Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

All We Need Is Love

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 21, 2017

Today is the anniversary of the birth and death of a towering intellectual, theological and biblical scholar, orator and polyglot fluent in speaking, reading, and writing Latin, Italian, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish, and French, renowned preacher, nuncio (diplomat of the pope) to Bavaria and Spain, minister-general of the Capuchin order, missionary, evangelist, who established Capuchin monasteries in Germany and Austria, was said to have known the entire original text of the Bible — Lorenzo da Brindisi, also more commonly known as Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619), who died on his birthday exactly 60 years later – and whose parents Guglielmo de Rossi & Elisabetta Masella gave him the birth name Julius Caesar Rossi – pretty much did it all. 

Aged 16, he entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order in Venice and received the name of Lawrence, educated at Saint Mark’s College in Venice, completed his studies of philosophy and theology at the University of Padua and was ordained a priest at 23. 

His forward thinking was evidenced more than two and a half centuries before the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed.

Like Saint Bonaventure and other Franciscan theologians, he believed that Jesus the Christ – the Son of God – would have become incarnate even if Adam had not fallen. He held that Christ’s Incarnation was such a great Mystery, that it need to be prepared for by the Immaculate Conception of His Blessed Mother that she might be a fitting dwelling place for God on Earth. 

He wrote that, “Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned.” 

“God is love,” he wrote, “and all his operations proceed from love.” 

Lawrence never forgot the purpose of his work. Saints like Lawrence show us the strength of faith and inspire us to stretch ours. They also demonstrate how all our activity needs the guidance of love.

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3 Responses to “All We Need Is Love”

  1. I’ve been particularly enjoying your posts recently, and this one is quite fascinating. In reading your account of Father Lawrence of Brindisi, I discover yet another remarkable embodiment of faith and intellect. As I was reading this, Two things came to mind that sort of dovetail into Father Lawrence’s thought. One is from an interview with Carl Jung that I read years ago. He, for different reasons that Lawrence, stated of Jesus Christ that it was inevitable that he would be born, that humanity would produce the manifestation of consciousness that he was (and I paraphrase from what I recall of the reading).

    The other is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of the christophication of the universe, as what we saw as the ultimate process of the coming parousia. It would seem that Fr. Lawrence was envisioning similar things to what both of these later thinkers would articulate.

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    • Warm Southern Breeze said

      Thanks for your kind words, Charles! I think the operative phrase is from the scripture which says in part, “slain from the foundation of the world.” That’d be Revelation 13:8, of course.
      Segue…
      One thing which I’m increasingly interested in researching is the origins & history of asceticism in the Church, and in other religions. Are you familiar with any such resources?

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      • I am certainly no expert, but I’ve had some interest in the Desert Fathers as well as in Sufism, which is a spiritual movement within Islam, the poet Rumi being one of the best known representative. Thomas Merton wrote about the Desert Fathers and I have also heard some of his lectures on the topic. I appreciate his views because he approached it as a monk and spiritual practitioner, rather than a mere historian. (Now You Know Media has remastered lots of Merton’s talks to the novices at Gethsemani Abby. I will periodically get a series from them when they have a good sale at significantly reduced prices — I can send you their website if you’re interested).

        I did a blog post a while back citing a couple of references. Here is the link (since copy and past is easier that typing out the references): https://notdarkyet-commentary.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-axial-state-of-human-heart_22.html

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