A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Twelfth Day

The Twelfth Day of Christmas is on January 5th and is also known as Epiphany Eve. The twelve drummers drumming signify the twelve affirmations of faith in the Apostles' Creed.

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit;
The holy catholic church;
The communion of Saints;
The forgiveness of sins;
The resurrection of the body,
And the life everlasting.

January 5th is the feast day of St. Syncletica of Alexandria, a desert mother who lived in the fourth century A.D. She grew up wealthy and gave all her inheritance to the poor.

Her sayings are included with the desert fathers. Among those sayings:

In the beginning there is struggle and a lot of work for those who come near to God. But after that there is indescribable joy. It is just like building a fire: at first it is smoky and your eyes water, but later you get the desired result. Thus we ought to light the divine fire in ourselves with tears and effort.

I think that for those living in community obedience is a greater virtue than chastity, however perfect. Chastity carries within it the danger of pride, but obedience has within it the promise of humility.

We ought to govern our souls with discretion and to remain in the community, neither following our own will nor seeking our own good. We are like exiles: we have been separated from the things of this world and have given ourselves in one faith to the one Father. We need nothing of what we have left behind. There we had reputation and plenty to eat; here we have little to eat and little of everything else.

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