The Academic Sermons (The Fathers of the Church
Mediaeval Continuation, Volume 11)
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
Hoogland web cover
One day, as I was preparing my lectures on St. Thomas Aquinas (1224/5–1274) as a theologian for today for the Summer Institute at the Catholic Theological Union of Chicago, I came across a reference to one of his sermons. It was quite a shock to realize that I had...
The philosophical and theological works of St. Thomas Aquinas are held in universal esteem, and there is also an increasing attention to his commentaries on Scripture and the role of Scripture in his theological works. Over the years, however, Thomas’s sermons...
Sermon 01: Veniet Desideratus
IT IS AS Augustine says to Optatus: “Nobody is freed from the damnation that came through Adam but through faith in Jesus Christ.” This is sufficiently proven by the Apostle in Hebrews 11 [verse 6], where he shows that no one has ever been able to please...
Sermon 02: Lauda et Letare
IT IS AS St. Bernard says: “While I often think of the burning desire of the fathers who expected Christ’s coming, I feel shame in myself.” For someone who considers the sighs of those who were imploring, the desires of those who were expectant...
Sermon 03: Abjiciamus Opera
LET US THROW off the works of the darkness and put on the arms of the light” [Rom 13.12]. The Apostle, teacher of the Christians and leader in faith and truth, formulates this in this time of the gracious coming of our Lord with these words, or in these...
Sermon 04: Osanna Filio David
HOSANNA TO the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” [Mt 21.9]. These words are spoken by the crowds praising Christ. These crowds clung to Christ. And...
Sermon 05: Ecce Rex Tuus
BEHOLD, YOUR king comes unto you, mild” [Mt 21.5]. Many are the wonders of the divine works. Ps 139.14 says: “Wonderful are your works.” But no work of God is as wonderful as the coming of Christ in the flesh, and the reason is that in God’s...
Sermon 06: Celum et Terra Transibunt
HEAVEN AND earth will pass” [Lk 21.33]. Dearest brethren, how great the delight, how great the pleasure, how great the sweetness that is in the heavenly words of wisdom! This is even obvious in the words of the natural philosopher, 2 who writes in Book...
Sermon 07: Ecce Ego Mitto
BEHOLD, I send my angel before your face” [Mt 11.10]. These words are taken from the last chapter of Malachi [3.1]. In these words three aspects of the gracious arrival of the Savior are described: (1) the marvelous estimation of God the Father,...
Sermon 08: Puer Jesus
THE BOY JESUS advanced in age and wisdom and in grace with God and the people” [Lk 2.52]. All the things together that the Lord has done or undergone in the flesh are salutary lessons and examples. Hence we read this in Jn 13.15: “I have...
Sermon 09: Exiit Qui Seminat
A SOWER went out to sow his seed,” Lk 8.5. Because our sermon is about a spiritual sowing, let us call upon the one who sows, our Lord Jesus Christ, who makes trustworthy people servants of this sowing; let us call upon him, so that he may give me..
Sermon 10: Petite et Accipietis
ASK, AND YOU will receive, so that your joy may be complete” [Jn 16.24]. St. Jerome says that the Lord’s Prayer ought to precede all our works, and the working of the graces ought to follow. Hence he says in a letter of his to Paula: “Pray the Lord’s Prayer...
Sermon 11: Emitte Spiritum
SEND OUT your Spirit, and they will be created, and you will renew the face of the earth” [Ps 104.30]. On this Psalm. We must speak about him without whom no one can speak what is right and who can make or makes everyone speak abundantly...
Sermon 12: Seraphim Stabant
AMONG ALL religions and sects the Christian faith rejoices in this privilege that it contains very much that surpasses the natural and the rational, that is, what is beyond reason, more than other religions. The reason for this is that in this faith some...
Sermon 13: Homo Quidam Fecit Cenam Magnam
IT SEEMS THAT there is a difference between physical and spiritual pleasures, for physical pleasures are manifest to people who have surrendered to the senses, and the spiritual pleasures are hidden to them, whereas the latter are manifest to spiritual men. Hence it says in Rv 2.17: “To the one who gains the victory...
Sermon 14: Attendite a Falsis
THE APOSTLE demonstrates in the following words that there are two things that are contrary to one another. “The spirit,” he says, “desires (concupisco) against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit” [Gal 5.17]. And yet it happens that sin comes forth from both; sometimes sin comes forth from the weakness...
Sermon 15: Homo Quidam Erat Dives
THERE WAS a rich man who had a steward; and he was discredited with him because he had squandered his goods” [Lk 16.1]. Every abundance of graces comes forth from the fullness of the divine treasure, which is hidden in the mystery of God’s riches...
Sermon 16: Inveni David
THE MIRACLES of God cannot be scrutinized by man, as we read in Jb 37.5: “Who works great wonders and things that cannot be scrutinized.” Some of the miracles God performs in his saints. Augustine teaches this, saying that justifying man...
Sermon 17: Lux Orta
LIGHT has gone up for the just, and joy for the upright of heart” [Ps 97.11]. “Every very good endowment and every perfect gift from above is coming down from the Father of lights.”1 This second quotation is from the Letter of James 1.17. Temporal things are a good (bonus) endowment. The things that belong...
Sermon 18: Germinet Terra
LET THE EARTH put forth the green plant that brings forth seed and the fruit-bearing tree that yields fruit” [Gn 1.11]. Isaiah says about Christ: “Who will tell of his generations?” [Is 53.8] The generation of Christ rests in a way on the generation of Mary...
Sermon 19: Beati Qui Habitant
THERE IS NO ONE with a correct understanding who does not know that the community of God and angels and people is one community. The Apostle speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 1: “the faithful God by whom you are called into the community...
Sermon 20: Beata Gens
HAPPY THE nation whose lord is its God, the people whom he has chosen for his heritage” [Ps 33.12]. In many ways holy Mother the Church focuses her attention on challenging her sons and daughters to desire heavenly things [cf. Col 3.1]. And if you want to examine this correctly, you see that she...
Sermon 21: Beatus Vir
HAPPY THE man whose help is from you: he has set his heart on ascending while in the valley of tears, in the place which he has built” [Ps 83.6–7 (Vg)]. The proclaimed words show explicitly enough that St. Martin has arrived at the glory of...
Appendix: Behind the Names
Index of Holy Scripture