Nobody Sees MILO Like RFB

Sometimes the parody writes itself. This time, someone in the Middle Ages wrote it for me.


Tweet by one of my academic colleagues in medieval history 
Here begins the life of the most holy and most glorious Nobody.
At sundry times and in divers manners, dearly beloved, God spoke in times past through the prophets, who, as if in riddles and an obscure voice, foretold the coming of the only-begotten son of God for the redemption of those who labor in darkness and sit in the shadow of death. In the last days, however, he speaks openly through his holy Scripture, and foretells, explicates, and bears witness to the most blessed and glorious Nobody as similar to himself, begotten before the ages, yet unknown to humankind until now by reason of our sins. But our own Savior and Lord himself, who is always merciful, and who never leaves his own helpless, showed pity to the people redeemed by his own blood, and with the ancient darkness wholly removed from our eyes, he has deigned to reveal to us the treasure, so renowned, of this most glorious Nobody, that we may be able to see her (hidden to us, damnably, until now) more soundly thereafter, with the eye of faith.
This blessed Nobody, therefore, is found to be contemporaneous with God the Father, and in essence particularly like the Son, as she was neither created nor begotten but proceeds forth in Holy Scripture, in which it is set forth fully by the psalmist, who says: Days shall be formed, and Nobody in them [Psalm 138:16]. To whom, afterward, such authority justly accrued, with such great merit, that as if spurning earthly things, she ascended to the heights of heaven in miraculous flight, as it is read: Nobody ascended into heaven [John 3:13]. And the Lord himself testifies to this, saying: Nobody can come to me [John 6:44].
When this most holy Nobody ascended into heaven, as it is said, she saw the pure and complete and at the same time threefold Godhead himself, as it is read: Nobody hath seen God [John 1:18]. That this Nobody had seen God the Gospel gives witness, as it is read: Nobody knoweth the Son [Matthew 11:27], and elsewhere: Nobody speaking in the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:3]. Because, indeed, she had seen him together with the Father and the Son, she spoke fearlessly, for she who saw, bore witness....
The blessed Job, also, testifying to this, spoke to God, among may things referring to her power like this: Whereas there is Nobody that can deliver out of thy hand [Job 10:7]. And what is allowed to no one, only this blessed Nobody can do, for it is read of her: Nobody can serve two masters [Matthew 6:24]; and elsewhere: Nobody serves two masters usefully [Walther, Proverbia, no. 32734]....
She was indeed a mighty and vigorous knight, as it is read: Nobody being a knight [2 Timothy 2:4].... In truth, because the powerful—formerly strong and lofty and learned in literal dogma above all others—were now gasping, for that reason this blessed Nobody the knight, not wanting...to go astray in any way, learned letters and accordingly became most wise, as it is read: Nobody, a prophet [Luke 4:24]. But she did not squander her powers of prophecy and her wide learning, which she acquired through much study, in the manner of modern clerics, who, in pursuit of a certain other thing, do not care to increase their learning unless they can add money to money and be enriched by hefty allowances; and because of that, disregarding the liberal arts, they pursue only the lucrative faculties. But as they have certainly taken on all manner of impurities, this most holy Nobody alone has regarded the heavenly things, as it is read: Nobody lives without fault [Disticha Catonis 1.5], and elsewhere: Nobody is blessed in every way [Walther, Proverbia, no. 16343]. And again it is said: Nobody has greater love [John 15:13]....
And you may see also that this most accomplished Nobody was educated in the liberal fields of knowledge, for she knew arithmetic, so that the great multitude that John had seen in Revelation, only this holy Nobody could count up, as it is read: And I saw a great multitude which Nobody could number [Revelation 7:9]. And again the same is said of her worthiness and knowledge, in saying thus: And Nobody was found worthy to open the book and to open the seals thereof [Revelation 5:4]. Of her also Priscian testifies clearly that she was similar to himself in grammatical knowledge, and a friend, as he says thus in the Ars Minor: I found Nobody my friend. She was also an astronomer, as it is read: Nobody observes the moon
But now you can see, dearly beloved, how greatly this most holy Nobody shines through her merit, how great is her knowledge, and therefore how much she should be attended by praise and glory, the purest affection and honor, from everyone. Since he for whom all things live, and whom the archangels praise, loved this holy Nobody, blessed through the ages, with such a pure love that when he sent his apostles through the world, he commanded them that when they met the most blessed Nobody along the way they should greet her and reveal to her the visions and secret things just as if to their secretary, with great confidence, as it is written: Salute Nobody by the way [Luke 10:4], and elsewhere: Tell the vision which you have seen to Nobody [Matthew 17:9]. He also said to the man cured of leprosy: Go, tell this to Nobody [Mark 1:44]....
Of the learning of the distinguished Nobody, indeed, there is much set out fully in that part of the Gospel in which the Lord contended with the Jews about the law, saying: Did not Moses give you the law? And among you Nobody maketh the law? [John 7:19]. Moreover, this most holy Nobody was so illustrious in such patience and humility that, according to the words of the apostle—Who will not work shall not eat [2 Thessalonians 3:10], and in another place in the Psalms, The labors of your hands that you shall eat [Psalms 127:2]—she wanted to labor with her own hands. And not only did she toil in worldly things, like Martha, but she also attended to divine things, like Mary. Whence of the first it is said of Martha: Nobody putteth her hand to the plow [Luke 9:62]. And as she arose from bed like a contemplative and an officer of the church, so she performed the office of sacristan and cantor day and night like the second, that is, Mary at matins, as in: Nobody lighteth a lantern [Luke 11:33]; the office of cantor as in: Nobody could say the canticle [Revelation 14:3]....
By the above, dearly beloved, you can see distinctly to some extent the form, essence, power, daring, incarnation, nobility, military valor, honesty, security, knowledge, learning, dignity, steadfastness, fixity, holiness, grace, honor, felicity, blessedness, reverence, chastity, modesty, strength, generosity, compassion, patience, goodness, piety, stability, humility, and charity of this most glorious Nobody, according to that which is written in Holy Scripture about her. Weighing up all these things, the highest pontiffs, through the love of our God...decreed that this most holy Nobody will reign with God eternally and is coeternal with our most powerful Lord, as it is written: Nobody will reign forever, and elsewhere: There is Nobody who lives forever [Ecclesiastes 9:4], and that this same Nobody, whom omnipotent God wanted to be blessed in heaven, should be endowed with great favors on earth....
Therefore be brave men in the fight, like our teacher Nobody, and strong. And may you not refuse to enter into the struggle of her who stands firm through no false proof or scripture. Let us lay up in the coffer of our heart, for the praise and glory of our patroness, the most blessed Nobody, the testimony of so many and such great authorities, divine and canonical as well as civil, with unending confirmation from the holy Fathers, and, what is more, with arguments from philosophy and nature.
This most holy Nobody is valiant in countless virtues and excellence, which we have decided to pass over in silence for now, lest it tire you to hear it, and lest, God forbid, the amount of wordiness torment the mind of any one of you; and so that these things which you have received with a pious mind about the most blessed Nobody, our patroness, in our present sermon, do not pass away in useless flight, but remain a treasure in your hearts perpetually in the Lord, like a stone in a wall. May he who lives and reigns eternally grant that you and we may attain his glory and blessedness, world without end. Amen.
Nobody on “The MILO Show,” January 16, 2018
Source

“The Long Nemo,” ed. and trans. Martha Bayless, Parody in the Middle Ages: The Latin Tradition (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1996), 259-65, 280-87, with pronoun changes.

Bayless explains (57):
Sermons on the fictitious St. Nemo [Nobody] appear to have been among the most popular literary jokes of the Middle Ages. In combinations of mock exegesis and exhortation, the sermons and vitae [lives] on Nemo construct an elaborate account of the life and deeds of a saint of that name, basing their humor on the deliberate misunderstanding of the word nemo in the Bible.... Mock sermons on Nemo survive in five main versions, comprising a total of nineteen manuscripts; the diversity among the versions, and even between different copies of the same version, demonstrates the enthusiasm medieval ecclesiastics must have felt for such displays of theological levity.
Isn’t it fun that the tradition continues to this day on Twitter? 

Listen to me talking with Milo here.

Popular posts from this blog

Would you sign a letter in my support?

Talking Points: Three Cheers for White Men

The Old Voice of Glad and Angry Faith

How to Signal You Are Not a White Supremacist

Safe Spaces vs. Sacred Spaces