More Words for Wednesday – Clement of Rome

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
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A good workman can accept the reward of his labor with assurance, but one who is idle and shiftless cannot look his employer in the face. That is why we must devote ourselves heart and soul to the task of well-doing, for everything comes from the hand of God and He has already warned us,“See, the Lord is approaching, and His reward before Him, to pay every man as his work deserves.”

– Clement, 4th bishop of Rome, 90-100 AD

1st Epistle to the Corinthians, Ch.34

I’ve been reading a lot of early Church writings lately, because I have this crazy idea that maybe they understood what Jesus intended His disciples to be doing with their lives, and why, with more clarity than we tend to display today. (Of course, that idea is not original to me; I am indebted to my friend and spiritual director, Phil, for handing me Pagan Christianity to challenge me, and then Justin Martyr to convince me, that we have gone a really long way down a side path, and making it really hard to hear our Shepherd’s voice.) Every so often I get another confirmation that I am on a more fruitful track now, and I wanted to share this one with anyone out there who ever wonders why we do what we do – don’t be afraid to ask questions! There may be very good reasons why, but you should know what they are, not just take things for granted.

OK, not starting a rant, just sharing a thought. What do you think about the way the early Christians lived out their faith? Is there a valid criticism of “modern” practices implied or expressed by the words of these men who followed so very closely to our Lord, not least in time? I would like to hear your opinions.

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