De Sacramentis 1.1.12

1.1.12 “The sacrament of the divine works.” Hugh here reflects on the allegorical significance of the previous chapter’s discussion of why the original light preceded the sun’s own light. He had said that the reason the lesser light was allowed to precede the “clear” or “full light” was because the original confusion of the created order was such as to make it “not worthy of full light,” and he begins this chapter by observing that in this “a great sacrament is commended.” In this context, and for Hugh generally, sacrament refers to the mysterious, allegorical, or spiritual meaning of a thing. The sacramental meaning of the sequence of creation is the way in which the individual fallen soul, like creation in the beginning, is in “a kind of darkness and confusion,” a state that it cannot arise out of and “be disposed to the order and form of justice, unless it be first illumined to see its evils, and to distinguish light from darkness, that is, virtues from vices, so that it may dispose itself to order and conform to truth.”

 

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