Friday, December 11, 2015

A Voice from the Past - Gregory the Great

(Not finding an appropriate quote from Gregory VII, I offer a quote from an earlier Gregory.)

Your Blessedness has also been careful to declare that you do not now make use of proud titles, which have sprung from a root of vanity, in writing to certain persons, and you address me saying, As you have commanded.  This word, command, I beg you to remove from my hearing, since I know who I am, and who you are. For in position you are my brethren, in character my fathers. I did not, then, command, but was desirous of indicating what seemed to be profitable.

Gregory the Great, 540-604 AD, Epistles, Book VIII, Epistle XXX, To Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria, (translated by Rev. James Barmby, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, T & T Clark and Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1997, Second Series, Vol. XII, pp. 240, 241).

How do we avoid taking upon ourselves authority that does not really belong to us? What subtle temptations are there to do so?

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