Monday, August 22, 2016

Ambrose of Milan

Ambrose of Milan (339—397) was born in Gaul, and raised in Rome after the death of his father. He is known for his eloquent Latin writings, including sermons and hymns. He was a Roman governor, who had not yet even been baptized. In 374 the people of Milan surprisingly declared him to be their bishop.

The first important doctrine Ambrose supported is that Christ is fully God (as taught in the first verse of John's Gospel). Under his teaching Augustine of Hippo was converted and baptized. One unfortunate influence Ambrose had was to increase the veneration of relics. He introduced congregational singing in Milan to worship services.

Splendor Paternae Gloriae

Splendour of the Father’s glory,
bringing forth light from light,
light of light and source of brightness,
the brightening day of days,

and true Sun slide in,
gleaming with eternal brilliance,
and radiance of the Holy Spirit
pour into our senses.

With prayers let us also call the Father—
the Father of eternal glory,
the Father of mighty grace—
that he may remove the deceitful blame,

that he may shape our actions of vigour,
dullen the teeth of the grudging one,
favourably guide harsh occurrences,
bestow the grace of carrying things through,

guide the mind and rule it
with a chaste, faithful body;
may faith be inflamed with heat,
may it not know the poisons of fraud.

And may Christ be food for us,
and may faith be our drink;
happy, may we drink the sober
inebriation of the Spirit.

May this happy day come to pass,
may modesty exist as the dawn,
faith like the noonday,
and may the mind not know the dusk.

Dawn pulls the chariot,
may the complete dawn come,
the Son complete in the Father,
and the Father complete in the Word.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.