Thursday, December 01, 2022

Origen on the Gift of Faith

Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Books 13-32, Book 13 (at John 4:42), section 354  trans. Ronald E. Heine, p. 144, Catholic University of America Press (1993) (Based on Greek)

For this reason, those who walk by sight, as it were, would be said to be engaged in those gifts which come first, "the word of wisdom" given by the Spirit of God, and the "word of knowledge according to the same Spirit." Those who walk by faith, on the other hand, are inferior to the former in rank, although faith is a gift according to the saying, "And to another, faith in the same Spirit."

Commentary on the Gospel According to John, Books 13-32, Book 20 (at John 8:46), section 285 trans. Ronald E. Heine, p. 264, Catholic University of America Press (1993) (Based on Greek)

But when we contemplate what believing is in the proper sense, insofar as "everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God," and when we perceive how far short we fall of believing in this manner, let us respond as follows, exhorting the Physician of the eyes of soul by his wisdom and beneficence to do everything to uncover our eyes, which are still covered by the shame we feel because of evil, according to what is said somewhere, "Our shame has covered us." For he will listen to us when we confess the reasons we do not yet believe, and help us as those who are sick and in need of a physician, and work with us that we receive the gift of believing, which is placed third in Paul's catalogue of gifts, after the word of wisdom and word of understanding, to which he adds, "To another, faith in the same Spirit." He says of this gift also in other passages, "For it has been given to you by God not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for him." 

Origen, Homilies on Luke, Fragments on Luke, Fragment 232 (on Luke 19:26), trans. Joseph T. Lienhard, S.J., p. 220, Catholic University of America Press (1996) (N.B. "the Greek fragments are not always trustworthy.  Most of them come from catenae ... The editors of the catenae often shortened, condensed, or rearranged the passages from the Fathers that they used." p. xxxvi) 

The Savior says, "He who has a virtue as the fruit of his labors and sweat also receives something more from God, just as the one who has the faith that we can muster will be given the gift of faith. And simply, if someone has one of those things that come to be by effort, and that are bettered by attention and care, God will give what is lacking. But, the one who is useless and does not pass the Word on to many will be deprived of what he had, and punished.

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