Author Archives: Matthew Phillips

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, Mary, medieval | Leave a comment

John Locke on the Study of History

“With Geography, Chronology ought to go hand in hand.  I mean that general part of it, so that he may have in his Mind a view of the whole current of time, and the several considerable Epochs that are made … Continue reading

Posted in education, John Locke, Learning | Leave a comment

An Ardent Lover

“When that which is loved is at hand, love thrives; when absent it languishes.  This is simply that weariness of impatient desire by which the mind of the ardent lover is necessarily afflicted when the loved one is absent; wholly … Continue reading

Posted in Bernard of Clairvaux, Love | Leave a comment

Who Can Keep Silent?

“Who can contemplate Eternity being born, Power itself failing, Bread going hungry, the Spring itself growing thirsty, without becoming speechless?  But who can contemplate the beginning of our salvation, the day of human healing, without bursting forth in a voice … Continue reading

Posted in Aelred of Rievaulx, Christ, Christmas, Incarnation, medieval | Leave a comment

Anselm on the Incarnation

In the late eleventh century, a famous theologian wrote a book called: Cur deus homo (usually translated as Why God Became a Man).  Born in Aosta in modern northern Italy in 1033, Anselm left his home in the late 1050s … Continue reading

Posted in Anselm of Bec, Incarnation | Leave a comment