Friday, January 14, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Defender of the Gospel

We are called by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation to be a sign and witness for our Faith.

Christ entrusted the Faith to the Catholic Church and we are called to be faithful in this calling.

One great hero of the Faith, St. Hilary, did just that. He was born sometime towards the end of the 3rd century of Pagan Parents.

He was given a good education but eventually he would come to study the Old and New Testaments, those writings at the time that were traditionally held to be scripture.

One of his favorite passages was Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). What a personal God he found in the Christian God compared to the distant gods of Neo-Platonism he had known.

St. Hilary became familiar with the Gospel of John and fell in love with Jesus Christ, he became convinced that Jesus truly did rise from the dead based from the Apostolic witness.

St. Hilary grew to love the Psalms and found God's attributes found there. St. Hilary wrote, "I was frankly amazed at such a clear definition of God, which expressed the incomprehensible knowledge of the divine nature in words most suited to human intelligence."

By 353 A.D., St. Hilary was made Bishop of Poitiers despite the fact that he was a married man. His devotion to God was so strong people trusted him from all over the country. His love for music kept a song in his heart. He would become known as the "First Latin Christian hymn writer" of his time.

Unfortunately, it was not all fun and games for him as he had to spend a lot of his energy combating the Arian Heresy which was rampant at the time. Even the Roman Emperor "Constantius II" was sympathetic to the Arians.

The Emperor would die in 361 and finally, the Catholic Church would begin to re-emerge through the great witness of St. Hilary. St. Hilary died in 368 about 28 years before the completion of the Council of Hippo which produced the greatest work ever done.

The compilation of the Holy Bible, the very work he had prayed so long to receive. The Church would finally declare him "Doctor of the Church" in 1851.

We can all learn from St. Hilary following his example to be steadfast to the truth. Despite the confusion and swirling seas that surrounded him, he stood up for Christ even against those who were powerful. He lived a child like faith with the strength and courage of a lion.

If you keep a song in your heart and trust in God then you can imitate St. Hilary, "Doctor of the Church"! I play the following in honor of St. Hilary who did not have the chance to see this great scene!

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