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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Harmonious Working Together, Part II

Saint Clement I of Rome

Continued from yesterday…

Let us, then, preserve the unity of the body that we form in Christ Jesus, and let everyone give his neighbor the deference to which his particular gifts entitle him. Let the strong care for the weak and the weak respect the strong. Let the wealthy assist the poor and the poor man thank God for giving him someone to supply his needs. The wise man should show his wisdom not by his eloquence but by good works; the humble man should not proclaim his own humility, but leave others to do so; nor must the man who preserves his chastity ever boast of it, but recognize that the ability to control his desires has been given him by another.

Think, my brothers, of how we first came into being, of what we were at the first moment of our existence. Think of the dark tomb out of which our Creator brought us into his world where he had his gifts prepared for us even before we were born. All this we owe to him and for everything we must give him thanks. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Saint Clement I (+99) was a Roman and the third pope to rule the Roman Church after Saint Peter. He reigned toward the end of the first century. According to tradition he was probably a freed man in the imperial household and was baptized by Saint Peter. He succeeded Cletus as Pope in 91, was exiled to the Crimea by Emperor Trajan. He labored so zealously preaching the faith among the prisoners working in the mines there that he was condemned to death and thrown into the sea with an anchor around his neck.

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