The Words of Saint Pope Gregory I

Listed below are some of the teachings of St. Pope Gregory the Great. This is the complementary blog post to Saint Pope Gregory I – “The Greatest of the Great.”

On How the Ruler should Focus on the Holy Scriptures –

“But all this is duly executed by a ruler, if, inspired by the spirit of heavenly fear and love, he meditate daily on the precepts of Sacred Writ, that the words of Divine admonition may restore in him the power of solicitude and of provident circumspection with regard to the celestial life, which familiar intercourse with men continually destroys; and that one who is drawn to oldness of life by secular society may by the aspiration of compunction be ever renewed to love of the spiritual country. For the heart runs greatly to waste in the midst of human talk; and, since it is undoubtedly evident that, when driven by the tumults of external occupations, it loses its balance and falls, one ought incessantly to take care that through keen pursuit of instruction it may rise again. For hence it is that Paul admonishes his disciple who had been put over the flock, saying, Till I come, give attendance to reading (1 Tim. iv. 13).” – The Book of Pastoral Rule, Book II, Chap. XI.

On How the Mass is a Representation of the Sacrifice of the Cross –

“This Sacrifice alone has the power of saving the soul from eternal death, for it presents to us mystically the death of the only-begotten Son. Though He is now risen from the dead and dies no more, and ‘death has no more power over him’ (Rom 6:9), yet, living in Himself immortal and incorruptible, He is again immolated for us in the mystery of the holy Sacrifice. Where His Body is eaten, there His Flesh is distributed among the people for their salvation. His Blood no longer stains the hands of the godless, but flows into the hearts of His faithful followers. See, then how august the Sacrifice that is offered to us, ever reproducing in itself the passion of the only-begotten Son for the remission of our sins.” – Dialogues, Bk. 4, 58.

On the Strong Bond of Marriage –

“For, if they say that marriages should be dissolved for the sake of religion, be it known that, through human law has conceded this, yet divine law has forbidden it. For the Truth in person says, ‘What God has joined together let not man put asunder’ (Mt. 19:6). He also says, ‘It is not lawful for a man to put away his wife except for the cause of fornication’ (ib. 9). Who then may contradict this heavenly legislator?” – Letters, Bk. II, 45.

On How After Death There is no Possibility for Merit –

“Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven ‘either in this world or in the world to come’ (Mt. 12:23)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions.” – Dialogues, 4:39

On the Punishments of the Damned will be Eternal –

“There is one kind of fire in hell, but it does not torment all sinners in the same way, for each one feels its torments according to his degree of guilt…That truth stands solid and unshaken: Just as the joys of heaven will never cease, so, too, there is no end to the torments of the damned.” – Dialogues, Bk. 4:43.

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