St Augustine of AfricaDaniel saw a vision. I saw,said Daniel, and beheld a stone cut from a mountain without hands.

[…] Your honours will be aware that stones are not cut from mountains unless human hands come along to do it.

But that one was cut from a mountain without hands, and it came and broke all the kingdoms of earth into pieces.

I do not know if it conjures up before your eyes a picture of anything but Christ, of whom it is said, All the kings of the earth shall worship him.

He is the one who broke all the kingdoms of the earth into pieces.

A proud king will not have any other king ahead of him. Now all kings have Christ as their king.

So he has broken into pieces all the kingdoms of the earth, that he himself may reign.

And what does it say? This stone grew, and became a great mountain, such that it filled the whole face of the earth.

Now I imag­ine that you recognize Christ. You have heard about the land: Those who have given themselves to me shall possess the land.

You have also heard about the mountain: And shall inhabit my holy mountain.

Having therefore these promises, beloved, let us cleanseourselves of every defilement of flesh and spirit.

Cut from a mountain, and it became a mountain by growing. But what sort of mountain? Not one like the mountain it was cut from.

You see, about the mountain it was cut from it does not say, ‘It grew and filled the whole earth.’

So there are two mountains. The first mountain is the synagogue, the second the Church.

[…] In order that the Christian people might become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, a stone was cut from that other mountain, because Christ came from the Jews.

So why without hands? Without human agency. Christ, you see, was born of a virgin, he was conceived apart from conjugal embrace.

So that is the mountain we have in Christ; we have the Church, let us love the Church.

This mountain grew and filled the whole wide world.

[…] So you there, love this mountain and make yourself ready to inhabit this mountain forever.

And cleanse yourself from every defilement of flesh and spirit, having such promises.

What prom­ises? If you want to possess the land and inhabit the holy mountain, cleanse yourself from every defilement of flesh and spirit.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430): Sermon 45, 6-8; from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Friday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year 2.

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