Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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we are as though possessors of camels by faith

"XXVIII.39. "He possessed seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels." Without doing violence to historical truth, we may spiritually imitate what we have heard physically. For we possess seven thousand sheep when we feed the innocent thoughts within ourselves with the fodder of truth that we have searched for in perfect purity of heart.
40. We will also have three thousand camels in our possession if we submit all that is high and curved in us to the mastery of faith and voluntarily bend ourselves down in loving humility to the knowledge of the Trinity. We indeed possess camels if we humbly submit our lofty wisdom. We certainly possess camels when we make our opinions flexible out of regard for the weaknesses of our brothers, so that we may bear one another's burdens and know how to bend down and feel pity for the weaknesses of others. Camels, which do not have cloven feet but do chew the cud, can also be understood as wise arrangements of material things; these are partly worldly and partly divine, so that it is necessary to list them as animal in a general way.

Although the arrangement of earthly matters is also useful for God's purposes, nevertheless it cannot be done well without extreme distraction of mind. Therefore, since the mind is distracted at the present time and the eternal reward is in preparation, the subject under discussion is, generally speaking, like an animal, having something prescribed and something not prescribed. It is not cloven footed, because it does not separate itself completely from all worldly occupations; nevertheless, it chews the cud, for it arranges worldly affairs wisely and hopes for heaven with a confidence bordering on certitude. And so the management of worldly affairs, like camels, is mentally in harmony with the law, but not as regards the feet. For the things that those who live rightly aspire after belong to heaven, and what belongs to this world is the work they do every day. Therefore, when we submit this management of worldly affairs to the knowledge of the Trinity, we are as though possessors of camels by faith." pg. 101, 102 Gregory the Great Bk. 1 XXVIII "Moral Reflections on the Book of Job" Volume 1 "Preface and Books 1-5"

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