St. Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that honoring our parents is the first virtue of a Christian. Whatever we do for our parents, we can never repay them for their gift of life to us. But while we honor our heavenly Father, let us also honor the fathers of our flesh. For when our fathers on earth are of a contrary mind to our Father in heaven, then we must obey Christ’s word. But when they do not stand in… Read more

Beginning a homily, Jacob of Serugh invites everyone to leave the weariness and empty toil of the world and come to the sweet rest of the Church. The Church in the world is a great harbor, full of peace. Whoever la­bors, let him come in and rest at her table. Her doors are open, and her eye is good, and her heart is wide. Her table is full, and sweet is her mixed cup to those who are worthy. You… Read more

Dr. Brian Engelland is Associate Dean of the School of Business and Economics, the Edward J. Pryzbyla Chair of Business and Economics, and Ordinary Professor of Marketing. He teaches market research, market strategy and other marketing electives in support of the BSBA and MSBA degrees. Prior to becoming an academic, he was a product development executive and served in a series of leadership positions for two Fortune 500 corporations. Later, he became president of a marketing consultancy agency, Engelland and… Read more

Jacob of Serugh tells us that our souls take on the color of whatever we think about. We should let our souls be drawn to the sights and sounds of the Mass, and then we will be dyed with holy colors. Life flows from the service of the house of God; you who love life, do not refuse the profit that comes from it. The human soul receives impressions; whatever she meditates on, she is dyed with that and becomes… Read more

On his way to martyrdom in Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch begs the Roman Christians not to try to save him. He is through with the things of this world; he longs for the bliss of heaven. The prince of this world wants to carry me away and corrupt my disposi­tion toward God. None of you in Rome should help him. Be on my side instead— that is, on God’s side. Don’t talk about Jesus Christ, and then set your… Read more

Do we forget everything that happened at Mass as soon as we burst out the church door?We shouldn’t let that happen, says St. John Chrysostom. Take some time after Mass to digest what you’ve heard there, or it will do you no good at all. I hear many say, “While we’re here and have the privilege of hearing, we are awed, but when we leave, we change again, and the fire of enthusiasm goes out.” So what can we do… Read more

In the time of Jacob of Serugh, it seems that many people were rushing out of Mass before it was over. (Sound familiar?) Jacob reminds them of what they’re missing. Do not be impatient to be gone from the supper that the bride of the whole world has made for us to delight in. You are a child of the household, not a stranger who ought to depart. The Bridegroom is coming down to see the bride betrothed to Him;… Read more

Frequent communion is life many times over, says St. Basil. Offered the gift of eternal life, who wouldn’t want to go to Mass every day? It’s good for us to commune every day, partaking of the holy body and blood of Christ. He says quite clearly, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). And who can doubt that sharing in life frequently is the same as having life many times over? I myself… Read more

It’s an old joke, born of true observation, that Catholics seem to burst out of church as soon as Mass is over. Why are we so impatient? asks the poetic and mystical Jacob of Serugh, a sixth-century Christian writer from the East. The unspeakably great privilege is not to be let out of Mass, but to be let in. Come to prayer, and bring your whole self with you. Do not let your mind remain in the market with your… Read more

Christopher O. Blum is Professor of History & Philosophy and Academic Dean of the Augustine Institute. Dr. Christopher Blum teaches courses in philosophy and on the history of evangelization and Catholic culture. He has made a special study of the intellectual virtues as understood by the Catholic tradition, with particular reference to the moral dispositions, practices, and institutional forms that conduce to the attainment of wisdom. As a student of Catholic culture, he has published a number of translations from… Read more

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