(Repost) Athanasian Creed : A Profession of the True Christian Faith

(Originally posted on 2 May 2014)

The Athanasian Creed by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, the courageous and zealous defender of the faith against the heretics who refused to see the truth in Christ, that He is fully divine and man, united in one person of Jesus Christ, who as the Son is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit as the Most Holy Trinity, One God but Three Divine Persons.

 

Text of the Athanasian Creed:

 

Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem: Quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit, absque dubio in aeternum peribit.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

 

Fides autem catholica haec est: ut unum Deum in Trinitate, et Trinitatem in unitate veneremur. Neque confundentes personas, neque substantiam separantes.

And the Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence.

 

Alia est enim persona Patris alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti: Sed Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti una est divinitas, aequalis gloria, coeterna maiestas. Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis et Spiritus Sanctus.

For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost.

 

Increatus Pater, increatus Filius, increatus et Spiritus Sanctus. Immensus Pater, immensus Filius, immensus et Spiritus Sanctus. Aeternus Pater, aeternus Filius, aeternus et Spiritus Sanctus.

The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal.

 

Et tamen non tres aeterni, sed unus aeternus. Sicut non tres increati, nec tres immensi, sed unus increatus, et unus immensus.

And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite.

 

Similiter omnipotens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omnipotens et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen non tres omnipotentes, sed unus omnipotens.

So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty.

 

Ita Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen non tres dii, sed unus est Deus. Ita Dominus Pater, Dominus Filius, Dominus et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen non tres Domini, sed unus est Dominus.

So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord.

 

Quia, sicut singillatim unamquamque personam Deum ac Dominum confiteri christiana veritate compellimur: Ita tres Deos aut tres Dominos dicere catholica religione prohibemur.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords.

 

Pater a nullo est factus: nec creatus, nec genitus. Filius a Patre solo est: non factus, nec creatus, sed genitus. Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus, nec creatus, nec genitus, sed procedens.

The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding.

 

Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres: unus Filius, non tres Filii: unus Spiritus Sanctus, non tres Spiritus Sancti. Et in hac Trinitate nihil prius aut posterius, nihil maius aut minus: Sed totae tres personae coaeternae sibi sunt et coaequales.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.

 

Ita, ut per omnia, sicut iam supra dictum est, et unitas in Trinitate, et Trinitas in unitate veneranda sit. Qui vult ergo salvus esse, ita de Trinitate sentiat.

So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

 

Sed necessarium est ad aeternam salutem, ut incarnationem quoque Domini nostri Iesu Christi fideliter credat. Est ergo fides recta ut credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus noster Iesus Christus, Dei Filius, Deus pariter et homo est.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

 

Deus est ex substantia Patris ante saecula genitus: et homo est ex substantia matris in saeculo natus. Perfectus Deus, perfectus homo: ex anima rationali et humana carne subsistens. Aequalis Patri secundum divinitatem: minor Patre secundum humanitatem.

God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood.

 

Qui licet Deus sit et homo, non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus. Unus autem non conversione divinitatis in carnem, sed assumptione humanitatis in Deum. Unus omnino, non confusione substantiae, sed unitate personae.

Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood by God. One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person.

 

Nam sicut anima rationalis et caro unus est homo: ita Deus et homo unus est Christus. Qui passus est pro salute nostra: descendit ad inferos: tertia die resurrexit a mortuis.

For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead.

 

Ascendit ad in caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis. Inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. Ad cujus adventum omnes homines resurgere habent cum corporibus suis; Et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem. Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam aeternam: qui vero mala, in ignem aeternum.

He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

 

Haec est fides catholica, quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit.

This is the Catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day from the Scripture readings all of us have heard about how the Church of God was persecuted by those who oppose it and refused to believe in the truth of Christ. We heard how St. Stephen the Deacon and Protomartyr, the first martyr of the Church, died defending his faith, after standing up for the Lord and proclaiming the fullness of His truth before the Jewish leaders.

The Jewish leaders, the elders and the chief priests refused to listen to the truth, they covered their ears, refusing to listen to the truth, as true and painfully real as it was to them, which St. Stephen had delivered to them. They hardened their hearts and closed the doors of their minds, rejecting the truth to continue living in the denial of the truth. That was why they persecuted the Lord, and then the disciples and followers of the Lord afterwards.

And what was this truth that St. Stephen had so boldly and courageously proclaimed? If we paid close attention to his testimony, it is about the Lord and His great love for each and every one of us, which had been manifested through the coming of the One Who is the Saviour of the whole world and of all mankind, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

In the Gospel today, we heard the Lord Jesus Himself, telling the people who doubted Him and wanted Him to show them a miraculous sign from heaven, that He is the real and true miracle beyond any other miracles, far greater than all the miraculous deeds He had performed before the people in various places, greater than all the healing and the opening of the eyes of the blind, the making of deaf and mute people to be able to hear and speak again, and the healing of the paralytic and lepers.

It was by giving Himself as the Bread of Life for all those who have received Him and accepted His truth that the Lord had revealed Himself wonderfully before all people. He brought forth a new life for those who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour, and through the giving of His Body and Blood, He has reunited us all with Himself, reconciling us with the One Who gave us life.

It was for this truth and for this Lord, that St. Stephen had stood up for his faith for, as he refused to remain idle and silent while the chief priests and the elders tried hard to deny the truth of Jesus, and also about His resurrection from the dead. St. Stephen spoke up for the Lord, in front of the people, so that all those who have ears and listened, might be touched in their hearts and be converted to the Lord, even though there were perhaps many others who remained stubborn.

Today, we also celebrate the feast of St. Athanasius, a renowned and holy saint, who lived through a particularly difficult time for the Church. As one of the most prominent of the leaders of the Church at his time, leading the Church in Alexandria in Egypt, he had to deal with the enormous impact of the heresy caused by one Arius, the one who brought about the Arian heresy.

Arius was a popular preacher who swayed many people to follow his false teachings and therefore into heresy. There were many of the faithful, priests and even bishops who believed in Arius’ teachings, claiming that Jesus our Lord, was not God and Man as the Church had taught, but only merely Man, a created Being instead of the Creator. This false teachings had misled many of the faithful into the wrong path.

And St. Athanasius was determined to root out the heresy from among his flock, persevering against opposition and challenges that he had to encounter as he went about preaching the truth against the heresies that Arius had preached. St. Athanasius remained firm in his convictions to guide his flock, the people of God entrusted to his care, into the right path, and therefore, even though there were priests and bishops who opposed him, slandered him and accused him wrongly with false accusations, St. Athanasius never stopped his hard work.

In total, St. Athanasius had to endure five exiles from his See, because of all the oppositions he encountered. And every time, his enemies and all those who refused to listen to the truth St. Athanasius preached came about with new reason to accuse him of wrongdoing, resulting in great difficulties that the holy saint had to endure. Yet, St. Athanasius never gave up, and continued to do great deeds among the people, converting countless souls to the Lord.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, shall we all follow in the footsteps of St. Athanasius? Shall we walk in the path of his faith, his commitment and devotion to serve the Lord? There will indeed be challenges, opposition and difficulties, as once encountered by St. Stephen the Martyr, St. Athanasius himself, and many other holy saints and martyrs of the Church. But they all placed their trust in God, and never gave up, for if they had given up, many souls would have been lost to hell.

Let us all renew therefore our own conviction in faith, our commitment and devotion to the Lord and His ways. May the Lord bless us and strengthen our faith, so that we may continue to grow closer to Him, and remain true and faithful to Him as St. Stephen, St. Athanasius and the other holy men and women of God had done. May God be with us all, in our lives, now and forever. Amen.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
John 6 : 30-35

At that time, the Jews said to Jesus, “Show us miraculous signs, that we may see and believe You. What sign do You perform? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert; as Scripture says : They were given bread from heaven to eat.”

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true Bread from heaven. The Bread God gives is the One Who comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” And they said to Him, “Give us this bread always.”

Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to Me shall never be hungry, and whoever believes in Me shall never be thirsty.”

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White
Psalm 30 : 3cd-4, 6ab and 7b and 8a, 17 and 21ab

Be a Rock of refuge for me, a Fortress for my safety. For You are my Rock and my Stronghold, lead me for Your Name’s sake.

Into Your hands I commend my spirit; but I put all my trust in the Lord. I will rejoice and be glad in Your love, for You have seen my affliction.

Make Your face shine upon Your servant; save me in Your love. In the shelter of Your presence You hide them from human wiles; You keep them in Your dwelling.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017 : 3rd Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White
Acts 7 : 51 – Acts 8 : 1a

Stephen said to the Council, “But you are a stubborn people, you hardened your hearts and closed your ears. You have always resisted the Holy Spirit just as your fathers did. Was there a prophet whom your ancestors did not persecute? They killed those who announced the coming of the Just One Whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the Law through the Angels but did not fulfil it.”

When the Council heard the reproach Stephen made against them, they were enraged and they gnashed their teeth against him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus at God’s right hand, so he declared : “I see the heavens open and the Son of Man at the right hand of God.”

But they shouted and covered their ears with their hands and rushed together upon him. They brought him out of the city and stoned him, and the witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen prayed saying : “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Then he knelt down and said in a loud voice : “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he died. Saul was there, approving his murder. This was the beginning of a great persecution against the Church in Jerusalem.

Monday, 2 May 2016 : Sixth Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard the words of the Sacred Scriptures telling us about the works and journeys of St. Paul the Apostle during his time when he journeyed through the Eastern Mediterranean regions, visiting cities after cities, towns after towns, and encouraging the faith of the Christian communities which he was visiting.

There were people who welcomed him and helped him just as the faithful had in some of the cities that St. Paul visited, but in even more occasions, there were also many of those who refused to listen to his words, rejected him, cast stone at him and ejected him out of their cities and towns. This is just as what Jesus our Lord Himself had foretold to His disciples, that they would be accepted, but also would be rejected as well.

And in the Gospel today, Jesus encouraged His disciples that He would not abandon them to face the challenges of the world alone on their own. He would send them the Helper, His own Holy Spirit, Whom He would send to those whom He had deemed to be worthy, His servants and people who went about preaching His truth and His Good News to mankind.

As we approach the coming of the feast and solemnity of Pentecost Sunday, which will be in about two weeks’ time, we are going to hear more and more about the promise of God’s Holy Spirit, which He shall pour down and bestow on all those whom He has deemed to be worthy. And the Spirit shall empower them, encouraging their hearts to be steadfast and steady in their faith in God.

The Holy Spirit shall inflame lukewarm hearts and strengthen the faith of those whose faith are shaken. But, in order to fully realise and utilise the graces and blessings of the Holy Spirit, we have to cultivate the seeds of faith, hope and love which it has placed in each and every one of us, that the gifts of the Spirit to us may grow and multiply, and bring all of us ever closer to God and being ever righteous and just, we may be found worthy of Him.

God always helps those who want to help themselves. And to those who have faithfully kept His commandments and walk in His ways, He shall give even greater gifts. And this grace we can find in the person of the saint whose feast we are commemorating today, namely that of St. Athanasius, a great and holy bishop, and an exemplary role model for many of those who followed him in his way of life.

St. Athanasius lived at a time when the persecution against Christians have ended, and the faithful were free to live out their faith as they wished. However, divisions appeared in the society by the vicious works of the devil, who through his persuasion and through the false prophets which he had planted among the faithful, he had lured many people away from salvation, and even threatened to corrupt the pure teachings of the Church and tore it apart.

But this is where St. Athanasius came into the fray and intervened for the love of God’s Church and the faithful, and for the zeal he has for the Lord and the Faith which he has in Him. St. Athanasius, a holy and devoted bishop, was a simple and loving man, but when he was asked to stand up for his faith in the matter of the heretical teachings and aberrations that threatened to bring countless peoples into damnation, he was inflamed and full of zeal, and spoke out harshly against those heretics who twisted and corrupted the Lord’s teachings for their own purposes and desires.

Many times, St. Athanasius encountered trouble for his vigorous opposition against the heretical teachings, particularly the false teachings of Arius, the false prophet and heresiarch, who advocated that the Lord Jesus was not God, but instead was a mere man without any link to power or divinity, as just one among God’s creations. This teaching was false, and misled many, even among the priests and bishops who in dissent followed Arius’ errors and spread his heresy among many more people.

This was where St. Athanasius did not pull back his opposition, and he was renowned for his Athanasian Creed, the creed of faith that expanded upon the original Nicene Creed, and emphasised at every step, the fundamentals of the Christian faith, particularly the divinity and equality which Jesus our Lord has with the Father, three Divine Persons but one God, the Most Holy Trinity.

St. Athanasius clearly did not have it easy. Just as there were many who accepted and welcomed his views, and proceeded on to defend the true faith, there were also many of those who refused to believe in the truth and preferred to walk the path of heresy, including even the powerful and the mighty. As a result, St. Athanasius was even persecuted and exiled from his see for a few years, and had to endure great difficulty and suffering. But he did not give up.

Through his efforts and hard work, he managed to bring many souls back from the darkness of the heresy they espoused, and these repented and returned to the true faith. Had St. Athanasius not be courageous and be devoted in resisting the pull of heresy and the false teachings, more and more people could have encountered damnation and fall into the eternal darkness of hell.

Therefore today, as we reflect on the passages from the Holy Scriptures, let us all also think of what St. Athanasius had done, and realise that each and every one of us can also follow in his footsteps. We do not have to do great things as he had done, but we should begin from even simple steps such as putting into our lives the practice of true faith, and put into real action, all that we have believed in the Lord, and become truly faithful as St. Athanasius had been.

Let us pray to the Lord, that all of us will be blessed in all of our endeavours. Let us draw closer to God and ask Him to bless us in everything we do, so that we may have our works successful and help to bring each and every one of us closer to our Lord, our loving God and Father. God bless us all. Amen.

Monday, 2 May 2016 : Sixth Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Athanasius, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 15 : 26 – John 16 : 4a

At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples at the Last Supper, “From the Father, I will send you the Spirit of truth. When this Helper has come from the Father, He will be My Witness, and you, too, will be My witnesses, for you have been with Me from the beginning.”

“I tell you all this to keep you from stumbling and falling away. They will put you out of the synagogue. Still more, the hour is coming, when anyone who kills you will claim to be serving God; they will do this, because they have not known the Father or Me. I tell you all these things now so that, when the time comes, you may remember that I told you.”