Church Fathers, Day 161: St. Basil warns us to beware men of clever insincerity

Beware men of clever insincerity St. Basil uses the example of an octopus to show us what a Christian shouldn’t be like. The octopus takes on the color of the rocks it hides among, and unsus­pecting fish swim by and are caught. I will not pass in silence the cunning and trickery of the octopus, which takes on the color of the rock to which it attaches itself. Most fish swim idly up to the squid as they might to a rock, and become themselves the prey of the crafty creature. Men who court ru … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 160: Palladius says let your life match your words

Let your life match your words Palladius of Galatia tells us what he heard from two wise desert monks. No matter how good, intelligent, or reasonable what someone tells you seems, be wary if his life doesn’t match his words. And those men told us this too: “When you see a man irregular in his life but plausible in speech, remember the demon who conversed with Christ using the words of Scripture, and the wit­ness that says, ‘Now the serpent was the most subtle of all the beasts on the earth’ … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 159: St. Basil tells us to show our enthusiasm for God

Show your enthusiasm for God People go wild for shows and sports, says St. Basil, and waste all their time in frivolous things. Shouldn’t we Christians be at least as enthusiastic about the wonderful words of Scripture? There are towns where the inhabitants, from dawn to dusk, feast their eyes on the tricks of innumerable magicians. They never tire of hearing dissolute songs that cause much impurity to spring up in their souls, and they are often called happy, because they neglect the cares o … [Read more...]

Another Verbum Giveaway


My friends over at Verbum are running a 12 days of Christmas special now through Jan. 06. There are some great resources at special discount prices including:127 vol. Fathers of the Church series from Catholic University of America Press48 vol. Joseph Ratzinger / Pope Benedict collection8 vol. Letter and Spirit journals from St. Paul Center for Biblical TheologyAlso while you are there be sure to enter their giveaway for a chance to win an iPad mini and the Scholar 6 resource … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 158: St. Cyprian advises us to think about what your entertainment is teaching


Think about what your entertainment is teaching Just as in our own time, the ancient Roman public flocked to lowbrow enter­tainment full of dirty jokes, sex, and immorality. An early Christian writer, traditionally identified as St. Cyprian, says that what you watch will eventually affect what you do. And now on to the shameless corruption of the stage. I’m ashamed to tell you what things are said. I’m ashamed even to denounce the things that happen—the tricks of arguments, the cheatings of … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 157: Tertullian says to be Christian in our entertainment

Be Christian in your entertainment The pagans, says Tertullian, behave one way in real life and a completely dif­ferent way when they go to sports or plays. That’s because they let their feelings guide their judgment. It’s strange how the same man who can barely bring himself to lift his tunic in public, even when the call of nature urges him, takes it off in the circus, as if he longed to expose himself in front of everybody. Or how a father who carefully protects and guards his virgin daug … [Read more...]