Commodianus tells us that all our wars and fights come from our evil desires. If we want a glorious victory, we should overcome our passions. You wish to wage war, you fool, as if war were peace. From the beginning of the day to the end, you fight. Lust gets you started, and there is war. Fight your lust. Luxury persuades you. Forget about it, and you win the war. Do not drink too much wine, so that it will… Read more

St. Jerome was known for his hot temper and for some reason—we don’t know why—had not been on speaking terms with his own aunt for a long time. Here he writes her a letter begging for a reconciliation, remembering that he will be judged if he cannot forgive his old grudges. The Apostle and evangelist John rightly says that “any one who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15). For since hate often leads to murder, the one… Read more

When someone who hates you is in trouble, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, you should be in pain and mourning. Otherwise you fall into secret sin—and there will come a time when all secret sins are laid bare. You must not slander anyone, or that person may call you “Satan.” Do you hate the name? Then do not go near the act. But if you love the act, do not be angry at the name. Count yourself rebuked first of… Read more

If you struggle with covetousness, Asterius of Amasea has some surprising but practical advice for you. Instead of accumulating everything, just enjoy the sights in the market without buying. It would be better to get rid of your cov­etousness altogether, but at least a little window-shopping won’t take anything away from anyone else. I beg you, if you are covetous, do not undergo these infinite hardships. For the covetous man who lives in luxury is deserving of pity, since he… Read more

One of the greatest mysteries in Church history was where exactly was the final resting place of Saint Peter? Tradition had always told the Early Christians that Peter was buried on Vatican Hill under what is now known as St. Peter’s. John O’Neill is my guest this week and he uncovers the details of the quest to find the final resting place of Peter’s bones. It involves a Pope, a Texas oilman, and the quest of a lifetime. Join John… Read more

How dangerous is covetousness? St. John Cassian answers that it was this sin that led Judas to betray the Lord. Would you like to know how dangerously and harmfully covetousness, unless it has been carefully eradicated, will shoot up for the destruction of its owner, and put forth all sorts of branches of different sins? Look at Judas, reckoned among the number of the Apostles, and see how, because he would not bruise the deadly head of this serpent, it… Read more

Covetousness has a broad definition,says Asterius of Amasea. It’s not just want­ing material things: it’s wanting more than you deserve in everything you do. Covetousness, then, is not simply being mad for money and other posses­sions, wishing to add what you have no right to have to what you already have. To speak more broadly, it is the desire to have in every transaction more than is due or belongs to you. And you know that the devil was the… Read more

Most other sins have natural limits, says Asterius of Amasea. But covetousness strangles us like a vine strangling a tree. You can’t get rid of it unless you take an axe to it. But now, leaving ancient history, let us look at our own daily lives, and learn what sort of thing covetousness is in our own experience, and how hard it is to get rid of; for no matter whom it seizes, ever growing but never shrinking, it grows… Read more

Giving in to anger, says Ephrem the Syrian, leads straight to hell. Christ en­dured every insult so that we could be preserved from wrath. You have a spiritual nature. The soul is the image of the Creator. Honor the image of God by being in agreement with all humanity. Remember death, and do not be angry, so that your peace will not be a peace of constraint. As long as you live, cleanse your soul from wrath. For if it… Read more

Show Notes This week we have a recap of the recent Rebuilt 2018 Conference held at Church of the Nativity in Timonium, MD. In segment one I had a chance to interview Rebuilt co-author and Church of Nativity pastor, Father Michael White on site about the days events. Co-author Tom Corcoran and I chatted recently to round out this episode on the mission of Rebuilt, how parishes can take advantage of the lessons learned by Church of Nativity and their… Read more

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