Church Fathers, Day 258: Aphrahat wants us to be humble from the start

Be humble from the start“Everyone who glories shall be humbled,” says Aphrahat—and then he gives a very persuasive list of famous boasters who were indeed humbled by God.Everyone who glories shall be humbled.Cain gloried over Abel his brother and slew him. And he was cursed and be­came a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. Again the Sodomites gloried over Lot, and there fell upon them fire from heaven and burned them up and their city was overthrown upon them. And Esau gloried ove … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 244: Aphrahat tells us to take the medicine that cures you

Take the medicine that cures you When you’ve been wounded in the battle against sin, says Aphrahat the Sage, penitence is the medicine you need. But you can’t be cured if you’re ashamed to go to the doctor. There is a medicine for every disease, and the disease is healed when the skillful physician finds the medicine. For those who have been wounded in our battle, there is the medicine of penitence, and those who rub it on their wounds are healed. Physicians, disciples of our wise Physi … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 198: Aphrahat points out that it takes sacrifice to be a good shepherd

It takes sacrifice to be a good shepherd The word “pastor” is just the Latin word for “shepherd.” Why were so many of the famous leaders of God’s people actual shepherds? asks Aphrahat. It’s because they needed to know how to care for creatures that were completely helpless. Jacob was a pastor, and Joseph was a pastor and his brothers were pas­tors. Moses was a pastor, and David also was a pastor. So Amos was a pastor. These all were pastors who fed the sheep and led them well. Now, why, de … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Seventy-Nine: Aphrahat advises us to build your faith on the Stone

Build your faith on the Stone A mighty building, says Aphrahat, depends on its foundation stones. If we build the structure of our faith on Christ the true Stone, that structure cannot be shaken. Faith is made up of many things, and by many kinds is it brought to per­fection. It is like a building that is built up of many pieces of workmanship, and so its structure rises to the top. And know, dear friends, that stones are laid in the foundation of the building, and so resting on stones the … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Seventy-Eight: Aphrahat wants us feel the power of faith

Feel the power of faith Running at a gallop through salvation history, Aphrahat tells us that all the great things we read about in the Bible were accomplished by faith. Let us draw near then, dear friends, to faith, since its powers are so many. For faith raised Enoch up to the heavens and conquered the Flood. It caused the barren to bring forth. It delivered from the sword. It raised up from the pit. It enriched the poor. It released the captives. It delivered the persecuted. It brought … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Thirty-Five: Aphrahat tells us to take Christ as your model of love


Take Christ as your model of love Christ taught us how to love by loving us, says Aphrahat, the Persian Sage. By looking to Christ, we can know what it means to love God and our neighbors— the two commandments on which Jesus said the Law and the prophets depended. This is how our Savior taught us diligently to manifest love: first he per­fected it in himself, and then he taught those who heard him. He reconciled our enmity with his Father because he loved us, and he yielded up his in … [Read more...]