Prophets

Saint Hugh of Grenoble

Prophets

‘He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood’ (John 7:18).” (Note 1)

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“The difference is immense between what is produced form all eternity and what is produced in time. The former exists forever; the latter does not exist forever and is able to cease existing.  It is drawn forth from nothingness, and in itself is nothingness.  What a great difference there is, consequently, between coming from God as his work and coming from God as his Son! One is created, the other begotten.  One is drawn from nothingness and in itself nothingness.  The other is drawn from the substance of God and consequently is being itself.”  (Note 2)

* * * * * * * *

“Speak, then, speak O Jesus! Speak, you who are the word itself.  I see you in your words because they make me see that you are God.  But I also see your Father in them, because they teach me that you are God from God, the Word and the Son of God.” (Note 3)

 * * * * * * * *

“When my conversion memoir, Redeemed, was published in 2008, I thought, ‘at last my family and friends will get Christ! I’ve laid out the Good News, simply, accessibly, with depth and humor and joy!’

“What followed has been years of resounding silence.  I’m pretty sure not a single family member has ready by book, and if any friend has, he or she hasn’t much mentioned it.

“For a long time, I thought sadly and, I must say, a touch bitterly, A prophet is without honor in his own country.

“After a while though, I realized the operative point wasn’t that a prophet is without honor in his own country.  The operative point is that I wasn’t a prophet.

“What I could perhaps be, with a few further decades of pruning, was a someone with the humility to generate harmony, not discord.  What I could make be, if I devoted every last ounce of my mind, heart, soul, and strength to the task, was a friend.

“In John’s Gospel, the Pharisees hotly deny that Christ was a prophet, asking contemptuously, Can any good come from Galilee?  Afterwards, Each went to his own house.

“Knowing Christ, he was gathering his family and friends at one house — to share some good conversation and a meal.” (Note 4)

I thought the quotes today were very good quotes especially the second one on begotten, and the last one from The Magnificat Lenten Companion 2017.  The second quote because it broaches the divinity of Jesus, how we was begotten from the father from all eternity, not made from nothingness like man (cf Jn 1:1-2).  Aquinas makes a distinction between eternity and aeveternity in the Summa Theologiae.  I won’t get into that here, but it’s something interesting to read if you wish to take the time. (Here’s a link that can whet your appetite.)

The final quote was very interesting because she makes a very valid point.  Are we prophets? Or can we be prophets?  I find that question interesting and, as I muse on it, I find the author of this mediation to have a bit of a misunderstanding of what a prophet is — or perhaps I do.  I see the prophets as those to whom God reveals knowledge of himself and his will.  Christ, however, as the Son of God, fulfilled Divine Revelation (cf Cor 1:20; 3:13; 4:5), so we should be beyond a time of prophets and to a time of disciples and teachers (cf Pope Paul VI, Dei Verbum, 18 November 1965, § 4, 6, 7).  So, I’d say beware him who proclaims himself a prophet (cf Mt 24:11).

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Notes:

1.  Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, Meditations for Lent, trans. Christopher O. Blum (Manchester, NH: Sophia Institute Press, 2013), 123.

2.  Bossuet, Meditations, 123-24.

3.  Bossuet, Meditations, 125.

4.  Heather King, “This Is Truly the Prophet”. In The Magnificat Lenten Companion 4/1/2017.

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