The Apostles and Their Times

When it comes to the church fathers and the early church, in general, I, like many, turn to the writings of one particular author. That author is Mike Aquilina who is now clocking in on the mid-fifties with his backlog of work. Recently he released The Apostles and Their Times: Archaeology, History, and Scripture Unveil What Life Was Really Like During the Apostolic Age. The book provides an inside look at what exactly those early days of the early church… Read more

Seek understanding with love; Church Fathers: Day 094

Writing to convert Manichean heretics, St. Augustine admits that he can’t make them understand Catholic truth. But if they seek the truth with real love, they’ll find it. In your case, we must try, not to make you understand divine things (which is impossible), but to make you want to understand. This is the work of the pure and artless love of God, which is seen mainly in what we do, and of which we have already said much. This… Read more

Drink from the fountain of love; Church Fathers: Day 093

Like the Israelites, we are wandering in the desert as a training for the Promised Land. To keep us from dying of thirst, says St. Augustine, God has given us the fountain of love to drink from. To all the faithful who are seeking their own country, this world is as the desert was to the people of Israel. They were certainly wandering and seeking their own country, but with God as their guide they could not wander astray. Their… Read more

Find all the virtues in love; Church Fathers: Day 092

Virtue, says St. Augustine, is simply love in action. All the named virtues are different aspects of love, and perfect love for God produces perfect virtue. As far as virtue leading us to a happy life is concerned, I believe that virtue is nothing other than perfect love of God. I regard the fourfold division of virtue as taken from the four forms of love. I wish all felt the influence of those four virtues in their minds as much… Read more

Let love lead your mind back to God; Church Fathers: Day 091

The mind that strays from God is miserable, says St. Augustine. Only love can lead the mind back to God, and to a real understanding of man’s place as a created being. The further the mind goes from God—not in space, but in affection and lust after things below him—the more it is filled with foolishness and misery. So by love it returns to God—a love that places it not beside God, but under him. And the more ardor and… Read more

Off the Shelf 043 with Brian Kennelly – Queen of Heaven

  Brian Kennelly is the author of two novels, Two Statues and To the Heights, and the co-author of two non-fiction books, Doors of Mercy and Queen of Heaven. He is also the co-screen writer of the 8-part documentary Queen of Heaven: Mary’s Battle for Souls, which is airing on EWTN this week. Brian currently lives in Charlotte with his wife, Tina, who is due with their 4th child this Christmas. If you are looking for an incredible study on… Read more

Thoughts of sin are seeds of sin; Church Fathers: Day 090

A little weed, says St. Cyril of Jerusalem, can eventually break a rock apart with its roots. If you let in thoughts of sin, the sins themselves will follow. Now, someone might say, “What can sin be? Is it a living thing? An an­gel? A demon? What is this thing working inside us?” It is not an enemy that attacks you from outside, but an evil shoot growing up from inside yourself. “Let your eyes look directly forward” (Proverbs 4:25),… Read more

Learn how to control your thoughts; Church Fathers: Day 089

St. John Cassian recalls the wise words of an Egyptian abbot named Moses. You can’t always help it when evil thoughts pop up in your mind, Moses said, but you always have the power to accept or reject them. It is impossible for the mind not to be approached by thoughts, but it is in the power of everyone who is earnest either to admit them or to reject them. Even though their rising up does not entirely depend on… Read more

The errors of others don’t make you right; Church Fathers: Day 088

So you’ve proved that someone else’s opinion is wrong. Well, that doesn’t mean you’re right, says our author (writing under the name of Dionysius, a character in the New Testament). You could both be wrong. There are many falsehoods but only one truth. Do not imagine that it is a victory, holy Sopatros, to have denounced a devotion, or an opinion, that apparently is not good. Even if you have denounced it accurately, that does not mean that the teachings… Read more

See the truth in the works it produces; Church Fathers: Day 087

Do any of the pagan professors of rhetoric or grammar really make their stu­dents happy? No, says Athenagoras. But look at the Christians: they may not know a subject from a predicate, but you can tell by their works that Christian teaching is true. Look at the teachers who reduce syllogisms, and clear up ambiguities, and explain etymologies, or teach homonyms and synonyms, and which is the subject and which is the predicate—promising to make their students happy by instructions… Read more

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