Though I love teaching theology to college and graduate students (and learning much in the process), the theological high point of my week is the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. For this reason I have a special fondness for the saint we honor today: the 5th century bishop of Ravenna, Peter Chrysologus.
Peter’s “golden speech” was his loving proclamation of God’s Word in straightforward and concrete homilies, of which more than 150 have survived.
Here is a portion of one of his best known:
Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers upon you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet and the cross on your forehead your unfailing protection.
Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God which he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the spirit.
Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice.
God desires not death, but faith. God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender. God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the free offering of yourself.