Church Fathers, Day 310: Hermas says fear the Lord, not the devil

Fear the Lord, not the devilIf we have proper fear of the Lord, the visionary Hermas is told, we have no reason to fear Satan. The devil has no real power when we do the will of God.Fear the Lord and keep his commandments. For if you keep God’s com­mandments, you will be powerful in everything you do, and everything you do will be marvelous. Fearing the Lord, you will do all things well. This is the fear you ought to have, so that you may be saved.But do not fear the devil—for, if y … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 309: Aphrahat wants us to be a child of light and conquer Satan

Be a child of light and conquer SatanSatan fights against the strong and proud, says Aphrahat, but he has no power against the children of light. They defeat him by their acts of humility.Dear friends, our adversary is skillful. He who contends against us is crafty. Against the brave and the renowned he prepares himself, so that they may be weakened. For the feeble are his own, nor does he fight with the captives that are made captive to him. He who has wings flees from him, and the … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 308: St. Ephrem the Syrian says throw off your shackles

Throw off your shacklesSt. Ephrem the Syrian imagines a conversation between Satan and the “sinful woman” of Luke 7:37-50. She throws off the yoke of Satan—and leaves the devil in tears!Satan said to the sinful woman, “I tell you, woman, that I am the first of your lovers. I am not such as you, and I place my hands on you. I will give you much more gold than before.”The sinful woman answered, “I am wearied of you, sir, and you are no more my lover. I have won for myself a husband in … [Read more...]

CBB Interview with Daniel Burke


PETE: What inspired you to work on your Navigating the Interior Life series?DANIEL BURKE: Well, I didn’t have the series in mind when I wrote the first book, Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. In fact, the first book was a bit of a surprise success. It won the best Catholic book of 2012, beating out Pope emeritus Benedict’s Infancy Narratives. Frankly, anything Pope Benedict writes is far more important than anything I will ever write. However, I was g … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 307: St. John Chrysostom tells us that not even the devil can make you sin

Not even the devil can make you sinSt. John Cassian remembers the words of the wise Abbot Theodore in the Egyptian desert. No one can make you sin, says Theodore—not even the devil. Only you have the power to consent to sin, or to reject it.Let us now carefully consider whether God ever allows evil to be forced on his saints either by himself or by some one else.And you will certainly find that this never happens. For another can never possibly force the evil of sin upon anyone who … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 306: St. John Chrysostom reminds us to remember that God, not Satan, is in control

Remember that God, not Satan, is in controlSome say that the demons control affairs on earth. Not so, says St. John Chrys­ostom. You’re lucky God doesn’t really let the demons take over.The sun is not more obvious than the providence of God. Nevertheless, some people dare to say that demons control our affairs.What can I say? You have a loving Master. He chooses to be blasphemed by these words, rather than to hand your affairs over to the demons, and show you by real experience how … [Read more...]