Friday, December 28, 2012

A Voice from the Past - Gregory the Great

 (Written to the Emperor's Physician)
The Emperor of Heaven, the Lord of men and angels, has sent thee his epistles for thy life's behoof; and yet, glorious son, thou neglectest to read these epistles ardently. Study then, I beseech thee, and daily mediate on the words of thy Creator. Learn the heart of God in the words of God, that thou mayest sigh more ardently for the things that are eternal, that your soul may be kindled with greater longings for heavenly joys.

Gregory the Great, Epistles of Gregory the Great, 540-604 AD, To Theodorus, Physician, (The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume XII, translated by James Barmby, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, editors,T & T Clark and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997, p.156)

What should our attitude be toward the the Word of God? How do we develop it?


  1. Wonder which epistles he was referencing - his or the ones in the NT?

    1. From the context I would understand him as referring to the NT epistles. Gregory shows no sign that I can see of thinking his epistles are straight from heaven. And if he did I certainly would not want to quote him on it.

    2. I wondered because of the reference to "Epistles of Gregory the Great". As a pope he may have considered his epistles on par with Pauls? That said, I guess it is best to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    3. I do not think the office of pope had developed that far yet and given that Gregory denied being universal bishop and head of the church I would give him the benefit of the doubt.