Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saint Chromatius of Aquileia

Saint Chromatius was born in the 4th century at Aquileia, Italy. His father died when he was an infant and he was raised by his mother and large family of older brothers and sisters. He was ordained as a priest around 387 A.D.

He attended the Synod of Aquileia and worked for the strong denunciation of the Arian heresy. The denunciation resulted from the synod. Saint Chromatius was consecrated as Bishop of Aquileia in 388.

Saint Chromatius was an active correspondent with Saint Ambrose of Milan, and was a friend of both Saint Jerome and Saint John Chrysostom. Saint Jerome dedicated several works to him. Chromatius was influential in the translation of early Christian works into Latin for wider use. He financed Saint Jerome’s translation of the Bible, and Rufinus’ translation of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History.

Saint Chromatius wrote several respected scripture commentaries, seventeen of which survive. Saint Chromatius supported Saint John Chrysostom and wrote on his behalf against the unjust accusations of Emperor Arcadius.

Saint Chromatius died at Aquileia, Italy of natural causes in December 407.

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The following is from a discourse on the Gospel of Saint Matthew by Saint Chromatius of Aquileia:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp only to put it under a bushel basket; they put it on a stand where it gives light to all in the house. The Lord called his disciples to salt of the earth because they seasoned with heavenly wisdom the hearts of men, rendered insipid by the devil. Now he calls them the light of the world as well, because they have been enlightened by him, the true and everlasting light, and have themselves become a light in the darkness. 

Since he is the Sun of Justice, he fittingly calls his disciples the light of the world. The reason for this is that through them, as through shining rays, he has poured out the light of the knowledge of himself upon the entire world. For by manifesting the light of truth, they have dispelled the darkness of error from the hearts of men. 

Moreover, we too have been enlightened by them. We have been made light out of darkness as the Apostle says: For once you, were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. He says another time: For you are not sons of the light and of darkness, but you are all sons of light and of the day. Saint John also rightly asserts in his letter: God is light, and whoever abides in God is in the light just as God himself is in the light. Therefore, because we rejoice in having been freed from the darkness of error, we should always walk in the light as children of light. This is why the Apostle says: Among them you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life. 

If we fail to live in the light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring by our infidelity the light men so desperately need. As we know from Scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit, but instead he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved. 

Consequently, that brilliant lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us. For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandment and spiritual grace, to which David referred: Your law, is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Solomon also says this about it: For the command of the law is a lamp. 

Therefore, we must not hide this lamp of law and faith. Rather, we must set it up in the Church, as on a lamp stand, for the salvation of many, so that we may enjoy the light of truth itself and all believers may be enlightened." 

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