Thursday, March 01, 2007

...Gregory, preaching, being moved, Panera...

I often wonder why I post reflectionless quotes on my blog. I think perhaps the answer might be that in some strange way I just want to be heard. That perhaps as I sit here in Panera, reading Gregory the Great's Pastoral Rule, and utterly moved by the following passage, I hope that some might share in my own experience, my own emotions, my own story. Anyways, at the risk of being ignored, I hope you preachers who frequent my blog (any maybe others) might be moved with me by these ancient words.

"Let them hear what is said to the preacher through Solomon, Drink water out of your own cistern, and running waters of your own well. Let your fountains be dispersed abroad, and divide your waters in the streets. Have them to yourself alone, and let not strangers be partakers with you (Prov. v. 15-17). For indeed the preacher drinks out of his own cistern, when, returning to his own heart, he first listens himself to what he has to say. He drinks the running waters of his own well, if he is watered by his own word. And in the same place it is well added, Let your fountains be dispersed abroad, and divide your waters in the streets. For indeed it is right that he should himself drink first, and then flow upon others in preaching. For to disperse fountains abroad is to pour outwardly on others the power of preaching. Moreover, to divide waters in the streets is to dispense divine utterances among a great multitude of hearers according to the quality of each. And, because for the most part the desire of vain glory creeps in when the Word of God has free course unto the knowledge of many, after it has been said, Divide your waters in the streets, it is rightly added, Have them to yourself alone, and let not strangers be partakers with you. He here calls malignant spirits strangers, concerning whom it is said through the prophet in the words of one that is tempted, Strangers are risen up against me, and strong ones have sought after my soul (Ps. liii. 5). He says therefore, Both divide your waters in the streets, and yet have them to yourself alone; as if he had said more plainly, It is necessary for you so to serve outwardly in preaching as not to join yourself through elation to unclean spirits, lest in the ministry of the divine word you admit your enemies to be partakers with you. Thus we divide our waters in the streets, and yet alone possess them, when we both pour out preaching outwardly far and wide, and yet in no wise court human praises through it." (Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule, 3.24)

1 comment:

Shellie said...

And to think for years I'd been worried (baselessly?) about the quality of education at NTS. Excellent.

You know, I use my blog for my own purposes first -- a great place to keep quotes and materials that are of use to me. I do, though, also consider what might be of use to others.

So I can understand and appreciate reflectionless posts on blogs. Actually, I sometimes prefer them.