Baldwin of Forde: “The Word of God is Living and Powerful and More Piercing than a Two-Edged Sword” Tuesday, Nov 1 2011 

The Word of God is plainly shown in all its strength and wisdom to those who seek out Christ, who is the Word, the power and the wisdom of God.

This Word was with the Father in the beginning, and in its own time was revealed to the apostles, then preached by them and humbly received in faith by believers.

So, the Word is in the Father, as well as on our lips and in our hearts.

This Word of God is living; the Father gave it life in itself, just as he has life in himself.

For this reason it not only is alive, but it is life, as he says of himself: I am the way, the truth and the life.

Since he is life, he is both living and life-giving. For, as the Father raises up the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to those he chooses.

He is life-giving when he calls the dead from the grave and says: Lazarus, come forth.

When this Word is preached, in the very act of preaching it gives to its own voice, which is heard outwardly, a certain power which is perceived inwardly, so much so, that the dead are brought back to life and by these praises the sons of Abraham are raised from the dead.

This Word then is alive in the heart of the Father, on the lips of the preacher, and in the hearts of those who believe and love him.

Since this Word is so truly alive, undoubtedly it is full of power.

It is powerful in creation, powerful in the government of the universe, powerful in the redemption of the world. For what is more powerful, more effective?

Who shall speak of its power; who shall make all its praises heard?

It is powerful in what it accomplishes, powerful when preached. It does not come back empty; it bears fruit in all to whom it is sent.

It is powerful and more piercing than any two-edged sword when it is believed and loved. For what is impossible to the believer? What is difficult for a lover?

When this Word is spoken, its message pierces the heart like the sharp arrows of a strong man, like nails driven deep; it enters so deeply that it penetrates to the innermost recess.

This Word is much more piercing than any two-edged sword, inasmuch as it is stronger than any courage or power, sharper than any shrewdness of human ingenuity, keener than all human wisdom, or the subtlety of learned argument.

Baldwin of Forde (1125-1190): Tract. 6 from the Office of Readings for Friday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time@ Catholic Radio Dramas.

Advertisements

Baldwin of Forde: The Two Resurrections Friday, May 20 2011 

Our Lord’s glorious resurrection teaches us that the fruit of obedience is resurrection and life.

These were the fruit of the obedience practised by Christ, who is the resurrection and the life personified.

However, Christ died only once, and rose again once only. A single resurrection answered to a single death.

But for us who have been dragged down to the depths by the burden of a twofold mortality, one resurrection cannot suffice.

Because we have fallen so low, a single resurrection is not enough to bring us to the blessed life of heaven. We need two.

Nevertheless the resurrection of Christ is the cause and exemplar, the model and the effective sign of both our resurrec­tions, first and second alike.

It is by our faith in and our sacramental imitation of the resurrection of Christ that we are recreated, justified, sanctified, and raised from death.

This is our first resurrection, the resurrection of our soul, through which we are now dead to sin and live for holiness, walking in newness of life as we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that we have at last fully realized our adoption as God’s sons.

That will take place at the second resurrection, when Christ will refashion these wretched bodies of ours and make them resemble his own glorious body.

Our first resurrection begins when we first show obedience to God, and is brought to completion by our perseverance in doing his will.

Our second resurrection begins with our glorification and endures for all eternity.

If we continue in obedience till the end of our lives, then we shall also abide in a glory that knows no end.

The first resurrection has a glory of its own, something in which both body and soul can rejoice.

On this subject we may consult the Apostle Paul.

Where bodily glory here below is concerned he has this to say: Far be it from me to glory in anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As for the glory enjoyed by the soul, he explains that, our glory is in the hope of our adoption as God’s sons.

But the glory belonging to the second resurrection will be the glory of the soul that sees God in the glory of his divinity, and the glory of the body in its state of incorruptibility, when this perishable nature of ours puts on imperishability and this mortal nature puts on immortality.

Baldwin of Forde (1125-1190): Tract. 4 (PL 204:429-431.441-442); from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide, Year 1