Church Fathers, Day Eighty: St. Gregory the Great directs us to believe what Christ tells you

Believe what Christ tells you In a dialogue with St. Gregory the Great, Peter the deacon seems to prefer to think there is no hell. But we can’t do that, says St. Gregory the Great, without making a liar out of Christ. Peter: Let me ask you: will those who are condemned to hell burn forever, and never have any end of their torments? Gregory: It is certain, without doubt, and very true that, as the good will have no end of their joys, so the wicked will never have any release of their t … [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 Seventy-Seven: Hermas directs us to don’t doubt—just pray


Don’t doubt—just pray How can I pray to God when I’m such a miserable sinner? Don’t think like that, the visionary Hermas is told. If you get rid of your doubt and just pray, the Lord will answer your prayer. Get rid of all your doubt, and don’t hesitate to ask of the Lord. Don’t say to yourself, “How can I ask of the Lord and receive from him, when I’ve sinned so much against him?” Don’t think that way. With all your heart, turn to the Lord and ask of him without doubting. And then you wil … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Seventy-Six: St. Cyril says everything takes faith


Everything takes faith St. Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that faith is by no means an exclusively Chris­tian idea. It takes as much faith to plant a garden as it does to accept the Christian religion. We Christians are not the only ones for whom faith is very important. Everything that is accomplished in the world, even by those outside the Church, is accomplished by faith. By faith the laws of marriage bring together those who lived as strangers: because of the faith in marriage contracts, … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day Seventy-Five: St. Ambrose says cooperation is a law of nature


Cooperation is a law of nature Working for the common good is a law implanted in our very nature, says St. Ambrose. The example of our own bodies shows that doing anything to injure someone else injures the whole, and therefore eventually ourselves. Think, human, where your very name comes from—from the humus, the earth, which takes nothing from any one, but gives freely to all, and supplies varied produce for the use of all living things. Thus humanity is called a particular and innate v … [Read more...]