Book of Meditations and Prayers

 
9781484877876: Book of Meditations and Prayers

The works of St. Anselm exhibit an intellectual light, order, subtilty, penetration, and precision which give him a high place among the scholastic theologians of whom he was the forerunner and the guide. But even in the purest intellectual exercise of the reason, his writings are pervaded by the gift of piety, which makes its warmth sensibly felt. He may be regarded as the type of faith, rendering to God the reasonable service of the intellect. This rationabile obsequium, which is the highest perfection of the human intelligence, springs from faith. Reason precedes faith indeed in judging of the motives of credibility: and the last act of reason judging of evidence precedes the first act of faith in believing the revelation of God. But when revelation has been once received, the grace of faith is unfolded by the gift of intellect into the faith which is one of the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost. Faith as a virtue illuminates the intelligence, but faith as a fruit of the Holy Ghost understands, so far as God permits, the intrinsic reason of what it believes. St. Anselm explains his whole method in these words: As the right order demands that we should first believe the deep things of the Christian faith before we venture to discuss them by reasoning, so it appears to me to be negligence, if, after we are confirmed in faith, we should not endeavour to understand what we believe.' [1] Here we have his method in direct contradiction to the rationalism of these later days, which makes reason the test, the measure, and the criterion of faith, destroying thereby the essence of faith, as well as the matter proposed to its belief. As St. Augustine says, If you ask of me, or of any other Doctor, not unreasonably, that you may understand what you believe, correct your definition, not so as to reject faith, but so as to perceive by the light of reason the things which by the firmness of faith you already hold. . . . Therefore it was reasonably said by the Prophet, "Unless you believe, you will not understand,"' [2] so St. Anselm begin where he prefers. And, indeed, it is for this reason that they have been divided into sections; [3] that the reader may easily choose a place for beginning or for stopping, and so avoid the weariness and annoyance which would be produced by too prolonged application to the book, or by repeated reperusal of one and the same passage; and that he may thus be the more likely to reap some pious dispositions from them; for this was the end had in view in their composition.

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St. Anselm of Canterbury
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)
ISBN 10: 148487787X ISBN 13: 9781484877876
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 220 pages. 9.00x6.00x0.50 inches. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # zk148487787X

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