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Saturday, 25 May 2024
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St Anselm


St. Anselm was born in Piedmont, N. Italy, in 1033 and died in 1109. He was the Archbishop of Canterbury and was twice exiled for defending the rights of the Church. St. Anselm is the author of Proslogium, Cur Deus Homo (or Why God Became Man, in which he explains the wisdom, justice, and necessity of the Incarnation), and The Procession of the Holy Spirit.

Always an independent thinker, Anselm became the most learned theologian of his generation, and surpassed all Latin Christian writers since St.
Augustine. His predecessors for the most part had assumed, without argument, the existence of God. Anselm was in no doubt, but wished to satisfy his mind by rational proof that what he already believed was true.

"I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand."

He devised an original proof of his own, and explained it in his Proslogium. His writings stimulated fresh, logical thinking and argument in the theological schools of the period, the movement known as mediaeval scholasticism.

St Anselm is a doctor of the Church and is known as the Father of Scholasticism. A Doctor of the Church, (from the Latin docere, to teach), is a saint from whose writings the whole Church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom "eminent learning" and "great sanctity" have been attributed. The honour is always bestowed posthumously.

Benedict on St Anselm


Come now, little man!
Flee for a while from your daily employment,
hide yourself for a little space from the turmoil of your thoughts.
Come, cast aside your burdensome cares,
and put away your laborious pursuits.
For a little while give your time to God,
and rest in Him for a little.
Enter the inner chamber of your mind,
shut out all things save God
and whatever may aid you in seeking God;
and having barred the door of your chamber, seek Him.
Speak now, O my heart,
O my whole heart, speak now and say to your God:
My face hath sought Thee:
Thy face, O Lord, will I seek....
(St Anselm)