice in tranquil devotion. Through our Lord.

In Ambrose's 1st Book for Clergy he wrote:

 And since we have said that we must aim at the observance of what is seemly, so as to know what is the due measure in our words and deeds, and as order in speech rather than in action comes first; speech is divided into two kinds: first, as it is used in friendly conversation, and then in the treatment and discussion of matters of faith and justice. In either case we must take care that there is no irritation. Our language should be mild and quiet, and full of kindness and courtesy and free from insult. Let there be no obstinate disputes in our familiar conversations, for they are wont only to bring up useless subjects, rather than to supply anything useful. Let there be discussion without wrath, urbanity without bitterness, warning without sharpness, advice without giving offence. And as in every action of our life we ought to take heed to this, in order that no overpowering impulse of our mind may ever shut out reason (let us always keep a place for counsel), so, too, ought we to observe that rule in our language, so that neither wrath nor hatred may be aroused, and that we may not show any signs of our greed or sloth. 

A kind Christian lady reminded me this week that this is often not the case on social networks,email,  blogs, and bulletin boards, where folks say awful things, cast insults, and generally say things that they would never say in public. They rail and berate, back-stab and undercut, secretly criticize... and worst of are some who have been ordained in valid orders as ministers of God's peace. We ought to all remember the wisdom of this great saint of the church and his admonition here in all of our conversations, and as Peter wrote in his 1st Epistle, to be a blessing - not rendering evil for evil, but blessing.

The collect today reinforces this point, for it calls on God to direct this world peaceably, and to bring tranquility to the Church.

However, this does not mean we should tolerate what is obviously heresy, such as idolatry, in our midst without objection, but it does mean that our reprimand and warning should be done in such a way that it reflects that measure of grace that God has granted to us to be peacemakers--children of God. Firm and factual, but fair, without unduly denigrating the person or group (However, we ought not forget that our Lord and his cousin John did not hesitate to call some of his day "vipers" to their face. Just be very sure you words are true and deserving)

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]


No comments: