Open our hearts, O Lord and enlighten us by the grace of the Holy Spirit that we may seek what is pleasing to your will and so order our lives according to your commandments that we may be found worthy to enter your unending joys through Jesus Christ our only Lord and most loving
Saviour, who we beseech to reveal yourself to us who ask you, so that knowing you we may love you alone by day and by night and ever hold you in our thoughts.
fill us with your love as is fitting for you to be loved and honoured as our God, so that love may fill the inner depths of our being and your love may own us all and your affection may fill all our senses so that we may know no other love apart from you, the fountain of the water of
life always to be desired and drunk, springing up to eternal life unto the endless ages of ages to come.
The Valentinians were the Gnostics who blasphemously tried to substitute Horus and Isis for Jesus and Mary and who, as St. Irenaeus shows below, invented the laity and the priesthood. Laity is the communes, that is (καθολικούς) Catholics, and the Priesthood is the ecclesiasticos or ecclesial hierarchy. In St. Irenaeus’ time it was a heresy. Everybody in the Church was part of the body of Christ (all Catholics) with equal rights for the house churches to select their own member to conduct the offering of the Eucharist. The conflation of hierus (pagan word for priest) and presbyteros, which is New Testament scriptural for simply an elder, occurred in the 4th century A.D. Bishops, overseers, were originally appointed by each house church for themselves. St. Clement of Rome defended this, along with the rest of the Early Church Fathers. Some of the early Bishops were appointed by the Apostles, but there was no rule that bishops had to be appointed that way. THERE WERE NO UNIVERSAL BISHOPS THEN. PRIESTS WERE PAGAN AND NOT CHRISTIAN THEN.
Any invention of ecclesiastics and communes, that is of a Priesthood, "ecclesiastics," ruling in ANY way a "laity," the so-called "communes," is a lie and not true.
It is from the house churches that the faithful will greet Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ when He returns from heaven. For the faithful will have nothing to do with the Gnostic heretics. The Gnostic heretics invite only damnation on themselves.
Irenaeus. 180 A.D.
Chapter XV.-Refutation of the Ebionites, Who Disparaged the Authority of St. Paul, from the Writings of St. Luke, Which Must Be Received as a Whole. Exposure of the Hypocrisy, Deceit, and Pride of the Gnostics. The Apostles and Their Disciples Knew and Preached One God, the Creator of the World.
2. For this is the subterfuge of false persons, evil seducers, and hypocrites, as they act who are from Valentinus. These men discourse to the multitude about those who belong to the Church, whom they do themselves term "vulgar," and "ecclesiastic."259 439:3566
By these words they entrap the more simple, and entice them, imitating our phraseology, that these [dupes] may listen to them the oftener; and then these are asked260 regarding us, how it is, that when they hold doctrines similar to ours, we, without cause, keep ourselves aloof from their company; and [how it is, that] when they say the same things, and hold the same doctrine, we call them heretics? When they have thus, by means of questions, overthrown the faith of any, and rendered them uncontradicting hearers of their own, they describe to them in private the unspeakable mystery of their Pleroma. But they are altogether deceived, who imagine that they may learn from the Scriptural texts adduced by heretics, that [doctrine] which their words plausibly teach.261 For error is plausible, and bears a resemblance to the truth, but requires to be disguised; while truth is without disguise, and therefore has been entrusted to children. And if any one of their auditors do indeed demand explanations, or start objections to them, they affirm that he is one not capable of receiving the truth, and not having from above the seed [derived] from their Mother; and thus really give him no reply, but simply declare that he is of the intermediate regions, that is, belongs to animal natures. But if any one do yield himself up to them like a little sheep, and follows out their practice, and their "redemption," such an one is puffed up to such an extent, that he thinks he is neither in heaven nor on earth, but that he has passed within the Pleroma; and having already embraced his angel, he walks with a strutting gait and a supercilious countenance, possessing all the pompous air of a cock. There are those among them who assert that that man who comes from above ought to follow a good course of conduct; wherefore they do also pretend a gravity [of demeanour] with a certain superciliousness. The majority, however, having become scoffers also, as if already perfect, and living without regard [to appearances], yea, in contempt [of that which is good], call themselves "the spiritual," and allege that they have already become acquainted with that place of refreshing which is within their Pleroma.
259 Latin, "communes et ecclesiasticos:" kaqolikouj is translated here "communes," as for some time after the word catholicus had not been added to the Latin language in its ecclesiastical sense. [The Roman Creed was remarkable for its omission of the word Catholic. See Bingham, Antiquities, book x. cap. iv. sect 11.]
Latin, “communes et ecclesiasticos:” καθολικούς is translated here “communes,” as for some time after the word catholicus had not been added to the Latin language in its ecclesiastical sense. [The Roman Creed was remarkable for its omission of the word Catholic. See Bingham, Antiquities, book x. cap. iv. sect 11.]