Monday, February 16, 2004

At the Calvert House Undergraduate Dinners, we like to begin each week with a prayer, usually a beautiful ancient one. We've so far used pieces from Saint Ephraim the Syrian, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Augustine, and Saint Ignatius of Antioch. I thought it would be nice to start putting these up (every week if I can manage).

Today's prayer was from Christ The Educator, by Clement of Alexandria (best known as the tutor of early Christian apologist Origen).

Now, if there is, as Scripture says, but 'one teacher, in heaven,' then, surely all who are on earth can with good reason be called disciples. The plain truth is that what is perfect belongs to the Lord, who is ever teaching, while the role of child and little one belongs to us, who are ever learning.

And in writing to the Ephesians, [Paul] expresses clearly just what we are saying: "Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the deep knowledge of God, to perfect manhood, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ.

"And this He has done that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine devised in the wickedness of man, in craftiness, according to the wiles of error. Rather we are to practice the truth in love, and to grow up in all things in Him."

He says these things to build up the body of Christ, 'who is the Head,' and [humanity] because He alone is perfect in goodness. If we, the children, protect ourselves from the winds that blow us off our course... we are made perfect by accepting Christ as our Head and becoming ourselves the Church.

P.S. Yes, there's other stuff happening in my life. And no, I ought not to write about it. Life is downright wondrous sometimes.

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