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St. Ambrose: Hold fast to God, the one true good

Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters. Let our soul thirst.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters. Let our soul thirst.


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - From the treatise on Flight from the World by Saint Ambrose, bishop, Hold fast to God, the one true good.

Where a manís heart is, there is his treasure also. God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one. Since he is good, and especially to those who are faithful to him, let us hold fast to him with all our soul, our heart, our strength, and so enjoy his light and see his glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy. Let us reach out with our hearts to possess that good, let us exist in it and live in it, let us hold fast to it, that good which is beyond all we can know or see and is marked by perpetual peace and tranquillity, a peace which is beyond all we can know or understand.

This is the good that permeates creation. In it we all live, on it we all depend. It has nothing above it; it is divine. No one is good but God alone. What is good is therefore divine, what is divine is therefore good. Scripture says: When you open your hand all things will be filled with goodness. It is through Godís goodness that all that is truly good is given us, and in it there is no admixture of evil.

These good things are promised by Scripture to those who are faithful: The good things of the land will be your food.

We have died with Christ. We carry about in our bodies the sign of his death, so that the living Christ may also be revealed in us. The life we live is not now our ordinary life but the life of Christ: a life of sinlessness, of chastity, of simplicity and every other virtue. We have risen with Christ. Let us live in Christ, let us ascend in Christ, so that the serpent may not have the power here below to wound us in the heel.

Let us take refuge from this world. You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body. You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord. Your soul must hold fast to him, you must follow after him in your thoughts, you must tread his ways by faith, not in outward show. You must take refuge in him. He is your refuge and your strength. David addresses him in these words: I fled to you for refuge, and I was not disappointed.

Since God is our refuge, God who is in heaven and above the heavens, we must take refuge from this world in that place where there is peace, where there is rest from toil, where we can celebrate the great sabbath, as Moses said: The sabbaths of the land will provide you with food. To rest in the Lord and to see his joy is like a banquet, and full of gladness and tranquillity.

Let us take refuge like deer beside the fountain of waters. Let our soul thirst, as David thirsted, for the fountain. What is that fountain? Listen to David: With you is the fountain of life. Let my soul say to this fountain: When shall I come and see you face to face? For the fountain is God himself.

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.

Keywords:



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  1. Ted Jankowski
    5 years ago

    The Athanasian Creed
    One of the symbols of the Faith approved by the Church and given a place in her liturgy, is a short, clear exposition of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, with a passing reference to several other dogmas. Unlike most of the other creeds, or symbols, it deals almost exclusively with these two fundamental truths, which it states and restates in terse and varied forms so as to bring out unmistakably the trinity of the Persons of God, and the twofold nature in the one Divine Person of Jesus Christ. At various points the author calls attention to the penalty incurred by those who refuse to accept any of the articles therein set down. The following is the Marquess of Bute's English translation of the text of the Creed:

    Quicunque Vult, or The Creed of St. Athanasius and/or Saint Ambrose
    Despite its common title, this document reflect a distinctly Latin theological approach to Trinitarian doctrine.

    The Athanasian/Ambrose Creed is that latest of the ecumenical creeds, dating back to the early dark ages. Though seldom used in worship, it is one of the clearest definitions of the Trinity and the incarnation ever written.

    English Version:
    Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.
    Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
    And the Catholic Faith is this:
    That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
    For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
    But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
    Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
    The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
    The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
    The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
    And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.
    As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
    So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
    And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
    So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
    And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
    So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.
    And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be both God and Lord,
    So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion, to say, here be three Gods, or three Lords.
    The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.
    The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.
    The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
    So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
    And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another;
    But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal.
    So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
    He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.
    Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
    God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;
    Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting;
    Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood.
    Who although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ;
    One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God;
    One altogether, not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.
    For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;
    Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
    He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
    At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works.
    And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
    This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved. Amen

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