Feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Today we celebrate St. Cyril, the famous 4th Century Bishop of Jerusalem. Here is a cool quote of his:

But in learning the faith and in professing it, acquire and keep that only, which is now delivered to you by the Church, and which has been built up strongly out of all the Scriptures...So for the present time listen while I simply say the Creed, and commit it to memory; but at the proper season expect confirmation out of Holy Scripture of each part of the contents. For the articles of the faith were not composed as seemed good to men; but the most important points collected out of all the Scripture make up one complete teaching of the faith. And just as the mustard seed in one small grain contains many branches, so also this faith has embraced in few words all the knowledge of godliness in the Old and New Testaments. Take heed then, brethren, and "hold fast to the traditions" (2 Thess. 2:15) which you now recieve, and "write them on the table of your heart" (Prov. 7:3).

Now you'll probably want to whoop out your United Methodist Hymnal, turn to 880 and confess the Nicene Creed in a strong voice, or maybe the Apostles' Creed at 882, so as to remember and savor the authoritative and reliable summary of the Biblical faith, the Biblical story, that has been handed down to us in the tradition of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church, of which we are a part.
Those of us who hear and use the Creeds frequently should not forget the power of what they represent: a universal faith. I grew up saying the Creeds at my Methodist Church and my Catholic school. After wandering some years through Bible Churches and "Free Churches" the yearning for an understanding of the Bible, an authoritative interpretation of the basics, that was simple and universal - not the opinion or perspective of a single individual or cultural group, but an understanding of the faith that was truly 'catholic' - is part of what attracted me back to the Methodist/Anglican tradition with our lifting up of the ancient Creeds.

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Blogger Fr. Philip said...

Amen. Not just "read" the Creed with fervor, but say it. I always found it interesting that St. Cyril says to memorize this, write this on our hearts and then the Scriptures will be opened later. May God bless us with the mind and heart of the Church!

9:47 AM, March 19, 2010  

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