Epistle of Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Ephesians 4:1-6

Brethren: I, a prisoner of the Lord, be- seech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called. With all humility and mildness, with patience, sup- porting one another in charity, careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all, who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.


Verse 1. Here begins the second part of this epistle, in which he exhorts them to the practice of Christian virtues. Wi.

Verse 4. In one hope of your vocation. The three great reasons that we have to love one another are contained in this verse, because we have but one body, of which Christ is the head. We are all animated by the same spirit, viz. the Holy Ghost, who is given to us all, and we all live in the same hope of eternal happiness. Calmet.

Verse 5. This contains some more reasons why Christians should love one another. We are all the servants of the same God, believe the same mysteries, and receive the same sacraments, whoever may be the dispenser of them. — One faith. As rebellion is the bane of commonwealths and kingdoms, and peace and concord the preservation of the same; so is schism, and diversity of faith or fellowship in the service of God, the calamity of the Church: and peace, unity, and uniformity, the special blessing of God therein. S. Cyprian, in his book on the unity of the Church, writeth thus: “One Church, for one is my dove. This unity of the Church, he that holdeth not, doth he think he holdeth the faith? He that withstandeth or resisteth the Church, he that resisteth Peter’s chair, upon which the Church was built, doth he trust that he is in the Church?” And again, Ep. xl. “There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair, by our Lord’s voice founded upon Peter. To set up another altar, or to constitute another priesthood, besides the one altar and the one priesthood, is impossible. Whosever gathereth elsewhere scattereth. It is adulterous, it is impious, it is sacrilegious, whatsoever is instituted by man to the breach of God’s disposition. Get ye far from such men: they are blind, and leaders of the blind.” S. Hilary also applies this text against the Arians thus: “Perilous and miserable it is that there are now among them as many faiths as wills, and as many doctrines as manners; whilst modes of faith are written as men will, or as they will, so are understood. Whereas the one truth teaches there is but one God, one Lord, one baptism, and also one faith: hence whilst more faiths are made, they begin by falling from that which is the only faith, and end in having no faith at all.” S. Hilary, l. ad Constantium Augustum.


320: Predestination

Against John Scotus

Can. 1. We have faithfully and obediently heard that Doctor of the Gentiles warning in faith and in truth: “O Timothy, guard that which has been entrusted to you, avoiding the profane novelties of words, and oppositions under the false name of knowledge, which some promising concerning faith have destroyed” [2 Tim. 6:20 f.]; and again: “Shun profane and useless talk; for they contribute much toward ungodliness, and their speech spreadest like an ulcer” [2 Tim. 2:16 f.]; and again: “Avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they beget strifes; but the servant of the Lord must not quarrel” [2 Tim. 2:23 f.] and again: “Nothing through contention, nothing through vain glory” [Phil. 2:3]: desiring to be zealous for peace and charity, in so far as God has given, attending the pious counsel of this same apostle: “Solicitous to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace” [Eph. 4:3], let us with all zeal avoid novel doctrines and presumptuous talkativeness, whence rather the smoke of contention and of scandal between brothers can be stirred up, than any increase of the fear of God arise. Without hesitation, however, to the doctors piously and correctly discussing the word of truth, and to those very clear expositors of Sacred Scripture, namely, Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and others living tranquilly in Catholic piety, we reverently and obediently submit our hearing and our understanding, and to the best of our ability we embrace the things which they have written for our salvation. For concerning the foreknowledge of God, and predestination, and other questions in which the minds of the brethren are proved not a little scandalized, we believe that we must firmly hold that only which we are happy to have drawn from the maternal womb of the Church.

1686: The Conventions of the Theologians of Germany

From the letter, "Tuas libenter,"
to the Archbishop of Munich-Freising,
Dec. 21, 1863

The foundation on which this society rests is of such a nature that it makes the divine establishment of the Church of no consequence. For, it is wholly in this: that it supposes the true Church of Jesus Christ to be composed partly of the Roman Church scattered and propagated throughout the whole world, partly, indeed, of the schism of Photius, and of the Anglican heresy, to which, as well as to the Roman Church, “there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism” [cf. Eph. 4:5]. Surely nothing should be preferable to a Catholic man than that schisms and dissensions among Christians be torn out by the roots and that all Christians be “careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” [Eph. 4:3].… But, that the faithful of Christ and the clergy should pray for Christian unity under the leadership of heretics, and, what is worse, according to an intention, polluted and infected as much as possible with heresy, can in no way be tolerated. The true Church of Jesus Christ was established by divine authority, and is known by a fourfold mark, which we assert in the Creed must be believed; and each one of these marks so clings to the others that it cannot be separated from them; hence it happens that that Church which truly is, and is called Catholic should at the same time shine with the prerogatives of unity, sanctity, and apostolic succession. Therefore, the Catholic Church alone is conspicuous and perfect in the unity of the whole world and of all nations, particularly in that unity whose beginning, root, and unfailing origin are that supreme authority and “higher principality''* of blessed PETER, the prince of the Apostles, and of his successors in the Roman Chair. No other Church is Catholic except the one which, founded on the one PETER, grows into one “body compacted and fitly joined together” [Eph. 4:16] in the unity of faith and charity.…

2279: Natural Law

From the Encyclical, "Summi Pontificatus,"
October 20, 1939

It is well established that the first and profound source of the evils by which the modern state is afflicted, from this fact, that the universal standard of morality is denied and rejected, not only in the private life of individuals but also in the state itself, and in the mutual relationships which exist between races and nations; that is, the natural law is being nullified by detraction and neglect.

This natural law rests on God as its foundation, the omnipotent creator and author of all, and likewise the supreme and most perfect legislator, the most wise and just vindicator of human actions. When the eternal Godhead is rashly denied, then the principle of all probity totters and sways, and the voice of nature becomes silent, or gradually is weakened, which teaches the unlearned as well as those who have not as yet acquired the experience of civilization what is right and what is not right; what is permitted, and what is not permitted, and warns them that some day they must render an account for their good and evil deeds before the Supreme Judge.

1956: The Unity of the Church

From the Encyclical, "Satis cognitum," June 29, 1896

But He who founded the only Church, likewise founded it as one; namely, in such a way that whoever are to be in it, would be held bound together by the closest bonds, so much so that they form one people, one kingdom, one body: “One body and one spirit, as you are called in one hope of your calling” [Eph. 4:4].… Agreement and union of minds are the necessary foundation of so great and so absolute a concord among men, from which a concurrence of wills and a similarity of action naturally arise.… Therefore, to unite the minds of men, and to effect and preserve the union of their minds, granted the existence of Holy Writ, there was great need of a certain other principle.…

296a: The Form and Minister of Baptism

From the epistle "Desiderabilem mihi"
to St. Boniface, Nov. 22, 726

You have said that some without the profession of the Creed were baptized by adulterous and unworthy priests. In these cases may your love hold to the ancient custom of the Church: that, whoever has been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, may in no case be rebaptized; for not in the name of the one baptizing, but in the name of the Trinity has one received the gift of this grace. And let that which the Apostle says be observed: One God, one faith, one baptism [Eph. 4:51. But we recommend that to such you teach more zealously the spiritual doctrine.

468: The Unity and Power of the Church

From the Bull "Unam Sanctam" November 18, 1302

With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this (Church) outside which there is no salvation nor remission of sin, the Spouse in the Canticle proclaiming: “One is my dove, my perfect one. One she is of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her” [Song. 6:8]; which represents the one mystical body whose head is Christ, of Christ indeed, as God. And in this, “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” [Eph. 4:5]. Certainly Noah had one ark at the time of the flood, prefiguring one Church which perfect on one cubit had one ruler and guide, namely Noah outside which we read all living things on the earth were destroyed. Moreover this we venerate and this alone, the Lord in the prophet saying: “Deliver, 0 God, my soul from the sword; my only one from the hand of the dog” [Ps. 21:21]. For in behalf of the soul, that is, in behalf of himself, the head itself and the body he prayed at the same time, which body he called the “Only one” namely, the Church, because of the unity of the spouse, the faith, the sacraments, and the charity of the Church. This is that “seamless tunic” of the Lord [John 19:23], which was not cut, but came forth by chance. Therefore, of the one and only Church (there is) one body, one head, not two heads as a monster, namely, Christ and Peter, the Vicar of Christ and the successor of Peter, the Lord Himself saying to Peter: “Feed my sheep” [John 21:17]. He said “My,” and generally, not individually these or those, through which it is understood that He entrusted all to him. If, therefore, the Greeks or others say that they were not entrusted to Peter and his successors, of necessity let them confess that they are not of the sheep of Christ, since the Lord says in John, “to be one flock and one Shepherd” [John 10:16].

482: The Errors of Peter John Olivi (Baptism)

From the edict "De Summa Trinitate et fide catholica"

Besides, one baptism which regenerates all who are baptized in Christ must be faithfully confessed by all just as “one God and one faith” [Eph. 4:5], which celebrated in water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we believe to be commonly the perfect remedy for salvation for adults as for children.

1647: Rationalism and Indifferentism

From the Allocution, "Singulari quadem," Dec. 9, 1854

For, it must be held by faith that outside the Apostolic Roman Church, no one can be saved; that this is the only ark of salvation; that he who shall not have entered therein will perish in the flood; but, on the other hand, it is necessary to hold for certain that they who labor in ignorance of the true religion, if this ignorance is invincible, are not stained by any guilt in this matter in the eyes of God. Now, in truth, who would arrogate so much to himself as to mark the limits of such an ignorance, because of the nature and variety of peoples, regions, innate dispositions, and of so many other things? For, in truth, when released from these corporeal chains “we shall see God as He is” [1 John 3:2], we shall understand perfectly by how close and beautiful a bond divine mercy and justice are united; but, as long as we are on earth, weighed down by this mortal mass which blunts the soul, let us hold most firmly that, in accordance with Catholic teaching, there is “one God, one faith, one baptism” [Eph. 4:5]; it is unlawful to proceed further in inquiry.

2280: The Natural Unity of the Human Race

From the Encyclical,
"Summi Pontificatus,"
October 20, 1939

[Pernicious error] is contained in the forgetfulness of that mutual relationship between men and of the love which both a common origin and the equality of the rational nature of all men demands, to whatever races they belong.… The Bible narrates that from the first marriage of man and woman all other men took their origin; and these, it relates, were divided into various tribes and nations, and were scattered over various parts of the world.… [Acts 17:26]: Therefore, by a wonderful insight of mind we can behold and contemplate the human race as a unity, because of its common origin from the Creator, according to these words: “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all” [Eph. 4:6]; and likewise, one in nature which consists of the materiality of the body and of the immortal and spiritual soul.…

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