Advent through the centuries: the sixteenth century

Monday, December 16, 2013
The sixteenth century of the Church

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing, among whom the god of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,” is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the face of Christ.


Menno Simons, early 16th century

Faithful reader, observe, that although I do not comprehend the Almighty, only and eternal God in his eternal, divine being, in the dominion of his glory, in the creation and preservation of his creatures, in the reward of both the good and the evil, and in many of his works, yet I do truly believe it, and for this reason: Because the Scripture teaches so; in like manner I can not comprehend how, or in what manner the incomprehensible, eternal Word became flesh or man in Mary; nevertheless I do truly believe that he became man, because the Scripture teaches so.

Inasmuch as we clearly find and know that the Holy Ghost has hidden this mystery in the Scriptures, and that he has not, in any manner, revealed it unto us, neither by prophet, apostle nor by the Son himself; and, inasmuch as it is manifest that it can not be explained by intellect how short or how long; how near or how far he was to the Father; or whether at birth, he became separate from the Father or not; as he is a Spirit; besides, as we learn from history, and find in our own time how many piercing eyes are dazzled by this impenetrable brightness: therefore I warn all pious hearts that would walk with a good conscience before their God, not to speculate about this ineffable and indescribable majesty of the immeasurable, eternal Godhead and not to conclude, assert, teach or maintain any thing more than the Holy Ghost has revealed and taught, lest they, by their fancies, make themselves a god which is not revealed unto them, by the Scriptures.

Triptych of Madonna and Child from Ethiopia, Early 16th cenutry.
Triptych of Madonna and Child from Ethiopia, Early 16th cenutry.


A Christmas Prayer, by Martin Luther

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient song,

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given
While angels sing with pious mirth.
A glad new year to all the earth!


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