Skip to comments.The Father's Gift In Christ [by Saint Hilary of Poitiers, bishop]
Posted on 01/13/2009 7:06:05 PM PST by Salvation
From a treatise On the Trinity by
Saint Hilary of Poitiers, bishop
(d. c. 368)
Our Lord commanded us to baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. In baptism, then, we profess faith in the Creator, in the only-begotten Son and in the gift which is the Spirit. There is one Creator of all things, for in God there is one Father from whom all things have their being. And there is one only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things exist. And there is one Spirit, the gift who is in all. So all follow their due order, according to the proper operation of each: one power, which brings all things into being, one Son, through whom all things come to be, and one gift of perfect hope. Nothing is wanting in this flawless union: in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, there is infinity of endless being, perfect reflection of the divine image, and mutual enjoyment of the gift.
Our Lord has described the purpose of the Spirit's presence in us. Let us listen to his words: I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. It is to your advantage that I go away; if I go, I will send you the Advocate. And also: I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth. He will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine.
From among many of our Lord's sayings, these have been chosen to guide our understanding, for they reveal to us the intention of the giver, the nature of the gift and the condition for its reception. Since our weak minds cannot comprehend the Father or the Son, we have been given the Holy Spirit as our intermediary and advocate, to shed light on that hard doctrine of our faith, the incarnation of God.
We receive the Spirit of truth so that we can know the things of God. In order to grasp this, consider how useless the faculties of the human body would become if they were denied their exercise. Our eyes cannot fulfill their task without light, either natural or artificial; our ears cannot react without sound vibrations, and in the absence of any order our nostrils are ignorant of their function. Not that these senses would lose their own nature if they were not used; rather, they demand objects of experience in order to function. It is the same with the human soul. Unless it absorbs the gift of the Spirit through faith, the mind has the ability to know God but lacks the light necessary for that knowledge.
This unique gift which is in Christ is offered in its fullness to everyone. It is everywhere available, but it is given to each man in proportion to his readiness to receive it. Its presence is the fuller, the greater a man's desire to be worthy of it. This gift will remain with us until the end of the world, and will be our comfort in the time of waiting. By the favors it bestows, it is the pledge of our hope for the future, the light of our minds, and the splendor that irradiates our understanding.
Source: The Liturgy of the Hours - Office of Readings
Saint Hilary was born at Poitiers, Gaul, of a noble family. He was a convert from paganism to Christianity by his study of the Bible and was baptized when well on in years. He was elected bishop of Poitiers about 350. He actively opposed the Arian heresy and refused to attend a synod at Milan called by Emperor Constantius in 355 in which required the bishops present to sign a condemnation of St. Athanasius for his refutations against Arianism. Hilary refused and was condemned for his orthodoxy by the synod of Arian bishops at Beziers in 356. He was exiled by the Arian Emperor to Phrygia later that year. Hilary was so successful in exposing Arianism as a heresy at a council of Eastern bishops at Seleucia in 359 and in encouraging the clergy to resist the heresy that the Arians requested the Emperor to send him back to Gaul.
Hilary was instrumental in the excommunication of Arian Bishop Saturninus. In 361, the death of Constantius ended the Arian persecution of the Catholics. Hilary died at Poitiers in 368 leaving numerous treatises, notable among which were his De Trinitate written while he was in exile, De synodis, and Opus historicum. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX in 1851.
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May these words of wisdom deepen our understanding of the Trinity.
Bishop & Doctor of the Church
Anonymous illumination, St. Hilary writing his commentary on Matthew
Saint Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) was a leading defender of the Church against the Arian heresy. He wrote twelve books about the Holy Trinity as well as commentaries on St. Matthew's Gospel and the Psalms.
Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003
as Saint Hilary defended the divinity of Christ Your Son,
give us a deeper understanding of this mystery
and help us to profess it in all truth.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.
First Reading: 1 John 2:18-25
Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is what He has promised us, eternal life.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:13-19
"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Related Link on Vatican Website: Benedict XVI, General Audience, Saint Peter's Square, Wednesday, October 10, 2007, Saint Hilary of Poitiers
Related Links on New Advent Website:
St. Hilary ..
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