Friday, May 11, 2012

Today's Readings and Doctor of the Church: St. Ambrose of Milan

Click here for today's Scripture readings.

And our Doctor of the Day is St. Ambrose of Milan.

St. Ambrose of Milan was born in 340 and died in 397. He was bishop of Milan and a teacher to St. Augustine- another Doctor of the Church. St. Ambrose wrote about a lot of things and is sometimes called the ‘Patron of the Veneration of Mary’. We celebrate his liturgical feast day on December 7.  Ambrose was born into a noble family and was both a civil and religious leader. He wasn’t actually chosen by the Pope to be bishop of Milan, instead, he was so well-loved by the people there, that they acclaimed him bishop. The Pope then approved the acclamation. Perhaps Ambrose’s greatest contribution to our Catholic tradition is the introduction of lectio divina. I’ve talked about lectio before: it’s a prayerful way to read and meditate on Sacred Scripture. It had been something that only monks did. But Ambrose brought it to the western Church and to common practice. Ambrose taught of the great depth and meaning and value of Sacred Scripture- something that we can still embrace today. Ambrose also wrote a good deal about the Virgin Mother of God, Mary. His famous work is called De Virginitate. Ambrose had a motto: “To us Christ is all!”  As a bishop he was dedicated to protecting his flock from heresies and other dangers; he was recorded as saying, “The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world: it, therefore, remains unmoved.”

We ask St. Ambrose to pray us today. May we be unmoved by the dangers that surround us: our doubts, fears, anxieties and all the rest. We are confident and unafraid: To us, too, Christ is all! Amen.

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