Don’t be guilty of someone else’s despair; Church Fathers: Day 103

The visionary Hermas is told that when we see someone suffering, we must respond. If people are driven to despair by problems we could have helped with, we’re guilty of that despair. And I say that everyone ought to be saved from inconveniences. For who­ever is in want and whoever suffers inconveniences in daily life—they are both in great torture and necessity. So whoever rescues a soul from this kind of necessity will gain great joy for himself. For whoever… Read more

Help the Church help others, Church Fathers: Day 102

Do you know someone who needs help, but may be too modest to ask for it? You can give some help yourself, says St. Ambrose, but you can also alert the Church and other organizations that have the resources to give more help. There are many kinds of generosity. Not only can we distribute and give away food to those who need it from our own daily supply, so that they may sustain life; but we can also give advice… Read more

Be generous in secret; Church Fathers: Day 101

If you give so that you can boast about it, says St. Ambrose, you already have your reward on earth in your boasting—which means you shouldn’t expect a reward in heaven, too. It is not a real act of generosity if you give for the sake of boasting about it, rather than for mercy’s sake. Your inner feelings give the name to your acts. As it comes forth from you, so will others regard it. See what a true judge… Read more

Be kind even to people who don’t deserve it; Church Fathers: Day 100

Is that beggar on the street just a lazy bum? Maybe so, but St. John Cassian re­minds us that our moral judgment is not supposed to limit our Christian charity. Nevertheless, like a far-sighted and careful physician, the Apostle Paul is not only anxious to heal the wounds of the sick, but gives suitable directions as well to the healthy, so that their health may be preserved continually. He says, “do not be weary in well-doing, you who follow me… Read more

Give, and let God take care of the rest; Church Fathers: Day 099

Give, and let God take care of the rest – Hermas on Christian charity. The visionary Hermas is given simple advice about Christian charity: give when you see a need. Don’t worry about whether the recipient really deserves it or whether you’re being conned. Your job is to give; God will take care of the rest. Practice goodness, and from the rewards God gives you for your labors, give to all the needy in simplicity. Don’t hesitate about whether you… Read more

Remember that everyone is your “neighbor”; Church Fathers: Day 098

This godly love cannot be perfect unless we love our neighbor as well. And in the name “neighbor” we must include not only those who are connected with us by friendship or neighborhood, but absolutely all humanity. We have a common nature with all humans, whether they’re enemies or allies, slaves or free. For the one Maker made us; the one Creator breathed life into us. We all enjoy the same sky and air, the same days and nights. And… Read more

Off the Shelf 044 with Brandon Vogt – Why I Am Catholic

Brandon Vogt is a bestselling and award-winning author, blogger, and speaker who serves as content director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Vogt was one of the millennial “nones” when it came to religion until, as a mechanical engineering student at Florida State University, he began a passionate search for truth. That search led him unexpectedly to the Catholic Church in 2008. In 2013, he started StrangeNotions.com, the largest site of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. On… Read more

Do what’s appropriate, but always in love; Church Fathers: Day 097

We can’t always be doing everything, says St. Augustine. We need to judge what kind of work is appropriate to the time. But love must always direct all our works. You should do one kind of work one time, another kind of work another time, according to the days. Are you always to be talking? Always to keep silence? Always to be refreshing the body? Always fasting? Always giving bread to the hun­gry? Always clothing the naked? Always visiting the… Read more

Plant the seeds of love; Church Fathers: Day 096

Are we ready to die for our friends? Maybe not yet. But St. Augustine shows us where the seeds of that perfect love can start to grow in us. Where does love begin? Listen for a moment. You’ve already heard the very end, the perfection of love. The very measure of it is what the Lord has set before us in the Gospel. “Greater love has no man than this,” he says, “that a man lay down his life for… Read more

Live for others, not for yourself; Church Fathers: Day 095

No matter how virtuously you live your own life, says St. Leo the Great, you have nothing if you don’t live for others. It may be praiseworthy to run away from intemperance, and avoid the waste of dishonorable pleasures. And there are many who, in their magnificence, disdain to conceal their wealth, and in the abundance of their good scorn con­temptible and sordid stinginess. But the liberality of men like that is not happy, and their thriftiness is not to… Read more

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