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Church Fathers
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Shepherds who feed themselves-Augustine

Shepherds Who Feed Themselves:

Ezekiel and the Example of St. Paul

 

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church

 

Saint Augustine - Early Church Father - Doctor of the ChurchThis excerpt from St. Augustine's Sermon 46 to Pastors (Sermo 46, 3-4: CCL 41, 530-531) is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for Monday of the 24th week in ordinary time with the accompanying biblical reading being the call of the prophet Ezekiel, Ezek 2:8-3:11, 17-21).

 

Let us consider the unflattering words of God which Scripture addresses to shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep. You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool; you kill the fatlings, but my sheep you do not pasture. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick, and to bind up what was injured. You did not call back what went astray, nor seek out what was lost. What was strong you have destroyed, and my sheep have been scattered because there is no shepherd.


This is spoken to the shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep; it speaks of their concern and their neglect. What is their concern? You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool. And so the Apostle asks: Who plants a vineyard and does not eat from its fruit? Who pastures a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock? Thus we learn that the milk of the flock is whatever temporal support and sustenance Godís people give to those who are placed over them. It is of this that the Apostle was speaking in the passage just quoted.


Although he chose to support himself by the labour of his own hands and not to ask for milk from the sheep, the Apostle did say that he had the right to receive the milk, for the Lord had established that they who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel. Paul also says that others of his fellow apostles made use of this right, a right granted them, and not unlawfully usurped. But Paul went further by not taking what was rightfully his. He forgave the debt, whereas the others did not demand what was not due them. Therefore Paul went further. Perhaps his action was foreshadowed by the Good Samaritan who, when he brought the sick man to the inn, said: If you spend any more, I will repay you on my way back.
What more can I say concerning those shepherds who do not need the milk of the flock? They are more merciful; or rather, they carry out a more abundant ministry of mercy. They are able to do so, and they do it. Let them receive praise, but do not condemn the others. The Apostle himself did not seek what was given. However, he wanted the sheep to be fruitful, not sterile and unable to give milk.

 

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The Early Church Fathers, Catholic Church, Fathers of the Church, Marcellino D'AmbrosioThe Early Church Fathers

 

A society characterized by the violence, loss of respect for life, exotic religious cults, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and even pedophilia. No, we're not talking about modern times -

 

The Early Church Fathers succeeded in bringing a Pagan society to Christ. If we pay attention to what they taught, we will succeed in doing the same for our own de-Christianized society!

 

Album 1: The Apostolic Fathers and Irenaeus

Album 2: The Apologists, Ambrose, and Augustine

Early Church Fathers 2 VHS Setó$44.00  

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The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They Matter

Fathers of the Early Church, Early Church FathersIf you are not familiar with the Fathers of the Early Church, Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio, in this single, upbeat talk, full of examples and stories about some of the Church's most intriguing personalities. Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers.  Though the ranks of the fathers include a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and personalities, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most important questions of our day.  In this talk, Marcellino makes clear just how much these figures have to teach us today. 

 

Retail - $9.00 CD        Audio Tape - $9.00

 


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