Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Forty-Four: St. Ambrose tells us to keep silent until the right moment

Keep silent until the right moment St. Ambrose, one of the great thinkers in Christian history, weighed his words carefully. When we run the risk of being judged by our words, he says, silence is better than speaking. Now what should we learn before everything else? To be silent, so that we may be able to speak. Otherwise my voice may condemn me before that of another acquits me; for it is written, “by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37). Why should you rush to risk con … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Forty-Three: St. Ambrose tells us to think before we speak


Think before you speak It’s easy to get carried away when we start talking, says St. John Chrysostom. We should remember how easy it is to sin by a careless word, and take care to consider what we’re about to say. Bind up your words, so that they won’t run riot, and grow wanton, and gather up sins for themselves in too much talking. Confine them; hold them back within their own banks. An overflowing river quickly gathers mud. Bind up your meaning, too. Don’t leave it slack and unchecked, or … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Forty-Two: St. John Chrysostom tells us to train our tongues to serve righteousness


Train your tongue to serve righteousness What we say can be as important as what we do. St. John Chrysostom reminds us that it’s up to us to decide whether we’ll use our tongues for good or for evil. First of all, we should train our tongues to be ministers of the grace of the Spirit, expelling from our mouths all hostility and ill will, and the habit of us­ing obscenities. We have the power to make each part of our bodies a tool of evil or of righteousness. So listen how some people make t … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Forty-One: St. Ambrose advises us to be Christian in your conversation

Be Christian in your conversation The things we say even in casual conversation can have profound effects on the people we say them to. St. Ambrose advises us always to keep our conversation within the limits of friendly good taste, so that we never give anyone an occa­sion of sin. Speech is divided into two kinds: first, as it is used in friendly conversa­tion, and then in the treatment and discussion of matters of faith and justice. In either case we must take care that there is no i … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day One Hundred Forty: St. Basil wants us to live and talk like a Christian

Live and talk like a Christian In his letter “On the Perfection of the Life of Solitaries,” St. Basil gives advice that applies not just to monks and nuns, but to every Christian. No matter what we do, it should be obvious that we’re Christians and that we take our com­mitment seriously. Inspired Scripture tells us many things that everyone who is eager to please God ought to do. But, for right now, I think I need only remind you of what I’ve learned from Scripture itself to address the quest … [Read more...]

New and Notables – Dec. 2014


Welcome back to this recurring feature at The Catholic Book Blogger. As a book reviewer I get access to early or hot off the presses books from many Catholic publishers. My goal is to share a few titles each post that have either just released or are soon to be released. These are books I am looking forward to reading and think you might be too. The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today by John Michael Talbot with Mike AquilinaRelease Date: … [Read more...]