Tag Archives: Moses

Saint Moses the Prophet

St MosesToday, at least in the Orthodox world, Moses the Prophet and God-Seer, is liturgically remembered for giving us God’s Law, leading the Hebrews to the Promised Land, and taking off his sandals before the burning bush. Catholics liturgically commemorate the Prophet Moses but he is not currently on the Roman liturgical calendar. This Moses is not confused with another Saint Moses who was a hermit and bishop and called by some the “Apostle to the Saracens.”

“That light teaches us what we must do to stand within the rays of the true light: sandaled feet cannot ascend that height where the light of truth is seen, but the dead and earthly covering of skins, which was placed around our nature at the beginning when we were found naked because of disobedience to the divine will, must be removed from the feet of our soul. When we do this, the knowledge of the truth will result and manifest itself.”
— St. Gregory of Nyssa, “The Life of Moses”

The Burning Bush reveals the living God: a foreshadowing the new Pentecost

Burning bush.jpeg

Moses encountered the living God. What was once hidden is now made known. Light and Love is experienced. Biblical revelation teaches that he flame Moses saw was in fact God’s uncreated energies/glory. This glory of God was manifested as light, thus a reasonable theological explanation as to why the bush was not consumed. The Church doesn’t typically speak of the burning bush as a miracle inasmuch as it speaks of it as an event, a theophany, an epiphany, which lasts but a short time. What is taught by the Church Fathers is that Moses was permitted to see God’s uncreated energies/glory. That is, he had encountered the Infinite, a promise of eternal things to come. Moses is for us the note that we are made for the Infinite, that our heart is made for love, that we are to be in communion with the Divine Majesty.

This same light is linked to the experience of the children at Fatima.

Catholic theology speaks of the burning bush as an Old Testament type for Mary, the Theotokos. She, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit “is the burning bush of the definitive theophany” (CCC 724). The burning bush which Moses experienced is spoken of by the Church Fathers as the type of Jesus, an experience that is “pre-incarnation.” That is to say, the bush is the encounter with the presence of the Son in the form of an Angel. Mary, therefore, is the Theotokos, the bearer of the Incarnate Son by the action of the Holy Spirit.

We welcome this Light into our lives through the sacraments of initiation, the frequent reception of the sacraments of Confession and Communion; we welcome this Light in our begging the Holy Spirit to guide our way to God the Father as a new Pentecost in our Christian experience. Our response is nothing other than adoration of God.

As a way to know more about the Holy Spirit and the Divine action in history I would recommend studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 717-730.

Saint Moses

Moses and the Burning Bush DBouts.jpgThe Kontakian of the Byzantine Liturgy the Church prays,

With the divine and righteous Moses and Aaron, the Prophets’ choir today rejoices with gladness, seeing their prophecy fulfilled now in our midst; for Your Cross, O Christ our God, whereby You have redeemed us,, shine in the sight of all as the end and fulfillment of that which they foretold in ancient times. By their entreaties, have mercy upon all of us.
The Church honors Old Testament figures liturgically, and today we recall Moses, a Holy Forefather. However, these Old Testament people do not appear on the Roman Calendar but they do in the Eastern Calendar. In the Roman Martyrology (an official liturgical book that catalogues the cult of saints, including the ecclesial acts of beatification and canonization) we find Saint Moses.
It is to Moses, whom we call a holy prophet and lawgiver. He was chosen by God to lead the oppressed people out of Egypt to the Promised Land. To Moses we learn that God has revealed Himself through the burning but unconsumed bush and it is on Mount Sinai through Moses that we learn God’s name, “I Am Who I Am.” It is through Moses that we receive the Law and “at a ripe old age” Moses died before entering the Promised Land and designed by God.
According to Catholic theology, Moses is an Old Testament type of Jesus, who in the Gospel of Matthew, is known as the “new Moses” and and is said to be Elias on Tabor at the Lord’s Transfiguration.
Moses is a particular appropriate saint for Benedictines to know, follow, and imitate. His life and vocation to be a prophet –that is, a witness, to the encounter with God, ought to motivate us to a deeper call to seek the face of God. The Benedictine vocation to be present to the Divine Mystery in front of us.
So, yes, Catholics call Moses “saint.”
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Saint Moses

St Moses.jpgToday is the feast of Saint Moses. Indeed, the very same Moses who gave us the Ten Commandments and led the Israelites to the Promised Land. In the Mass and Divine Office we currently pray, that is the Ordinary Form, Moses is not commemorated in the sacred Liturgy. But he is remember in the liturgical anamnesis.

The Roman Martyrology tells us: 

Commemoratio sancti Moysis, prophetae, quem Deus elegit, ut populum in Aegypto oppressum liberaret et in terram promissionis adduceret; cui etiam in monte Sina sese revelavit dicens: “Ego sum qui sum”, atque legem proposuit, quae vitam populi electi regeret.  Ille servus Dei in monte Nebo terrae Moab coram terra promissionis plenus dierum obiit.

Saint Joshua

St Joshua.jpgThe Roman Martyrology notes Saint Joshua’s feast day today. You remember him, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the Lord, who became inspired by the Holy Spirit after Moses laid hands on him and who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. The Righteous Joshua is said to have lived for a 110 years reposing c. 1440 BC.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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