On the Noetic Sun, Moon and Stars

St. Gregory of Tours ca. 538-594

When the Lawgiver-prophet began to speak of the creation of the world and to show the Lord forming the expanse of the heavens by the majesty of His right hand, he added, “And God made two great lights and the stars and placed them in the firmament of heaven, so that they rule over the day and the night and shine in the firmament of heaven” (Gen. 1:16-17). Likewise, in the firmament of human understanding He placed – as the authority of the Fathers affirms – two great lights, that is, Christ and the Church, in order that they shine in the darkness of ignorance and illuminate our humble intelligence as the Evangelist John says of the Lord, because truly He is the light of the world, Who “enlightens every man who comes into the world” (Jn. 1:9) He also placed in this firmament stars, that is, the patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, who instruct us with their doctrine and illuminate us with their miracles, as He has said in the Gospel: “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14), and again, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). The Apostles, to whom these words were addressed, have rightly been taken for the whole Church, which does not have wrinkles and which remains wihout blemish, as the Apostle says: “That He might present the Church to Himself pure, having no blemish or wrinkle or anything similar.” (Eph. 5:27)

Now, thanks to the doctrine of the Apostles there are up to our times men who, like unto stars in this world, not only were resplendent by the light of their merits, but also shone by the grandeur of their teachings; and who have lighted the whole universe by the rays of their preaching, going to teach in every place, founding monasteries for divine worship, instructing men to abstain from earthly cares and to despise the darkness of concupiscence in order to follow the true God, by Whom everything has been created. (Vita Patrum: The Life of the Fathers by St. Gregory of Tours trans. by Hieromonk Seraphim Rose. Chap. 18 pp.275-276)

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