Church Fathers, Day 296: St. Cyprian says overcome your jealousy

Envy is listed among the deadly sins for a good reason. As St. Cyprian tells us, envy just keeps gnawing at us unless we get rid of it. There will always be people who have more than we have; we need to learn to rejoice with them rather than envy them. The way we do that is by turning to Christ.What a gnawing worm of the soul it is—to envy someone for his virtue or for his happiness; to make others’ good into our own evil; to be tortured by the prosperity of the famous. To the envious, no fo … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 295: Commodianus tells us overcome the things that make you fight

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 not lead you astray.Keep your tongue from cursing, because you use your … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 294: St. Jerome advises us to set aside old grudges

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 who hates, even if he hasn’t killed his victim yet, has murder in … [Read more...]

The Clergy Speaks – Auxiliary Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama

Auxiliary Bishop Luis Zarama

Welcome back to “The Clergy Speaks”, a recurring feature here at The Catholic Book Blogger. “The Clergy Speaks” is a column focusing on one question I have asked various members of the clergy. That question is: What five books would you recommend as must-reads for Catholics today? I left the responses open to current or classic books with the only restriction being that the Bible and the Catechism could not be used as they are a given. This week we welcome Auxiliary Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama of t … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 293: St. Ephrem warns us don’t rejoice when your enemies fall

Don’t rejoice when your enemies fallWhen 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 all by the beasts and the birds. See how each … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 292: Asterius of Amasea says try window-shopping instead

Try window-shopping insteadIf 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 o … [Read more...]