November 23, 2005

Today is the feast of Pope St. Clement...

... martryed in 101 A.D.. I didn't realize that his letters to the Corinthians were read in churches and nearly included in the canon of Scripture. "Both St. Paul in 1 Corinthians and St. Clement here in 1 Clement are writing to the same city-church (within 35-40 years of each other); and that both these scriptures were read side-by-side by this church -- both being considered Divinely-inspired by the Corinthians for 300 years!" (from here) And according to this: "The Coptic-Arabic Church include with the canonical Scriptures the Apostolic Constitutions and the Clementine Epistles". Here are St. Clement's own words to the Corinthians:
"Let every one," says the saint, "be subject to another, according to the order in which he is placed by the gift of God. Let not the strong man neglect the care of the weak; let the weak see that he reverence the strong. Let the rich man distribute to the necessity of the poor, and let the poor bless God who give :h him one to supply his want. Let the wise man show forth his wisdom, not in words, but in good works. Let him that is humble, never speak of himself, or make show of his actions. Let him that is pure in the flesh, not grow proud of it, knowing that it was another who gave him the gift of continence. They who are great cannot yet subsist without those that are little; nor the little without the great. In our body, the head without the feet is nothing; neither the feet without the head. And the smallest members of our body are yet both necessary and useful to the whole." Thus the saint teaches that the lowest in the church may be the greatest before God, if they are most faithful in the discharge of their respective duties.

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