Church Fathers, Day 316: Asterius of Amasea tells us think of yourself as a guest in this life

A Year With Church Fathers

Think of yourself as a guest in this lifeWe think of ourselves as owners of all we possess, says Asterius of Amasea, but we’re not. We should think of all our possessions, and life itself, as simply on loan to us.I have often said to you in my sermons that there is one fictitious and false conception prevalent among us that multiplies our transgressions and diminishes the good that each of us ought to do. And this false conception is that everything we have to enjoy in this life we p … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 315: Aphrahat says live like a visitor to this world

Live like a visitor to this worldIf we remember that we must die and move on, says Aphrahat, we will live like visitors to this world, not regarding anything in it as permanently ours.The sons of peace remember death; and they forsake and remove from them wrath and enmity. As visitors they live in this world, and prepare for them­selves a provision for the journey before them. On that which is above they set their thoughts, on that which is above they meditate; and those things that … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 314: Aphrahat say remember death, and live

Remember death, and liveWhen you pile up earthly wealth and plunder your neighbors, says Aphrahat, you are forgetting that you must die, and you cannot use your wealth on the day of judgment.Therefore, you children of Adam, all of you over whom Death has ruled, be mindful of Death and remember life; and do not break the command­ment as your first father did.Kings, crowned with the diadem, remember Death, which will take away the diadems that are set upon your heads, and he shall be … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 313: St. Augustine tells us to keep our perspective

Keep your perspectiveWe get so caught up in our hopes and fears that we forget what’s really impor­tant. If we keep our eyes on eternity, says St. Augustine, nothing we’re afraid of and nothing we want can seduce us away from the right path.Remember that Christ has promised us eternal life. “And this,” says John, “is what he has promised us, eternal life. I write this to you about those who would deceive you.”Don’t let anyone seduce you to death. Desire the promise of eternal life. … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 312: St. Ephrem the Syrian says don’t worship idols in your heart

Don’t worship idols in your heartAll the sins we secretly serve are idols we worship in our hearts, says St. Ephrem the Syrian. Cast out those sins, and the Enemy retreats.Narrow is the way of life, and broad the way of torment; prayer is able to bring a man to the house of the Kingdom. This is the perfect work: prayer that is pure from iniquity.Human righteousness counts for nothing. Our labor is altogether vanity. From you, O Lord, from your grace it is that in our nature we s … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 311: St. John Chrysostom wants us to keep on your toes

Keep on your toesThe devil would love it if you despaired of repentance, says St. John Chrysos­tom. But don’t give him the satisfaction. Always be ready for the day of the Lord.I’ve said all these things, not to exempt the devil from blame, but to free you from slothfulness. For he really wants us to attribute all our sins to him, so that, nourished by these hopes, and going ahead with all kinds of evil, we may increase our own punishment, and find no pardon because we transferred the c … [Read more...]