Christ the Educator (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 23)
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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IN THE PAST CENTURY, much interest has been shown in Clement of Alexandria, and many studies made of his place in the history of Christian thought. NonCatholics and rationalists have been extravagant in their praise. They see in him, in the words of J. Patrick, 'the first ...
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O YOU WHO ARE CHILDREN! An indestructible corner stone of knowledge, holy temple of the great God, has been hewn out especially for us as a foundation for the truth. This corner stone is noble persuasion, or the desire for eternal life aroused by an intelligent response to it, ...
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(4) Our Educator, 0 children, resembles His Father, God, whose Son He is. He is without sin, without blame, without passion of soul,1 God immaculate in form of man, accomplishing His Father's will. He is God the Word, who is in the bosom of the Father, and also at the right hand of the ...
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(7) Both as God and as man, the Lord renders us every kind of service and assistance. As God, He forgives sin; as man, He educates us to avoid sin completely. ...
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(10) Let us welcome more and more gladly this holy subjection, and let us surrender ourselves more and more completely to the Lord, holding to the steadfast cable of His persuasion. Let us recognize, too, that both men and women practise the same sort of virtue. Surely, if there is but one ...
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(12) That education is the training given children is evident from the very name.l It remains for us to consider who the children are as explained by the Scriptures and, from the same Scriptural passages, to understand the Educator. ...
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(25) It is possible, too, for us to make a completely adequate answer to any carping critics.1 We are children and little ones, but certainly not because the learning we acquire is puerile or rudimentary, as those puffed up in their own knowledge falsely charge. On the contrary, when we ...
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(53) We have now shown that not only does Scripture call all of us children, but also it figuratively calls us who follow Christ, little ones, and that the only perfect being is the Father of all (in fact, the Son is in Him, and the Father is in the Son). If we would follow right order, we should now ...
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(62) Thereupon certain persons1 have arisen denying that the Lord is good, because of the rod and threats and the fear that He resorts to. First of all, it seems to me that such an attitude turns deaf ear to the Scripture which says somewhere: ...
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(75) Truly, the Educator of mankind, the divine Word of ours, has devoted Himself with all His strength to save His little ones by all the means at the disposal of His wisdom: warning, blaming, rebuking, correcting, threatening, healing, ...
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(89) We have shown that the correction of men is a good thing, contributing to their salvation, and that it has been assumed by the Word, necessarily, because it is the most effective means to lead them to repentance and to restrain them from sin. ...
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(96) The nature of His love for men and of His method of educating His little ones we have described as far as lay in our power. He pictures Himself cogently by likening Himself to a 'grain of mustard-seed.'1 With such a figure, He depicts the spiritual nature of the word that is sown, the productiveness ...
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(98) From the subjects that we have already discussed it must be concluded that Jesus, our Educator, has outlined for us the true life, and that He educates the man who abides in Christ. His character is not excessively fear-inspiring, yet neither is it overindulgent in its kindness. ...
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(101) Everything contrary to right reason is a sin. The philosophers,1 for example, maintained that the more generic passions are defined in some such way as this: lust is desire disobedient to reason; fear, aversion disobedient to reason; pleasure, elation of mind ...
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IN KEEPING WITH the purpose we have in mind, we must now select passages from the Scriptures that bear on education in the practical needs of life, and describe the sort of life he who is called a Christian should live throughout his life. We ...
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(19) 'Use a little wine,' the Apostle cautions the water-drinking Timothy, 'use a little wine for thy stomach's sake.'1 Shrewdly, he recommends a stimulating remedy for a body become ill-disposed and requiring medical attention, but he adds 'a little,' lest the remedy, taken too freely, itself come ...
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(35) The use of drinking cups made of gold or silver, and of those set with precious stones, is without any purpose at all, a fraudulent display merely for the eyes. Either someone pours a hot drink into such a cup, and it becomes too hot to be handled with comfort; or something cold, and then ...
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(40) In the feasts of reason that we have, let the wild celebrations of the holiday season have no part, or the senseless night-long parties that delight in wine-drinking. The wild celebration ends up as a drunken stupor, with everyone freely confiding the troubles of his love affairs. But love affairs and ...
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(45) Men who imitate laughable or ridiculous behavior are to be excluded from our city.1 All exterior words have their source in the temperament and in the character; therefore, no foolish words can be spoken without betraying a foolish temperament. ...
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(49) We ourselves must steer completely clear of all indecent talk, and those who resort to it we must silence by a sharp look, or by turning our face away, or by what is called a grunt of disgust, or by some pointed remark. 'For the things that come out of the mouth,' Scripture says, ...
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(53) Let us keep far, very far, from raillery, the starting-point of insults; from it, great quarrels and feuds and enmities develop. We are of the opinion that insolence is the attendant of drunkenness. It is not only by his deeds, but also by his words, that a man is ...
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(61) The use of wreathes and of perfumes is not a necessity for us. Rather, it shipwrecks us upon pleasure and frivolity even as night draws near.1 I know that a woman brought perfume in an alabaster box and anointed the feet of the Lord with it at that holy ...
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(77) Now we must discuss the way we are to sleep, still mindful of the precepts of temperance. After our dinner, once we have given thanks to God for having granted us such pleasures and for the completion of the day, then we should dispose our minds for sleep. We must forbid ourselves ...
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(83) It remains for us now to consider the restriction of sexual intercourse to those who are joined in wedlock. Begetting children is the goal of those who wed, and the fulfillment of that goal is a large family, just as hope of a crop drives the farmer to sow his seed, while the fulfillment of his ...
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(116) There are women who manifest a very similar vanity in their footwear, thereby revealing considerable shallowness of character. It is a matter for shame to have sandals plated with the costliest gold, and even worse to decide, as some do, to have nails hammered into the soles in a circular ...
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(118) It is pure childishness to let ourselves become fascinated by gems, whether they are green or dark red, and by the stones disgorged by the sea, and by metals dug up out of the earth. To set one's heart on shining pebbles and peculiar colors and irridescent glass is simply to play the ...
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TO KNOW ONESELF has always been, so it seems, the greatest of all lessons. For, if anyone knows himself, he will know God; and, in knowing God, he will become like Him,1 not by wearing golden ornaments or by trailing long flowing ...
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(4) It is not the appearance of the outer man that should be made beautiful, but his soul, with the ornament of true virtue. It should be possible, too, to speak of an ornament for his body, the ornament of self-control. ...
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(15) Garishness has, in fact, gone so far that not only women are sick from this disease of attachment to frippery, but men, too, have become strongly infected by it. Unless they rid themselves of artificial beautification, they will never become well again, ...
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(26) But I forget myself, and have sailed in spirit right past the due progression of my thought. I must now retrace my steps and express my disapproval of the possession of too many slaves. Men resort to servants to escape work and waiting on themselves. They hire a great host of bakers and cooks and waiters and men who can carve meat skillfully into slices. ...
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(31) What baths the women have! Buildings carefully constructed and joined together, yet easily moved about, covered with transparent muslin; the chairs gold-plated and of silver; 1 and a countless array of vessels made of gold or silver, some used for drinking the health of others, some for eating, and ...
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(34) We should possess wealth in a becoming manner, sharing it generously, but not mechanically nor with affectation. We should be careful, too, not to turn love of the beautiful into love of self, and into poor taste, lest someone say of us: 'His horse is worth fifteen talents, or his estate or ...
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(37) When self-indulgence wanders off into sense-pleasures, then it makes serious shipwreck out of a man. Such an easy and dishonorable way of life, although pursued by many, is foreign to true love of the beautiful and to the higher pleasures. By nature, man is a noble and majestic animal ...
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(41) If any of you will completely avoid self-indulgence by the careful cultivation of frugality, he will be developing a habit of enduring involuntary hardships readily. If he makes a further practise of looking on voluntary sufferings as a training for persecution, then when he is confronted with ...
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(46) There are four reasons prompting us to frequent the baths (it was at this point that I digressed a while back in my discussion): either for cleanliness, for warmth, for health, or for the satisfaction of pleasure. We must not think of bathing for pleasure, because we must ruthlessly expel all ...
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(49) The gymnasium is sufficient for the needs of young boys, even if there is a bath at hand. This is all the more true when even men may legitimately make use of it in preference to the bath. It offers considerable benefit to the health of the young, and besides, instils in them a desire and ...
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(53) We may conclude, then, that the wearing of gold and the use of soft garments need not be absolutely avoided. But desires that are unreasonable must be kept in check lest they drive us into an effeminate way of life and, by excessive indulgence, sweep us up and carry us away. ...
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(84) F or my part, I would advise husbands never to manifest their affection for their wives at home when slaves are present. Aristotle does not permit them ever to laugh with slaves,1 and certainly much less to openly show love for their wives in their presence. It is better to practise reserve at home ...
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Page Count: 333
Publication Year: 2010