Sunday, April 19, 2015

Augustine: evil in a good world

Sunday, April 19, 2015
    Commemoration of Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr, 1012
    Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
    He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
    —Matthew 17:19-20 (NIV)
    The heavens and the earth, and the waters, and the things that are therein, the fish, and birds, and trees, are not evil. All these are good: but it is evil men who make this evil world. Yet as we cannot be without evil men, let us, as I have said, whilst we live pour out our groans before the Lord our God, and endure the evils, that we may attain to the things that are good. Let us not find fault with the Master of the household; for He is loving to us. He beareth us, and not we him. He knoweth how to govern what He made; do what He hath bidden, and hope for what He hath promised.
    ... St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Sermon XXX [Ben 80], in Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, v. I, Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1844, p. 243-244 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 17:15-21; Gen. 1:31; Ps. 94:18; Matt. 18:7; Luke 17:5; John 1:14; Rom. 8:22,26
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, increase my trust in You.
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