To pagans who blame everything on “fate,” Tatian answers that our miseries are our own fault. Our own free will brought evil into the world—but our own free will can reject evil. Why should I admit that we’re born by “fate,” when I see such managers of “fate” as the pagan gods? How can you be “fated” to be sleepless from greed? Why are you “fated” to grasp at everything, and die often? Die to the world, rejecting the madness… Read more

Expensive tack doesn’t make a good horse, says St. John Chrysostom. Likewise, wealth, health, and reputation don’t make a good man. All these things can be taken away, but nothing can take away real virtue. What is the virtue of a horse? Is it to have a bridle studded with gold and straps to match, and a silk band to fasten the housing, and colorful clothes embroi­dered with gold thread, and headgear studded with jewels, and hair braided with gold… Read more

Prayer is a fundamental part of every good spiritual routine. Are you finding that your prayer time is slacking off a bit? The daily pressures of life overtaking what once used to be a highlight of your day? Or perhaps you never had a prayer life to speak of and are at a point where you have decided to establish a normal prayer routine in your life. Sister Mary Kathleen Glavich has the answers you need in your book Praying… Read more

Moral law is natural, says St. Basil. No one needs to teach it to us; we already know what’s right and wrong. When we violate the basic principles of morality, we not only go against God, we go against the nature he created in us. We shall not be able to say in self-justification that we have learned useful knowledge in books, since the untaught law of nature makes us choose that which is advantageous to us. Do you know… Read more

A good Christian is not insensibly tranquil, says St. Augustine. Even in heaven, we will know joy and love; here on earth, we also know sadness and compas­sion. To be without those emotions would be to be less than human. Since we must live a good life in order to gain a blessed life, a good life gets all the emotions right, and a bad life gets them wrong. But in the blessed life eternal there will be love and… Read more

No one can force you to listen to Christian teaching, says St. Ephrem the Syrian. If you really want to listen, though, you need to live a life worthy of your adoption as a child of God. The doctrine is not of compulsion; the word of life is of free will. If you are willing to hear the doctrine, cleanse the field of your will, so that the good seed will not fall among the thorns of vain speculations. If… Read more

When the Epistle of Barnabas was written, the Temple in Jerusalem—the center of the worship of God for a thousand years—had been destroyed, never to be rebuilt. But there is still a temple of God, says Barnabas. Is there still a temple of God? There is—where he himself declared he would make and complete it. Learn, then, how it will be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God, the dwelling of our heart was corrupt… Read more

The weekly giveaway is BACK! This week one lucky winner will receive a copy of From Islam to Christ: One Woman’s Path through the Riddles of God by Derya Little (have  a listen to my interview with Derya on Breadbox Media)  sponsored by Carmel Communications marketing firm for Ignatius Press. I use Rafflecopter to run my giveaways which makes it simple for you and me. The contest begins now and ends next Monday 10/02 with a winner chosen later that day, enter below! a… Read more

The gifts of language and thought, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, are what dis­tinguish us from the animals and make us the image of God. What a terrible thing it is, then, when we use these gifts to be like animals instead of like God! God gave us speech that is free like himself, in order that free speech might serve our independent free will. And by speech, too, we are the likeness of the Giver of it, since as… Read more

Derya M. Little has a PhD in politics from Durham University, England and an MA in history from Bilkent University, Turkey. Her articles on foreign affairs have appeared in academic journals and Catholic World Report. She converted from Islam to Catholicism in her early twenties, and now is living in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children. She is the author of the book From Islam to Christ: One Woman’s Path through the Riddles of God published by Ignatius Press…. Read more

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