Writing to Christians facing a sentence of death, Tertullian tells them to think of their hardships as training for victory. You don’t win the star athlete’s wreath without hard work and sweat, and in the spiritual realm the Holy Spirit is their personal trainer, getting them in shape to win a “wreath  of angelic essence.” Even in peace soldiers get themselves used to war by work and chal- lenges, marching in arms, running over the plain, working at the ditch, drilling… Read more

Still meditating on the instructions in Revelation “to the angel of the Church in Ephesus,”  St. Augustine tells us that Christ himself  set the example of tolera- tion by tolerating Judas, his betrayer, in the midst of his disciples. I know I’ve left out many examples. If you are willing and able, read the divine records for yourself: you’ll find that all the holy servants and friends of God have always had to bear with some among their own people. They… Read more

Citing the instructions “to the angel of the church in Ephesus,”  St. Augustine says that toleration for the sake of unity earns us high praise. In the Revelation of John (2:1-5) we read, “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lamp stands. “I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but… Read more

St. Augustine’s advice to soldiers: Peace is your goal, and everything you do must work toward it. The peace we desire on earth is only a shadow of that peace God gives the angels now and will give us after our trials here. Think, then, of this first of all, when you are arming for the battle: that even your bodily strength is a gift of God. If you think about this, you will not employ the gift of God against God…. Read more

A definite challenge the church faces today is how to catechize our youth. One concern is how disengaged many parents are in the process. If you have a religious education program, you have likely been witness to the amount of parents who drop their kids off and leave. Likely they do not even attend Mass on a weekly basis as required. What can we do to fix this? Sophia Institute Press has introduced a product that is innovative, promising and… Read more

St. Ambrose recommends the life of a much-respected monk as an example to us all. To spend your days in praising God and celebrating the Lord with hymns— this is the way the angels live, he says, and you can do it too. But now I think we have said enough of the teacher. Let us now follow up the lives of his disciples, who have given themselves to praise the divine Name, and celebrate it with hymns night and day. For… Read more

Review by Maura Zagrans If I could, I would thrust a copy of Wendell Berry and the Given Life by Ragan Sutterfield into the hands of everyone I know. Here’s why: Sutterfield’s book is a terrific introduction to an esteemed man of letters. Wendell Berry is a poet, novelist, essayist, conservation activist, and pioneering agrarian who advocates for sustainable agriculture. Thus Berry is a man whose legacy is equally remarkable for his literary writings as well as for his pioneering… Read more

In his commentary on the Apostles’  Creed, Rufinus of Aquileia explains what Christ means when he says the resurrected will be like angels in Heaven. We will live with the angels then, but only if  we live like angels here on earth— which we can do with the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. “For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in Heaven” (Mark 12:25). This means that the power… Read more

Charlie McKinney, president of Sophia Institute Press, stopped by to talk about the problems with youth catechesis the Church faces today. We also discuss the disengagement of parents in the current structure used by most parishes. How do we resolve this? Get them involved! Sophia Institute Press has developed a program to answer this issue and we talk about it’s benefits on this episode. The program is called A Family of Faith and it not only catechizes the child but the entire… Read more

Recalling a holy monk who was well known for his ascetic life, St. Ambrose says that he led an angel’s life on earth—and in doing so became a model for the rest of us. Now this endurance in holy Eusebius was thriving under the monastic discipline. Because he was used to a stricter rule, he drank in a power of bearing hardships. I’m positive that, in the higher kinds of Christian devotion, these two things are the most excellent: the clerical… Read more

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