Friday, 13 January 2012

St Hilary of Poitiers

                                          The Church of St Hilaire-le-Grand in Poitiers

My first church as a parish priest was dedicated to Saint Hilary. It had started life as a post-war prefabricated building, along the lines of the 'tin tabernacles,' unmistakably 'Catholic' in its interior but architecturally about as far removed from the great church of St Hilary in Poitiers as you could imagine, but nevertheless a living witness to the Faith and the love of God in what had become, to the great distress of its older residents, a run-down and increasingly violent, socially and spiritually impoverished housing estate.

Little did I think that one day, in France, we would be within easy reach (in French travelling terms, anyway) of Poitiers itself.

"When we speak of the reality of Christ's nature being in us, we would be speaking foolishly and impiously - had we not learned it from Him. For He Himself says: 'My Flesh is truly Food, and My Blood is truly Drink. He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood will remain in Me and I in him.' As to the reality of His Flesh and Blood, there is no room left for doubt, because now, both by the declaration of the Lord Himself and by our own faith, it is truly the Flesh and it is truly Blood. And These Elements bring it about, when taken and consumed, that we are in Christ and Christ is in us. Is this not true? Let those who deny that Jesus Christ is true God be free to find these things untrue. But He Himself is in us through the flesh and we are in Him, while that which we are with Him is in God."

St Hilary of Poitiers, De Trinitate [8,14]

 The Shrine of Saint Hilary

Father, keep us from vain strife of words. Grant to us constant profession of the Truth. Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith so that we may hold fast to that which we professed when we were baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that we may have Thee for our Father,  that we may abide in Thy Son and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments will not be published