July 21st is the memorial of St. Lawrence of Brindisi; a Capuchin Franciscan priest, scholar, teacher and gifted with languages. He could read and speak fluently in Italian, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish, French and some sources even suggest Syriac. More than just a tool to communicate, this gift also allowed him to read the Sacred Scriptures in their original languages as well as later translations. Further, it is claimed that he also knew the entire Bible in the original languages by memory, which along with his grasp of languages is why this was considered a supernatural gifting.
Lawrence was born in Brindisi, Italy, July 22, 1559 under the name Giulio Cesare (Julius Ceasar). Taught by Franciscan Friars he would enter the Capuchins in 1575 taking the name Lawrence. He is the first Franciscan to be classed as a doctor of the church. Known for brilliant sermons, and teaching on the Sacred Scripture, he is one of many proofs that the Catholic Church in medieval europe was not lost on scripture as Protestantism would claim. As a matter of fact, St. Lawrence was instrumental in winning many Protestants back to the faith.
Lawrence believed that the incarnation was necessary regardless of sin:
“God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to
manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation
becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for
his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must
be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the
first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created
world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have
been the case even if Adam had not sinned.“
I find this an extremely fascinating subject; one that has been hinted by C.S. Lewis, Tolkien and several other authors in my own library. More to the point it puts to rest that sad criticism of God setting up mankind to fall. If Christ was intended whether or not man fell, then there was no need for man to fall as a requirement for the incarnation. No longer a necessity of predestination, mans fall is truly an act of free will, and here I see the importance of catholic teaching as the paradox of freewill and predestination are at a balance. Not teetering to either extreme of predestination or freewill; beliefs that make man a puppet or god impotent; it demonstrates how both predestination and freewill can operate together.