Let love lead your mind back to God; Church Fathers: Day 091

The mind that strays from God is miserable, says St. Augustine. Only love can lead the mind back to God, and to a real understanding of man’s place as a created being. The further the mind goes from God—not in space, but in affection and lust after things below him—the more it is filled with foolishness and misery. So by love it returns to God—a love that places it not beside God, but under him. And the more ardor and… Read more

Off the Shelf 043 with Brian Kennelly – Queen of Heaven

  Brian Kennelly is the author of two novels, Two Statues and To the Heights, and the co-author of two non-fiction books, Doors of Mercy and Queen of Heaven. He is also the co-screen writer of the 8-part documentary Queen of Heaven: Mary’s Battle for Souls, which is airing on EWTN this week. Brian currently lives in Charlotte with his wife, Tina, who is due with their 4th child this Christmas. If you are looking for an incredible study on… Read more

Thoughts of sin are seeds of sin; Church Fathers: Day 090

A little weed, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem, can eventually break a rock apart with its roots. If you let in thoughts of sin, the sins themselves will follow. Now, someone might say, “What can sin be? Is it a living thing? An an­gel? A demon? What is this thing working inside us?” It is not an enemy that attacks you from outside, but an evil shoot growing up from inside yourself. “Let your eyes look directly forward” (Proverbs 4:25),… Read more

Learn how to control your thoughts; Church Fathers: Day 089

St. John Cassian recalls the wise words of an Egyptian abbot named Moses. You can’t always help it when evil thoughts pop up in your mind, Moses said, but you always have the power to accept or reject them. It is impossible for the mind not to be approached by thoughts, but it is in the power of everyone who is earnest either to admit them or to reject them. Even though their rising up does not entirely depend on… Read more

The errors of others don’t make you right; Church Fathers: Day 088

So you’ve proved that someone else’s opinion is wrong. Well, that doesn’t mean you’re right, says our author (writing under the name of Dionysius, a character in the New Testament). You could both be wrong. There are many falsehoods but only one truth. Do not imagine that it is a victory, holy Sopatros, to have denounced a devotion, or an opinion, that apparently is not good. Even if you have denounced it accurately, that does not mean that the teachings… Read more

See the truth in the works it produces; Church Fathers: Day 087

Do any of the pagan professors of rhetoric or grammar really make their stu­dents happy? No, says Athenagoras. But look at the Christians: they may not know a subject from a predicate, but you can tell by their works that Christian teaching is true. Look at the teachers who reduce syllogisms, and clear up ambiguities, and explain etymologies, or teach homonyms and synonyms, and which is the subject and which is the predicate—promising to make their students happy by instructions… Read more

Distinguish what’s important to be right about; Church Fathers Day: 086

St. Augustine tells us that we can be wrong about some things without causing any harm. What we can’t be wrong about is moral principles. It’s not bad in itself to think that someone is good when he’s actually an adulterer, but it’s quite another thing to think that adultery is good. In some things, we are deceived in great matters; in others, small. In some of them no harm is done; in others, even good comes of it. It… Read more

Off the Shelf 042 with Mike Aquilina – The Apostles and Their Times

Mike Aquilina is the award-winning author of more than fifty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. His works have been translated into many languages. He has hosted nine television series and several documentary films and is a frequent guest on Catholic radio. On this episode Mike and I chat about his recent book The Apostles and Their Times: Archaeology, History, and Scripture Unveil What Life Was Really Like During the Apostolic Age. This book provides an incredible insight into exactly… Read more

Love the truth as the martyrs did; Church Fathers: Day 085

Philoxenus, an ancient Syriac writer, tells us that the love of truth is a consum­ing passion for those who have tasted it, and no danger or torture can separate those who have found it from the love of Christ. Jesus Our God commands us to declare our truth openly, and not to be ashamed, and not to blush, and not just to accept what we are told by people in authority, and not to seek to please those who are… Read more

Learn practice before theory; Church Fathers: Day 084

The abbot Nesteros tells St. John Cassian that he needs to learn practice before he can tackle theory. You can’t reach the highest peak if the first step isn’t in place. Whoever would arrive at this theoretical knowledge must first pursue practical knowledge with all his might and main. For this practical knowledge can be acquired without theoretical, but theoretical cannot possibly be gained without practical. There are certain stages, so distinct, and arranged in such a way that our… Read more

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