Anselm and Slavery + Prince

No slave is greater than his master, nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. (John 13:16)

Saint Anselm
St. Anselm

St. Anselm died 907 years ago today.  In 1102, he presided over a church council in London, which condemned slavery.  “Let no one hereafter presume to engage in that nefarious trade in which hitherto in England men were sold like brute animals.”

St. Anselm tried to bring an end to one man enslaving another.  But that didn’t nullify what St. Paul had declared, namely that Christ’s death and resurrection made us slaves of God.  Christ showed us true human freedom:  uncompromising obedience to God.

Lord Jesus washed the feet.  Then He submitted to a cruel death.  In between, He told them:  I tell you now before it happens, so that when I die on the cross you will not just think:  An innocent man has been unjustly punished!  You will not simply think:  A righteous man has suffered with inspiring courage!

Yes, you will think these things.  But also you will know, when I die on the cross:  This is the power of God and the wisdom of God.  This is the Father reconciling the world to Himself, through the perfect obedience of His only-begotten Son.

Our Lord, our Master never drove an Audi.  He never had a hot wife.  He never “had it going on,” as the world judges such things.

We, His slaves, His messengers–what should we expect out of life?  Suffering now.  Eternal glory when everything is said and done.



requiescat in pace/punch a higher floor

The Key of Knowledge

If you don’t have time to read John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio, or St. Cyril of Alexandria’s Sermon LXXXVI on Luke, I present you with this homily instead…

The Lord Jesus condemned the scribes for taking away “the key of knowledge” from the people.

Does a key unlock knowledge?

Credo ut intellegam. I believe in order to know.

Faith unlocks the door of knowledge. I do not know, but God does. If I acknowledge Him and seek His friendship, I enter into the light of intelligence by which all is known.

Next to the knowledge that God has revealed to us about Himself, the most important knowledge is moral knowledge. To know how to act well opens up all other avenues of experience.

Faith is the key to moral knowledge. We believe what God has taught us about ourselves and our role in the universe. We believe that God’s truth will guide us in doing right, if we humbly listen to Him and obey.

We proceed with faith not just in God Himself, but also with faith in the ability of man to be reasonable, to co-operate with truth and justice. We believe we human beings can work together not just to achieve useful things, but genuinely good things.

For someone who believes in God, in Christ, in heaven, in the Holy Spirit and the Church—for someone who believes the Nicene Creed—the world unfolds in both an immeasurably bigger, more interesting way and in a friendlier, more inviting, more enchanting way.

The world is, in fact, big, interesting, friendly, inviting, and enchanting—even though sin and evil burden it. Faith opens us up to all this, allowing us to perceive things as they are.

The small-minded world lacks the key of knowledge. The small-minded world thinks that knowing debunks believing, that knowledge means casting faith aside.

Yes, we will let faith fall aside, when, please God, we get to heaven, and we see it all. In the meantime, though, faith unlocks knowledge, like a key.