The folly of over-exertion (Gregory the Great)

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
But some people, by running too strenuously, will overextend themselves through indiscretion. For they are wiser than necessary and place more value on themselves than on him whom they are following, deciding for themselves what virtuous deeds they will do and disregarding the commandments of him whom they are following.

Gregory the Great, Exposition on the Song of Songs (594-98), 25, trans. Mark DelCogliano (Collegeville MN: Liturgical Press, 2012), p. 127.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
Gregory is a fascinating person. Calvin called him "the last good pope." One of my favorite Gregorian quotes: ""Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist." (Letter to John IV, Archbishop of Constantinople)
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
Gregory is a fascinating person. Calvin called him "the last good pope." One of my favorite Gregorian quotes: ""Whoever calls himself universal bishop, or desires this title, is, by his pride, the precursor to the Antichrist." (Letter to John IV, Archbishop of Constantinople)

How did Gregory square being a pope with that statement? Fascinating statement. What was its context? I don't have access to his letters.
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
How did Gregory square being a pope with that statement?
If I recall correctly he wrote this prior to becoming Bishop of Rome. Yet even though he eventually attained that office, political and historical circumstances brought it about via popular acclamation, rather than being selected by a church hierarchy. And he never conceived his ecclesial power and domain in the way subsequent popes have. By all accounts he was a man of great personal piety who directed his energy and material power to helping the destitute and some great missionary endeavors (especially to Britain). Theologically he is also known as one of the most effective defenders and propagators of Chalcedonian Christianity. If one fault stands out most to me it would probably be his excessive adoration of saints and relics, which helped further entrench those cults in the Roman church.
 
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