When we work, says St. Basil, we do it for the sake of the good things that will come from our work. But only work for holiness and truth can never disappoint us, because it always leads to the good things we hope for. Toil in the field is no novelty to farmers. Sailors are not surprised to run into a storm at sea. The hired hand expects to sweat in the summer heat. And to those who live a… Read more

Father Terry P. Ehrman, CSC is the assistant director for life science research and outreach at the Center for Theology, Science, and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame. He investigates the relationship between theology and science, particularly the life sciences of ecology and evolution. His interests include understanding who God is as Creator, who we are as creatures, and what our relationship is to God, ourselves, and the natural world. Fr. Terry has a B.S. in biology from… Read more

When Jesus was transfigured, says St. Gregory the Great, Peter wanted to live in that glory forever. But the time was not right. We have work to do here before we can live in glory with Jesus forever. The Apostle Peter was excited by the revelation of these mysteries. He despised what was mundane and scorned what was earthly, and he was filled with a sort of frenzied craving for what was eternal. Filled with rapture at the whole vision,… Read more

God knows more than we do, and sometimes hard times may do us as much good as good times. St. Leo the Great reminds us to be thankful for both, and let the uncertainty of life teach us spiritual constancy. God wants us to be good, because he is good. So none of God’s judg­ments should displease us. For if we don’t give him thanks in all things, what are we doing but blaming him to some extent? Let whatever… Read more

Making a humorous but still pointed apology for a long sermon, St. Basil tells his congregation that the longer he keeps them there, the longer they stay out of trouble. Unless your leisure is also filled with love of the Lord, it’s easy to fall into the pit of vice. I’m ashamed to see that my sermon has gone on longer than usual. If I consider the abundance of matters on which I have just discoursed to you, I feel… Read more

St. Basil points to the bees as an example to all Christians. They work indus­triously with no complaints, their queen leads them by mildness (St. Basil calls it a king, but most of the rest of his entomology is surprisingly accurate), and if they sting they die. Some of these unreasoning creatures even have a government, if the feature of government is to make the activity of all the individuals serve one common end. This may be observed in bees…. Read more

The rich have many problems, says Tatian, and the poor have few. Be satisfied with a little, and you’ll find it much easier to get what you want. I don’t want to be a king. I’m not anxious to be rich. I decline military command. I detest fornication. No insatiable greed makes me go to sea. I don’t strive for chaplets; I have no mad thirst for fame. I despise death; I’m above every kind of disease. Grief does not… Read more

It’s easy to have more than enough to get by, says St. Ambrose. But lust and greed always want more. Control them, and you’ll find that you live in abundance. If you want to be rich, you must be poor. Then you will be rich in every­thing, if you are poor in spirit. It isn’t property that makes you rich, but the spirit. There are those who humble themselves in the midst of abundant riches, and they act rightly and… Read more

Fish follow the order of nature, says St. Basil, and no one has to tell them to do it. We should learn from the fish to be happy with the place God has given us, and not break God’s laws to take what belongs to others. How is it that each sort of fish, content with the region that has been assigned to it, never travels over its own limits to pass into foreign seas? No sur­veyor has ever distributed… Read more

Marge Fenelon is a Catholic wife, mother, award-winning author and journalist, blogger, and speaker. She’s been awarded the 2015 Egan Journalism Fellowship, which recognizes exceptional journalists who have demonstrated excellence in their reporting for Catholic media in the United States. She’s written for a variety of Catholic media including National Catholic Register, Our Sunday Visitor, CatholicMom.com, and Catholic Digest. She’s a weekly contributor to Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air Show” and is a popular guest on other Catholic radio and television… Read more

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