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THE SACRAMENTAL GRACE OF CONFIRMATION IN THIRTEENTH-CENTURY THEOLOGY (Continued) Robert Kilwardby: Commentary on the Sentences562 The Commentary of Robert Kilwardby, appearing sometime between the Sentences of St. Bonaventure and the I V Pars of the Summa Alexan­ d ria , or the continuation of the Summa Fratris Alexandri, offers some items of interest to the present topic. In accordance as the sacraments m ay be considered reparative of the sequel to sin, which is some spiritual difficulty inherent to us as a consequence to sin, confirmation takes its place as contrary to the ‘difficulty of progressing,’563 or travelling, through the Christian life. In this connection, then, we find its grace repeatedly alluded to as being for strengthening, for example, ‘confirmation strengthens for acting/864 confirmatio roborat ad agendum, it exists that through it a strengthening grace may be given, ut detur gratia roborans, etc. The robur or strengthening afforded finds its direction specifically toward the confession of the faith. ‘Confirmation,’ the author states, ‘is for this, according to Rabanus, that strengthening grace m ay be given for courageously preaching the faith received in baptism, so that, not withstanding the fear of the persecutor, one may dare to confess orally what one believes in his h ea rt. . .’566 For this reason the sacrament did not have any correspondent in the Old Testament, since the twofold, sea w ith reference to the date of the Commentary of Kilwardby, both T. Graf in De subiecto psychico gratiae et virtutum, I, p. 247, and William A. Hinnebusch, O. P., The Early English Friars Preachers, Rome, 1951, p. 382, place it in the environs of 1250; Dom. O. Lottin gives the date ‘1254— 1261’ (Psychologie et morale, IV, 3— n , p. 862). 663 ‘Si vero praestat remedium contra sequelam peccati quae est difficultas inde causata, hoc autem est difficultas proficiendi, contra quam est confirmatio . . .’ Worchester Cath. F 43, f. i65ra. 664 ‘confirmatio roborat ad agendum . . .’ Ibid. 686 ‘Ad secundum quod confirmatio ad hoc est secundum Rabanum, ut detur gratia roborans ad audacter praedicandum fidem susceptam in baptismo, ut non obstante metu persecutoris audeat confiteri ore quod corde credat. Dicit enim sic ut habetur Inst. Div., I, c. 3, ‘a summo sacerdote per impositionem manus Paracletus traditur baptizato ut roboretur per Spiritum Sanctum ad praedicandum aliis id quod ipse in baptismo consecutus est.’ Ibid. f. 158 va. 172 overlapping aim of its institution, namely, the open confession of Christ Incarnate, and brave combat against the persecutor for the faith of Christ, had no place in the Old Testament.566 The content of the con­ fession is, then, Christ Incarnate, or Christ simply speaking. The manner of the confession appears as embracing audacity, or special courage, ad audacter praedicandum, contemning the fear of the persecutor, and engaging spiritually, at the hands of this persecutor, valiant combat, through the oral attestation, or witness to, the things of the faith.567 It is the combat, then, or the confession, of an adult spiritually, and not of a minor in the spiritual life; for this reason an equivalent to the sacra­ ment could not exist in the Old Law since that people were, as it were, of adolescent, or ‘non-adult’ grace; to the New Testament, a time of adult and full grace, became reserved this sacrament of combatants and travellers spiritually through tribulations.568 Kilwardby in these brief and passing texts succinctly knits the purpose of the existence of a sacrament of strengthening grace to its aim, the confession of the Chris­ tian faith, a confession which he recognizes as proffered under circum­ stances of persecution. How this grace penetrates to the accomplishment of its effect he proceeds to illustrate in drawing the similitude of the sacrament exteriorly to its interior effect. This similitude he identifies as that of the analogy of proportion; just as in baptism there is an analogy between the cleansing of the body from its stain, wrought by water, and the cleansing of the soul from sin, wrought by grace, con­ ferred through the sign of a corporeal washing, so, too, in confirmation there is an analogy between the manner in which chrism, or oil and balsam, soothes and mulches the flesh, and...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 172-300
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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