Honor Mary in Christ’s flesh, Church Fathers: Day 360

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Honor Mary in Christ’s fleshSome heretical Christians said that Christ took nothing from Mary when he was conceived in her. St. Irenaeus says those people are badly mistaken. It was Mary’s human nature that made Christ truly human enough to be hungry, tired, or grieving.Those who suppose that Christ took nothing from the Virgin are badly mistaken. In order to cast away the inheritance of the flesh, they also reject the analogy between Christ and Adam.And his descent into Mary would … [Read more...]

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Honoring the saints goes back to the Apostles, Church Fathers: Day 359

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Honoring the saints goes back to the ApostlesSt. Basil professes his Trinitarian faith, and invokes the saints as well—a practice he says has been handed down since the time of the Apostles.According to the blameless Christian faith which comes to us from God, I confess and hold that I believe in one God, the Father almighty: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. I adore and worship one God, the Trinity.I confess the incarnation of the Son in the flesh, and that St. M … [Read more...]

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Venerate the saints and martyrs, Church Fathers: Day 358

Venerate the saints and martyrsSt. Jerome lets his notorious temper loose against one Vigilantius, who had been scandalized by the way relics of the martyrs were venerated. Jerome tells him that he would not be scandalized if he really believed what Scripture says: that the martyrs are alive now and with the Lamb.Among other blasphemies, he may be heard to say, “Why do you kiss and adore a bit of powder wrapped up in a cloth?”Madman, who in the world ever adored the martyrs? Who eve … [Read more...]

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Show reverence to what is sacred, Church Fathers: Day 356

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Show reverence to what is sacredSt. Jerome says that when he is angry (which happened to him often enough) or has evil thoughts, he is afraid to enter the basilicas of the martyrs. Is he being superstitious? Perhaps. Or perhaps he has a real sense of the reverence due those sacred places.I confess my own fear, for possibly it may be thought to spring from su­perstition when I have been angry, or have had evil thoughts in my soul.You may smile, perhaps, and deride this as on a level … [Read more...]

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Remember the martyrs, Church Fathers: Day 355

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Remember the martyrsMarble statues don’t commemorate the deeds of the martyrs, says the historian Eusebius of Caesarea in his introduction to a book about the martyrs of Pal­estine, but the faith they died for does. Marble statues are lifeless, whereas the martyrs live forever in heaven.The holy Martyrs of God loved our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, and God supreme and sovereign of all, more than themselves and their own lives. They were dragged forward to the conflict for the sake of r … [Read more...]

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Find the best models to imitate, Church Fathers: Day 354

Find the best models to imitateA bit of practical advice for monks, but also for anyone else, from St. John Cas­sian: if you’re looking for virtues to imitate, don’t expect to find all the virtues in one model. We all have different strengths.It is an ancient and excellent saying of the blessed Anthony that when a monk is trying through the monastic life to reach the heights of a more advanced perfection, and, having learned the consideration of discretion, is able now to stand in his o … [Read more...]

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