Wednesday, December 7, 2011

St. Ambrose: Now that's how you get a bishop!

St. Ambrose with that bishop gangsta lean
True story about today's saint:
"[About ]374AD, heresies threatened to destroy the Church. The bishop had supported the Arian heresy that argued against the divinity of Christ. Who would take his place - an Arian or a Catholic? Both sides met in the cathedral and a riot broke out.

Public order was Ambrose's responsibility as governor so he hurried to the church and made a passionate speech not in favor of either side, but in favor of peace. He begged the people to make their choice without fighting, using restraint and moderation.

Suddenly, while he was speaking, a voice called out, "Ambrose for bishop!" Soon everyone was shouting, "Ambrose for bishop!"...Ambrose ran away.

[After being discovered in a hiding place], Ambrose gave in. Since he'd been forced to take the position, no one would have been surprised if he'd decided to keep on living the way that he had before ordination. Instead, Ambrose immediately gave his property to the poor and put himself under the instruction of Saint Simplician to learn Scripture and theology." Notably, Ambrose was a catechumen at the time of his study and not baptized as a Christian!

And as bishop, he was notably concerned for the poor:
He wrote, "God created the universe in such a manner that all in common might derive their food from it, and that the earth should also be a property common to all. Why do you reject one who has the same rights over nature as you? It is not from your own goods that you give to the beggar; it is a portion of his own that you are restoring to him. The earth belongs to all. So you are paying back a debt and think you are making a gift to which you are not bound."

And for those who think a bishop can be EITHER concerned for the poor or faithful to the Church:
"We know from St. Augustine (Confess., IX, vii) and Paulinus the Deacon (Vita S. Ambros., § 13) that St. Ambrose introduced innovations, not indeed into the Mass, but into what would seem to be the Divine Office. St. Ambrose filled the church with Catholics and kept them there night and day until the peril [of Arian attack] was past. And he arranged Psalms and hymns for them to sing, as St. Augustine says, "secundum morem orientalium partium ne populus mæroris tædio contabesceret" (after the manner of the Orientals, lest the people should languish in cheerless monotony)..."

A man of the people and for the poor who cares for Catholic identity and promotes the liturgy? AMBROSE FOR BISHOP! AMBROSE FOR BISHOP!

Information compiled from the internet. Because it's all true online, kids!