Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tertullian

I was just watching a program about Tertullian. He gave us the famous quote, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church," and  is considered to be the founder of Western theology. He was highly educated, brilliant and a prolific writer. I've heard his name and read passing references to him over the years but  I never looked closely at him.  When I got around to studying the Church Fathers something jumped out at me. Why wasn't he St. Tertullian? He was not cannonized because in his middle age he completely blew it. He fell into the thrall of a heresy called Montanism. Schism being what it is, he eventually got tired of that and went off to something else. He died, apparently not fully reconciled with the Church. How did this happen? It's unclear but perhaps he trusted his own intellect too much. At any rate Tertullian is a good, though frightening example of how even those with a high degree of blessings can fail. You don't arrive at holiness and then coast through life. It's a fight every day.

7 comments:

Susannah Maria said...

Hi, I really like the picture at the top of your blog. Do you know the title of it, or where it is on the internet in its full form? Thanks!

Joe Potillor said...

Indeed, so, we must pray to persevere, good thoughts :)

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I pray to St. Joseph for the grace of final perseverance. Life is hard and with age come more issues that often tempt us to discouragement and even despair. It's hard to imitate the saints who rejoiced in their sufferings. St. Joseph, help us to say yes to God's will every moment, especially the moment of our death.

Dymphna said...

Susannah Maria, I don't know the name but the painter is Luigi Busi.

Gina Guarnere said...

Yeesh. That is a scary thought. :( Good reflection, though. Very necessary. <3

Old Bob said...

Yep, we can never relax our vigilance, never.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Nevertheless, the fact remains, Tertullian was a lay writer whom we still may read, that in spite of his not being fully reconciled with the Church in his lifetime.

You taught me sth new, I thought he died a Montanist.