Today we remember a Benedictine monk who lived 1033-1109 in Normandy and England. For a person who loved to think, teach, and help people live in peace, it was a challenging time. His dates include the Norman invasion of Britain in 1066 and many years of serious controversy between church and state leaders for ascendency in making the rules for daily life. Yet, Anselm, a Doctor of the Church, one time Abbot of the monastery at Bec, and Archbishop of Canterbury for the last 16 years of his life, managed to remain faithful to his belief that God loves all people.
He is remembered for his theological writings, especially the ontological argument for the existence of God in Proslogion, and a treatise on the doctrine of the Incarnation and atonement of Christ in Cur Deus Homo?. He is also remembered for his willingness to stand up to kings in feudal Britain in order to assert the right of the church to spiritual jurisdiction in the investiture of bishops, for which he was twice sent into exile by angry kings who wanted to make the church submissive to their will. However, common people knew him as a wise and compassionate shepherd of Christ’s flock.
Bible Reading: Matthew 11:25-30