ST. AMBROSE OF MILAN,
Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
Until that moment, Ambrose had been the most senior magistrate of the Empire in Northern Italy. Culturally well-educated but at the same time ignorant of the Scriptures, the new Bishop briskly began to study them. From the works of Origen, the indisputable master of the “Alexandrian School”, he learned to know and to comment on the Bible. Thus, Ambrose transferred to the Latin environment the meditation on the Scriptures which Origen had begun, introducing in the West the practice of lectio divina. The method of lectio served to guide all of Ambrose’s preaching and writings, which stemmed precisely from prayerful listening to the Word of God. The famous introduction of an Ambrosian catechesis shows clearly how the holy Bishop applied the Old Testament to Christian life: “Every day, when we were reading about the lives of the Patriarchs and the maxims of the Proverbs, we addressed morality,” the Bishop of Milan said to his catechumens and neophytes, “so that formed and instructed by them you may become accustomed to taking the path of the Fathers and to following the route of obedience to the divine precepts” (On the Mysteries 1, 1). In other words, the neophytes and catechumens, in accordance with the Bishop’s decision, after having learned the art of a well-ordered life, could henceforth consider themselves prepared for Christ’s great mysteries. Thus, Ambrose’s preaching—which constitutes the structural nucleus of his immense literary opus—starts with the reading of the Sacred Books (“the Patriarchs” or the historical Books and “Proverbs”, or in other words, the Wisdom Books) in order to live in conformity with divine Revelation.
(24 October 2007)
You win the people over with the grace of your words
O God, who made the Bishop Saint Ambrose a teacher of the Catholic faith and a model of apostolic courage, raise up in your Church men after your own heart to govern her with courage and wisdom. Through our Lord.
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, Catholics striving for Holiness. Please do us kind favor to like our FB page so we could reach and help more people in their Catholic faith. Thanks and God bless!
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