Author Topic: Early Church Fathers  (Read 109829 times)

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Online Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #495 on: November 28, 2017, 01:55:10 PM »
Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the brotherhood, and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because alms delivers from death. (Tobit 4:10) Be all of you subject one to another "having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles" (1 Peter 2:12) that you may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. But woe to him by whom the name of the Lord is blasphemed! Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.

-- St. Polycarp of Smyrna (d. 156), Epistle to the Philippians, 10

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #496 on: November 28, 2017, 05:08:55 PM »
I know also a fire which is not cleansing, but avenging; either that fire of Sodom which He pours down on all sinners, mingled with brimstone and storms, or that which is prepared for the Devil and his Angels, or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord, and shall burn up his enemies round about; and one even more fearful still than these, the unquenchable fire which is ranged with the worm that dies not but is eternal for the wicked. For all these belong to the destroying power; though some may prefer even in this place to take a more merciful view of this fire, worthily of Him That chastises.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. 390), Oration 40.36

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #497 on: November 28, 2017, 05:17:50 PM »
I guess he's talking about St. Gregory of Nyssa there at the end.
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The breath of Thine Holy Spirit inspires artists, poets and scientists. The power of Thy supreme knowledge makes them prophets and interpreters of Thy laws, who reveal the depths of Thy creative wisdom. Their works speak unwittingly of Thee. How great art Thou in Thy creation! How great art Thou in man!
Akathist Hymn- Glory to God for All Things

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #498 on: November 28, 2017, 05:32:07 PM »
This is who St. Maximus thought of as well:

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And the fire "which proceeds before the face of the Lord" burning "his enemies" is the energies (energiai) of God. For they characterize the face of God, that is, his goodness, love of humankind, meekness, and things similar to these. These energies enlighten those who are like them and burn up those who oppose and have been alienated from the likeness. And the passage did not say these, the forms of fire, are eternal, since according to Gregory of Nyssa nature must recover its own powers and be restored by full knowledge (epignosei) to what it was from the beginning, so that the Creator may be proven not to be the cause of sin.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor, Questions and Doubts, 99

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #499 on: November 29, 2017, 03:06:15 PM »
When you pray as you should, thoughts will come to you which make you feel that you have a real right to be angry. But anger with your neighbor is never right. If you search you will find that things can always be arranged without anger. So do all you can not to break out into anger

-- Evagrius Ponticus (d. 399), On Prayer: One Hundred and Fifty-Three Texts, 24 (Philokalia, v. 1, p. 59)

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #500 on: November 30, 2017, 04:36:11 AM »
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful, composed by the Spirit for this reason, namely, that we men, each and all of us, as if in a general hospital for souls, may select the remedy for his own condition. For, it says, 'care will make the greatest sin to cease.' (Eccl. 10:4)  Now, the prophets teach one thing, historians another, the law something else, and the form of advice found in the proverbs something different still. But, the Book of Psalms has taken over what is profitable from all. It foretells coming events; it recalls history; it frames laws for life; it suggests what must be done; and, in general, it is the common treasury of good doctrine, carefully finding what is suitable for each one. The old wounds of souls it cures completely, and to the recently wounded it brings speedy improvement; the diseased it treats, and the unharmed it preserves. On the whole, it effaces, as far as possible, the passions, which subtly exercise dominion over souls during the lifetime of man, and it does this with a certainly orderly persuasion and sweetness which produces sound thoughts.

-- St. Basil the Great (d. 379), Exegetical Homilies: Homily 10

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #501 on: December 01, 2017, 08:04:30 AM »
Q. ...and what do the robbers and the breaking of their legs signify? (Jn. 19:32)

A. ...And the robbers are understood as our nature being divided between the just and sinful. The breaking of the legs signifies that you find that no one ides without faults and [everyone] is crushed by sin, but only the Lord died intact and without any sin.

-- St. Maximos the Confessor (d. 662), Questions and Doubts, 118

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #502 on: December 02, 2017, 05:17:46 PM »
Therefore you ought to strive to the utmost of your power not to fall into a base or dishonourable, not to say an absolutely flagitious way of thinking, lest the name of Christ be thus blasphemed even by you. Be it far from you that you should sell the privilege of access to the emperor to any one for money, or that you should by any means place a dishonest account of any affair before your prince, won over either by prayers or by bribes. Let all the lust of avarice be put from you, which serves the cause of idolatry rather than the religion of Christ. No filthy lucre, no duplicity, can befit the Christian who embraces the simple and unadorned Christ. Let no scurrilous or base talk have place among you. Let all things be done with modesty, courteousness, affability, and uprightness, so that the name of our God and Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in all. Discharge the official duties to which you are severally appointed with the utmost fear of God and affection to your prince, and perfect carefulness. Consider that every command of the emperor which does not offend God has proceeded from God Himself; and execute it in love as well as in fear, and with all cheerfulness.

-- (St.?) Theonas of Alexandria (d. 300), Epistle to Lucianus, 2


And do thou, my dearest Lucianus, since thou art wise, bear with good-will the unwise; and they too may perchance become wise. Do no one an injury at any time, and provoke no one to anger. If an injury is done to you, look to Jesus Christ; and even as ye desire that He may remit your transgressions, do ye also forgive them theirs; and then also shall ye do away with all ill-will, and bruise the head of that ancient serpent, who is ever on the watch with all subtlety to undo your good works and your prosperous attainments. Let no day pass by without reading some portion of the Sacred Scriptures, at such convenient hour as offers, and giving some space to meditation. And never cast off the habit of reading in the Holy Scriptures; for nothing feeds the soul and enriches the mind so well as those sacred studies do. But look to this as the chief gain you are to make by them, that, in all due patience, ye may discharge the duties of your office religiously and piously—that is, in the love of Christ—and despise all transitory objects for the sake of His eternal promises, which in truth surpass all human comprehension and understanding, and shall conduct you into everlasting felicity.

-- (St.?) Theonas of Alexandria (d. 300), Epistle to Lucianus, 9

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #503 on: December 04, 2017, 10:09:13 PM »
For the patience of Job did not bring any gain to the devil, through making him a better man by his temptations, but only to Job himself who endured them bravely; nor was Judas granted freedom from eternal punishment, because his act of betrayal contributed to the salvation of mankind. For we must not regard the result of the deed, but the purpose of the doer. Wherefore we should always cling to this assertion; viz., that evil cannot be brought upon a man by another, unless a man has admitted it by his sloth or feebleness of heart: as the blessed Apostle confirms this opinion of ours in a verse of Scripture: “But we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” (Rom. 8:28) But by saying “All things work together for good,” he includes everything alike, not only things fortunate, but also those which seem to be misfortunes: through which the Apostle tells us in another place that he himself has passed, when he says: “By the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,” i.e., “Through honour and dishonour, through evil report and good report, as deceivers and yet true, as sorrowful but always rejoicing, as needy and yet enriching many” (2 Cor. 6:7-10)

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), Conferences, 6.9

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #504 on: December 04, 2017, 10:44:32 PM »
“The kingdom of heaven is within you” (Luke 17:21)  Wherefore virtue hath need at our hands of willingness alone, since it is in us and is formed from us. For when the soul hath its spiritual faculty in a natural state virtue is formed. And it is in a natural state when it remains as it came into existence. And when it came into existence it was fair and exceeding honest. For this cause Joshua, the son of Nun, in his exhortation said to the people, “Make straight your heart unto the Lord God of Israel,” (Jos. 24:23) “Make your paths straight,” (Matt. 3:3) For rectitude of soul consists in its having its spiritual part in its natural state as created. But on the other hand, when it swerves and turns away from its natural state, that is called vice of the soul. Thus the matter is not difficult. If we abide as we have been made, we are in a state of virtue, but if we think of ignoble things we shall be accounted evil.

-- St. Anthony (d. 356), quoted in: St. Athanasius, Life on Anthony, 19-20

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #505 on: December 06, 2017, 08:28:31 PM »
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. 8:8) What then? Are we, it will be said, to cut our bodies in pieces to please God, and to make our escape from the flesh? And would you have us be homicides, and so lead us to virtue? You see what inconsistencies are gendered by taking the words literally. For by the flesh in this passage, he does not mean the body, or the essence of the body, but that life which is fleshly and worldly, and uses self-indulgence and extravagance to the full, so making the entire man flesh. For as they that have the wings of the Spirit, make the body also spiritual, so do they who bound off from this, and are the slaves of the belly, and of pleasure, make the soul also flesh, not that they change the essence of it, but that they mar its noble birth. And this mode of speaking is to be met with in many parts of the Old Testament also, to signify by flesh the gross and earthly life, which is entangled in pleasures that are not convenient. For to Noah He says, "My Spirit shall not always make its abode in these men, because they are flesh." (Gen. 6:3 LXX) And yet Noah was himself also compassed about with flesh. But this is not the complaint, the being compassed about with the flesh, for this is so by nature, but the having chosen a carnal life. Wherefore also Paul says, "But they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 13 on Romans
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 08:29:27 PM by Asteriktos »

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #506 on: December 07, 2017, 10:11:20 PM »
The Holy Virgin is herself both an honourable temple of God and a shrine made pure, and a golden altar of whole burnt offerings. By reason of her surpassing purity [she is] the Divine incense of oblation, and oil of the holy grace, and a precious vase bearing in itself the true nard; [yea and] the priestly diadem revealing the good pleasure of God, whom she alone approacheth holy in body and soul. [She is] the door which looks eastward, and by the comings in and goings forth the whole earth is illuminated. The fertile olive from which the Holy Spirit took the fleshly slip (or twig) of the Lord, and saved the suffering race of men. She is the boast of virgins, and the joy of mothers; the declaration of archangels, even as it was spoken: "Be thou glad and rejoice, the Lord with thee"; and again, "from thee"; in order that He may make new once more the dead through sin.

-- St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 270), Homily Concerning the Holy Mother of God, 13

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #507 on: December 08, 2017, 09:05:57 PM »
Seeing, therefore, that men who agree not amongst themselves have all alike conspired against the Church of God, I shall call those whom I have to answer by the common name of heretics. For heresy, like some hydra of fable, hath waxed great from its wounds, and, being ofttimes lopped short, hath grown afresh, being appointed to find meet destruction in flames of fire. Or, like some dread and monstrous Scylla, divided into many shapes of unbelief, she displays, as a mask to her guile, the pretence of being a Christian sect, but those wretched men whom she finds tossed to and fro in the waves of her unhallowed strait, amid the wreckage of their faith, she, girt with beastly monsters, rends with the cruel fang of her blasphemous doctrine. This monster’s cavern, your sacred Majesty, thick laid, as seafaring men do say it is, with hidden lairs, and all the neighbourhood thereof, where the rocks of unbelief echo to the howling of her black dogs, we must pass by with ears in a manner stopped. For it is written: “Hedge thine ears about with thorns;” (Sir. 28:24) and again: “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers;” (Phil. 3:2) and yet again: “A man that is an heretic, avoid after the first reproof, knowing that such an one is fallen, and is in sin, being condemned of his own judgment.” (Tit. 3:10-11) So then, like prudent pilots, let us set the sails of our faith for the course wherein we may pass by most safely, and again follow the coasts of the Scriptures.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Exposition of the Christian Faith, 1.6

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #508 on: December 09, 2017, 10:42:52 PM »
Q. Since in [the text of] St. Diadochus, in the 100th chapter, it has been written, "some will be judged through fires and purified in the future age," I ask [that] the father's aim [St. Diadochus] be revealed to me by clarification.

A. They who have acquired the perfection of love for God and have elevated the wing of the soul through the virtues, according to the Apostle "are caught up in the clouds" and do not come into judgment. And they who did not completely acquire perfection but have acquired both sins and good works, come into the court of judgment; there, they are scorched as by a fire by the comparison of their good and evil deeds, and if, in fact, the scale of their good deeds weighs downwards, they are cleansed of punishment.

-- St. Maximos the Confessor (d. 662), Questions and Doubts, I.10

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #509 on: December 10, 2017, 01:35:10 PM »
Therefore many of the things, which are done without reproach by the middle Rank, are forbidden in every way to the single Monks, inasmuch as they are under obligation to be unified to the One, and to be collected to a sacred Monad, and to be transformed to the sacerdotal life, as far as lawful, as possessing an affinity to it in many things, and as being nearer to it than the other Ranks of the initiated. Now the sealing with the sign of the Cross, as we have already said, denotes the inaction of almost all the desires of the flesh. And the cropping of the hair shews the pure and unpretentious life, which does not beautify the darkness within the mind, by overlarding it with smeared pretence, but that it by itself is being led, not by human attractions but by single and monastic, to the highest likeness of God.

-- Dionysius the Areopagite (d. 6th century?), Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, 6.3.3