We’ve returned from Christmas and associated festivities at the in-laws. The up-coming days will probably see a number of postings on a number of new acquisitions for the library. In looking over the books I received from parents and sister-in-law I was amused at by the simultaneous breadth and coherence of the items: a taichi book and a taichi dvd, a collection of essays by Plutarch, the new Book of Common Prayer from Lancelot Andrewes Press, Ardo’s life of Benedict of Aniane, and Hymn Introits for the Liturgical Year.
I’ll say more about most of these later, but just wanted to comment on something that jumped out at me from Ardo’s life. In his discussion of Benedict of Aniane’s full output in Ch 38 he writes:
To demonstrate to contentious persons that nothing worthless or useless was set forth by blessed Benedict [of Nursia], but that his Rule was sustained by the rules of others, he compiled another book of statements culled from other rules. To it he gave the title, Harmony of the Rules [Concordia Regularum]. Statements in agreement with blessed Benedict’s book were added to show that the latter was obviously foremost. To it he joined another book from the homilies of holy teachers. These were presented for exhortation of monks and ordered it read all the time at the evening assemblies. (p. 101)
I knew of the Concordia Regularum, but this is the first I’d heard of a book of homilies along with it. I’m curious to see the Latin to see which book was being specified here for which occasion. Furthermore, there’s another interesting throw-away reference earlier. As Benedict of Aniane traveled around he: “spent days in Arles with many bishops, abbots, and monks, explaining the mysteries of the canons and expounding the homilies of the blessed Pope Gregory to the ignorant.” What was going on here? Which homilies were these—the Moralia in Iob, Homilies on Ezekiel, or the Forty Gospel Homilies?