Church Fathers, Day 189: Jacob of Serugh says find rest in the Church

Find rest in the Church Beginning a homily, Jacob of Serugh invites everyone to leave the weariness and empty toil of the world and come to the sweet rest of the Church. The Church in the world is a great harbor, full of peace. Whoever la­bors, let him come in and rest at her table. Her doors are open, and her eye is good, and her heart is wide. Her table is full, and sweet is her mixed cup to those who are worthy. You who love the world, come in from wandering in the evil world, and rest … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 188: Jacob of Serugh tells us to color our souls with the Mass

Color your soul with the Mass Jacob of Serugh tells us that our souls take on the color of whatever we think about. We should let our souls be drawn to the sights and sounds of the Mass, and then we will be dyed with holy colors. Life flows from the service of the house of God; you who love life, do not refuse the profit that comes from it. The human soul receives impressions; whatever she meditates on, she is dyed with that and becomes the same color. When she hears the dirges of the … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 187: St. Ignatius of Antioch tells us to find our delight in heavenly food

Find your delight in heavenly food On his way to martyrdom in Rome, St. Ignatius of Antioch begs the Roman Christians not to try to save him. He is through with the things of this world; he longs for the bliss of heaven. The prince of this world wants to carry me away and corrupt my disposi­tion toward God. None of you in Rome should help him. Be on my side instead— that is, on God’s side. Don’t talk about Jesus Christ, and then set your desires on the world. Don’t let envy find a home among … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 186: St. John Chrysostom advises us to take some time to reflect after Mass

Take some time to reflect after Mass Do we forget everything that happened at Mass as soon as we burst out the church door?We shouldn’t let that happen, says St. John Chrysostom. Take some time after Mass to digest what you’ve heard there, or it will do you no good at all. I hear many say, “While we’re here and have the privilege of hearing, we are awed, but when we leave, we change again, and the fire of enthusiasm goes out.” So what can we do to keep this from happening? Let’s figure out … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 185: Jacob of Serugh advises us to stay for the whole Mass

Stay for the whole Mass In the time of Jacob of Serugh, it seems that many people were rushing out of Mass before it was over. (Sound familiar?) Jacob reminds them of what they’re missing. Do not be impatient to be gone from the supper that the bride of the whole world has made for us to delight in. You are a child of the household, not a stranger who ought to depart. The Bridegroom is coming down to see the bride betrothed to Him; stay, O soul, in the midst of the bride-chamber, that he m … [Read more...]

Church Fathers, Day 184: St. Basil wants us to take communion every day

Take communion every day Frequent communion is life many times over, says St. Basil. Offered the gift of eternal life, who wouldn’t want to go to Mass every day? It’s good for us to commune every day, partaking of the holy body and blood of Christ. He says quite clearly, “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54). And who can doubt that sharing in life frequently is the same as having life many times over? I myself commune four times a week: on the Lord’s Day, o … [Read more...]