Author Archives: Matthew Phillips

Fortune Grows Cruel

“Fortune began to grow cruel and confuse everything.  Men who had easily endured hard work, dangers, uncertainty and adversity found that leisure and wealth, things desirable at other times, were a burden and the cause of misery.  And so, at … Continue reading

Posted in Rome, Sallust | Leave a comment

Love and Rewards

“God is not loved without a reward, although he should be loved without regard for one.  True charity cannot be worthless, still, as ‘it does not seek its own advantage,’ it cannot be termed mercenary.  Love pertains to the will, … Continue reading

Posted in Bernard of Clairvaux, Cistercian, Love, medieval | Leave a comment

Rewarding Merit and Confronting Evil

“The only proposals in the senate that I have seen fit to mention are particularly praiseworthy or particularly scandalous ones.  It seems to me a historian’s foremost duty to ensure that merit is recorded, and to confront evil deeds and … Continue reading

Posted in Rome, Tacitus | Leave a comment

The Meaning of Words

“The meaning of words should be carefully analyzed, and one should diligently ascertain the precise force of each and every term, both in itself and in the given context, so that one may dispel the haze of sophistries that would … Continue reading

Posted in John of Salisbury, languages, liberal arts, writing | Leave a comment

One Human Race

“For the human race is, more than any other species, at once social by nature and quarrelsome by perversion.  And the most salutary warning against this perversion or disharmony is given by the facts of human nature.  We are warned … Continue reading

Posted in Augustine of Hippo, history | Leave a comment

Never Trust a Mob

“We dare not encourage the mob very much.  It goes mad too quickly…And it is better for tyrants to wrong them a hundred times than for the mob to treat the tyrant unjustly but once.  If injustice is to be … Continue reading

Posted in government, justice, Martin Luther, Politics | Leave a comment

Faith Works: Martin Luther’s Treatise on Good Works

Lutherans should celebrate the 500th anniversary of 1520 as a much more significant event than publication of the Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.  The Indulgence Controversy and the image of Luther’s hammer has captured everyone’s imagination for a long time.  However, … Continue reading

Posted in grace, Martin Luther, Reformation | 1 Comment

On the Violence of Love

“ ‘I have been wounded by love.’ [Song of Songs 2:5 Old Latin] Love urges me to speak about love, and I willingly devote myself to its service.  Indeed, it is sweet and altogether enjoyable to speak about love (dilectione)—a … Continue reading

Posted in Love, medieval, Richard of St Victor | Leave a comment

Medieval Passover

“This holy festival, Pascha, is called a Passover because just as the Hebrew people were freed through the blood of the slaughtered lamb, from the angel, passing through Egypt for striking, so the faithful people are defended  through the blood … Continue reading

Posted in Bernard of Clairvaux, Christ, Cistercian, Cross, Honorius Augustodunensis, preaching | Leave a comment

Happy Virginity

“O happy virginity, which humility adorns; o happy humility, which virginity honors.  Humility adorns virginity, so that it might not have pride.  Virginity honors humility, so that it may not be despised.  Therefore, virginity is humble, so that it may … Continue reading

Posted in Bernard of Clairvaux, Innocent III, Mary, medieval | Leave a comment