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Posts Tagged ‘St. Clement of Alexandria’

1It has been some time since I have posted on my blog.  I have been trying to respond faithfully to the changes life has brought upon me.  In doing to I have had to prioritize and make decisions about what is really important.  So I have taken an absence to my blog.  I am currently working on some content, and should be posting on a more regularly basis.  Until then please enjoy this reflection from St. Clement of Alexandria

The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil.


Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward.

The perfect person does good through love.

His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. 

But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does.

He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or divine reward.

The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God.

St. Clement of Alexandria

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Date of birth unknown; died about the year 215

Saint Clement was a great theologian and the head of The Catechetical School of Alexandria. The start of his journey in the Christian faith and most likely his birthplace Athens.

After being a servant to many theological maters Saint Clement found himself in Alexandria. He founded his school that he headed up for 20 years, and had over 180 students. Alexandria was fitting for such an endeavor. It was the center for culture and trade. It was a city mixed with culture and philosophical thought. Neo-Platonism was widespread as well as Gnosticism. The Jews also were there in large numbers, and also adopted the secular philosophical culture. Alexandria truly was the most enlightened colony of the Dispersion.

Given the landscape of Alexandria St. Clement took on the task of trying to foster up true faith among the people. He wrote the Protreptikos pros Ellenas (Hortatory Discourse to the Greeks). It was a lofty and well written appeal for the Faith. His apologetic works effectively impacted pagan and the faithful alike.

I find it very interesting the St. Clement took The Greeks science and philosophy to be like the Torah of the Hebrews. They are a preparation for the Gospel. He made sure all students were given a solid education that was both The Gospel of Christ and a sound liberal teaching.

Great regard surrounded St. Clement and his school. He was known as a man who would sit with non-christian scholars. He paved the way for his understudy Origen who is arguably one of the greatest theologians of Greek Christianity.

We should strive to be like St. Clement. Finding balance within Christian theology and liberal thought. Using Scripture, Holy Tradition, and reason (science) when it comes to our understanding of faith. Mostly to be open to positive dialog with those of other faith traditions.

Prayers
O God of unsearchable mystery, who led Clement of Alexandria to find in ancient philosophy a path to knowledge of your Word: Grant that your Church may recognize true wisdom, wherever it is found, knowing that wisdom come from you and leads to you; through our Teacher Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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