Una Est Columba Mea

My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

Canticum Canticorum, vi. 9.

Sed: Ecce, inquiunt discipuli ad Dominum, audivimus in quo nomine baptizemus, ministros nos fecisti, et dixisti nobis: Ite, baptizate in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti: quo ibimus? Quo? non audistis? Ad haereditatem meam. Interrogatis: Quo ibimus? Ad id quod emi sanguine meo. Quo ergo? Ad gentes, inquit. Putavi quia dixit: Ite, baptizate Afros in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti. Deo gratias: solvit Dominus quaestionem, docuit columba. Deo gratias: ad gentes Apostoli missi sunt; si ad gentes, ad omnes linguas. Hoc significavit Spiritus sanctus divisus in linguis, unitus in columba. Hae linguae dividuntur, hac columba copulat. Linguae gentium concordarunt, et una lingua Africae discordavit? Quid evidentius, fratres mei? In columba unitas, in linguis gentium societas. Aliquando enim et linguae per superbiam discordaverunt, et tunc sunt factae linguae ex una multae. Post diluvium enim superbi quidam homines, velut adversus Deum se munire conantes, quasi aliquid esset excelsum Deo, aut aliquid tutum superbiae, erexerunt turrim; quasi ne diluvio, si postea fieret, delerentur. Audierant enim et recensuerant quia omnis iniquitas erat deleta diluvio: ab iniquitate temperare nolebant; altitudinem turris contra diluvium requirebant; aedificaverunt turrim excelsam. Vidit Deus superbiam ipsorum, et hunc errorem illis immitti fecit, ut non se cognoscerent loquentes; et factae sunt diversae linguae per superbiam. Si superbia fecit diversitates linguarum, humilitas Christi congregavit diversitates linguarum. Iam quod illa turris dissociaverat, Ecclesia colligit. De una lingua factae sunt multae; noli mirari, superbia hoc fecit: de multis linguis fit una; noli mirari, caritas hoc fecit. Quia etsi soni diversi linguarum sunt, in corde unus Deus invocatur, una pax custoditur. Unde debuit ergo, carissimi, demonstrari Spiritus sanctus, unitatem quamdam designans, nisi per columbam, ut pacatae Ecclesiae diceretur: Una est columba mea? Unde debuit humilitas, nisi per avem simplicem et gementem, non per avem superbam et exaltantem se sicut corvus?

S. Aurelii Augustini, In Evangelium Ioannis Tractatus, vi. 10.

Blindness of the Ungodly

Oremus et pro perfidis Judæis: ut Deus et Dominus noster auferat velamen de cordibus eorum; ut et ipsi agnoscant Jesum Christum, Dominum nostrum. (Non respondetur ‘Amen’, nec dicitur ‘Oremus’, aut ‘Flectamus genua’, aut ‘Levate’, sed statim dicitur:) Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui etiam judaicam perfidiam a tua misericordia non repellis: exaudi preces nostras, quas pro illius populi obcæcatione deferimus; ut, agnita veritatis tuæ luce, quæ Christus est, a suis tenebris eruantur. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus: per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Oratio pro Judæis, Missale Romanum (as the text and rubrics stood before 1955).

In view of the multitudes from all nations who have become zealous believers in these books, it is laughably absurd to tell us that it is impossible to persuade a Gentile to learn the Christian faith from Jewish books. Indeed, it is a great confirmation of our faith that such important testimony is borne by enemies. The believing Gentiles cannot suppose these testimonies to Christ to be recent forgeries; for they find them in books held sacred for so many ages by those who crucified Christ, and still regarded with the highest veneration by those who every day blaspheme Christ. If the prophecies of Christ were the production of the preachers of Christ, we might suspect their genuineness. But now the preacher expounds the text of the blasphemer. In this way the Most High God orders the blindness of the ungodly for the profit of the saint, in His righteous government bringing good out of evil, that those who by their own choice live wickedly may be, in His just judgment, made the instruments of His will. So, lest those that were to preach Christ to the world should be thought to have forged the prophecies which speak of Christ as to be born, to work miracles, to suffer unjustly, to die, to rise again, to ascend to heaven, to publish the gospel of eternal life among all nations, the unbelief of the Jews has been made of signal benefit to us; so that those who do not receive in their heart for their own good these truths, carry, in their hands for our benefit the writings in which these truths are contained. And the unbelief of the Jews increases rather than lessens the authority of the books, for this blindness is itself foretold. They testify to the truth by their not understanding it. By not understanding the books which predict that they would not understand, they prove these books to be true.

St. Augustine, Contra Faustum Manichæum, xvi. 21.

Kingdoms and Robberies

Remota itaque iustitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia? quia et latrocinia quid sunt nisi parua regna? Manus et ipsa hominum est, imperio principis regitur, pacto societatis astringitur, placiti lege praeda diuiditur. Hoc malum si in tantum perditorum hominum accessibus crescit, ut et loca teneat sedes constituat, ciuitates occupet populos subiuget, euidentius regni nomen adsumit, quod ei iam in manifesto confert non dempta cupiditas, sed addita inpunitas. Eleganter enim et ueraciter Alexandro illi Magno quidam comprehensus pirata respondit. Nam cum idem rex hominem interrogaret, quid ei uideretur, ut mare haberet infestum, ille libera contumacia: Quod tibi, inquit, ut orbem terrarum; sed quia ego exiguo nauigio facio, latro uocor; quia tu magna classe, imperator.

Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you who does it with a great fleet are styled emperor.

St. Augustine, The City of God Against the Pagans, IV. 4.

As Courtly or Country Vessels

But Thou, O my God, hadst already taught me by wonderful and secret ways, and therefore I believe that Thou taughtest me, because it is truth, nor is there besides Thee any teacher of truth, where or whencesoever it may shine upon us. Of Thyself therefore had I now learned, that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly, because eloquently; nor therefore falsely, because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious; nor, again, therefore true, because rudely delivered; nor therefore false, because the language is rich; but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food; and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels; either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes.

— St. Augustine, Confessions, Book V., Chapter vi.