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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: Sabbas on February 28, 2005, 08:55:12 PM

Title: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on February 28, 2005, 08:55:12 PM
Considering that there now is a Modern Church Fathers section I thought I would start an Early Church Fathers section. I think it best to try to restrict the quotes to before the 6th Century.

"Another night -- God knows, I do not, whether within me or beside me ... most words which I heard and could not understand, except at the end of the speech it was represented thus: 'He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.'  Thus I awoke, joyful. 

On a second occasion I saw Him praying within me, and I was as it were, inside my own body, and I heard Him above me-- that is, above my inner self.  He was praying powerfully with sighs.  And in the course of this I was astonished and wondering, and I pondered who it could be who was praying within me.  But at the end of the prayer it was revealed to me that it was the Spirit.  And so I awoke and remembered the Apostle's words: 'Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought.  But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for utterance.' And again: 'The Lord our advocate intercedes for us.'"
-St.Patrick Confession
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on March 01, 2005, 12:18:04 AM
"It is better to eat meat and drink wine and not eat the flesh of one's brethren through slander."

-Abba Hyperechios
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 01, 2005, 12:30:09 PM
"'For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do according to good will.' (Phil. 2:13) What could well be clearer than the assertion that both our good will and the completion of our work are fully wrought in us by the Lord? And again 'For it is granted to you for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him.' (Phil. 1:29) Here also he declares that the beginning of our conversion and faith, and the endurance of suffering is a gift to us from the Lord." - St. John Cassian, The Conferences, 3: The Conference of Paphnutius, 15

 
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Νεκτάριος on March 01, 2005, 01:16:30 PM
"Let no one deceive you, monk, with the notion that you can be saved while a slave to sensual pleasure and self-esteem."
-Saint Maximos the confessor
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: icxn on March 01, 2005, 01:55:51 PM
ß++-â+++¦-üß+¦-ä. - ß+¡-â-Ç+¦-ü -äß+¦++ ++ß+¦+++¦-ä-ä+¦++ ß+Ñß+¦+++¦++, ß+É-åß++ ß+à -Ç+¦++-ä+¦ ++ß+¦++ -äß+¦ +¦+++¦-â-äß+¦+++¦-ä+¦ +¦+¦+++¦+¦ß+¦++++-à -â+¦++, ß+Ç-åß++ ß+æ+¦ß+¦-â-ä++-à  +¦ß+¦ -äß+¦ -ç-üß+¦-â+¦+++¦ +++¦+++¦ß+¦++++-à -â+¦+++ç  ++ß+ò-ä-ë +¦+¦ß+û +¦+¦ß++ -ä++ß++-é -Ç+¦+¦+¦+¦ß+++¦-é ß+Ç-ü+¦+¦++++ß+¦++++-à -é, +++++¦+¦++ß+¦-é ++ß+¦++ ß+Ç-Ç+¦ß++-ü-ë-é ß+ö-ç+¦+¦++, -Ç+¦++-ä+¦-çß+¦+++¦++ +¦ß+¦ -äß+¦ -ç-üß+¦-â+¦+++¦ -â-à ++++ß+¦+¦+¦+¦++.
Isocrates: Like we see the bee sit on all the flowers but only take what is useful from each, thus, those who want to learn, should taste of everything and keep what is good.

ß+ê++ß+¦-ç+¦-ü-â+¦-é. - +ħ+ù-ä++-é ß+æ-â-ä+¦+¦+++¦ß++-é -Ç+¦-üß+¦ +úß+¦++-ë+++¦, +¦+¦ß++ +¦+++¦++ß+++++¦++++-é ß+ñ-Ã¥++++, -äß+¦++ ++ß+¦++ ß+Ç-ü+¦-â-ä+¦-üß+¦++ -ç+¦ß+û-ü+¦ -ä++ß+û-é ++++-üß+++++¦-é, -äß+¦++ +¦ß+¦ +¦+¦+++¦ß+¦++ -äß++ -â-äß+¦+++¦-ä+¦ -Ç-ü++-â+¦+¦+¦++ß+¦++++++ ß+ö-ç-ë++. ß+ÿ+¦+¦-ü+¦-ä+¦-â-äß+¦-ü++-à  +¦ß+¦-ü ß+ñ+¦-ä++ -ç+¦+++¦++++ß+ª +¦+¦ß+û-â+++¦+¦ -äß+¦++ +¦++ß+¦-ä-ä+¦++.
Anacharsis - Called to dinner by Solon he fell asleep and was seen having his left hand over his genitals while the right hand over his mouth. He considered the mouth needing a greater restrain.


... oops they are not early church fathers...  ;)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on March 02, 2005, 11:11:37 AM
Very many wish to be vouchsafed the Kingdom without labors, without struggles, without sweat; but this is impossible.
If you love the glories of men, and desire to be worshipped, and seek comfort, you are going off the path. You must be crucified with the Crucified One, suffer with Him that suffered, that you may be glorified with Him that is glorified.- St. Macarius of Egypt
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on March 04, 2005, 02:46:57 PM
And after a little: "Therefore the God-man, Jesus Christ, tho Son of God, is truly born for us of the Holy Ghost and the ever-virgin Mary. And so in the two natures the Word and Flesh become one, so that while each substance continues naturally perfect in itself, what is Divine imparteth without suffering any loss, to the humanity, and what is human participates in the Divine; nor is there one person God, and another person man, but the same person is God who is also man: and again the man who is also God is called and indeed is Jesus Christ the only Son of God; and so we must always take care and believe so as not to deny that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Very God (whom we confess as existing ever with the Father and equal to the Father before all worlds) became from the moment when He took flesh the God-man. Nor may we imagine that gradually as time went on He became God, and that He was in one condition before the resurrection and in another after it, but that He was always of the same fulness and power." And again a little later on: "But because the Word of God17 vouchsafed to come down upon manhood by assuming manhood, and manhood was taken up into the Word by being assumed by God, God the Word in His completeness became complete man. For it was not God the Father who was made man, nor the Holy Ghost, but the Only Begotten of the Father; and so we must hold that there is one Person of the Flesh and the Word: so as faithfully and without any doubt to believe that one and the same Son of God, who can never be divided, existing in two natures18 (who was also spoken of as a "giant"19 ) in the days of His Flesh truly took upon Him all that belongs to man, and ever truly had as His own what belongs to God: since even though20 He was crucified in weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God."
-Leporius quoted by St.John Cassian the Roman http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-11/Npnf2-11-79.htm#P6859_2460948

Could this be where St.Justin of Chelije got the word God-man? I honestly can't remember any other Saints using the word.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: alexp4uni on March 08, 2005, 01:41:35 PM
The elder want to show us that neither the fear of God or almsgiving or faith or temperance or any other virtue can be achieved without humility. This is why he says, "We need humility more than anything else, to be ready, to be ready to say, "Forgive me for anything that is said to us." All the temptations of the enemy are destroyed by humility. Bretheren can you see how great the power of humility is? Do you see how effective it is to say, "forgive me". Why then is the devil called adversary and as well as enemy? He is called enemy because he hates man and goodness and is incedious. He is called adversary because he tries to prevent any good thing. Is somebody wants to pray, he opposes him, placing obstacles in his way, through bad memories, by subordinating his thoughts, and through despondancy. If somebody wants to give alms, he holds him back through averous and miserliness. If somebody wants to keep vigil, he will stand in his way using lethergy and indolence. Simply put he opposes every good thing we undertake this is why he is not only called enemy, but adversary too. However every action of the adversary is destroyed by humility. Humility is very great indeed each of the saints walked in humility and shortened his journey by working hard as it written: "Look on my humility and my pain and forgive all of my sins. Psalms 25:18
"Humility also can gain us entrance, but it will take longer let us therefore humble ourselves for a little while and we will be saved. If we cannot work hard because of our weakness, let us try to humble ourselves ", as the Elder Abba John once said. I believe in the mercies of God, but through the small effort made with humility we shall also find ourself in the position of those saints who labored and worked hard for the love of God. Yes we are weak and cannot work hard, but can we not humble ourselves?

            -From the writings of Saint Dorotheos
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on March 08, 2005, 02:43:19 PM
Paradise is therefore a land of fertility-that is to say, a soul which is fertile-planted in Eden , that is, in a certain delightful or well-tilled land in which the soul finds pleasure . . . There was a fount which irrigated the land of Paradise. Is not this stream our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fount as well as the Father of Eternal Life? It is written:'For with thee is the fountain of life.' Hence: 'From within him there shall flow living waters.' We read of a fountain and a river which irrigates in Paradise the fruti-bearing tree that bears fruit for Life Eternal. You have read, then, that a fount was there adn that 'a river rose in Eden' that is in your soul there exists a fount. this is the meaning of Solomons's words: 'Drink water out of they own cistern and they own well.' This regers to the frount which rose out of that well-tilled soul full of pleasant things, this fount which irrigates Paradise, that is to say, the soul's virtues that blossom because of their emminent merits . . . But how is this fount called the Wisdom of God? That this is a fount the Gospel tells us in the words,'If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink.' Wisdom is a fount according to the Prophet:'Come and eat my bread and drink my wine which I have mingled for you.' As Wisdom is the fountain of life, it is also the fountain of other virtues which guide us to the course of eternal life. Therefore, the stream that irrigates Paradise rises from the soul when well-tilled not from the soul which lies uncultivated. The results therefrom are fruit trees of diverse virtues . . . prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice."
St.Ambrose Paradise
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on March 24, 2005, 11:44:39 AM
CHAP. II.--THAT THE EYES OF THE SOUL MUST BE PURGED ERE GOD CAN BE SEEN.

But if you say, "Show me thy God," I would reply, "Show me yourself, and I will show you my God." Show, then, that the eyes of your soul are capable of seeing, and the ears of your heart able to hear; for as those who look with the eyes of the body perceive earthly objects and what concerns this life, and discriminate at the same time between things that differ, whether light or darkness, white or black, deformed or beautiful, well-proportioned and symmetrical or disproportioned and awkward, or monstrous or mutilated; and as in like manner also, by the sense of hearing, we discriminate either sharp, or deep, or sweet sounds; so the same holds good regarding the eyes of the soul and the ears of the heart, that it is by them we are able to behold God. For God is seen by those who are enabled to see Him when they have the eyes of their soul opened: for all have eyes; but in some they are overspread, and do not see the light of the sun. Yet it does not follow, because the blind do not see, that the light of the sun does not shine; but let the blind blame themselves and their own eyes. So also thou, O man, hast the eyes of thy soul overspread by thy sins and evil deeds. As a burnished mirror, so ought man to have his soul pure. When there is rust on the mirror, it is not possible that a man's face be seen in the mirror; so also when there is sin in a man, such a man cannot behold God. Do you, therefore, show me yourself, whether you are not an adulterer, or a fornicator, or a thief, or a robber, or a purloiner; whether you do not corrupt boys; whether you are not insolent, or a slanderer, or passionate, or envious, or proud, or supercilious; whether you are not a brawler, or covetous, or disobedient to parents; and whether you do not sell your children; for to those who do these things God is not manifest, unless they have first cleansed themselves from all impurity. All these things, then, involve you in darkness, as when a filmy defluxion on the eyes prevents one from beholding the light of the sun: thus also do iniquities, 0 man, involve you in darkness, so that you cannot see God.
-St.Theophilus of Antioch
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: pensateomnia on March 26, 2005, 03:42:29 PM
St. Gregory of Nyssa, from his first sermon on the Beatitudes:

"You are pleased because you are handsome, because your hands move quickly, because your feet are nimble, because your curls are tossed by the wind and your cheeks show a downy beard...You look at such things, but you do not look at yourself. Let me show you as in a mirror your true image.

"Have you ever witnessed the mysteries of the cemetery? Have you seen the heaps of bones tossed hither and thither? Skulls without flesh on them, fearful and ugly, the sockets empty. The grinning jaws and the limbs strewn about. Look at these things: there you will find yourself. Where, then, is the flower of youth?...Where, in all these bones, are the things that make you proud?"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: troy on March 26, 2005, 08:11:33 PM
"Do not think, then, that you have died to sin, so long as you suffer violence, whether waking or sleeping, at the hands of your opponents. For while a man is still competing in the arena, he cannot be sure of victory."

St Isaiah the Solitary, "On Guarding the Intellect"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on April 06, 2005, 11:55:56 PM
Regard yourselves as delivered out of Egypt from a harsh servitude, where inquity ruled over you; and as having passed through the Red Sea by baptism, in which you received the seal of Christ's bloody cross. Prune yourselves therefore of past sins, those enemies of yours which pursued you from the rear. For as the Egyptians perished in teh very waters traversed by the people of God, so your sins were blotted out in the waters in which you were baptized.
Seek now the Heavenly Kingdom, the land of promise to which you have been called, and be vigilant in resisting temptations throughout this earthly life, which is nothing else than as desert wherein you are sojourners. By partaking of the holy Altar, you receive your manna along with the drink that flows from the rock. All this the Apostle Paul has in mind and inculcates in his preaching when he says," I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all udner the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud and in the sea. And did all eat the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink; they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them; and the rock was Christ." (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
St.Augustine Sermon "To the Newly Baptized - Easter Week"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Matthew777 on April 10, 2005, 06:02:48 PM
Didn't Tertullian fall into paganism?

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: lpap on April 10, 2005, 07:05:25 PM
Could this be where St.Justin of Chelije got the word God-man? I honestly can't remember any other Saints using the word.

The God-man word was introduced during The Fourth Ecumenical Council. It declares a dogmatic truth of Orthodox Faith.
Analysis can be found: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/hist_fourth.aspx
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on April 12, 2005, 10:33:34 PM
Didn't Tertullian fall into paganism?

May peace be upon thee and with thy spirit.
Tertullian fell into Montanism and later fell out of Montanism and founded his own sect which was reconciled to the Church many years later by St.Augustine.



The God-man word was introduced during The Fourth Ecumenical Council. It declares a dogmatic truth of Orthodox Faith.
Analysis can be found: http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/hist_fourth.aspx

It has to be earlier than that because St.John Cassian's Seven Books On the Incarnation Against Nestorius was written before the Fourth Ecumenical Council. What I was trying to find out is who first started calling Jesus Christ the God-man or at least to try to find out who was the first Father to do so.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on April 26, 2005, 11:47:41 AM
"VII. But do ye also, if you bear me any good will-ye who are my husbandry, my vineyard, my own bowels, or rather His Who is our common Father, for in Christ he hath begotten you through the Gospels9 -shew to us also some respect. It is only fair, since we have honoured you above all else: ye are my witnesses, ye, and they who have placed in our hands this-shall I say Authority, or Service? And if to him that loveth most is due, how shall I measure the love, for which I have made you my debtors by my own love? Rather, shew respect for yourselves, and the Image committed to your care,10 and Him Who committed it, and the Sufferings of Christ, and your hopes therefrom, holding fast the faith which ye have received, and in which ye were brought up, by which also ye are being saved, and trust to save others (for not many, be well assured, can boast of what you can), and reckoning piety to consist, not in often speaking about God, but in silence for the most part, for the tongue is a dangerous thing to men, if it be not governed by reason. Believe that listening is always less dangerous than talking, just as learning about God is more pleasant than teaching. Leave the more accurate search into these questions to those who are the Stewards of the Word; and for yourselves, worship a little in words, but more by your actions, and rather by keeping the Law than by admiring the Lawgiver; shew your love for Him by fleeing from wickedness, pursuing after virtue, living in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, drawing your knowledge from Him, building upon the foundation of the faith, not wood or hay or stubble,11 weak materials and easily spent when the fire shall try our works or destroy them; but gold, silver, precious stones, which remain and stand."
St.Gregory the Theologian Oration III

Believe that listening is always less dangerous than talking, just as learning about God is more pleasant than teaching.

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on May 12, 2005, 12:33:54 PM
V Accordingly, brethren, of these mountains was John also, who said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." This mountain had received peace; he was contemplating the divinity of the Word. Of what sort was this mountain? How lofty? He had risen above all peaks of the earth, he had risen above all plains of the sky, he had risen above all heights of the stars, he had risen above all choirs and legions of the angels. For unless he rose above all those things which were created, he would not arrive at Him by whom all things were made. You cannot imagine what he rose above, unless you see at what he arrived. Dost thou inquire concerning heaven and earth? They were made. Dost thou inquire concerning the things that are in heaven and earth? Surely much more were they made. Dost thou inquire concerning spiritual beings, concerning angels, archangels, thrones, dominions, powers, principalities? These also were made. For when the Psalm enumerated all these things, it finished thus: "He spoke, and they were made; He commanded, and they were created."8 If "He spoke and they were made," it was by the Word that they were made; but if it was by the Word they were made, the heart of John could not reach to that which he says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," unless he had risen above all things that were made by the Word. What a mountain this! How holy! How high among those mountains that received peace for the people of God, that the hills might receive righteousness!
-St.Augustine First Tractate on John
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sir Sundae on June 14, 2005, 12:43:24 AM
I like this one from St. John Cassian.

From the Philokalia Volume 1:

On the Eight Vices

On Pride:

"The thief who received the kingdom of heaven, though not as the reward of virtue, is a true witness to the fact that salvation is ours through the grace and mercy of God. All of our holy fathers knew this and all with one accord teach that perfection in holiness can be achieved only through humility."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 01, 2005, 01:54:03 AM
While the Orthodox Church does not consider him to be a Church Father, Origen says a lot of brilliant and insightful stuff. For example...

"And let us take heed in regard to each sin, as if we were descending into some gate of death (Matt. 16:18) if we sin; but when we are lifted up from the gates of death, let us declare all the praises of the Lord in the gates of the daughter of Zion. (Ps. 9:13-14)" - Origen, Commentary on Matthew, 12, 13

We throw that phrase, the "gates of hades" or "gates of death" around sometimes, without really thinking about what it might actually be talking about and how it might actually effect us. Origen is not alone in his thought here either.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: sin_vladimirov on July 01, 2005, 02:17:39 AM
St. Chrysostom on Corinthians I, XIII, 13.

How then is love the greatest?
In that those pass on.
(Homily XXXIV)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on July 13, 2005, 12:03:46 AM
And now I pray that I may speak worthily of those most exalted Intelligences, and as their Hierarchy is revealed in the Scriptures.
 It is clear that the Hierarchy is similar in its nature and has close affinity with those First Beings who are established after the Godhead, which is the Source of their Being, as though within Its Portals, transcending all - created powers, both visible and invisible. Therefore we must recognize that they are pure, not as having been cleansed from stains and defilements, nor as not admitting material images, but as far higher than all baseness, and surpassing all that is holy. As befits the highest purity, they are established above the most Godlike Powers and eternally keep their own self-motive and self-same order through the Eternal Love of God, never weakening in power, abiding most purely in their own Godlike identity, ever unshaken and unchanging. Again, they are contemplative, not as beholding intellectual or sensible symbols, nor as being uplifted to the Divine by the all-various contemplations set forth in the Scriptures, but as filled with Light higher than all immaterial knowledge, and rapt, as is meet, in the contemplation of that Beauty which is the superessential triune Origin and Creator of all beauty. In like manner they are thought worthy of fellowship with Jesus, not through sacred images which shadow forth the Divine Likeness, but as truly being close to Him in that first participation of the knowledge of His Deifying Illuminations. Moreover, the imitation of God is granted to them in a preeminent degree, and as far as their nature permits they share the divine and human virtues in primary power.
In the same manner they are perfect, not as though enlightened by an analytical knowledge of holy variety, but because they are wholly perfected through the highest and most perfect deification, possessing the highest knowledge that Angels can have of the works of God; being Hierarchs not through other holy beings, but from God Himself, and since they are uplifted to God directly by
 their pre-eminent power and rank, they are both established immovably beside the All-Holy, and are borne up, as far as is allowable, to the contemplation of His Intelligible and Spiritual Beauty. Being placed nearest to God, they are instructed in the true understanding of the divine works, and receive their hierarchical order in the highest degree from Deity Itself, the First Principle of Perfection. 
-St.Dionysus the Areopagite Celestial Hierarchy
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on July 13, 2005, 12:09:34 AM
Tractate LXIX.
St.John XIV. 4-6.

1. We have now the opportunity, dearly, beloved, as far as we can, of understanding the earlier words of the Lord from the later, and His previous statements by those that follow, in what you have heard was His answer to the question of the Apostle Thomas. For when the Lord was speaking above of the mansions, of which He both said that they already were in His Father's house, and that He was going to prepare them; where we understood that those mansions already existed in predestination, and are also being prepared through the purifying by faith of the hearts of those who are hereafter to inhabit them, seeing that they themselves are the very house of God; and what else is it to dwell in God's house than to be in the number of His people, since His people are at the same time in God, and God in them? To make this preparation the Lord departed, that by believing in Him, though no longer visible, the mansion, whose outward form is always hid in the future, may now by faith be prepared: for this reason, therefore, He had said, "And if I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come i again, and receive you to myself; that whereI am, there ye may be also. And whither I goye know, and the way ye know." In replyto this "Thomas saith unto Him Lord, we know not whither Thou goest: and how can we know the way?" Both of these the Lord had said that they knew; both of them this other declares that he does not know, to wit, the place to which, and the way whereby, He is going. But he does not know that he is speaking falsely; they knew, therefore, and did not know that they knew. He will convince them that they already know what they imagine themselves still to be ignorant of. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life." What, brethren, does He mean? See, we have just heard the disciple asking, and the Master instructing, and we do not yet, even after His voice has sounded in our ears, apprehend the thought that lies hid in His words. But what is it we cannot apprehend? Could His apostles, with whom He was talking, have said to Him, We do not know Thee? Accordingly, if they knew Him, and He Himself is the way, they knew the way; if they knew Him who is Himself the truth, they knew the truth; if they knew Him who is also the life, they knew the life. Thus, you see, they were convinced that they knew what they knew not that they knew.

2. What is it, then, that we also have not apprehended in this discourse? What else, think you, brethren, but just that He said, "And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know"? And here we have discovered that they knew the way, because they knew Him who is the way: the way is that by which we go; but is the way the place also to which we go? And yet each of these He said that they knew, both whither He was going, and the way. There was need, therefore, for His saying, "I am the way," in order to show those who knew Him that they knew the way, which they thought themselves ignorant of; but what need was there for His saying, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life," when, after knowing the way by which He went, they had still to learn whither He was going, but just because it was to the truth and to the life He was going? By Himself, therefore, He was going to Himself. And whither go we, but to Him, and by what way go we, but by Him? He, therefore, went to Himself by Himself, and we by Him to Him; yea, likewise both He and we go thus to the Father. For He says also in another place of Himself, "I go to the Father;"1 and here on our account He says, "No man cometh unto the Father but by me." And in this way, He goeth by Himself both to Himself and to the Father, and we by Him both to Him and to the Father. Who can apprehend such things save he who has spiritual discernment? and how much is it that even he can apprehend, although thus spiritually discerning? Brethren, how can you desire me to explain such things to you? Only reflect how lofty they are. You see what I am, I see what you are; in all of us the body, which is corrupted, burdens the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things.2 Do we think we can say, "To Thee have I lifted up my soul, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens"?3 But burdened as we are with so great a weight, under which we groan, how shall I lift up my soul unless He lift it with me who laid His own down for me? I shall speak then as I can, and let each of you who is able receive it. As He gives, I speak; as He gives, the receiver receiveth; and as He giveth, there is faith for him who cannot yet receive with understanding. For, saith the prophet, "If ye will not believe, ye shall not understand."4

3. Tell me, O my Lord, what to say to Thy servants, my fellow-servants. The Apostle Thomas had Thee before him in order to ask Thee questions, and yet could not understand Thee unless he had Thee within him; I ask Thee because I know that Thou art over me; and I ask, seeking, as far as I can, to let my soul diffuse itself in that same region over me where I may listen to Thee, who usest no external sound to convey Thy teaching. Tell me, I pray, how it is that Thou goest to Thyself. Didst Thou formerly leave Thyself to come to us, especially as Thou camest not of Thyself, but the Father sent Thee? I know, indeed, that Thou didst empty Thyself; but in taking the form of a servant,5 it was neither that Thou didst lay down the form of God as something to return to, or that Thou lost it as something to be recovered; and yet Thou didst come, and didst place Thyself not only before the carnal eyes, but even in the very hands of men. And how otherwise save in Thy flesh? By means of this Thou didst come, yet abiding where Thou wast; by this means Thou didst return, without leaving the place to which Thou hadst come. If, then, by such means Thou didst come and return, by such means doubtless Thou art not only the way for us to come unto Thee, but wast the way also for Thyself to come and to return. For when Thou didst return to the life, which Thou art Thyself, then of a truth that same flesh of Thine Thou didst bring from death unto life. The Word of God, indeed, is one thing, and man another; but the Word was made flesh, or became man. And so the person of the Word is not different from that of the man, seeing that Christ is both in one person; and in this way, just as when His flesh died. Christ died, and when His flesh was buried, Christ was buried (for thus with the heart we believe unto righteousness, and thus with the mouth do we make confession unto salvation6 ); so when the flesh came from death unto life, Christ came to life. And because Christ is the Word of God, He is also the life. And thus in a wonderful and ineffable manner He, who never laid down or lost Himself, came to Himself. But God, as was said, had come through the flesh to men, the truth to liars; for God is true, and every man a liar.7 When, therefore, He withdrew His flesh from amongst men, and carried it up there where no liar is found, He also Himself-for the Word was made flesh-returned by Himself, that is, by His flesh, to the truth, which is none other but Himself. And this truth, we cannot doubt, although found amongst liars, He preserved even in death; for Christ was once dead, but never false.

4. Take an example, very different in character and wholly inadequate, yet in some little measure helpful to the understanding of God, from things that are in peculiarly intimate subjection to God. See here in my own case, while as far as pertains to my mind I am just the same as yourselves, if I keep silence I am so to myself; but if I speak to you something suited to your understanding, in a certain sense I go forth to you without leaving myself, but at the same time approach you and yet quit not the place from which I proceed. But when I cease speaking, I return in a kind of way to myself, and in a kind of way I remain with you, if you retain what you have heard in the discourse I am delivering. And if the mere image that God made is capable of this, what may not God, the very image of God, not made by, but born of God; whose body, wherein He came forth to us and returned from us, has not ceased to be, like the sound of my voice, but abides there, where it shall die no more, and death shall have no more dominion over it?8 Much more, perhaps, might and ought to have been said on these words of the Gospel; but your souls ought not to be burdened with spiritual food, however pleasant, especially as the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak
-St.Augustine "Tractates on the Gospel of St.John"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on July 13, 2005, 12:26:11 AM
It is not possible to express in language the pleasure which the presence of friends causes, but only those who have experienced it know. One can ask a favor, and receive a favor, from a friend without suspicion. When they make a request of us, we are grateful to them; but when they are slow to ask, then we are sad. We have nothing which is not theirs. Often, though despising all earthly things, nevertheless, on their account, we do not wish to depart from this life; and they are more desirable to us than the light. Yes, indeed, a friend is more desirable than the light itself. (I speak of the genuine friend.) And do not object; for it would be better for us for the sun to be extinguished than to be deprived of friends. It would be better to live in darkness than to be without friends. And how can I say this? Because many who see the sun are in darkness. But those who are rich in friends could never be in tribulation. I speak of the spiritual friends who set nothing above friendship. Such was Paul, who would willingly have given his own soul, without having been asked, and would have willingly fallen into Hell for his brethren, [Romans 9:3]. With so burning an affection is it proper to love. Take this as an example of friendship. Friends surpass fathers and sons, that is, friends according to Christ.

What about monks, then, one might ask, and those who live as hermits on tops of mountains? They are not without friends. They have fled from the tumult of the marketplace, but they have many of one accord with them, and are closely bound to each other in Christ. And it was in order that they might accomplish this that they withdrew. For, since the zeal of business leads to many disputes, they have left the world to cultivate godly love with great strictness. The skeptic then might say: What? If a man is alone, may he also have friends? I, indeed, would wish, if it were possible, that we were all able to live together; but, in the meantime, let friendship remain unmoved. For it is not the place that makes the friend. Furthermore, the monks have many who admire them; but no one would admire unless they loved. Also, the monks pray for the entire world, which is the greatest evidence of friendship.

For the same reason we embrace each other in the Divine Liturgy; in order that being many, we may become one. And we make common prayer for the uninitiated, for the sick, for the fruits of the earth, and for travelers by land and by sea. Behold the strength of love in the prayers, in the holy mysteries, in the preaching. This is the cause of all good things. If we apply ourselves with due care to these precepts, we shall both administer present things well and obtain the Kingdom.
-St.Anthusa (mother of St.John Chrysostom) from a letter to her son on friendship
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: orth_christian2000 on July 13, 2005, 08:01:40 PM
"Why are we so ready to judge our neighbour?  Why are we so concerned about the burden of others?  We have plenty to be concerned about, each one has his own debt and his own sins.  It is for God alone to judge, to justify, or to condemn.  He knows the state of each one of us and our capacities, our deviations and our gifts, our constitution and it is for Him to judge each of these things according to the knowledge that He ALONE has.  For God judges the affairs of a bishop in one way and those of a prince in another.  His judgment is for an abbot or for a disciple, He judges differently the senior and the neophyte, the sick man and the healthy man.  Who could understand all these judgments except the One Who has done everything, formed everything, knows everything?"  St. Dorotheos of Gaza, On Judging Others

Just for fun, an Early Church Mother :)

Blessed Amma, St. Syncletike, is quoted in the Evergetinos, as saying, that "to the struggling despondent souls, even the smallest good should be praised and marvelled at, to encourage their struggle to do good.  And their faults, at least to them, we must treat them as the least and unworthy of note.  Why?  Because the devil, wishing to secure spiritual destruction, tries to cover the sins of accomplished ascetics to create pride in these men.  In the neophytes/novices, he constantly exposes them to cause them despair, so that they might abandon their efforts/ascesis.  Let us never forget the boundless compassion of God.  His longsuffering and loving kindness, and so long as we truly repent, he annuls His just judgments against us.  Rahab was a prostitute, but repented, and was the repentant woman whom Holy Tuesday's service is devoted to.  St. Paul was a persecutor, but became a chosen vessel.  The thief on the cross next to the Lord's said repentful words, and was promised Paradise, was first to open the doors.  The Publican and the Pharisee, the Prodigal Son and many other parables illustrate the Lord doesn't want the death of any sinner, but his repentance and return to Him"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: orth_christian2000 on July 14, 2005, 04:37:50 PM
Just a little correction to the post of St. Syncletike.  Where is talks about Rahab, after the comma it should read "as was", not "and was".  The latter makes it look like the blessed Saint was saying Rahab was the repentant woman at Christ's feet, which is an obvious chronological incongruency.  But the error is not the saints, it is my typing error.
Thanks,
Ted
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Mo the Ethio on July 14, 2005, 07:30:43 PM
He who seeth his own sins , seeth not the sins of others.

        -Saint Moses the Ethiopian
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on July 21, 2005, 11:44:49 AM
CHAPTER CXXXVIII -- NOAH IS A FIGURE OF CHRIST, WHO HAS REGENERATED US BY WATER, AND FAITH, AND WOOD: [i.e., the Cross.]

"You know, then, sirs," I said, "that God has said in Isaiah to Jerusalem: 'I saved thee in the deluge of Noah.' By this which God said was meant that the mystery of saved men appeared in the deluge. For righteous Noah, along with the other mortals at the deluge, i.e., with his own wife, his three sons and their wives, being eight in number, were a symbol of the eighth day, wherein Christ appeared when He rose from the dead, for ever the first in power. For Christ, being the first-born of every creature, became again the chief of another race regenerated by Himself through water, and faith, and wood, containing the mystery of the cross; even as Noah was saved by wood when he rode over the waters with his household. Accordingly, when the prophet says, 'I saved thee in the times of Noah,' as I have already remarked, he addresses the people who are equally faithful to God, and possess the same signs. For when Moses had the rod in his hands, he led your nation through the sea. And you believe that this was spoken to your nation only, or to the land. But the whole earth, as the Scripture says, was inundated, and the water rose in height fifteen cubits above all the mountains: so that it is evident this was not spoken to the land, but to the people who obeyed Him: for whom also He had before prepared a resting-place in Jerusalem, as was previously demonstrated by all the symbols of the deluge; I mean, that by water, faith, and wood, those who are afore-prepared, and who repent of the sins which they have committed, shall escape from the impending judgment of God.

St.Justin the Philosopher "Dialogue with Trypho"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on July 28, 2005, 12:44:45 AM
SERMON LXII. (ON THE PASSION, XI.) I. The mystery of the Passion passes man's comprehension. The Feast of the Lord's Passion that we have longed for and that the whole world may well desire, has come, and suffers us not to keep silence in the tumult of our spiritual joys: because though it is difficult to speak often on the same thing worthily and appropriately, yet the priest is not free to withhold from the people's ears instruction by sermon on this great mystery of God'S mercy, inasmuch as the subject itself, being unspeakable, gives him ease of utterance, and what is said cannot altogether fail where what is said can never be enough. Let human frailty, then, succumb to God's glory, and ever acknowledge itself unequal to the unfolding of His works of mercy. Let us toil in thought, fail in insight, falter in utterance: it is good that even our right thoughts about the Lord'S Majesty should be insufficient. For, remembering what the prophet says, "Seek ye the Lord and be strengthened: seek His face always," no one must assume that he has found all he seeks, lest he fail of coming near, 174 if he cease his endeavours. And amidst all the works of God which weary out man's wondering contemplation, what so delights and so baffles our mind's gaze as the Saviour's Passion? Ponder as we may upon His omnipotence, which is of one and equal substance with the Father, the humility in God is more stupendous than the power, and it is harder to grasp the complete emptying of the Divine Majesty than the infinite uplifting of the" slave's form" in Him. But we are much aided in our understanding of it by the remembrance that though the Creator and the creature, the Inviolable God and the possible flesh, are absolutely different, yet the properties of both substances meet together in Christ's one Person in such a way that alike in His acts of weakness and of power the degradation belongs to the same Person as the glory. II. The Creed takes up S. Peter's confession as the fundamental doctrine of the Church. In that rule of Faith, dearly-beloved, which we have received in the very beginning of the Creed, on the authority of apostolic teaching, we acknowledge our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we call the only Son of God the Father Almighty, to be also born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Ghost. Nor do we reject His Majesty when we express our belief in His crucifixion, death, and resurrection on the third day. For all that is God's and all that is Man's are simultaneously fulfilled by His Manhood and His Godhead, so that in virtue of the union of the Possible with the Impossible, His power cannot be affected by His weakness, nor His weakness overcome by His power. And rightly was the blessed Apostle Peter praised for confessing this union, who when the Lord was inquiring what the disciples knew of Him, quickly anticipated the rest and said, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." And this assuredly he saw, not by the revelation of flesh or blood, which might have hindered his inner sight, but by the very Spirit of the Father working in his believing heart, that in preparation for ruling the whole Church he might first learn what he would have to teach, and for the solidification of the Faith, which he was destined to preach, might receive the assurance, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The strength, therefore, of the Christian Faith, which, built upon an impregnable rock, fears not the gates of death, acknowledges the one Lord Jesus Christ to be both true God and true Man, believing Him likewise to be the Virgin's Son, Who is His Mother's Creator: born also at the end of the ages, though He is the Creator of time: Lord of all power, and yet one of mortal stock: ignorant of sin, and yet sacrificed for sinners after the likeness of sinful flesh. III. The devil's devices were turned against himself. And in order that He might set the human race free from the bonds of deadly transgression, He hid the power of His majesty from the raging devil, and opposed him with our frail and humble nature. For if the cruel and proud foe could have known the counsel of God's mercy, he would have aimed at soothing the Jews' minds into gentleness rather than at firing them with unrighteous hatred, lest be should lose the thraldom of all his captives in assailing the liberty of One Who owed him nought. Thus he was foiled by his malice: he inflicted a punishment on the Son of God, which was turned to the healing of all the sons of men. He shed righteous Blood, which became the ransom and the drink for the world's atonement. The Lord undertook that which He chose according to the purpose of His own will. He permitted madmen to lay their wicked hands upon Him: hands which, in ministering to their own doom, were of service to the Redeemer's work. And yet so great was His loving compassion for even His murderers, that He prayed to the Father on the cross, and begged not for His own vengeance but for their forgiveness, saying, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And such was the power of that prayer, that the hearts of many of those who had said, "His blood be on us and on our sons," were turned to penitence by the Apostle Peter's preaching, and on one day there were baptized about 3,000 Jews: and they all were "of one heart and of one soul," being ready now to die for Him, Whose crucifixion they had demanded. IV. Why Judas could not obtain forgiveness through Christ. To this forgiveness the traitor Judas could not attain: for he, the son of perdition, at whose right the devil stood, gave himself up to despair before Christ accomplished the mystery of universal redemption. For in that the Lord died for sinners, perchance even he might have found salvation if he had not hastened to hang himself. But that evil heart, which was now given up to thievish frauds, and now busied with treacherous designs, had 175 never entertained aught of the proofs of the Saviour's mercy. Those wicked ears had heard the Lord's words, when He said, "I same not to call the righteous but sinners," and "The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost," but they conveyed not to his understanding the clemency of Christ, which not only healed bodily infirmities, but also cured the wounds of sick souls, saying to the paralytic man, "Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee saying also to the adulteress that was brought to Him, "neither will I condemn thee; go and sin no more," to show in all His works that He had come as the Saviour, not the Judge of the world. But the wicked traitor refused to understand this, and took measures against himself, not in the self-condemnation of repentance, but in the madness of perdition, and thus he who had sold the Author of life to His murderers, even in dying increased the amount of sin which condemned him. V. The cruelty oaf Christ's crucifixioni s lost in its wondrous power. Accordingly that which false witnesses, cruel leaders of the people, wicked priests did against the Lord Jesus Christ, through the agency of a coward governor and an ignorant band of soldiers, has been at once the abhorrence and the rejoicing of all ages. For though the Lord's cross was part of the cruel purpose of the 'Jews, yet is it of wondrous power through Him they crucified. The people's fury was directed against One, and the mercy of Christ is for all mankind. That which their cruelty inflicts He voluntarily undergoes. in order that the work of His eternal will may be carried out through their unhindered crime. And hence the whole order of events which is most fully narrated in the Gospels must be received by the faithful in such a way that by implicit belief in the occurrences which happened at the time of the Lord's Passion, we should understand that not only was the remission of sins accomplished by Christ, but also the standard of justice satisfied. But that this may be more thoroughly discussed by the Lord's help, let us reserve this portion of the subject till the fourth day of the week God's grace, we hope, will be vouchsafed at your entreaties to help us to fulfil our promise: through Jesus Christ our Lord, &c. Amen.

-St.Leo the Great
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on September 05, 2005, 10:25:06 PM
For if man, who had been created by God that he might live, after losing life, through being injured by the serpent that had corrupted him, should not any more return to life, but should be utterly [and for ever] abandoned to death, God would [in that case] have been conquered, and the wickedness of the serpent would have prevailed over the will of God. But inasmuch as God is invincible and long-suffering, He did indeed show Himself to be long-suffering in the matter of the correction of man and the probation of all, as I have already observed; and by means of the second man did He bind the strong man, and spoiled his goods, and abolished death, vivifying that man who had been in a state of death. For at the first Adam became a vessel in his (Satan’s) possession, whom he did also hold under his power, that is, by bringing sin on him iniquitously, and under color of immortality entailing death upon him. For, while promising that they should be as gods, which was in no way possible for him to be, he wrought death in them: wherefore he who had led man captive, was justly captured in his turn by God; but man, who had been led captive, was loosed from the bonds of condemnation.

St. Ireneus, “Against the Heresies,” Book 3, Chp. 23.


Troparion - Tone 4

In your manner a participant,
And in your throne a successor of the Apostles,
You discovered action an entrance into visions,
O inspired one of God.
Therefore directing the Word of Truth,
You suffered for the faith even unto blood.
O Bishop and Martyr Irenaues,
Pray to Christ God that our souls may be saved!
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Sabbas on October 27, 2005, 01:33:20 AM
There is need of constant prayer lest we defect from the heavenly kingdom, as have the Jews to whom it was first promised. This the Lord makes unmistakably clear by saying: “Many will come from East and West and recline at the banquet table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven, whereas those born to the kingdom will be driven into the darkness outside, there to wail and gnash their teeth” ... Our Lord shows that the Jews were formerly children of the kingdom, but after the name “Father” disappeared from among them, so did the kingdom. The Jews have remained in darkness for having forsaken the Light. ~ St. Cyprian

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: antoaneta on July 10, 2006, 04:11:28 PM
Saint Anthony the Great: "I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."" 

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 12:11:17 AM
Polycarp, and the presbyters(2) with him, to the Church of God sojourning at Philippi: Mercy to you, and peace from God Almighty, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour, be multiplied.

CHAP. VII.--AVOID THE DOCETAE, AND PERSEVERE IN FASTING AND PRAYER.

"For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist;"(18) and whosoever does not confess the testimony of the cross,(19) is of the devil; and whosoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan.(20) Wherefore, forsaking the vanity of many, and their false doctrines, let us return to the word which has been handed down to us from(21) the beginning; "watching unto prayer,"(22)

St. Polycarp to the Philippians
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 12:22:51 AM
On the Incarnation of the Word

Part 55.
2. On the other hand, while idolatry and everything else that opposes the faith of Christ is daily dwindling and weakening and falling, see, the Saviour’s teaching is increasing everywhere! Worship then the Saviour “Who is above all” and mighty, even God the Word and condemn those who are being defeated and made to disappear by Him.

End of excerpt by St. Athanasius

My comment --

St. Athanasius could say this even when he was surrounded by apostasy and threats against his own life (due to the Arian heresy) on every side because he looked forward to the final victory of Christ and while the battle raged, St. Athanasius, contra mundum, would have nothing to do with the apostates. The Arian persecution of the Church lasted until the final victory against the Arians by St. Isadore of Seville (reposed in the Lord 636 A.D.), the last of the Church Fathers in the west. The peace that St. Athanasius speaks of is not a worldly peace (i.e. given by the world and not from above), worldly peace is only offered by Satan. St. Athanasius speaks of the peace that passes all understanding which is given by God to faithful Christians alone. The Church always has battles to fight for she is the Church Militant.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 12:24:38 AM
ST. AUGUSTINE, THE CITY OF GOD
 
BOOK XX.
 
CHAP. 19.--WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL WROTE TO THE THESSALONIANS ABOUT THE MANIFESTATION OF ANTICHRIST AS THE TEMPLE OF GOD, THE FALSE CHURCH, WHICH SHALL PRECEDE THE DAY OF THE LORD.

I see that I must omit many of the statements of the gospels and epistles about this last judgment, that this volume may not become unduly long; but I can on no account omit what the Apostle Paul says, in writing to the Thessalonians, "We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,"(2) etc.
No one can doubt that he wrote this of Antichrist and of the day of judgment, which he here calls the day of the Lord, nor that he declared that this day should not come unless he first came who is called the apostate --apostate, to wit, from the Lord God. And if this may justly be said of all the ungodly, how much more of him? But it is uncertain in what temple he shall sit, whether in that ruin of the temple which was built by Solomon, or in the Church; for the apostle would not call the temple of any idol or demon the temple of God. And on this account some think that in this passage Antichrist means not the prince himself alone, but his whole body, that is, the mass of men who adhere to him, along with him their prince; and they also think that we should render the Greek more exactly were we to read, not "in the temple of God," but "for" or "as the temple of God," as if he himself were the temple of God, the Church.(3) Then as for the words, "And now ye know what withholdeth," i.e., ye know what hindrance or cause of delay there is, "that he might be revealed in his own time;" …(St. Justin Martyr says this is Jesus Christ Himself Who “withholdeth”)…"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now holdeth, let him hold until he be taken out of the way: and then shall the wicked be revealed?" … That which there is no doubt he said is this, that Christ will not come to judge the quick and dead unless Antichrist, His adversary, first come to seduce those who are dead in soul; although their seduction is a result of God's secret judgment already passed. For, as it is said "his presence shall be after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all seduction of unrighteousness in them that perish." For then shall Satan be loosed, and by means of that Antichrist shall work with all power in a lying though a wonderful manner. …they shall be such signs and wonders as shall seduce those who shall deserve to be seduced, "because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved." Neither did the apostle hesitate to go on to say, "For this cause God shall send upon them the working of error that they should believe a lie." For God shall send, because God shall permit the devil to do these things, the permission being by His own just judgment, though the doing of them is in pursuance of the devil's unrighteous and malignant purpose, "that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Therefore, being judged, they shall be seduced, and, being seduced, they shall be judged. But, being judged, they shall be seduced by those secretly just and justly secret judgments of God, with which He has never ceased to judge since the first sin of the rational creatures; and, being seduced, they shall be judged in that last and manifest judgment administered by Jesus Christ, who was Himself most unjustly judged and shall most justly judge.


Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 11:54:43 AM
IRENAEUS AGAINST HERESIES – BOOK I  (Chap. I to Chap. XV)

BOOK I

PREFACE.

1. INASMUCH(1) as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says,(2) "minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith," and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive, [I have felt constrained, my dear friend, to compose the following treatise in order to expose and counteract their machinations.] These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretence of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein. By means of specious and plausible words, they cunningly allure the simple-minded to inquire into their system; but they nevertheless clumsily destroy them, while they initiate them into their blasphemous and impious opinions respecting the Demiurge;(3) and these simple ones are unable, even in such a matter, to distinguish falsehood from truth.

2. Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself.


CHAP. X.--UNITY OF THE FAITH OF THE CHURCH THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE WORLD.

1. The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations(6) of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father "to gather all things in one,"(7) and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, "every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess" to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send "spiritual wickednesses,"(9) and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.

2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions(1) of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.

 
3. It does not follow because men are endowed with greater and less degrees of intelligence, that they should therefore change the subject-matter [of the faith] itself, and should conceive of some other God besides Him who is the Framer, Maker, and Preserver of this universe, (as if He were not sufficient(2) for them), or of another Christ, or another Only-begotten. But the fact referred to simply implies this, that one may [more accurately than another] bring out the meaning of those things which have been spoken in parables, and accommodate them to the general scheme of the faith; and explain [with special clearness] the operation and dispensation of God connected with human salvation; and show that God manifested longsuffering in regard to the apostasy of the angels who transgressed, as also with respect to the disobedience of men; and set forth why it is that one and the same God has made some things temporal and some eternal, some heavenly and others earthly; and understand for what reason God, though invisible, manifested Himself to the prophets not under one form, but differently to different individuals; and show why it was that more covenants than one were given to mankind; and teach what was the special character of each of these covenants; and search out for what reason "God(3) hath concluded every man(4) in unbelief, that He may have mercy upon all;" and gratefully(5) describe on what account the Word of God became flesh and suffered; and relate why the advent of the Son of God took place in these last times, that is, in the end, rather than in the beginning [of the world]; and unfold what is contained in the Scriptures concerning the end [itself], and things to come; and not be silent as to how it is that God has made the Gentiles, whose salvation was despaired of, fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers with the saints; and discourse how it is that "this mortal body shall put on immortality, and this corruptible shall put on incorruption;"(6) and proclaim in what sense [God] says, "'That is a people who was not a people; and she is beloved who was not beloved;"(7) and in what sense He says that "more are the children of her that was desolate, than of her who possessed a husband." For in reference to these points, and others of a like nature, the apostle exclaims: "Oh! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"(9) But [the superior skill spoken of] is not found in this, that any one should, beyond the Creator and Framer [of the world], conceive of the Enthymesis of an erring AEon, their mother and his, and should thus proceed to such a pitch of blasphemy; nor does it consist in this, that he should again falsely imagine, as being above this [fancied being], a Pleroma at one time supposed to contain thirty, and at another time an innumerable tribe of AEons, as these teachers who are destitute of truly divine wisdom maintain; while the Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 06:42:44 PM
APHRAHAT THE PERSIAN SAGE,

DEMONSTRATION VIII.--OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.

1. At all times controversies arise on this matter, how the dead shall rise and with what body they shall come?(4) For lo! the body wears out and is corrupted; and the bones also, no doubt, as time lengthens out over them, waste away and are not to be recognised. And when thou enterest a tomb in which a hundred dead men are buried, thou findest not there an handful of dust. And thus say those that reflect on these things:--" We know of course that the dead shall rise; but they will be clothed in a heavenly body and spiritual forms. And if it is not so, these hundred dead that were buried in one tomb, of whom after a long time elapses there remains nothing at all there, when the dead shall be quickened, and shall be clothed in a body and rise, unless they shall be clothed in a heavenly body, from whence shall their body come? For lo! there is nothing in the tomb."

2. Whosoever reflects thus is foolish, and without knowledge. When the dead were brought in, they were something; and when they were there for a long time, they became nothing. And, when the time shall have come that the dead shall rise, that nothing shall become something according to its former nature, and a change shall be added to its nature. O thou unwise who reflectest thus, hear that which the blessed Apostle said when he was instructing a foolish man like thee; for he said fool, the seed which thou sowest unless it die is not quickened; and that which thou sowest is not like that which grows up into blade, but one bare grain of wheat or barley or some other seedling. And to each one the seeds is given its own body. But God clothes thy seed with its body as He wills.(5)

3. Therefore, O fool, be instructed by this, that each of the seeds is clothed in its own body. Never dost thou sow wheat and yet reap barley, and never dost thou plant a vine and yet it produced figs; but everything grows according to its nature. Thus also the body that was laid in the earth is that which shall rise again. And as to this, that the body is corrupted and wastes away, thou oughtest to be instructed by the parable of the seed; that as the seed, when it is cast into the earth, decays and is corrupted, and from its decay it produces and buds and bears fruit. For the land that is ploughed, into which seed is not cast, produces not fruit, even if that land drinks in all the rain. So the grave in which the dead are not buried, from it men shall not issue forth in the quickening of the dead, though the full voice of the trumpet should sound within it. And if, as they say, the spirit of the just shall ascend into heaven and put on a heavenly body, they are in heaven. And He Who raises the dead dwells in heaven. Then when our Saviour shall come, whom shall He raise up from the earth? And why did He write for us:--The hour shall come, and now is, that the dead also shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and they shall live and come forth from their tombs?(1) For the heavenly body will not come and enter into the tomb, and again go forth from it.

4. For thus say those who are stubborn in folly:--Why did the Apostle say,--Different is the body which is in heaven from that which is on earth?(2) But he that hears this, let him hear also the other thing that the Apostle said:--There is an animal body, and there is a spiritual body.(3) And again he said:-- We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed.(4) And again he said:--This that shall die must clothe itself with that that shall not die, and this which is corruptible must clothe itself with that which is incorruptible.(5) Again he said:-- We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every man may be rewarded in his body for everything that before time was done by hun, whether good or evil.(6) Again he said:-- What shall those do that are baptized for the dead? For if the dead rise not, why are they baptized for them?(7) Again he said:--If there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ is not risen then your faith is vain, and our preaching. And if so we are found false witnesses in that we testified of God, that He raised up Christ, Whom He raised not up.(8) Therefore, if the dead rise not, there is no judgment. And if there is no judgment, then let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die. Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good purposes.(9) Now as to this that the Apostle said:--The body that is in heaven is different from that which is on the earth, let this word be thus understood by thee. When the body of the just shall arise and be changed, it is called heavenly. And that which is not changed is called earthly, according to its earthly nature.

5. But hear, my beloved, another word like this, which the Apostle has spoken. For he said:-- The spiritual man judgeth everything, and he is judged by no one.(1) And again he said:-- They that are spiritual are spiritually minded, and they that are carnal are carnally minded.(2) And again he said:-- When we were in the flesh, the weaknesses of sins were working in our members that we might become fruit for death.(3) Again he said:--If the Spirit of Christ is in you, ye are spiritual.(4) All these things the Apostle said, while he was clothed in the flesh but was doing the works of the Spirit. Thus also in the Resurrection of the dead, the righteous shall be changed, and the earthly form shall be swallowed up in the heavenly, and it shall be called a heavenly body. And that which shall not be changed, shall be called earthly.

6. Concerning then this Resurrection of the dead, my beloved, according to my power I will instruct thee. For from the beginning God created Adam; moulded him from the dust of the earth, and raised him up. For if, while Adam was not, He made him from nothing, how much easier now is it for Him to raise him up; for lo! as a seed he is sown in the earth. For if God should do those things that are easy for us, His works would not appear mighty to us. For lo! there are amongst men artificers who make wonderful things, and those who are not artificers of the works stand and wonder how they were done; and the work of their fellows is difficult in their eyes. How much more should not the works of God be as a marvel! But for God this was no great thing, that the dead should be quickened. Before seed was sown in the earth, the earth produced that which had not been cast into it. Before it had conceived, it bore in its virginity. How then is this difficult, that the earth should cause to spring up again what had been cast into it, and after conception should bear? And lo! her travail-pains are near; as Isaiah said, Who hath seen anything like this and who hath heard such things as these? that the earth should travail in one day, and a people should be born in one hour?(1) For Adam unsown sprang up conceived he was born. But lo! now his offspring are sown, and wait for the rain, and shall spring up. And lo! the earth teems with many, and the time of her bringing forth is at hand.

7. For all our fathers, in hope of the Resurrection and the quickening of the dead, were looking forward and hastening; as the blessed Apostle said, If the righteous had been looking forward to that city from which Abraham went forth, they would have had an opportunity of again turning back and to it; but they showed that they were looking forward to one better than it, namely thai which is in heaven.(2) They were looking forward to be released and to go speedily thither. And from that which I am writing unto thee, understand and observe that they were looking forward to the Resurrection. For Jacob our father, when he was dying, bound Joseph his son with an oath, and said to him, Bury me in the tomb of my fathers, with Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and Rebecca.(3) And why, my beloved, did Jacob not wish to be buried in Egypt, but with his fathers? He showed beforehand, that he was looking forward to the quickening of the dead; that, when the Resurrection shout should be raised and the sound of the trumpet (heard), he might rise up near to his fathers, and might not at the time of the Resurrection be mingled with the wicked who shall return to Sheol and to punishment.

8. Thus also Joseph bound his brethren by an oath,(4) and said to them:--When God shall remember you, take up my bones from hence with you. And according to the word of Joseph his brethren did, and kept the oath a hundred and twenty-five years. At that time when the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt, then Moses took up the bones of Joseph when he went forth.(5) And the bones of the righteous man were more precious and better in his estimation than the gold and the silver that the children of Israel took from Egypt when they spoiled them. And the bones of Joseph were forty years in the wilderness; and at that time when Moses fell asleep, he gave them in inheritance to Joshua the son of Nun. The bones of Joseph his father were better in his estimation than all the spoil of that land which he subdued. And why did Moses give the bones of Joseph to Joshua? Clearly, because he was of the tribe of Ephraim the son of Joseph. And he buried them in the land of promise, that there might be in that land a treasure, (even) that of the bones of Joseph (that were) buried therein. And also at the time that Jacob was dying, he blessed his tribes, and showed them what would happen to them in the latter days, and said to Reuben:--Reuben, thou art my firstborn, might and the beginning of my strength. Thou hast gone astray; as water, thou shalt not abide, because thou wentest up father's bed. Truly thou defilest my couch and wentest up.(6) From the time that Jacob fell asleep until the time that Moses fell asleep two hundred and thirty-three years elapsed. Then Moses wished by his priestly power to absolve Reuben from his transgression and sin, in that he had lain with Bilhah, his father's concubine; that when his brethren should rise, he might not be cut off from their number. So he said in the beginning of his blessing:--Reuben shall live and not die, and shall be in the number.

9. And also when the time came that Moses should sleep with his fathers, he was grieved and distressed, and he sought of his Lord and entreated that he might pass over to the land of promise. And why, my beloved, was the righteous Moses grieved because he did not enter into the land of promise? Clearly, because he wished to go and be buried with his fathers, and not be buried in the land of his adversaries, in the land of Moab. For the Moabites hired Balaam the son of Beor to curse Israel. Therefore Moses wished not to be buried in that land, test the Moabites should come and take vengeance on him by taking up and casting forth the bones of that righteous man. And the Lord performed an act of grace towards Moses. For He brought him forth to Mount Nebo, and showed him all the land, making it pass before him. And as Moses gazed upon all the land, and gazed upon the mountain of the Jebusites where the Tabernacle was to dwell, he was grieved and wept when he saw the tomb in Hebron where his fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were buried, that he should not be buried with them, nor his bones cast upon their bones, that he might rise along with them in the Resurrection. But when he had seen all the land, his Lord encouraged him and said to him, "I myself will bury thee and hide thee, and none shall know thy tomb." So Moses died according to the word of the mouth of the Lord, and He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab over against Beth-Peor, where Israel had sinned, and no man has known his sepulchre unto this day.(1) Two goodly benefits did his Lord accomplish for Moses in not making known his tomb to the children of Israel. He rejoiced that his adversaries should not know it, and cast forth his bones from his tomb; and in the second place, that the children of his people should not know it, and make his tomb a place of worship, for he was accounted as God in the eyes of the children of his people. And understand this, my beloved, from hence, that when he left them and went up to the mountain, they said:(2)--As for this Moses who brought us up from the land of Egypt we know not what has become of him. So they made them a calf and worshipped it, and they remembered not God Who brought them up from Egypt by means of Moses with a mighty hand and an uplifted arm.(3) Because of this, God had respect unto Moses, and did not make known his tomb; lest, if He should make known his tomb, the children of his people might go astray, and make them an image, and worship it and sacrifice to it, and so by their sins disquiet the bones of the righteous man.

10. And Moses again proclaimed clearly the Resurrection of the dead, for he said as from the mouth of his God:--It is I that cause to die and it is I that make able.(4) Again also Hannah said thus in her prayer:--The Lord causeth to die and quickeneth ; He bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up (therefrom).(5) The Prophet Isaiah also said thus:--Thy dead shall live, O Lord, and their bodies shall rise, and they that sleep in the dust shall awake and praise thee.(6) David also proclaimed, saying:--For lo! for the dead Thou workest wonderful things, and the mighty ones shall rise and make confession unto Thee, and those that are in the tombs shall recount Thy grace.(7) And how in the tombs shall they recount the grace of God? Clearly, when they shall hear the sound of trumpet summoning them, and the cornet sounding forth from on high, and the earthquake that shall be, and the tombs that shall be opened, then the mighty ones shall arise in glory, and recount one to another in the tombs, saying, "Great is the grace that is performed towards us. For our hope was cut off; yet (another) hope has arisen for us. We were imprisoned in darkness, and have come forth to the light. We were sown in corruption, and have risen in glory. We were buried naturally, and we have risen spiritually. Again we were sown in weakness, and have risen in power." This is the grace that they shall tell of in the tombs.

11. And it was not only in words, my beloved, that God said:--" I quicken the dead," but also in deeds He showed it to us by many testimonies; that we might have no hesitation (concerning it). He showed it beforehand plainly; for through Elijah a wonder was manifested, (in proof) that the dead shall live and that they that sleep in the dust shall arise. For when the son of the widow died, Elijah raised him up and gave him to his mother. And Elisha again, his disciple, raised up the son of the Shunamite; that the testimony of two might be established and confirmed for us. And also again when the children of Israel cast a dead man on the bones of Elisha, that dead man revived and arose. And the witness of three is certain.

12. And also through the Prophet Ezekiel, the Resurrection of the dead was manifestly shown, when God brought him forth to the valley and showed him many bones, and made him pass by them round about them, and said to him:--Son of these bones live? And Ezekiel said to Him: Thou knowest, O Lord of lords. And the Lord said to him:--Prophesy, O Son Man, over these bones; prophesy and say to the dry bones, Hear the word of the Lord of lords. And when he had caused them to hear those words, there was a shaking and a noise, and the bones were gathered together, even those that were crushed into pieces and broken. And when the Prophet saw them, he was astonished, for they came together from all sides, and each bone received its fellow, and each joint approached its fellow-joint, and they ordered themselves, one on another. And their dryness was made moist, and the joints were united by the ligatures, and the blood grew warm in the arteries, and skin was stretched over the flesh, and hair grew up according to its nature. But they lay prostrate and there was no breath in them Then again He commanded the Prophet, and said to him Prophesy unto the spirit and say to it, Come, O spirit, from the four winds, and breathe upon these slain men that they may live. And when he caused them to hear this second word, the spirit entered into them, and they revived and stood up upon their feet, a very great host.

13. But why, my beloved, was it that those dead did not rise because of the one word (spoken) through Ezekiel, and why was not their resurrection, both of bones and spirit, accomplished (through that one word)? For lo! by one word the bones were fitted together, and by another the spirit came. It was in order that full perfection might be left for our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with one utterance and one word will raise up at the last day every body of man. For it was not the word that was insufficient, but its bearer was inferior. And with regard to this, understand and observe that when Elijah also, and Elisha his disciple, raised the dead, it was not with one word that they raised them up, but after they had prayed and made intercession and delayed no little time, then they arose.

14. And our Lord Himself, in that His first Coming raised up three that were dead, that the testimony of three might be made sure. And He raised up each one of them with two words each. For when He raised up the widow's son, He called him twice, saying to him, Young man, young man, arise.(2) And he revived and arose. And again, He twice called the daughter of the chief of the synagogue, saying to her, Damsel, damsel, arise.(3) And her spirit returned and she arose. And after Lazarus died, when He came to the place of burial. He prayed earnestly and cried with a loud voice and said, Lazarus, come forth.(4)And he revived and came out of his tomb.

15. And concerning all this that I have explained to thee, that those dead persons were raised with two words each, it was because for them two resurrections take place; that former one, and the second, that which is to come. For in that resurrection in which all men shall rise, none shall fall again; and by one word of God, sent forth through Christ, all the dead shall rise in the twinkling of an eye, speedily. For He Who brings it to pass is not feeble or insufficient. For with one word of summons He will cause all the ends (of the world) to hear, and all that are laid (in the grave) shall leap forth and rise up; and no word shall return void to Him that sent it forth, but as it is written in the Prophet Isaiah,(1) who compares the word to rain and snow; for he said:--As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and return not thither, but fertilize the earth and cause it to bring forth and give seed to the sower and bread for food, so shall the word be that goes forth from My mouth, and it shall not return to Me void, but shall accomplish whatsoever I desire and shall accomplish that for which I shall have sent it. For the rain and the snow do not return to heaven, but accomplish in the earth the will of Him that sends them. So the word that He shall send through His Christ, Who is Himself the Word and the Message, shall return to Him with great power. For when He shall come and bring it, He shall come down like rain and snow, and through Him all that is sown shall spring up and bear righteous fruit, and the word shall return to His sender; but not in vain shall His going have been, but thus shall He say in the presence of His sender:--Behold, I and the children that the Lord has given Me.(2) And this is the voice through which the dead shall live. Concerning it our Redeemer testifies, saying:--The hour shall come when even the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and shall come forth from their tombs;(3) as it is written, In the beginning was the voice, that is the Word.(4) Again He said, The Word became a body and dwelt amongst us.(5) And this is that voice of God which shall sound from on high and raise up all the dead.

16. Again, our Lord explained to the Sadducees with regard to the resurrection of the dead, when they brought forth to Him the parable of the woman who was married to seven husbands, and said to Him:--Lo! the woman was wife of them all; in the Resurrection of the dead, to which of them shall she be wife?(6) Then our Lord said to them:--Ye do greatly err, and ye know not the Scriptures nor the power of God. For they who are worthy of that world and of that Resurrection front the dead, they that are men do not take wives, nor are the women married to husbands, for they cannot die, for they are as the angels of God and children of the Resurrection. But concerning the Resurrection, that the dead shall rise, have ye not read in the Scripture that God said to Moses out of the bush, "I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob." And lo! He is not God of the dead, for they all are alive unto Him.(7)

17. And there are those who even while they live are dead unto God. For He laid a commandment on Adam and said to him, In the day that thou shalt eat of the tree, thou shall surely die.(8) And after he had transgressed the commandment, and had eaten, he lived nine hundred and thirty years; but he was accounted dead unto God because of his sins. But that it may be made certain for thee that a sinner is called dead even when he lives, I will make it clear to thee. For thus it is written in Ezekiel the Prophet, As I live, saith the Lord of lords, I desire not the death of the dead sinner.(9)

18. Moreover our Lord said to that man who said to Him:--Let me go and bury my father, and I will come to Thee.(1) And our Lord said to him, Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou, preach the Kingdom of God. But how is this word understood by thee, my beloved? Didst thou ever see the dead burying their dead? Or how shall a dead man arise to bury another dead man? But receive this explanation from me, that a sinner, while he is living, is dead unto God; and a righteous man, though dead, is alive unto God. For such death is a sleep, as David said, I lay down and slept, and awake.(1) Again Isaiah said, They that sleep in the dust shall awake.(2) And our Lord said concerning the daughter of the chief of the synagogue, The damsel is not dead, but sleeping a slumber.(3) And concerning Lazarus, He said to His disciples:--Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go to waken him.(4) And the Apostle said:--We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed.(5) And again he said:--Concerning those that sleep, be ye not grieved.(6)

19. But it is right for us to be afraid of the second death,(7) that which is full of weeping and gnashing of teeth, and of groanings and miseries, that which is situated in outer darkness. But blessed shall be the faithful and the righteous in that Resurrection, in which they expect to be awakened and to receive the good promises made them. But as for the wicked who are not faithful, in the Resurrection woe to them, because of that which is laid up for them! It would be better for them according to the faith which they possess, were they not to arise. For the servant, for whom his Lord is preparing stripes and bonds, while he is sleeping desires not to awake, for he knows that when the dawn shall have come and he shall awake, his Lord will scourge and bind him. But the good servant, to whom his Lord has promised gifts, looks expectantly for the time when dawn shall come and he shall receive presents from his Lord. And even though he is soundly sleeping, in his dream he sees something like what his Lord is about to give him, whatsoever He has promised him, and he rejoices in his dream, and exults, and is gladdened. As for the wicked, his sleep is not pleasant to him, for he imagines that lo! the dawn has come for him, and his heart is broken in his dream. But the righteous sleep, and their slumber is pleasant to them, in the day-time and the night-time, and they take no thought of all that long night, and like one hour is it accounted in their eyes. Then in the watch of the dawn they awake with joy. But as for the wicked, their sleep lies heavy upon them, and they are like a man who is laid low by a great and deep fever, and tosses on his couch hither and thither, arid he is terrified the whole night long, which lengthens itself out for him, and he fears the dawn when his Lord will condemn him.

20. But our faith thus teaches, that when men fall asleep, they sleep this slumber without knowing good from evil. And the righteous look not forward to their promises, nor do the wicked look forward to their sentence of punishment, until the Judge come and separate those whose place is at His right hand from those whose place is at His left. And be thou instructed by that which is written, that when the Judge shall sit, and the books be opened before Him and the good and evil deeds recited, then they that have wrought good works shall receive good rewards from Him Who is good; and they that have done evil deeds shall receive evil penalties from the just Judge. For towards the good, He changes not His nature; and He proves Himself just because He justly condemns many. But towards the evil He changes His nature, in that world where grace is lost in justice; and He proves Himself just to all. And grace will not be joined with justice towards them. Like as grace avails not (to remedy) detriment, so justice (avails not to assist) grace. For grace is far from the judge, but justice urges the judge. If grace be nigh to any one, let him turn himself towards it, and not deliver himself into the hands of justice, test it condemn him, exacting for his shortcomings the penalty at his hands. And if grace be far from any one, justice will bring him to the trial, and by it he will be condemned, and go away to the torment.

21. But hear, my beloved, this proof that retribution shall take place at the end. For when the Shepherd divides His flock and sets some on His right hand and some on His left.(1) until He shall have acknowledged the service of the good, then He will cause them to inherit the kingdom; and until He shall have rebuked the evil and they are condemned, then He will send them to the torment. And as to them that sent messengers after the King, saying, This man shall not be king over us,(2) when He shall receive the kingdom and return, then His adversaries shall be slain before Him. And the labourers who hastened and were wearied in the vineyard, shall not receive the reward till the labour shall cease. And the traders who received the money, when the Lord of the money shall come, then shall He exact the usury. And the virgins who, while waiting for the bridegroom, slumbered and slept because He delayed to come, when they shall hear the cry, then they shall awake and trim their lamps; and they that are wise shall enter in; and the foolish shall be shut out. And they who were before us in entering the faith, without us shall not be made perfect.(3)

22 From all these things, understand thou, my beloved, as it has been made certain for thee, that as yet no one has received his reward. For the righteous have not inherited the kingdom, nor have the wicked gone into torment. The Shepherd has not as yet divided His flock. And lo! the workmen enter into the vineyard, and as yet have not received the reward. And lo! the merchants are trading with the money. And as yet their Lord has not come to take the account. And the King has gone to receive the Kingdom, but as yet He hats not returned the second time. And those virgins that are waiting the bridegroom are sleeping up to the present time, and are awaiting the cry when they will awake. And the former men who toiled in the faith until the last men shall come, shall not be made perfect.

23. But they who are babes in understanding say:--" If no one has received his reward, why did the Apostle say, When we shall depart from the body, we shall be present with the Lord ?"(4) But recollect, my beloved, that I instructed thee concerning this matter in the Demonstration concerning Solitaries,(5) that the spirit which the righteous receive, according to its heavenly nature, goes to our Lord until the time of the Resurrection, when it shall come to put on the body in which it dwelt. And at every time it has the memory of this in the presence of God, and looks eagerly for the Resurrection of that body in which it dwelt, as the Prophet Isaiah said about the Church of the Gentiles:--They that make mention of thee shall be faithful and stand before the Lord, and thou shalt not give them rest.(6) But as to the wicked, they have none to make mention of them before the Lord, because the Holy Spirit is far removed from them, because they are animal, and are buried after the manner of animals.

24. And again, (the followers of) doctrines, which are instruments of the Evil One, are offended by the word which our Lord spake, No one has ascended up to heaven but He Who came down from heaven, the Son of Man, Who was in heaven.(7) And they say, "Lo! our Lord testified that no earthly body has ascended to heaven." In their ignorance they cannot apprehend the force of this. For when our Lord instructed Nicodemus, he did not apprehend the force of the saying. Then our Lord said to him:--"No one has ascended into heaven, so as to come down and relate to you whatsoever is there. For if I have spoken unto you of those things that are in the earth, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I shall speak unto you of those things which are in heaven?(8) For lo! no other witness besides Me has come down from thence, to bear witness concerning those things which are in heaven, so that ye should believe. For Elijah went up thither, but he came not down along with Me to bear witness, that the testimony of two might be sure."

25. But as for thee, my beloved, have no doubt as to the Resurrection of the dead. For the living mouth (of God) testifies :-I cause to die and I make alive.(1) And both of them proceeded out of one mouth. And as we are sure that He causes to die, and we see it; so also it is sure and worthy of belief, that He makes alive. And from all that I have explained to thee, receive and believe that in the day of the Resurrection thy body shall arise in its entirety, and thou shalt receive from our Lord the reward of thy faith, and in all that thou hast believed, thou shalt rejoice and be made glad.

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 10:11:28 PM
Early Church Fathers Collection

http://www.zeitun-eg.org/ecfidx.htm

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/index.htm

e-Catena: Compiled Allusions to the NT in the Ante-Nicene Fathers

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/e-catena/


Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephanos7 on December 08, 2006, 11:50:15 PM
A mega collection of the Church Fathers –

Internet Christian Library, Guide to Early Church Documents:

http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/christian-history.html#fathers

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 06, 2007, 10:18:42 PM
"And thou shalt be a companion of the Deity, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved by lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. For thou hast become God: for whatever sufferings thou didst undergo while being a man, these He gave to thee, because thou wast of mortal mould, but whatever it is consistent with God to impart, these God has promised to bestow upon thee, because thou hast been deified, and begotten unto immortality." - Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 10, 30
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: GabrieltheCelt on June 08, 2007, 10:51:51 PM

 "A brother sinned and the presbyter ordered him to go out of church. But Abba Bessarion got up and went out with him, saying, 'I, too, am a sinner.'" - The Desert Fathers
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: recent convert on June 22, 2007, 02:12:14 PM
"Strive as hard as you can to love every man. If you cannot do this, at least do not hate anybody. But even this is beyond your power unless you scorn worldly things."    St Maximos the confessor; 4th century (writing) on love #82, Pholokalia vol. II.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Christodoulos on September 19, 2007, 08:25:08 PM
God bless!+

St. Dionysios the Areopagite when visiting the Theotokos:

"I witness by God, that besides the very God Himself, there is nothing else filled with such divine power and grace. No one can fully comprehend what I saw. I confess before God: when I was with John, who shone among the Apostles like the sun in the sky, when I was brought before the countenance of the Most Holy Virgin, I experienced an inexpressible sensation. Before me gleamed a sort of divine radiance which transfixed my spirit. I perceived the fragrance of indescribable aromas and was filled with such delight that my very body became faint, and my spirit could hardly endure these signs and marks of eternal majesty and heavenly power. The grace from her overwhelmed my heart and shook my very spirit. If I did not have in mind your instruction, I should have mistaken Her for the very God. It is impossible to stand before greater blessedness than this which I beheld."


In CHRIST
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on November 02, 2007, 08:21:42 AM
St. Basil the Great:
"The tongue, which is created by Christ, cannot bear to utter anything against Him... Do not deceive yourselves, God cannot be mocked, He judges us according to our own mouth, He justifies us by our words, and by our words, He convicts us".
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on November 08, 2007, 08:12:09 PM
St. Pachomios:

"Go to the tombs, and see that the assurance of men is nothing."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Heorhij on December 15, 2007, 04:48:21 PM
"There exists a natural law, and there exists the Law given in scriptures; but there also exists a "middle" between them both, the law of works. Look, here's how the apostle (Paul) shows and explains all three of these laws. He says: 'when the Gentiles, who have no Law' -just what Law does he mean, you tell me! the Law of the scriptures! - 'do out of their nature the things that are lawful' - lawful according to what law? by the law that reveals itself in their works! - 'they, even not having the Law' - what Law? the one that is in the scriptures! - 'are the law for themselves' - how is this? because they use the natural law! - 'by displaying the works of the law' - what law? the law of their works. One of these laws, namely, the one that is in the scriptures, is an outer law; the other, the one given to us by our nature, is an inner law; but the third one is being revealed in our works. The first one is what the scriptures instruct; the second, wat the nature instructs; the third, what the works reveal. It is only this third law that is actually necessary; the two others are given only to the end that this third law actualized; the two others, if there is no third, are not at all profitable and may in fact be most harmful." St. John Chrysostom, "Homilies on the Epistle to Romans," homily #6, http://www.orthlib.ru/John_Chrysostom/riml06.html
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Heorhij on December 24, 2007, 12:37:49 PM
"(Christ) came not only to be and live with us, but to make us His brethren and coheirs. This, it seems, is the reward granted 'in all its fullness' to those who hasten to the life-giving Vine and establish themselves as branches in it, who labor on behalf of themselves and who cultivate it on behalf of themselves. And what do they do? First, they cut away everything that is superfluous and that, instead of promoting, impedes the bearing of fruit worthy of the divine cellars. And what are these things? Wealth, soft living, vain honours, all things that are transitory and fleeting, every sly and abominable passion of soul and body, all the litter gathered while daydreaming, everything heard, seen and spoken that can bring injury to the soul. If you do not cut out these things and prune the heart's offshoots with great assiduity, you will never bear fruit fit for eternal life."

(St. Gregory Palamas, "To the Most Reverend Nun Xenia." In: "Philokalia," volume 4, Faber and Faber Ltd, London, 1995, p. 300.)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: PeterTheAleut on April 07, 2008, 11:33:01 PM
Some wisdom my priest shared with his flock during the homily this past Sunday, the Sunday of St. John Climacus:

Some people living carelessly in the world put a question to me: "How can we who are married and living amid public cares aspire to the monastic life?" I answered: "Do whatever you may. Speak evil of no one. Tell no lie. Despise no one and carry no hate. Do not separate yourself from the church assemblies. Show compassion to the needy. Do not be a cause of scandal to anyone. Stay away from the bed of another, and be satisfied with what your own wives can provide you. If you do all this, you will not be far from the kingdom of heaven".


Like the sun which shines on all alike, vainglory beams on every occupation. What I mean is this. I fast, and turn vainglorious. I stop fasting so that I will draw no attention to myself, and I become vainglorious over my prudence. I dress well or badly, and I am vainglorious in either case. I talk or hold my peace, and each time I am defeated. No matter how I shed this prickly thing, a spike remains to stand up against me.


When those who praise us, or, rather, those who lead us astray, begin to exalt us, we should briefly remember the multitude of our sins and in this way we will discover that we do not deserve whatever is said or done in our honor.


It is not the self-critical who reveals his humility (for does not everyone have somehow to put up with himself?). Rather it is the man who continues to love the person who has criticized him.

St John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephans on June 02, 2008, 12:39:44 PM
"And thou shalt be a companion of the Deity, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved by lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. For thou hast become God: for whatever sufferings thou didst undergo while being a man, these He gave to thee, because thou wast of mortal mould, but whatever it is consistent with God to impart, these God has promised to bestow upon thee, because thou hast been deified, and begotten unto immortality." - Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 10, 30

As long as God imparts the grace to His servants that are obedient to Him and have nothing to do with pagan idolatry and demon worship. St. Hippolytus made that clear as well.

St. Hippolytus

THE REFUTATION OF ALL HERESIES -- BOOK VI

CHAP. II.--SIMON MAGUS.

It seems, then, expedient likewise to explain now the opinions of Simon,(4) a native of Gitta, a village of Samaria; and we shall also prove that his successors, taking a starting-point from him, have endeavoured (to establish) similar opinions under a change of name. This Simon being an adept in sorceries, both making a mockery of many, partly according to the art of Thrasymedes, in the manner in which we have explained above,(5) and partly also by the assistance of demons perpetrating his villany, attempted to deify himself. (But) the man was a (mere) cheat, and full of folly, and the Apostles reproved him in the Acts.(6) With much greater wisdom and moderation than Simon, did Apsethus the Libyan, inflamed with a similar wish, endeavour to have himself considered a god in Libya, And inasmuch as his legendary system does not present any wide divergence from the inordinate desire of that silly Simon, it seems expedient to furnish an explanation of it, as one worthy of the attempt made by this man.

...


Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Stephans on June 03, 2008, 01:00:09 AM

e-Catena: Compiled Allusions to the NT in the Ante-Nicene Fathers
Dedicated to the transcribers and translators who made it possible.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/e-catena/


Early Christian Writings

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/


Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts
Edited by Roger Pearse

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/index.htm


AN ABBREVIATED HISTORY OF THE WORLD OR

THE WORLD CHRONICLE OF
ISIDORE OF SEVILLE

TRANSLATED BY
KENNETH B. WOLF

FROM THE TEXT PRINTED IN
PATROLOGIA LATINA
VOLUME LXXXIII: 1017-1058
MMIV.

http://www.vitaphone.org/history/isidore.html


Zeitun

http://www.zeitun-eg.org/


ECF Early Church Fathers Zeitun

http://www.zeitun-eg.org/ecfidx.htm




Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 04, 2008, 08:47:37 AM
"If we want to do something but cannot, then before God, who knows our hearts, it is as if we have done it. This is true whether the intended action is good or bad." - St. Mark the Monk, On Those who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works, 16
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 06, 2008, 03:41:58 PM
"Abraham, styled 'the friend,' was found faithful, inasmuch as he rendered obedience to the words of God. He, in the exercise of obedience went out from his own country, and from his kindred, and from his father’s house, in order that, by forsaking a small territory, and a weak family, and an insignificant house, he might inherit the promises of God... On account of his faith and hospitality, a son was given him in his old age; and in the exercise of obedience, he offered him as a sacrifice to God on one of the mountains which He showed him... For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith?" - St. Clement of Rome, 1 Corinthians, 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 18, 2008, 01:05:48 PM
"He also said, 'The nearer a man draws to God, the more he sees himself a sinner. It was when Isaiah the prophet saw God, that he declared himself "a man of unclean lips."' (Is. 6:5)" - Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Matoes, 2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: DanM on August 20, 2008, 11:18:50 AM
1.  St. John Chrysostom’s thanksgiving for food (Hom. LX on Matth.  [from a monastic source?])
“Blessed God, who feedest me from my youth up, who givest food to all flesh; fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that always having all sufficiency we may abound unto every good work in Christ Jesus our Lord; with whom be unto Thee glory, honor and might, with the Holy Spirit, forever. Amen. Glory to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee, O Holy One, glory to Thee, O King, that Thou hast given us meat to make us glad. Fill us with the Holy Ghost, that we may be found well-pleasing before Thee, not being ashamed, when Thou renderest to every man according to his works.”

St. John Chrysostom's universal prayer (Hom. X on Col.)
I know a certain holy man who prayeth thus. He used to say nothing before these words, but thus, “We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits bestowed upon us the unworthy, from the first day until the present, for what we know, and what we know not, for the seen, for the unseen, for those in deed, those in word, those with our wills, those against our wills, for all that have been bestowed upon the unworthy, even us; for tribulations, for refreshments, for hell, for punishment, for the kingdom of heaven. We beseech Thee to keep our soul holy, having a pure conscience; an end worthy of thy lovingkindness. Thou that lovedst us so as to give Thy Only-Begotten for us, grant us to become worthy of Thy love; give us wisdom in Thy word, and in Thy fear. Only-Begotten Christ, inspire the strength that is from Thee. Thou that gavest The Only-Begotten for us, and hast sent Thy Holy Spirit for the remission of our sins, if in aught we have wilfully or unwillingly transgressed, pardon, and impute it not. Remember all that call upon Thy Name in truth; remember all that wish us well, or the contrary, for we are all men.” Then having added the Prayer of the Faithful, he there ended; having made that prayer, as a certain crowning part, and a binding together for all.

St. John Chrysostom's prayer on leaving one's home
Gretser ... refers to St. Chrys. Catech. ii. fin., where he bids every one on leaving his house cross himself, saying, “I renounce thee, Satan, and thy pomp, and thy angels, and I place myself with thee, O Christ.” St. Cyr. Cat. iv. 10 also connects the Invocation of His Name with the Sign. St. Cyprian, Test. ii. 21, quotes Rev. xiv. 1, so as to imply this connection.

These are all from the the NPNF at CCEL.
DanM
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 02, 2008, 05:14:29 AM
"But, beloved, I am persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation. For it is not accordant with the righteousness of God to forget good works, and the fact that you have ministered and do minister to the Saints for His name's sake, and to remember sins only. The Apostle James also, knowing that the baptized can be tempted, and fall of their own free choice, says: 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him.' ...God created us with free will, and we are not forced by necessity either to virtue or to vice. Otherwise, if there be necessity, there is no crown. As in good works it is God who brings them to perfection, for it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that pitieth and gives us help that we may be able to reach the goal." - St. Jerome, Against Jovinianus, 2, 3
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 05, 2008, 11:03:25 PM
"It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality: as some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment. It is fitting, then, not only to be called Christians, but to be so in reality. For it is not the being called so, but the being really so, that renders a man blessed. To those who indeed talk of the bishop, but do all things without him, will He who is the true and first Bishop, and the only High Priest by nature, declare, 'Why call ye Me Lord, and do not the things which I say?' (Luke 6:46). For such persons seem to me not possessed of a good conscience, but to be simply dissemblers and hypocrites." - St. Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians, 4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: deusveritasest on June 04, 2009, 04:08:44 PM

"Let no one deceive you, monk, with the notion that you can be saved while a slave to sensual pleasure and self-esteem."
-Saint Maximos the confessor

I guess the "before the 6th century" part wasn't that strict in principle.  :P
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: deusveritasest on June 04, 2009, 04:12:02 PM

Didn't Tertullian fall into paganism?

Ummm. He fell into schism and heresy (Montanism). But not Paganism.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: PeterTheAleut on June 04, 2009, 05:59:04 PM

"Let no one deceive you, monk, with the notion that you can be saved while a slave to sensual pleasure and self-esteem."
-Saint Maximos the confessor

I guess the "before the 6th century" part wasn't that strict in principle.  :P
To what are you referring?  What do you mean by the "'before the 6th century' part"?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: deusveritasest on June 04, 2009, 06:25:01 PM

"Let no one deceive you, monk, with the notion that you can be saved while a slave to sensual pleasure and self-esteem."
-Saint Maximos the confessor

I guess the "before the 6th century" part wasn't that strict in principle.  :P
To what are you referring?  What do you mean by the "'before the 6th century' part"?


Considering that there now is a Modern Church Fathers section I thought I would start an Early Church Fathers section. I think it best to try to restrict the quotes to before the 6th Century.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 29, 2009, 04:18:44 AM
"It is a great evil that a man should be condemned by his own mouth. Truly, if each one shall give account for an idle word, (Matt. 12:36) how much more for words of impurity and shame? For words uttered hastily are far worse than idle words. If, therefore, an account is demanded for an idle word, how much more will punishment be exacted for impious language?" - St. Ambrose of Milan
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:26:13 PM
Thread dedicated to the Divine Wisdom of

Saint Basil the Great

(http://www.saintbasilacademy.org/assets/images/saint_basil_icon02.jpg) (http://www.summagallicana.it/lessico/b/Basilio%20il%20Grande.JPG)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:26:27 PM
The love of God is not taught

The love of God is not taught. No one has taught us to enjoy the light or to be attached to life more than anything else. And no one has taught us to love the two people who brought us into the world and educated us. Which is all the more reason to believe that we did not learn to love God as a result of outside instruction. In the very nature of every human being has been sown the seed of the ability to love. You and I ought to welcome this seed, cultivate it carefully, nourish it attentively and foster its growth by going to the school of God's commandments with help of His grace.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:27:06 PM
From St. Basil the Great (The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Second Series Vol. VIII; Eerdmans pg. 212):
 
"…if, to me, “to live is Christ” (Phil. 1:21), truly my words ought to be about Christ, my every thought and deed ought to depend upon His commandments, and my soul to be fashioned after His."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:27:30 PM
From St. Basil the Great (The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Second Series Vol. VIII; Eerdmans pg. 34):
 
"It is not he who begins well who is perfect. It is he who ends well who is approved in God’s sight."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:29:54 PM
Thread dedicated to the Divine Wisdom of

St John Chrysostom

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_gkoUB8Sxlg4/SuKaa2H4-7I/AAAAAAAACSo/I7cZjYqo42g/s512/john_chrysostom1.jpg) (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_UOJjUH2o_wM/SRyXq31or5I/AAAAAAAAARU/tAst_fVf1Ww/s400/TO_AYTI_TOY_AGIOY_IOANNOY_XRYSOSTOMOY-_BATOPAIDI.jpg)

Most holy St John Chrysostom, intercede with your prayers to God, four our enlightenment and salvation!

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:30:39 PM
Leading others to Christ
by St. John Chrysostom

Nothing is more frigid than a Christian who does not care about the salvation of others. You cannot plead the excuse of poverty here; the widow who gave her two mites will stand to accuse you. Peter said, “Silver or gold I have none.” Paul was so poor he often went hungry, lacking the necessary food. You cannot allege lack of education or preparation. They were unlearned men. You cannot plead infirmity. Timothy was often laid low by sickness and the Apostle had to counsel him to take a little wine for his stomach. Every one can profit his neighbor if he will do what he can.

Do not say, It is impossible for me to lead others to the faith. If you are a Christian, it is impossible for it not to be so. The natural properties of things cannot be denied. This witnessing to others is part of the very nature of being a Christian. It would be easier for the sun to cease to shine and give forth heat than for a Christian not to send forth light; easier for the light to be darkness than for this to be so.

~ Excerpt taken from the book: Daily Readings From The Writings of St. John Chrysostom

(http://www.jesus-passion.com/Saint_John_Chrysostom.jpg)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:32:06 PM
Almsgiving

Seest thou that a failure in almsgiving is enough to cast a man into hell fire? For where will he avail who does not give alms? Dost thou fast every day? So also did those virgins, but it availed them nothing. Dost thou pray? What of that? prayer without almsgiving is unfruitful, without that all things are unclean and unprofitable. The better part of virtue is destroyed. 'He that loveth not his brother,' it is said, 'knoweth not God' (1 John. 4:8 ). And how dost thou love him, when thou dost not even impart to him of these poor worthless things? "
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:32:30 PM
Do not Scandalise

Accordingly, dearly beloved, let us do everything for the purpose of giving glory to our Lord, and let us not be an occasion of scandal to anybody. This after all, is the unfailing lesson given us by the whole world’s teacher, blessed Paul, as for example when he says, “If food is a source of scandal to my brother, let me never till the end of time touch meat again;” and again, “By sinning against your brothers in this way through bruising your tender conscience, you sin against Christ.”

A stern admonition that, entailing a heavy condemnation. In other words, he is saying, don’t think the harm will be inflicted solely on one person: it passes on to Christ himself, who for that person was crucified. So if the Lord was not swayed from being crucified for him, would you not make every effort to avoid giving him any occasion for scandal? You will find Paul giving this advice everywhere to his disciples; it is, after all, the factor that keeps our life together. Hence he uses these words in writing in another letter: “Let each of you consider not your own concerns but the concerns of others;” and again in another place: “Everything is lawful for me, but not everything edifies others.” Do you see the apostolic attitude? Even repercussion for myself on that account, yet to avoid interfering with my neighbor’s spiritual progress I would not presume to behave like that. Do you see the soul full of loving concern- how he has no eye at all for his own interests, but shows us in every way that the greatest virtue consists in taking great care for our neighbor’s spiritual progress.

Taken from the Book: Daily Reading from the Writings of St. John Chyrsostom
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:33:58 PM
Thread dedicated to the Divine Wisdom of

St John of Climacus

(http://theinnerkingdom.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/saint_john_climacus.jpg)



Know, beloved, that the valleys shall abound with wheat and spiritual fruit. This valley is a soul low and humble among the mountains, that is, it is filled with labours and virtues, and always remains unhaughty and steadfast."

~ St. John Climacus "The Ladder of Divine Ascent" (Step 25)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:46:51 PM
The True Adornment of a Lady
by St. John Chrysostom

Do you wish to adorn your face?

Do not do so with gems but with piety and modesty; thus adorned, a man will find your appearance more pleasing to behold. For that other kind of adornment generally arouses suspicions which give rise to jealousy, enmity, strife, and quarrels. For there is nothing more disgusting than a suspiciously beautiful face.

But the adornment which comes from almsgiving and modesty drives out all wicked suspicion and draws your husband to you with greater strength than any chain. For natural beauty does not make a face become beautiful as much as does the disposition of him who beholds it, and nothing is more likely to produce this disposition than modesty and piety.

Hence, even if a woman be beautiful but her husband hates her, she will appear to him as the ugliest of women; if a woman does not happen to be comely but she pleases her husband, he will find her the fairest of women. Judgments are made not in the light of the nature of what is seen but in the light of the disposition of those who see it.

Adorn your face, therefore, with modesty, piety, almsgiving, benevolence, love, kindliness towards your husband, reasonableness, mildness, and forbearance. These are the pigments of virtue; by these you draw not men but angels to you as your lovers; for these you have God Himself to praise you. When God shall approve of you, He will win over your husband to you in every way; for if wisdom illumines the face of man, much more does virtue make the face of a woman shine forth.

~ Excerpt taken from the book: Daily Readings from the Writings of St. John Chyrsostom
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 11, 2010, 11:47:56 PM
St John Chrysostom’s Homily 2,

‘On Remembering the Dead’:

If, in setting out for any foreign country or city we are in need of guides, then how much shall we need helpers and guides in order to pass unhindered past the elders, the powers, the governors of the air, the persecutors, the chief
collectors! For this reason, the soul, flying away from the body, often ascends and descends, fears and trembles. The awareness of sins always torments us, all the more at that hour when we shall have to be conducted to those trials and that frightful judgement place. (pp. 236-7)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on February 12, 2010, 12:06:09 AM
Does this belong in the prayer forum?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 12:13:34 AM
Does this belong in the prayer forum?

In my opinion, yes. When we read the "words of the patristic saints" we are effectively also praying ... there are many who are using this Forum who need these "prayers" and especially if these are read daily many of those who seek prayers from others will find that in reading and absorbing the words of the Saints will receive divine nourishment ...

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 12, 2010, 12:15:46 AM
Does this belong in the prayer forum?

In my opinion, yes. When we read the "words of the patristic saints" we are effectively also praying ... there are many who are using this Forum who need these "prayers" and especially if these are read daily many of those who seek prayers from others will find that in reading and absorbing the words of the Saints will receive divine nourishment ...

I'm pretty sure I could think of a few quotes by St. John which aren't exactly conducive to a prayerful attitude... for all his reputation for being "pastorally sensitive," he could get quite feisty ya know ;)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 12:48:15 AM
True Poverty and True Riches

“Lament not therefore thy poverty, but thyself who are so [carnally] minded, yea rather, lament not thyself, but reform thee; and seek not for money, but pursue that which maketh men of more cheerful countenance than great hoards of money, philosophy (Christian practice) and virtue. For where indeed these are, there is no harm in poverty; and where these are not there is no good in money.”
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 12:49:08 AM
Almsgiving

Seest thou that a failure in almsgiving is enough to cast a man into hell fire? For where will he avail who does not give alms? Dost thou fast every day? So also did those virgins, but it availed them nothing. Dost thou pray? What of that? prayer without almsgiving is unfruitful, without that all things are unclean and unprofitable. The better part of virtue is destroyed. 'He that loveth not his brother,' it is said, 'knoweth not God' (1 John. 4:8 ). And how dost thou love him, when thou dost not even impart to him of these poor worthless things? "

~ St. John Chrysostom
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 12:49:43 AM
On Repentance

For behold the love of God to man! We ought on every ground to have been punished at the first; in that having received the natural law, and enjoyed innumerable blessings, we have not acknowledged our Master, and have lived an unclean life. Yet He not only has not punished us, but has even made us partakers of countless blessings, just as if we had accomplished great things. Again we fell away, and not even so does He punish us, but has given medicine of repentance, which is sufficient to put away and blot out all our sins; only if we knew the nature of the medicine, and how we ought to apply it.

What then is the medicine of Repentance and how is it made up?  

First, of the condemnation of our own sins; “For” (it is said) “mine iniquity have I not hid” ( Ps. xxxii. 5 ); and again, “I will confess against myself my lawlessness unto the Lord, and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my heart.” And “Declare thou at the first thy sins, that thou mayest be justified.” ( Isa. xliii. 26.) And, “The righteous man is an accuser of himself at the first speaking.” ( Prov. xviii. 17 .)

Secondly, of great humbleness of mind: For it is like a golden chain; if one have hold of the beginning, all will follow. Because if thou confess thy sin as one ought to confess, the soul is humbled. For conscience turning it on itself causeth it to be subdued.

Other things too must be added to humbleness of mind if it be such as the blessed David knew, when he said, “A broken and a contrite heart God will not despise.” ( Ps. li. 17.) For that which is broken does not rise up, does not strike, but is ready to be ill-treated and itself riseth not up. Such is contrition of heart: though it be insulted, though it be evil entreated, it is quiet, and is not eager for vengeance.

And after humbleness of mind, there is need of intense prayers, of many tears, tears by day, and tears by night: for, he says, “every night, will I wash my bed, I will water my couch with my tears. I am weary with my groaning.” ( Ps. vi. 6.) And again, “For I have eaten ashes as it were bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.” ( Ps. cii. 9.)

And after prayer thus intense, there is need of much almsgiving: for this it is which especially gives strength to the medicine of repentance. And as there is a medicine among the physicians’ helps which receives many herbs, but one is the essential, so also in case of repentance this is the essential herb, yea, it may be everything. ...

Next not being angry with any one, not bearing malice; the forgiving all their trespasses. For, it is said, “Man retaineth wrath against man, and yet seeketh healing from the Lord.” ( Ecclus. xxviii. 3.) “Forgive that ye may be forgiven.” ( Mark xi. 25.)

Also, the converting our brethren from their wandering. For, it is said, “Go thou, and convert thy brethren, that thy sins may be forgiven thee.” And from one’s being in close relations with the priests, “and if,” it is said, “a man hath committed sins it shall be forgiven him.” ( Jas. v. 15.) To stand forward in defense of those who are wronged. Not to retain anger: to bear all things meekly.

--Excerpt from Homily on Hebrews VI
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 12:50:08 AM
Five ways of Repentance

Do you wish that I shall speak of the ways of repentance? They are many, and various, and different, and all lead to heaven.

I. The first way of repentance is condemnation of sins. “Declare thou first thy sins that thou mayest be justified.” Wherefore also the prophet said “ I said, I will speak out, my transgression to the Lord, and thou remittedst the iniquity of my heart.” Condemn thyself therefore for thy sins. This is enough for the Master by way of self-defense. For he who condemns his sins, is slower to fall into them again. Awake thy conscience, that inward accuser, in order that thou mayest have no accuser at the judgment seat of the Lord.

II. This is one way of repentance, the best; and there is another not less than this: not to bear a grudge against thine enemies to overcome anger, to forgive the sins of our fellow-servants. For so will those which have been done against the master be forgiven us. See the second expiation of sins: “For if ye forgive” saith he, “your debtors, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

III. Dost thou wish to learn a third way of repentance? Fervent and diligent prayer, and to do this from the bottom of the heart. Hast thou not seen that widow, how she persuaded the shameless judge? But thou hast a gentle Master, both tender, and kind. She asked, against her adversaries, but thou dost not ask against thine adversaries, but on behalf of thine own salvation.

IV. And if thou wouldest learn a fourth way, I will say almsgiving. For this has a great power and unspeakable. For Daniel saith to Nebuchadnezzar when he had come to all kinds of evil, and had entered upon all impiety, “O King let my counsel be acceptable unto thee, redeem thy sins by almsgiving and thine iniquities by compassion on the poor.” What could be compared with this loving-kindness? After countless sins, after so many transgressions, he is promised that he will be reconciled with him he has come into conflict with if he will show kindness to his own fellow-servants.

V. And modesty, and humility, not less than all words spoken, exhaust the nature of sins. And the publican is proof, being unable to declare his good deeds, in sight of all, bringing forward his humility, and laying aside the heavy burden of his sins.

See we have shown five ways of repentance: first the condemnation of sins, next the forgiveness of our neighbors’ sins, thirdly that which comes of prayer, fourth that which comes of almsgiving, fifth that which comes of humility.

Do not thou then be lazy; but walk in all these day by day. For the ways are easy, nor canst thou plead poverty. And even if thou livest poorer than all, thou art able to leave thine anger, and be humble, and to pray fervently, and to condemn sins, and thy poverty is in no way a hindrance. And why do I speak thus, when not even in that way of repentance in which it is possible to spend money (I speak of almsgiving), not even there is poverty any hindrance to us from obeying the command? The widow who spent the two mites is a proof.

Having learned then the healing of our wounds, let us constantly apply these medicines, in order that we may return to health and enjoy the sacred table with assurance; and with much glory, reach Christ the king of glory, and attain to everlasting good by the grace, and compassion, and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom be glory, power, honor, to the Father, together with the all holy, and good and quickening Spirit, now and always and for ever and ever. Amen.

~ from the Homily Concerning the Power of Demons, HomilyII
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 01:59:54 AM
NOOOOO - this is HORRID WHAT HAS THIS MODERATOR DONE??????????
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: PeterTheAleut on February 12, 2010, 02:30:08 AM
NOOOOO - this is HORRID WHAT HAS THIS MODERATOR DONE??????????
Would you like to speak to me via private message or report my decision to the moderator team (using the "Report to Moderator" function at the bottom of each post)?  That's the proper way to question moderatorial actions.  If you don't like what I did, please don't argue with it in public.

- PeterTheAleut
Faith Issues Section Moderator
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 02:39:27 AM
NOOOOO - this is HORRID WHAT HAS THIS MODERATOR DONE??????????
Would you like to speak to me via private message or report my decision to the moderator team (using the "Report to Moderator" function at the bottom of each post)?  That's the proper way to question moderatorial actions.  If you don't like what I did, please don't argue with it in public.

- PeterTheAleut
Faith Issues Section Moderator


Im not arguing with you .... I was shocked at the collective dumping of the different posts ... now, there is no "neatness" in presentation and association with which saint each post is. Second, I am not going to report you??? Why would I do that?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Salpy on February 12, 2010, 02:46:37 AM
This is actually a good thing.  By putting it here, it gets preserved in a sticky thread, which means that it's not going to disappear after a while of no one posting in it.  It will stay toward the top of the Faith Issues forum, where it will be accessible and visible.  This thread gets a lot of people clicking on it.  if it had remained in the Prayer forum, it would have been out of sight within a couple of weeks.

Also, it just fits here.  This is the thread for early patristic quotes.  The Prayer forum is for actual prayer requests.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: soufliotiki on February 12, 2010, 02:50:45 AM
This is actually a good thing.  By putting it here, it gets preserved in a sticky thread, which means that it's not going to disappear after a while of no one posting in it.  It will stay toward the top of the Faith Issues forum, where it will be accessible and visible.  This thread gets a lot of people clicking on it.  if it had remained in the Prayer forum, it would have been out of sight within a couple of weeks.

Also, it just fits here.  This is the thread for early patristic quotes.  The Prayer forum is for actual prayer requests.

Fair enough, the only problem is that the quotes do not stick to the theme of the saint (ie St Basil the Great and then a list of HIS quotes) ... plus the pictures I posted were for the start of a thread now they are just muddled in amongst ... whatever you guys want. I just like more compact threads ...
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on February 16, 2010, 01:48:40 PM
To lag in the fight at the very outset of the struggle and thereby furnish a token of our coming slaughter is a very hateful and dangerous thing. A firm beginning will certainly be useful for us when we later grow slack. A soul that is strong at first but then relaxes is spurred on by the memory of its former zeal, and in this way, new wings are often obtained.
(St. John Klimakos, The Ladder, Step 1 v11)

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on February 20, 2010, 04:49:30 PM
"The athlete of Christ who is duly fighting His battles must tear out by the roots the motions of anger. The perfect medicine for the disease is that first of all we must be convinced that in no circumstances, from either just or unjust cause, is it right for us to be angry."

    —Saint John Cassian

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Get_Behind_Me_Satan on February 20, 2010, 07:14:58 PM
St Leo the Great - Admonitions. Found here:http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf212.iii.iv.iv.ii.html

Chapter II. How the poor and the rich should be admonished.
Chapter III. How the joyful and the sad are to be admonished.
Chapter IV. How subjects and prelates are to be admonished.
Chapter V. How servants and masters are to be admonished.
Chapter VI. How the wise and the dull are to be admonished.
Chapter VII. How the impudent and bashful are to be admonished.
Chapter VIII. How the forward and the faint-hearted are to be admonished.
Chapter IX. How the impatient and the patient are to be admonished.
Chapter X. How the kindly-disposed and the envious are to be admonished.
Chapter XI. How the simple and the crafty are to be admonished.
Chapter XII. How the whole and the sick are to be admonished.
Chapter XIII. How those who fear scourges and those who contemn them are to be admonished.
Chapter XIV. How the silent and the talkative are to be admonished.
Chapter XV. How the slothful and the hasty are to be admonished.
Chapter XVI. How the meek and the passionate are to be admonished.
Chapter XVII. How the humble and the haughty are to be admonished.
Chapter XVIII. How the obstinate and the fickle are to be admonished.
Chapter XIX. How those who use food intemperately and those who use it sparingly are to be admonished.
Chapter XX. How to be admonished are those who give away what is their own, and those who seize what belongs to others.
Chapter XXI. How those are to be admonished who desire not the things of others, but keep their own; and those who give of their own, yet seize on those of others.
Chapter XXII. How those that are at variance and those that are at peace are to be admonished
Chapter XXIII. How sowers of strifes and peacemakers are to be admonished.
Chapter XXIV. How the rude in sacred learning, and those who are learned but not humble, are to be admonished.
Chapter XXV. How those are to be admonished who decline the office of preaching out of too great humility, and those who seize on it with precipitate haste.
 Chapter XXVI. How those are to be admonished with whom everything succeeds according to their wish, and those with whom nothing does.
Chapter XXVII. How the married and the single are to be admonished.
Chapter XXVIII. How those are to be admonished who have had experience of the sins of the flesh, and those who have not.
Chapter XXIX. How they are to be admonished who lament sins of deed, and those who lament only sins of thought.
Chapter XXX. How those are to be admonished who abstain not from the sins which they bewail, and those who, abstaining from them, bewail them not.
Chapter XXXI. How those are to be admonished who praise the unlawful things of which they are conscious, and those who while condemning them, in no wise guard against them.
 Chapter XXXII. How those are to be admonished who sin from sudden impulse and those who sin deliberately.
Chapter XXXIII. How those are to be admonished who commit very small but frequent faults, and those who, while avoiding such as are very small, are sometimes plunged in such as are grievous.
Chapter XXXIV. How those are to be admonished who do not even begin good things, and those who do not finish them when begun.
Chapter XXXV. How those are to be admonished who do bad things secretly and good things openly, and those who do contrariwise.
Chapter XXXVI. Concerning the exhortation to be addressed many at once, that It may so aid the virtues of each among them that vices contrary to such virtues may not grow up through it.
Chapter XXXVII. Of the exhortation to be applied to one person, who labours under contrary passions.
Chapter XXXVIII. That sometimes lighter vices are to be left alone, that more grievous ones may be removed.
Chapter XXXIX. That deep things ought not to be preached at all to weak souls.
Chapter XL. Of the work and the voice of preaching. But in the midst of these things we are brought back by the earnest desire of charity to what we have already said above;
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2010, 01:27:06 AM
"Unless a man gives himself entirely to the Cross, in a spirit of humility and self-abasement; unless he casts himself down to be trampled underfoot by all and despised, accepting injustice, contempt and mocker; unless he undergoes all these things with joy for the sake of the Lord, not claiming any kind of human reward whatsoever--glory or honour or pleasures of food and drink and clothing--he cannot become a true Christian." - St. Mark the Monk (quoted in Met. Kallistos [Ware], The Orthodox Way, p. 173)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2010, 08:56:18 PM
Quote
This practical life then, which as has been said rests on a double system, is distributed among many different professions and interests. For some make it their whole purpose to aim at the secrecy of an anchorite and purity of heart, as we know that in the past Elijah and Elisha, and in our own day the blessed Antony and others who followed with the same object, were joined most closely to God by the silence of solitude. Some have given all their efforts and interests towards the system of the brethren and the watchful care of the Cœnobium; as we remember that recently Abbot John, who presided over a big monastery in the neighbourhood of the city Thmuis, and some other men of like merits were eminent with the signs of Apostles. Some are pleased with the kindly service of the guest house and reception, by which in the past the patriarch Abraham and Lot pleased the Lord, and recently the blessed Macarius, a man of singular courtesy and patience who presided over the guest house at Alexandria in such a way as to be considered inferior to none of those who aimed at the retirement of the desert. Some choose the care of the sick, others devote themselves to intercession, which is offered up for the oppressed and afflicted, or give themselves up to teaching, or give alms to the poor, and flourish among men of excellence and renown, by reason of their love and goodness.

Wherefore it is good and profitable for each one to endeavour with all his might and main to attain perfection in the work that has been begun, according to the line which he has chosen as the grace which he has received; and while he praises and admires the virtues of others, not to swerve from his own line which he has once for all chosen, as he knows that, as the Apostle says, the body of the Church indeed is one, but the members many, and that it has “gifts differing according to the grace which is given us, whether prophecy, according to the proportion of the faith, whether ministry, in ministering, or he that teaches, in doctrine, or he that exhorts in exhortation, he that gives, in simplicity, he that rules, with carefulness, he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Rom. 12:4-8) For no members can claim the offices of other members, because the eyes cannot perform the duties of the hands, nor the nostrils of the ears. And so not all are Apostles, not all prophets, not all doctors, not all have the gifts of healing, not all speak with tongues, not all interpret. (1 Cor. 12:28) - Abbot Nesteros (found in: St. John Cassian, Conferences, 14, 4-5)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: HabteSelassie on November 04, 2010, 10:11:21 PM
greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Quote
The presiding ministers of the "mystery of godliness"(1) have need of a system in their instructions, in order that the Church may be replenished by the accession of such as should be saved(2) , through the teaching of the word of Faith being brought home to the hearing of unbelievers. Not that the same method of instruction will be suitable in the case of all who approach the word. The catechism must be adapted to the diversities of their religious worship; with an eye, indeed, to the one aim and end of the system, but not using the same method of preparation in each individual case. The Judaizer has been preoccupied with one set of notions, one conversant with Hellenism, with others; while the Anomoean, and the Manichee, with the followers of Marcion(3) , Valentinus, and Basilides(4) , and the rest on the list of those who have wandered into heresy, each of them being prepossessed with their peculiar notions, necessitate a special controversy with their several. opinions. The method of recovery must be adapted to the form of the disease. You will not by the same means cure the polytheism of the Greek, and the unbelief of the Jew as to the Only-begotten God: nor as regards those who have wandered into heresy will you, by the same arguments in each case, upset their misleading romances as to the tenets of the Faith. No one could set Sabellius(5) right by the same instruction as would benefit the Anomoean(6) . The controversy with the Manichee is profitless against the Jew(7) . It is necessary, therefore, as I have said, to regard the opinions which the persons have taken up, and to frame your argument in accordance with the error into which each has fallen, by advancing in each discussion certain principles and reasonable propositions, that thus, through what is agreed upon on both sides, the truth may conclusively be brought to light. When, then, a discussion is held with one of those who favour Greek ideas, it would be well to make the ascertaining of this the commencement of the reasoning, i.e. whether he presupposes the existence of a God, or concurs with the atheistic view. Should he say there is no God, then, from the consideration of the skilful and wise economy of the Universe he will be brought to acknowledge that there is a certain overmastering power manifested through these channels. If, on the other hand, he should have no doubt as to the existence of Deity, but should be inclined to entertain the presumption of a plurality of Gods, then we will adopt against him some such train of reasoning as this: "does he think Deity is perfect or defective?" and if, as is likely, he bears testimony to the perfection in the Divine nature, then we will demand of him to grant a perfection throughout in everything that is observable in that divinity, in order that Deity may not be regarded as a mixture of opposites, defect and perfection. But whether as respects power, or the conception of goodness, or wisdom and imperishability and eternal existence, or any other notion besides suitable to the nature of Deity, that is found to lie close to the subject of our contemplation, in all he will agree that perfection is the idea to be entertained of the Divine nature, as being a just inference from these premises. If this, then, be granted us, it would not be difficult to bring round these scattered notions of a plurality of Gods to the acknowledgment of a unity of Deity. For if he admits that perfection is in every respect to be ascribed to the subject before us, though there is a plurality of these perfect things which are marked with the same character, he must be required by a logical necessity, either to point out the particularity in each of these things which present no distinctive variation, but are found always with the same marks, or, if (he cannot do that, and) the mind can grasp nothing in them in the way of particular, to give up the idea of any distinction. For if neither as regards "more and less" a person can detect a difference (in as much as the idea of perfection does not admit of it), nor as regards "worse" and "better" (for he cannot entertain a notion of Deity at all where the term "worse" is not got rid of), nor as regards "ancient" and "modern" (for what exists not for ever is foreign to the notion of Deity), but on the contrary the idea of Godhead is one and the same, no peculiarity being on any ground of reason to be discovered in any one point, it is an absolute necessity that the mistaken fancy of a plurality of Gods would be forced to the acknowledgment of a unity of Deity. For if goodness, and justice, and wisdom, and power may be equally predicated of it, then also imperishability and eternal existence, and every orthodox idea would be in the same way admitted. As then all distinctive difference in any aspect whatever has been gradually removed, it necessarily follows that together with it a plurality of Gods has been removed from his belief, the general identity bringing round conviction to the Unity. Gregory of Nyssa The Great Catechism


Link provided by poster: http://www.searchgodsword.org/his/ad/ecf/pos/gregoryofnyssa/view.cgi?file=npnf2-05-39.htm (http://www.searchgodsword.org/his/ad/ecf/pos/gregoryofnyssa/view.cgi?file=npnf2-05-39.htm)

-PtA
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: PeterTheAleut on November 05, 2010, 01:43:18 AM
As a general reminder to everyone else: Please remember that if you copy a large block of material and paste it to this thread, U.S. copyright law requires that you give credit to your source by posting a link to the Web page from which you copied your material. I happened to notice on this thread a number of posts from several months to a few years ago that look as if they were copied from somewhere else yet have nothing indicating where they came from. It's not really feasible for me to go back and run down links for all these posts, especially since some of the guilty posters aren't even here anymore. What I can do, however, is be proactive in heading off any attempts to copy-and-paste without credit in the future, which is the reason for this warning.

- PeterTheAleut
Faith Issues Section Moderator
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: mackadam on December 23, 2010, 03:01:24 PM
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Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on January 26, 2011, 04:13:32 AM
"We observe each other’s sins, not to bewail them, but to make them subjects of reproach; not to heal them, but to aggravate them; and we excuse our own evil deeds by pointing out the wounds of our neighbours. We do not judge a person bad or good according to his character, but by whether he disagrees with us or is our friend. We praise one day what we revile the next; admire some merely because they are denounced by our enemies; will forgive anyone anything as long as they are on our side."
-St. Gregory the Theologian
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: MyMapleStory on January 26, 2011, 05:27:55 AM
Chapter 2. St Ambrose on the duties of the clergy

Manifold dangers are incurred by speaking; the remedy for which Scripture shows to consist in silence.

5. Now what ought we to learn before everything else, but to be silent, that we may be able to speak? Lest my voice should condemn me, before that of another acquit me; for it is written: “By your words you shall be condemned.” Matthew 12:37 What need is there, then, that you should hasten to undergo the danger of condemnation by speaking, when you can be more safe by keeping silent? How many have I seen to fall into sin by speaking, but scarcely one by keeping silent; and so it is more difficult to know how to keep silent than how to speak. I know that most persons speak because they do not know how to keep silent. It is seldom that any one is silent even when speaking profits him nothing. He is wise, then, who knows how to keep silent. Lastly, the Wisdom of God said: “The Lord has given to me the tongue of learning, that I should know when it is good to speak.” Justly, then, is he wise who has received of the Lord to know when he ought to speak. Wherefore the Scripture says well: “A wise man will keep silence until there is opportunity.” Sirach 20:7

6. Therefore the saints of the Lord loved to keep silence, because they knew that a man's voice is often the utterance of sin, and a man's speech is the beginning of human error. Lastly, the Saint of the Lord said: “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I offend not in my tongue.” For he knew and had read that it was a mark of the divine protection for a man to be hid from the scourge of his own tongue, Job 5:21 and the witness of his own conscience. We are chastised by the silent reproaches of our thoughts, and by the judgment of conscience. We are chastised also by the lash of our own voice, when we say things whereby our soul is mortally injured, and our mind is sorely wounded. But who is there that has his heart clean from the impurities of sin, and does not offend in his tongue? And so, as he saw there was no one who could keep his mouth free from evil speaking, he laid upon himself the law of innocency by a rule of silence, with a view to avoiding by silence that fault which he could with difficulty escape in speaking.

7. Let us hearken, then, to the master of precaution: “I said, I will take heed to my ways;” that is, “I said to myself: in the silent biddings of my thoughts, I have enjoined upon myself, that I should take heed to my ways.” Some ways there are which we ought to follow; others as to which we ought to take heed. We must follow the ways of the Lord, and take heed to our own ways, lest they lead us into sin. One can take heed if one is not hasty in speaking. The law says: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God.” Deuteronomy 6:4 It said not: “Speak,” but “Hear.” Eve fell because she said to the man what she had not heard from the Lord her God. The first word from God says to you: Hear! If you hear, take heed to your ways; and if you have fallen, quickly amend your way. For: “Wherein does a young man amend his way; except in taking heed to the word of the Lord?” Be silent therefore first of all, and hearken, that you fail not in your tongue.

8. It is a great evil that a man should be condemned by his own mouth. Truly, if each one shall give account for an idle word, Matthew 12:36 how much more for words of impurity and shame? For words uttered hastily are far worse than idle words. If, therefore, an account is demanded for an idle word, how much more will punishment be exacted for impious language?

Can read the rest here.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34011.htm

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 02, 2011, 02:37:42 AM
But concerning true patience, worthy of the name of this virtue, whence it is to be had, must now be inquired. For there are some who attribute it to the strength of the human will, not which it has by Divine assistance, but which it has of free-will. Now this error is a proud one: for it is the error of them which abound, of whom it is said in the Psalm, “A scornful reproof to them which abound, and a despising to the proud.” It is not therefore that “patience of the poor” which “perishes not forever.” For these poor receive it from that Rich One, to Whom is said, “My God are You, because my goods You need not:” of Whom is “every good gift, and every perfect gift;” to Whom cries the needy and the poor, and in asking, seeking, knocking, says, “My God, deliver me from the hand of the sinner, and from the hand of the lawless and unjust: because You are my patience, O Lord, my hope from my youth up.” But these which abound, and disdain to be in want before God, lest they receive of Him true patience, they which glory in their own false patience, seek to “confound the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his hope.”

Nor do they regard, seeing they are men, and attribute so much to their own, that is, to the human will, that they run into that which is written, “Cursed is every one who puts his hope in man.” Whence even if it chance them that they do bear up under any hardships or difficulties, either that they may not displease men, or that they may not suffer worse, or in self-pleasing and love of their own presumption, do with most proud will bear up under these same, it is meet that concerning patience this be said unto them, which concerning wisdom the blessed Apostle James says, “This wisdom comes not from above, but is earthly, animal, devilish.” For why may there not be a false patience of the proud, as there is a false wisdom of the proud? But from Whom comes true wisdom, from Him comes also true patience. For to Him sings that poor in spirit, “Unto God is my soul subjected, because from Him is my patience.”

--St. Augustine, On Patience, 12
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 02, 2011, 02:47:09 AM
"Upon being summoned from exile by the Emperor, Pope Liberius was told to condemn Saint Athanasius. He refused to do so, which provoked from the Emperor the response: 'How large a portion of the earth are you that you take sides alone with an impious man and disturb the peace of the earth and all the universe?' Pope Liberius replied: 'Even if I am alone, the word of faith is not weakened for that.'" - Ronald H. Bainton, Early Christianity, (D. Van Nostrand Company, 1960), p. 70
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 02, 2011, 02:59:26 AM
"If you are listless when you pray or afflicted by various forms of evil, call to mind your death and the torments of hell. But it is better to cleave to God through hope and prayer than to think about external things, even though such thoughts may be helpful." - St. Mark the Monk, On Those Who Think They Are Made Righteous By Works, 38
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 03, 2011, 08:40:52 PM
"Would that the memory of the fathers would exhale from the tombs; who were very simple as being wise, and reverend as believing. They without cavilling searched for, and came to the right path." - St. Ephraim the Syrian, The Pearl, Hymn 6
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ozgeorge on March 01, 2011, 04:53:52 AM
"Go and have pity on all, for through pity one finds freedom of speech before God."

Abba Pambo
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 10, 2011, 04:16:54 PM
Quote
So great is the splendour of a virtuous life that a peaceful conscience and a calm innocence work out a happy life. And as the risen sun hides the globe of the moon and the light of the stars, so the brightness of a virtuous life, where it glitters in true pure glory, casts into the shade all other things, which, according to the desires of the body, are considered to be good, or are reckoned in the eyes of the world to be great and noble.

Blessed, plainly, is that life which is not valued at the estimation of outsiders, but is known, as judge of itself, by its own inner feelings. It needs no popular opinion as its reward in any way; nor has it any fear of punishments. Thus the less it strives for glory, the more it rises above it. For to those who seek for glory, that reward in the shape of present things is but a shadow of future ones, and is a hindrance to eternal life, as it is written in the Scriptures: “Verily, I say unto you, they have received their reward.” (Matt. 6:2) This is said of those who, as it were, with the sound of a trumpet desire to make known to all the world the liberality they exercise towards the poor. It is the same, too, in the case of fasting, which is done but for outward show. “They have,” he says, “their reward.”

It therefore belongs to a virtuous life to show mercy and to fast in secret; that you may seem to be seeking a reward from your God alone, and not from men. For he who seeks it from man has his reward, but he who seeks it from God has eternal life, which none can give but the Lord of Eternity, as it is said: “Verily, I say unto you, today shall you be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Wherefore the Scripture plainly has called that life which is blessed, eternal life. It has not been left to be appraised according to man's ideas on the subject, but has been entrusted to the divine judgment.

--St. Ambrose of Milan, On the Duties of the Clergy, 2, 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 02, 2011, 01:38:08 AM
"...we clearly infer that the initiative not only of our actions but also of good thoughts comes from God, who inspires us with a good will to begin with, and supplies us with the opportunity of carrying out what we rightly desire" - St. John Cassian, Conferences, 13, 3

"For the will and course of no one, however eager and anxious, is sufficiently ready for him, while still enclosed in the flesh which warreth against the spirit, to reach so great a prize of perfection, and the palm of uprightness and purity, unless he is protected by the divine compassion, so that he is privileged to attain to that which he greatly desires and to which he runs." - St. John Cassian, Institutes, 12, 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 08, 2011, 08:04:51 PM
"... so when he says, 'to work in us to will,' (Phil. 2:12) he does not deprive us of free will, but he shows that by actually doing right we greatly increase our heartiness in willing. For as doing comes of doing, so of not doing comes not doing. Have you given an alms? You are the more incited to give. Have you refused to give? You have become so much the more disinclined. Have you practiced temperance for one day? You have an incitement for the next likewise. Have you indulged to excess? You have increased the inclination to self-indulgence." - St. John Chrysostom, Homily 8 on Philippians
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 03, 2011, 12:10:35 AM
"For there are some passages which are not understood in their proper force, or are understood with great difficulty, at whatever length, however clearly, or with whatever eloquence the speaker may expound them; and these should never be brought before the people at all, or only on rare occasions when there is some urgent reason. In books, however, which are written in such a style that, if understood, they, so to speak, draw their own readers, and if not understood, give no trouble to those who do not care to read them and in private conversations, we must not shrink from the duty of bringing the truth which we ourselves have reached within the comprehension of others, however difficult it may be to understand it, and whatever labor in the way of argument it may cost us. Only two conditions are to be insisted upon, that our hearer or companion should have an earnest desire to learn the truth, and should have capacity of mind to receive it in whatever form it may be communicated, the teacher not being so anxious about the eloquence as about the clearness of his teaching." - St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 4, 9
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2011, 08:27:14 PM
"This being the case, he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith above every thing, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius, above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever; who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time; but that whatsoever new and unheard-of doctrine he shall find to have been furtively introduced by some one or another, besides that of all, or contrary to that of all the saints, this, he will understand, does not pertain to religion, but is permitted as a trial, being instructed especially by the words of the blessed Apostle Paul, who writes thus in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, 'There must needs be heresies, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you:' (1 Cor. 2:9) as though he should say, This is the reason why the authors of Heresies are not immediately rooted up by God, namely, that they who are approved may be made manifest; that is, that it may be apparent of each individual, how tenacious and faithful and steadfast he is in his love of the Catholic faith." - St. Vincent of Lerins, The Commonitory, 20
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2011, 06:57:07 PM
"No one, I feel sure, is more distressed at the present condition, or, rather to speak more truly, ill condition of the Churches than your excellency; for you compare the present with the past, and take into account how great a change has come about. You are well aware that if no check is put to the swift deterioration which we are witnessing, there will soon be nothing to prevent the complete transformation of the Churches. And if the decay of the Churches seems so pitiful to me, what must— so I have often in my lonely musings reflected— be the feelings of one who has known, by experience, the old tranquillity of the Churches of the Lord, and their one mind about the faith?" - St. Basil the Great, Letter 66: To Athanasius of Alexandria
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 31, 2011, 09:21:22 PM
The proconsul then said to him, “I have wild beasts at hand; to these will I cast you, unless you repent.”

But [St. Polycarp] answered, “Call them then, for we are not accustomed to repent of what is good in order to adopt that which is evil; and it is well for me to be changed from what is evil to what is righteous.”

But again the proconsul said to him, “I will cause you to be consumed by fire, seeing you despise the wild beasts, if you will not repent.”

But Polycarp said, “You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will.”

-- The Martyrdom of Polycarp, 11
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 01, 2011, 02:56:25 PM
Covetousness, then, is not simply being mad for money, and other possessions, wishing to add to what you have that to which you have no right, but, to speak more broadly, it is the desire to have in every transaction more than is due or belongs to you.

-- Asterius of Amasea, Sermon 3: Against Covetousness
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 01, 2011, 03:01:17 PM
"And let him come who would test by experience what we have now said, and in the very presence of the deceit of demons and the imposture of oracles and the marvels of magic, let him use the Sign of that Cross which is laughed at among them, and he shall see how by its means demons fly, oracles cease, all magic and witchcraft is brought to nought." - St Athanasios the Great

‎"Rejoice not in the Cross in time of peace only, but hold fast the same faith in time of persecution also; be not in time of peace a friend of Jesus, and His foe in time of wars." - St Cyril of Jerusalem
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 01, 2011, 08:31:31 PM
Another Psalm which was read says: “Who is like the Lord our God, Who dwells on high, and regards lowly things in heaven and in the earth?” The Lord regarded indeed lowly things when He revealed to His Church the relics of the holy martyrs lying hidden under the unnoted turf, whose souls were in heaven, their bodies in the earth: “raising the poor out of the dust, and lifting the needy from the mire,” and you see how He has “set them with the princes of His people.” Whom are we to esteem as the princes of the people but the holy martyrs?

-- St. Ambrose of Milan, Letter 22
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 02, 2011, 04:55:18 PM
But under the Apostles, you will say, no one was called Catholic. Be it thus. It shall have been so. Allow even that. When after the Apostles heresies had burst forth, and were striving under various names to tear piecemeal and divide the Dove and the Queen of God, did not the Apostolic people require a name of their own, whereby to mark the unity of the people that were uncorrupted, lest the error of some should rend limb by limb the undefiled virgin of God? Was it not seemly that the chief head should be distinguished by its own peculiar appellation? Suppose, this very day, I entered a populous city. When I had found Marcionites, Apollinarians, Cataphrygians, Novatians, and others of the kind who call themselves Christians, by what name should I recognise the congregation of my own people, unless it were named Catholic?

-- St. Pacian of Barcelona, Letter 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 02, 2011, 10:18:57 PM
And let us, then, be of the number of those who give thanks, who have served God, and not of the ungodly who are judged. For I myself, though a sinner every whit and not yet fleeing temptation but continuing in the midst of the tools of the devil, study to follow after righteousness, that I may make, be it only some, approach to it, fearing the judgment to come.

-- Pseudo-Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 18
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2011, 01:32:50 PM
But perhaps you will say, What difference is there between being tempted, and falling or entering into temptation? Well, if one is overcome of evil—and he will be overcome unless he struggles against it himself, and unless God protects him with His shield—that man has entered into temptation, and is in it, and is brought under it like one that is led captive. But if one withstands and endures, that man is indeed tempted; but he has not entered into temptation, or fallen under it. Thus Jesus was led up of the Spirit, not indeed to enter into temptation, but to be tempted of the devil. And Abraham, again, did not enter into temptation, neither did God lead him into temptation, but He tempted (tried) him; yet He did not drive him into temptation. The Lord Himself, moreover, tempted (tried) the disciples. And thus the wicked one, when he tempts us, draws us into the temptations, as dealing himself with the temptations of evil; but God, when He tempts (tries), adduces the temptations as one untempted of evil. For God, it is said, cannot be tempted of evil.1 The devil, therefore, drives us on by violence, drawing us to destruction; but God leads us by the hand, training us for our salvation.

-- St. Dionysius of Alexandria, Exegetical Fragments
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2011, 08:18:13 PM
"But the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace with Azariah and his companions, and he smote the flame of the fire out of the furnace." (Dan. 3:49) When the soul is oppressed with tribulation and taken up with various vexations, having lost hope of human aid and turned with its whole heart to God, an angel of the Lord descends to it. That is to say, the supernatural being descends to the aid of the servant and dashes aside the fierce heat of the violent flames, that the fiery shafts of the enemy utterly fail to pierce the inner citadel of our heart and we escape being shut up in his fiery furnace.

-- St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2011, 05:05:32 AM
Of the beliefs and practices whether generally accepted or publicly enjoined which are preserved in the Church some we possess derived from written teaching; others we have received delivered to us “in a mystery” by the tradition of the apostles; and both of these in relation to true religion have the same force. And these no one will gainsay—no one, at all events, who is even moderately versed in the institutions of the Church. For were we to attempt to reject such customs as have no written authority, on the ground that the importance they possess is small, we should unintentionally injure the Gospel in its very vitals; or, rather, should make our public definition a mere phrase and nothing more.

-- St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 27
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2011, 10:35:17 AM
You are afraid lest perchance your estate should fail, if you begin to act liberally from it; and you do not know, miserable man that you are, that while you are fearing lest your family property should fail you, life itself, and salvation, are failing; and while you are anxious lest any of your wealth should be diminished, you do not see that you yourself are being diminished, in that you are a lover of mammon more than of your own soul; and while you fear, lest for the sake of yourself, you should lose your patrimony, you yourself are perishing for the sake of your patrimony.

-- St. Cyprian of Carthage, Treatise 8, 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 04, 2011, 11:26:02 AM
This is the reason for our tradition of unwritten precepts and practices, that the knowledge of our dogmas may not become neglected and contemned by the multitude through familiarity. “Dogma” and “Kerugma” are two distinct things; the former is observed in silence; the latter is proclaimed to all the world.
 - St Basil the Great, De Spiritu Sancto, ch. 27
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 04, 2011, 11:31:13 AM
For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, ye may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found. It is fitting also that the deacons, as being [the ministers] of the mysteries of Jesus Christ, should in every respect be pleasing to all. For they are not ministers of meat and drink, but servants of the Church of God. They are bound, therefore, to avoid all grounds of accusation [against them], as they would do fire.
 - St Ignatios of Antioch, Trallians 2 - Died: c. 108

http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.v.iv.ii.html
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2011, 03:35:29 PM
And so let us be ready to forgive all the trespasses which are committed against us, if we desire to be forgiven. For if we consider our sins, and reckon up what we do in deed, what by the eye, what by the ear, what by thought, what by numberless movements; I know not whether we so much as sleep without a talent. And therefore do we daily beg, daily knock at the ears of God by prayer, daily prostrate ourselves and say, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” What debts of yours? All, or a certain part? You will answer, All. So then do you with your debtor. This then is the rule you lay down, this the condition you speak of; this the covenant and agreement you mention when you pray, saying, “Forgive us, as we forgive our debtors.”

-- St. Augustine, Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament, Sermon 33
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2011, 01:03:17 AM
The gymnasium is sufficient for boys, even if a bath is within reach. And even for men to prefer gymnastic exercises by far to the baths, is perchance not bad, since they are in some respects conducive to the health of young men, and produce exertion— emulation to aim at not only a healthy habit of body, but courageousness of soul. When this is done without dragging a man away from better employments, it is pleasant, and not unprofitable.

-- St. Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, 3, 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 05, 2011, 10:45:44 AM
‎1. But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. ‎3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations. - Didache, ch. 14, c.a. 80 A.D.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 05, 2011, 10:47:55 AM
Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching. - St Basil the Great, De Spiritu Sancto, ch. 27
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2011, 07:21:06 PM
A fearful thing is sin, and the sorest disease of the soul is transgression, secretly cutting its sinews, and becoming also the cause of eternal fire; an evil of a man's own choosing, an offspring of the will. For that we sin of our own free will the Prophet says plainly in a certain place: “Yet I planted you a fruitful vine, wholly true: how are you turned to bitterness, (and become) the strange vine” (Jer. 2:21) The planting was good, the fruit coming from the will is evil; and therefore the planter is blameless, but the vine shall be burnt with fire since it was planted for good, and bore fruit unto evil of its own will.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 2, 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 06, 2011, 02:46:26 AM
If you are angry against your neighbour, you are angry against God; and if you bear anger in your heart, against your Lord is your boldness uplifted. If in envy you rebuke, wicked is all your reproof. But if charity dwell in you, you have on earth no enemy. And if you are a true son of peace, you will stir up wrath in no man. If you are just and upright, you will not do wrong to your fellow. And if you love to be angry, be angry with the wicked and it will become you; if to wage war you seek, lo! Satan is your adversary; if you desire to revile, against the demons display your curses. If you should insult the King's image, you shall pay the penalty of murder; and if you revile a man, you revile the image of God. Do honour to your neighbour, and lo! You have honoured God. But if you would dishonour Him, in wrath assail your neighbour!

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian, Homily on Admonition and Repentance
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on August 06, 2011, 08:49:06 PM
One therefore is Emmanuel, for once was the Only-Begotten made Man, when He underwent fleshly Birth through the holy Virgin. For it was said to Jesus too, I will be with thee, yet was he not Emmanuel; He was also with Moses, yet neither was he called Emmanuel. As often therefore as we hear the name, With us is God, given to the Son, let us wisely conceive that not so was He with us in the last times, as He is sometimes said to have been with the saints, for with them He was as a helper only: but with us He was, because He was made like us, not losing His own nature, for He is unchangeable as God. - St Cyril of Alexandria, Scholia on the incarnation of the Only-Begotten, ch. 7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 07, 2011, 06:45:14 PM
Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come. For whither can any of us flee from His mighty hand? Or what world will receive any of those who run away from Him? For the Scripture says in a certain place, “Whither shall I go, and where shall I be hid from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I go away even to the uttermost parts of the earth, there is Your right hand; if I make my bed in the abyss, there is Your Spirit.” (Ps. 139:7-11) Whither, then, shall anyone go, or where shall he escape from Him who comprehends all things?

-- St. Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 28
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 08, 2011, 01:25:22 AM
Those are the Saviour's words, when directing His disciples into the newness of the Gospel life after their appointment to the apostolate. But we must see of what poor it is that He speaks such great things: for in the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven:" wishing us to understand by the poor in spirit the man who entertains lowly thoughts of himself, and whoso mind, so to speak, is closely, and his heart gentle, and ready to yield, and entirely free from the guilt of pride.

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Sermon 27
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2011, 01:16:53 AM
Call upon God to open the eyes of your heart, so that you may see the value of prayer and of spiritual reading when understood and applied.

-- St. Mark the Monk, On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts, 7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 01, 2011, 02:41:56 PM
Fear of God is of two kinds. The first is generated in us by the threat of punishment. It is through such fear that we develop in due order self-control, patience, hope in God and dispassion; and it is from dispassion that love comes. The second kind of fear is linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul, so that it does not grow indifferent to God because of the intimate communion of its love. The first kind of fear is expelled by perfect love when the soul has acquired this and is no longer afraid of punishment (1 John 4:18). The second kind, as we have already said, is always found united with perfect love. The first kind of fear is referred to in the following two verse: 'Out of fear of the Lord men shun evil' (Prov. 16:6), and 'Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom' (Ps. 111:10). The second kind is mentioned in the following verses: 'Fear of the Lord is pure, and endures forever' (Ps. 19:9), and 'Those who fear the Lord will not want for anything' (Ps. 34:10). 

-- St. Maximos the Confessor, First Century on Love, 81-82
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2011, 03:37:24 PM
Meekness is a permanent condition of that soul which remains unaffected by whether or not it is spoken well of, whether or not it is honor or praised. The first step toward freedom from anger is to keep the lips silent when the heart is stirred; the next, to keep thoughts silent when the soul is upset; the last, to be totally calm when unclean winds are blowing. Anger is an indication of concealed hatred, of grievance nursed. Anger is the wish to harm someone who has provoked you. Irascibility is an untimely flaring up of the heart. Bitterness is a stirring of the soul's capacity for displeasure. Anger is an easily changed movement of one's disposition, a disfigurement of the soul.

-- St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent (On Placidity and Meekness)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 03, 2011, 05:00:28 PM

Just to give an idea of the variety of quotes in the thread, here is a listing of the number of times each person has been quoted so far:

15 St. John Chrysostom
8 St. John Cassian
8 St. Basil the Great
7 St. Augustine
4 St. Ambrose of Milan
4 St. Mark the Monk
3 St. John Climacus
3 St. Maximos the Confessor
2 St. Ignatius of Antioch
2 Pseudo-Dionysius
2 St. Clement of Rome
2 St. Cyril of Jerusalem
2 St. Cyprian of Carthage
2 St. Gregory of Nyssa
2 St. Athanasius of Alexandria
2 St. Gregory the Theologian
2 St. Irenaeus
2 St. Cyril of Alexandria
2 St. Jerome
2 St. Dorotheos of Gaza
2 St. Hippolytus
2 St. Ephraim the Syrian
1 Abba Hyperechios
1 St. Patrick
1 St. Vincent of Lerins
1 St. Pachomios
1 St. Anthusa
1 St. Macarius of Egypt
1 St. Theophilus of Antioch
1 Origen
1 Pseudo-Clement
1 St. Dionysius of Alexandria
1 St. Isaiah the Solitary
1 St. Pacian of Barcelona
1 St. Clement of Alexandria
1 Didache
1 Abba Matoes
1 St. Anthony the Great
1 St. Polycarp
1 St. Moses the Ethiopian
1 St. Justin Martyr
1 St. Leo the Great
1 St. Syncletica
1 Aphraates
1 Martyrdom of Polycarp
1 Asterius of Amasea
1 Abba Pambo

(105 total quotes)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on September 07, 2011, 10:42:22 AM
The bread and the wine are not merely figures of the body and blood of Christ (God forbid!) but the deified body of the Lord itself: for the Lord has said, “This is My body,” not, this is a figure of My body: and “My blood,” not, a figure of My blood. - St John Damascene
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: zekarja on October 15, 2011, 02:17:30 PM
We confess that He is Son of God and God according to the Spirit, Son of Man according to the flesh, not Two Natures to that One Son, One [Nature] worshipped the other unworshipped, but One Nature of God the Word Incarnate, worshipped with His flesh with One worship: nor Two Sons, One, Very Son of God and worshipped, the other the man out of Mary not worshipped, made by grace son of God just as men too are. - St Cyril of Alexandria

Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_against_theodore_01_text.htm
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: JamesRottnek on November 22, 2011, 10:23:16 PM
"For those dead who are unworthy of salvation, God moves none to pray for them: neither parents, nor wife, nor husband, nor relatives, nor friends." - St. John of Damascus (as quoted in "Father Michael: Recluse of Uusi Valamo" by Serge Bolshakoff
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 31, 2011, 09:37:10 PM
See then, beloved brother, that you bestow the necessary thought on the cares of the Apostolic See, which by her rights as your mother commends to you, who were nourished at her breast, the defence of the Catholic Truth against Nestorians and Eutychians, in order that, supported by the Divine help, you may not cease to watch the interests of the city of Constantinople, lest at any time the storms of error arise within her. And because the faith of our glorious Princes is so great that you may confidently suggest what is necessary to them, use their piety for the benefit of the universal Church.

--Pope St. Leo the Great, Letter 113: To Julian, Bishop of Cos
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 02, 2012, 10:05:55 PM
Write straight, and make the lines straight. Do not let your hand go too high or too low. Avoid forcing the pen to travel slantwise, like Æsop's crab. Advance straight on, as if following the line of the carpenter's rule, which always preserves exactitude and prevents any irregularity. The oblique is ungraceful. It is the straight which pleases the eye, and does not allow the reader's eyes to go nodding up and down like a swing-beam. This has been my fate in reading your writing. As the lines lie ladderwise, I was obliged, when I had to go from one to another, to mount up to the end of the last: then, when no connection was to be found, I had to go back, and seek for the right order again, retreating and following the furrow, like Theseus in the story following Ariadne's thread. Write straight, and do not confuse our mind by your slanting and irregular writing.

--St. Basil the Great, Letter 334
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 03, 2012, 06:53:21 PM
Let all men's faith then be established, according to the preaching of the most holy Gospel, and let no one be ashamed of Christ's cross, through which the world was redeemed. And let not any one fear to suffer for righteousness' sake, or doubt of the fulfilment of the promises, for this reason, that through toil we pass to rest and through death to life; since all the weakness of our humility was assumed by Him, in Whom, if we abide in the acknowledgment and love of Him, we conquer as He conquered, and receive what he promised, because, whether to the performance of His commands or to the endurance of adversities, the Father's fore-announcing voice should always be sounding in our ears, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear Him:” Who lives and reigns, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

- Pope St. Leo the Great, Sermon 51, 8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 04, 2012, 09:49:40 PM
Thus our mind faints to transcend corporeal things, and to consort with the Incorporeal, stripped of all clothing of corporeal ideas, as long as it has to look with its inherent weakness at things above its strength. For every rational nature longs for God and for the First Cause, but is unable to grasp Him, for the reasons I have mentioned. Faint therefore with the desire, and as it were restive and impatient of the disability, it tries a second course, either to look at visible things, and out of some of them to make a god...(a poor contrivance, for in what respect and to what extent can that which is seen be higher and more godlike than that which sees, that this should worship that?) or else through the beauty and order of visible things to attain to that which is above sight...

--St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 28.13
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 05, 2012, 11:45:26 PM
But some one will ask, How is it then, that certain excellent persons, and of position in the Church, are often permitted by God to preach novel doctrines to Catholics? A proper question, certainly, and one which ought to be very carefully and fully dealt with, but answered at the same time, not in reliance upon one's own ability, but by the authority of the divine Law, and by appeal to the Church's determination. Let us listen, then, to Holy Moses, and let him teach us why learned men, and such as because of their knowledge are even called Prophets by the apostle, are sometimes permitted to put forth novel doctrines, which the Old Testament is wont, by way of allegory, to call “strange gods,” forasmuch as heretics pay the same sort of reverence to their notions that the Gentiles do to their gods.

Blessed Moses, then, writes thus in Deuteronomy: “If there arise among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams,” that is, one holding office as a Doctor in the Church, who is believed by his disciples or auditors to teach by revelation: well—what follows? “and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spoke,”— he is pointing to some eminent doctor, whose learning is such that his followers believe him not only to know things human, but, moreover, to foreknow things superhuman, such as, their disciples commonly boast, were Valentinus, Donatus, Photinus, Apollinaris, and the rest of that sort! What next? “And shall say to you, Let us go after other gods, whom you know not, and serve them.” What are those other gods but strange errors which you know not, that is, new and such as were never heard of before? “And let us serve them;” that is, “Let us believe them, follow them.” What last? “You shall not hearken to the words of that prophet or dreamer of dreams.” And why, I pray you, does not God forbid to be taught what God forbids to be heard? “For the Lord, your God, tries you, to know whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” The reason is clearer than day why Divine Providence sometimes permits certain doctors of the Churches to preach new doctrines— “That the Lord your God may try you;” he says. And assuredly it is a great trial when one whom you believe to be a prophet, a disciple of prophets, a doctor and defender of the truth, whom you have folded to your breast with the utmost veneration and love, when such a one of a sudden secretly and furtively brings in noxious errors, which you can neither quickly detect, being held by the prestige of former authority, nor lightly think it right to condemn, being prevented by affection for your old master.

-- St. Vincent of Lerins, The Commonitory, 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 06, 2012, 02:30:42 PM
And all things whatsoever he does shall prosper. Never again shall His gift and His statutes be set at naught, as they were in the case of Adam, who by his sin in breaking the Law lost the happiness of an assured immortality; but now, thanks to the redemption wrought by the tree of Life, that is, by the Passion of the Lord, all that happens to us is eternal and eternally conscious of happiness in virtue of our future likeness to that tree of Life. For all their doings shall prosper, being wrought no longer amid shift and change nor in human weakness, for corruption will be swallowed up in incorruption, weakness in endless life, the form of earthly flesh in the form of God. This tree, then, planted and yielding its fruit in its own season, shall that happy man resemble, himself being planted in the Garden, that what God has planted may abide, never to be rooted up, in the Garden where all things done by God shall be guided to a prosperous issue, apart from the decay that belongs to human weakness and to time, and has to be uprooted.

--St. Hilary of Poitiers, Homily on Psalm 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 07, 2012, 08:19:36 PM
For since man is of twofold nature, soul and body, the purification [of baptism] also is twofold, the one incorporeal for the incorporeal part, and the other bodily for the body:  the water cleanses the body, and the Spirit seals the soul; that we may draw near unto God, having our heart sprinkled by the Spirit, and our body washed with pure water (Heb. 10:22).

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 3, 4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 08, 2012, 02:40:28 AM
So I entreat you all, brethren in Christ, first to lay a good foundation (cf Heb. 6:1) of humility as you build up virtues. Then through training in godliness (1 Tim. 4:7) raise the house (cf. Matt. 7:24-25) of knowledge of the mysteries of God (cf. Matt. 13:11; Luke 8:10) and so be enlightened by the divine light and see God iwth the purified eye of the heart (cf. Matt. 5:8), as far as it is possible for us men. Then become initiated by the divine light and see God with purified eye of the heart (cf. Matt. 5:8), as far as it is possible for us men. Then become initiated more perfectly into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven (cf. Matt. 13:11). Thus you will proceed from this knowledge, which is given from on high by the Father of Lights (James 1:17), to the word of teaching (cf. Rom. 12:7; 1 Tim. 4:6) that you may instruct your neighbors that is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Rom. 12:2)

-- St. Symeon the New Theologian, The Discourses, 33 (On Partaking of the Holy Spirit), §9
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 09, 2012, 02:01:32 AM
Now those who take a superficial and unreflecting view of things observe the outward appearance of anything they meet, e.g. of a man, and then trouble themselves no more about him. The view they have taken of the bulk of his body is enough to make them think that they know all about him. But the penetrating and scientific mind will not trust to the eyes alone the task of taking the measure of reality; it will not stop at appearances, nor count that which is not seen among unrealities. It inquires into the qualities of the man's soul. It takes those of its characteristics which have been developed by his bodily constitution, both in combination and singly; first singly, by analysis, and then in that living combination which makes the personality of the subject.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On Virginity, 11
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 10, 2012, 04:43:16 PM
This, in truth, must be called most excellent and praiseworthy, which God Himself considers excellent, even if it be despised and scoffed at by all. For things are not what men think them to be.

-- St. Methodius of Olympus, From a Fragment of Works Against Porphyry
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 11, 2012, 01:01:53 PM
Let us, then, mourn for a time, that we may rejoice for eternity. Let us fear the Lord, let us anticipate Him with the confession of our sins, let us correct our backslidings and amend our faults, lest of us too it be said: “Woe is me, my soul, for the godly man is perished from the earth, and there is none among men to correct them.” (Mic. 7:1-2 LXX)

-- St. Ambrose of Milan, Concerning Repentance, 2, Chapter 7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 12, 2012, 07:22:24 AM
When the cares of bringing up a family and the anxieties of their education and settling in life had come to an end, and the property--a frequent cause of worldliness--had been for the most part divided among the children, then, as I said above, the life of the virgin became her mother's guide and led her on to this philosophic and spiritual manner of life. And weaning her from all accustomed luxuries, Macrina drew her on to adopt her own standard of humility. She induced her to live on a footing of equality with the staff of maids, so as to share with them in the same food, the same kind of bed, and in all the necessaries of life, without any regard to differences of rank. Such was the manner of their life, so great the height of their philosophy, and so holy their conduct day and night, as to make verbal description inadequate. For just as souls freed from the body by death are saved from the cares of this life, so was their life far removed from all earthly follies and ordered with a view of imitating the angelic life.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Saint Macrina
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2012, 11:45:01 AM
Moreover, faith is twofold. For faith comes by hearing. (Rom. 10:17) For by hearing the divine Scriptures we believe in the teaching of the Holy Spirit. The same is perfected by all the things enjoined by Christ, believing in work, cultivating piety, and doing the commands of Him Who restored us. For he that believes not according to the tradition of the Catholic Church, or who has intercourse with the devil through strange works, is an unbeliever. But again, "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1), or undoubting and unambiguous hope alike of what God has promised us and of the good issue of our prayers. The first, therefore, belongs to our will, while the second is of the gifts of the Spirit.

-- St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4, 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 14, 2012, 06:47:04 PM
We have spoken daily upon subjects connected with morals, when the deeds of the Patriarchs or the precepts of the Proverbs were being read, in order that being taught and instructed by these you might grow accustomed to enter the ways of the ancients and to walk in their paths, and obey the divine commands; in order that being renewed by baptism you might hold to that manner of life which beseems those who are washed.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan, On the Mysteries, 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 15, 2012, 04:30:26 AM
Wherefore, necessary it is that we be obedient to him, unto whom all our enemies be subject, that we may so much the more be stronger than our enemies, by how much through humility we become one with the author of all things. And what marvel is it, if God's chosen servants, living yet upon earth, can do many strange things, when as their very bones, after they be dead, do oftentimes work miracles?

-- Pope St. Gregory the Dialogist, Dialogues, 3, 21 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/gregory_03_dialogues_book3.htm#C21)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 16, 2012, 12:28:07 PM
Surely, beloved, all the law and the prophets depend upon the two commandments, as our Saviour said: "The law and the prophets are too little to convince him who will not be persuaded." Therefore our Saviour said: "On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets," that is: "A man shall love the Lord His God with all his soul, and with all his might, and with all his substance"; and that a man also "shall love his neighbor as himself." And when thou proceedest to the examination of these two commandments, upon the power of which depends all the law and the prophets, thou mayest perceive if these two commandments, on which depends all the power of the law and the prophets, are received in the hearts and in the minds of men, or if the law and the prophets which have been written, have not been sought, as it is written that "for the just the law is not appointed, but for the evil doers." On account of the wicked, therefore, the law has been appointed. And if righteousness had remained among men law would not have been needed. Again, if a law had not been appointed, the power of God would not have been known in all our generations, and in all the miracles which He showed.

-- Aphrahat, Demonstration 2: On Love, 1-2 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/aphrahat_dem2.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 17, 2012, 02:46:50 AM
But as to those to whom we refer, would that they, whose tongue is so voluble and clever in applying itself to noble and approved language, would likewise pay some attention to actions. For then perhaps in a little while they would become less sophistical, and less absurd and strange acrobats of words, if I may use a ridiculous expression about a ridiculous subject.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 27.1 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310227.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 18, 2012, 06:19:19 PM
“Young men likewise exhort to be soberminded.” (Tit. 2:6) See how he everywhere recommends the observance of decorum. For he has committed to women the greater part in the instruction of women, having appointed the elder to teach the younger. But the whole instruction of men he assigns to Titus himself. For nothing is so difficult for that age as to overcome unlawful pleasures. For neither the love of wealth, nor the desire of glory, or any other thing so much solicits the young, as fleshly lust. Therefore passing over other things, he directs his admonition to that vital point. Not however that he would have other things neglected...

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 4 on Titus (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/23084.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 18, 2012, 10:20:21 PM
And in short if it were possible with the bodily eyes to behold the beauty of the soul you would laugh to scorn these corporeal illustrations, so feebly have they presented to us the gracefulness of the soul. Let us not then neglect such a possession, nor such great happiness, and especially when the approach to that kind of beauty becomes easy to us by our hopes of the things to come. 'For our light affliction,' we read, 'which is but for the moment, worketh for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory, while we look not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.' (2 Cor. 4:17)

-- St. John Chrysostom, An Exhortation to Theodore After His Fall 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 20, 2012, 11:50:40 AM
Far be it from me to presume to attack anything which your Grace has written. For it is enough for me to prove my own views without controverting what others hold. But it is well known to one of your wisdom, that every one is satisfied with his own opinion, and that it is puerile self-sufficiency to seek, as young men have of old been wont to do, to gain glory to one's own name by assailing men who have become renowned. I am not so foolish as to think myself insulted by the fact that you give an explanation different from mine; since you, on the other hand, are not wronged by my views being contrary to those which you maintain. But that is the kind of reproof by which friends may truly benefit each other, when each, not seeing his own bag of faults, observes, as Persius has it, the wallet borne by the other.

-- St. Jerome, Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102068.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 21, 2012, 03:28:08 AM
You fight and war for temporal glory, and you are not able to procure it, surely for the reason that you have not taken care to ask the Lord to bestow upon you all those things that lead to salvation. For if you would ask Him with devout intention, He would grant you necessary earthly things to use now and good things from above to enjoy forever.

-- St. Bede the Venerable, Commentary on James, 48
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2012, 04:48:35 AM
Tribulations, that is, are so far from confuting these hopes [of the glory of God and things to come], that they even prove them. For before the things to come are realized, there is a very great fruit which tribulation has--patience; and the making of the man that is tried, experienced... What then? Do our goods lie in hopes? Yes, in hopes--but not mere human hopes, which often slip away, and put him that hoped to shame; when some one, who was expected to patronize him, dies, or is altered though he lives. No such lot is ours: our hope is sure and unmoveable.

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 9 on Romans (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/210209.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 28, 2012, 11:17:54 PM
Let us attend to what is good, pleasing, and acceptable in the sight of Him who formed us. Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world. Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all such as would be converted unto Him.

-- St. Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 7 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 22, 2012, 09:10:25 AM
Now a certain holy man said what might seem to be a bold thing; yet, nevertheless, he spoke it out. What then is this? He said, that not even the blood of martyrdom can wash out this sin. For tell me for what do you suffer as a martyr? Is it not for the glory of Christ? Thou then that yieldest up your life for Christ’s sake, how do you lay waste the Church, for whose sake Christ yielded up His life?

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 11 on Ephesians
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 22, 2012, 08:32:58 PM
I believe the words of the wise, that every fair and God-beloved soul, when, set free from the bonds of the body, it departs hence, at once enjoys a sense and perception of the blessings which await it, inasmuch as that which darkened it has been purged away, or laid aside— I know not how else to term it— and feels a wondrous pleasure and exultation, and goes rejoicing to meet its Lord, having escaped as it were from the grievous poison of life here, and shaken off the fetters which bound it and held down the wings of the mind, and so enters on the enjoyment of the bliss laid up for it, of which it has even now some conception. Then, a little later, it receives its kindred flesh, which once shared in its pursuits of things above, from the earth which both gave and had been entrusted with it, and in some way known to God, who knit them together and dissolved them, enters with it upon the inheritance of the glory there. And, as it shared, through their close union, in its hardships, so also it bestows upon it a portion of its joys, gathering it up entirely into itself, and becoming with it one in spirit and in mind and in God, the mortal and mutable being swallowed up of life.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 7.21
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 25, 2012, 09:35:27 PM
Sin, indeed, is a miscarriage, not a quality of human nature: just as disease and deformity are not congenital to it in the first instance, but are its unnatural accretions, so activity in the direction of sin is to be thought of as a mere mutilation of the goodness innate in us; it is not found to be itself a real thing, but we see it only in the absence of that goodness. Therefore He Who transformed the elements of our nature into His divine abilities, rendered it secure from mutilation and disease, because He admitted not in Himself the deformity which sin works in the will. “He did no sin,” it says, “neither was guile found in his mouth" (1 Pet. 2:22)

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, Letter 17: To Eustathia, Ambrosia, and Basilissa
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2012, 08:40:53 PM
Study, therefore, to be established in the doctrines of the Lord and the apostles, that so all things, whatsoever you do, may prosper both in the flesh and spirit; in faith and love; in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Spirit; in the beginning and in the end; with your most admirable bishop, and the well-compacted spiritual crown of your presbytery, and the deacons who are according to God. Be subject to the bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the flesh, and the apostles to Christ, and to the Father, and to the Spirit; that so there may be a union both fleshly and spiritual.

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch, Epistle to the Magnesians, 13
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2012, 03:09:46 PM
Since, then, God, Who is good and more than good, did not find satisfaction in self-contemplation, but in His exceeding goodness wished certain things to come into existence which would enjoy His benefits and share in His goodness, He brought all things out of nothing into being and created them, both what is invisible and what is visible. Yea, even man, who is a compound of the visible and the invisible. And it is by thought that He creates, and thought is the basis of the work, the Word filling it and the Spirit perfecting it.

-- St. John of Damascus, Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 2, 2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 29, 2012, 09:19:29 PM
Seeing, then, that man fell through pride, He restored him through humility. We were ensnared by the wisdom of the serpent: we are set free by the foolishness of God. Moreover, just as the former was called wisdom, but was in reality the folly of those who despised God, so the latter is called foolishness, but is true wisdom in those who overcome the devil.

-- St. Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 1, 14
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Ioannis Climacus on March 29, 2012, 09:47:35 PM
"It is necessary for everyone, whether eating, drinking, sitting, serving, traveling, or doing anything, to unceasingly say: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me,' that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, descending into the depths of the heart, may subdue the pernicious serpent, and save and quicken the soul."

- St. John Chrysostom
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 29, 2012, 01:49:18 AM
“For God,” he says, “is light.” He does not express the divine essence, but wishing to declare the majesty of God, he has applied to the Divinity what is best and most excellent in the view of men. Thus also Paul, when he speaks of “light inaccessible.” (1 Tim. 6:16) But John himself also in this same Epistle says, “God is love:” (1 Jn. 4:16) pointing out the excellences of God, that He is kind and merciful; and because He is light, makes men righteous, according to the advancement of the soul, through charity. God, then, who is ineffable in respect of His substance, is light.


-- St. Clement of Alexandria, Commentary on 1 John 1:5
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Ioannis Climacus on May 03, 2012, 01:34:27 AM
Today's Prologue reflection :

"The Abba John the Short asked the monks: "Who sold Joseph?" One monk replied: "His brothers." To that, the elder replied: "No brethren, rather his humility. Joseph could have said that he is their brother and could have protested to being sold but he remained silent. His humility, therefore, sold him. Afterward, this same humility made him master over Egypt." In surrendering ourselves to the will of God, we defend ourselves too much from external unpleasantness, that is why we lose the good fruits which is harvested at the end of unpleasantness endured with humility. Abba Pimen wisely spoke: "We have abandoned the easy yoke, i.e., self-reproach and we have burdened ourselves with a heavy yoke, i.e., self-justification." The Christian accepts every unpleasantness as deserving of their present or their past sins; seeking in all, the will of God with faith and awaiting the end with hope."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 17, 2012, 08:12:23 PM
Let us hear Himself: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” If you seek truth, keep the way, for the way and the truth are the same. The way that you are going is the same as the whither you are going: you are not going by a way as one thing, to an object as another thing; not coming to Christ by something else as a way, you come to Christ by Christ.

-- St. Augustine, Tractates on the Gospel of John, 13.4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 20, 2012, 12:51:34 AM
Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the [blessed] bond of the love of God? What man is able to tell the excellence of its beauty, as it ought to be told? The height to which love exalts is unspeakable. Love unites us to God. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love bears all things, is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, nothing arrogant in love. Love admits of no schisms: love gives rise to no seditions: love does all things in harmony. By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself. On account of the love He bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.

-- St. Clement of Rome, First Epistle to the Corinthians, 49
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 24, 2012, 07:26:38 AM
The scriptural Word knows of two kinds of knowledge of divine things. On the one hand, there is relative knowledge, rooted only in reason and ideas, and lacking in the kind of experiential perception of what one knows through active engagement; such relative knowledge is what we use to order our affairs in our present life. On the other hand, there is that truly authentic knowledge, gained only by actual experience, apart from reason and ideas, which provides a total perception of th eknown object through a participation by grace. By this latter knowledge, we attain, in the future state, the supernatural deification that remains unceasingly in effect. They say that the relative knowledge based on reason and ideas can motivate our desire for the participative knowledge acquired by active engagement. They say, moreover, that this active, experiential knowledge which, by participation, furnishes the direct perception of the object known, can supplant relative knowledge based on reason and ideas.

-- St. Maximos the Confessor, Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=7l5n6XLZ6F8C&lpg=PA1&dq=maximus%20the%20confessor&pg=PA126#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Aindriú on May 25, 2012, 10:22:26 PM
Naming your child.

“So let the name of the saints enter our homes through the naming of our children, to train not only the child but the father, when he reflects that he is the father of John or Elijah or James; for, if the name be given with forethought to pay honor to those that have departed, and we grasp at our kinship with the righteous rather than with our forebears, this too will greatly help us and our children. Do not because it is a small thing regard it as small; its purpose is to succour us.”

— St. John Chrysostom Address on Vainglory and the Right Way for Parents to Bring Up Their Children 50.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 16, 2012, 12:23:26 AM
Moses was wise enough to know that contempt stretches to the trite and to the obvious, while a keen interest is naturally associated with the unusual and the unfamiliar. In the same manner the Apostles and Fathers who laid down laws for the Church from the beginning thus guarded the awful dignity of the mysteries in secrecy and silence, for what is bruited abroad random among the common folk is no mystery at all. This is the reason for our tradition of unwritten precepts and practices, that the knowledge of our dogmas may not become neglected and contemned by the multitude through familiarity.

-- St. Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit, 27
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 18, 2012, 10:50:50 PM
What advantage, moreover, is reaped by him who reaches those celebrated spots themselves? He cannot imagine that our Lord is living, in the body, there at the present day, but has gone away from us foreigners; or that the Holy Spirit is in abundance at Jerusalem, but unable to travel as far as us. Whereas, if it is really possible to infer God's presence from visible symbols, one might more justly consider that He dwelt in the Cappadocian nation than in any of the spots outside it. For how many Altars there are there, on which the name of our Lord is glorified! One could hardly count so many in all the rest of the world. Again, if the Divine grace was more abundant about Jerusalem than elsewhere, sin would not be so much the fashion among those that live there...

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On Pilgrimages (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2913.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 19, 2012, 08:30:45 PM
It is not without reason or by chance that we worship towards the East. But seeing that we are composed of a visible and an invisible nature, that is to say, of a nature partly of spirit and partly of sense, we render also a twofold worship to the Creator; just as we sing both with our spirit and our bodily lips, and are baptized with both water and Spirit, and are united with the Lord in a twofold manner, being sharers in the mysteries and in the grace of the Spirit. Since, therefore, God is spiritual light (1 Jn. 1:5), and Christ is called in the Scriptures Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2) and Dayspring , the East is the direction that must be assigned to His worship. For everything good must be assigned to Him from Whom every good thing arises. Indeed the divine David also says, Sing unto God, you kingdoms of the earth: O sing praises unto the Lord: to Him that rides upon the Heavens of heavens towards the East. Moreover the Scripture also says, And God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed (Gen. 2:8): and when he had transgressed His command He expelled him and made him to dwell over against the delights of Paradise , which clearly is the West. So, then, we worship God seeking and striving after our old fatherland.

Moreover the tent of Moses (Lev. 16:14) had its veil and mercy seat towards the East. Also the tribe of Judah as the most precious pitched their camp on the East. (Num. 2:3) Also in the celebrated temple of Solomon the Gate of the Lord was placed eastward. Moreover Christ, when He hung on the Cross, had His face turned towards the West, and so we worship, striving after Him. And when He was received again into Heaven He was borne towards the East, and thus His apostles worship Him, and thus He will come again in the way in which they beheld Him going towards Heaven (Acts 1:11); as the Lord Himself said, As the lightning comes out of the East and shines even unto the West, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be (Matt. 24:27). So, then, in expectation of His coming we worship towards the East. But this tradition of the apostles is unwritten. For much that has been handed down to us by tradition is unwritten.

-- St. John of Damascus (d. mid-8th century), Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/33044.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 20, 2012, 03:42:40 PM
Just as night follows day and winter follows summer, so do sorrow and pain follow vainglory and pleasure whether in the present or in the future.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662), Four Hundred Chapters on Love, 65 (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=5757JPqL6lIC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA56#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 21, 2012, 04:36:08 PM
He [St. Felix] was, therefore, seized by his fierce adversaries, and, supported in his soul by Divine consolation, thrown into prison, where his hands and neck were enclosed in chains, his feet tied with a thong, and broken shells scattered under him, that in his terror and the chillness of the place he might be prevented by their painful galling from enjoying sleep or rest. Meanwhile the bishop, who had fled for safety to the mountains, was suffering no less martyrdom than if he had been thrown into prison, or given to the flames. Solicitude for his flock preyed upon his mind; whilst his body suffered from hunger and the severe cold of winter; for he lay among the brushwood without food or covering, and spent one whole anxious day and night in prayer. Nor was it surprising that such a load of misfortunes should almost sink into the grave an old man exhausted by long fasting.

But the Divine love, to show how great was the merit of the blessed confessor Felix, sent down an angel to pluck him from his chains, and send him forth to seek the bishop and bring him home. There were others in the prison, but the angel appeared to him alone, shining in a brilliant light which filled the whole house. Felix was alarmed at the light and at the angel’s voice, and at first thought that he was dreaming. When the angel told him to rise and follow him out, he said that he could not, because he was bound in chains and carefully guarded. The angel told him again to rise without any impediment from the chains, and immediately his bonds fell from his hands, neck, and feet. By a wonderful course of events he led him out, though the door which was open to him was closed to the others, and they passed through the guards without their knowledge, whilst the angel, like the pillar of Moses, guarded Felix and lighted his path until he was clear of his enemies.

-- St. Bede the Venerable (d. 735), The Life of the Holy Confessor Saint Felix (http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=1915&layout=html#chapter_113196)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 22, 2012, 12:33:23 PM
At another time, a certain Goth, poor of spirit, that gave over the world, was received by the man of God; whom on a day he commanded to take a bill, and to cleanse a certain plot of ground from briers, for the making of a garden, which ground was by the side of a lake. The Goth as he was there labouring, by chance the head of the bill slipped off, and fell into the water, which was so deep, that there was no hope ever to get it again. The poor Goth, in great fear, ran unto Maurus and told him what he had lost, confessing his own fault and negligence: Maurus forthwith went to the servant of God, giving him to understand thereof, who came straightways to the lake: and took the handle out of the Goth's hand, and put it into the water, and the iron head by and by ascended from the bottom and entered again into the handle of the bill, which he delivered to the Goth, saying: "Behold here is thy bill again, work on, and be sad no more."

-- St. Gregory the Dialogist (d. 604), The Dialogues, 2, 6 (http://www.voskrese.info/spl/dia2_06.html)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 23, 2012, 12:11:48 PM
Wherefore, as children of light and truth, flee from division and wicked doctrines; but where the shepherd is, there follow as sheep. For there are many wolves that appear worthy of credit, who, by means of a pernicious pleasure, carry captive (2 Tim. 3:6) those that are running towards God; but in your unity they shall have no place. Keep yourselves from those evil plants which Jesus Christ does not tend, because they are not the planting of the Father. Not that I have found any division among you, but exceeding purity. For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. Do not err, my brethren. If any man follows him that makes a schism in the Church, he shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If any one walks according to a strange opinion, he agrees not with the passion [of Christ.].

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. c. 107), Epistle to the Philadelphians, 2-3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0108.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 24, 2012, 02:27:27 PM
For in fine, in food, and clothes, and vessels, and everything else belonging to the house, I say comprehensively, that one must follow the institutions of the Christian man, as is serviceable and suitable to one's person, age, pursuits, time of life. For it becomes those that are servants of one God, that their possessions and furniture should exhibit the tokens of one beautiful life; and that each individually should be seen in faith, which shows no difference, practising all other things which are conformable to this uniform mode of life, and harmonious with this one scheme. What we acquire without difficulty, and use with ease, we praise, keep easily, and communicate freely. The things which are useful are preferable, and consequently cheap things are better than dear.

-- St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215), The Instructor, 2, 3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02092.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 25, 2012, 09:20:33 PM
It is right and holy therefore, men and brethren, rather to obey God than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation. For we shall incur no slight injury, but rather great danger, if we rashly yield ourselves to the inclinations of men who aim at exciting strife and tumults, so as to draw us away from what is good. Let us be kind one to another after the pattern of the tender mercy and benignity of our Creator.

-- St. Clement of Rome (d. c. late 1st century), First Epistle to the Corinthians, 14 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2012, 01:31:57 PM
Wretch that I am! I have not remembered that God observes the mind, and hears the voice of the soul. I turned consciously to sin, saying to myself, God is merciful, and will bear with me; and when I was not instantly smitten, I ceased not, but rather despised His forbearance, and exhausted the long-suffering of God.

-- St. Peter of Alexandria (d. 311), Fragments (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0621.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on July 26, 2012, 02:09:46 PM
ß++-â+++¦-üß+¦-ä. - ß+¡-â-Ç+¦-ü -äß+¦++ ++ß+¦+++¦-ä-ä+¦++ ß+Ñß+¦+++¦++, ß+É-åß++ ß+à -Ç+¦++-ä+¦ ++ß+¦++ -äß+¦ +¦+++¦-â-äß+¦+++¦-ä+¦ +¦+¦+++¦+¦ß+¦++++-à -â+¦++, ß+Ç-åß++ ß+æ+¦ß+¦-â-ä++-à  +¦ß+¦ -äß+¦ -ç-üß+¦-â+¦+++¦ +++¦+++¦ß+¦++++-à -â+¦+++ç  ++ß+ò-ä-ë +¦+¦ß+û +¦+¦ß++ -ä++ß++-é -Ç+¦+¦+¦+¦ß+++¦-é ß+Ç-ü+¦+¦++++ß+¦++++-à -é, +++++¦+¦++ß+¦-é ++ß+¦++ ß+Ç-Ç+¦ß++-ü-ë-é ß+ö-ç+¦+¦++, -Ç+¦++-ä+¦-çß+¦+++¦++ +¦ß+¦ -äß+¦ -ç-üß+¦-â+¦+++¦ -â-à ++++ß+¦+¦+¦+¦++.
Isocrates: Like we see the bee sit on all the flowers but only take what is useful from each, thus, those who want to learn, should taste of everything and keep what is good.

ß+ê++ß+¦-ç+¦-ü-â+¦-é. - +ħ+ù-ä++-é ß+æ-â-ä+¦+¦+++¦ß++-é -Ç+¦-üß+¦ +úß+¦++-ë+++¦, +¦+¦ß++ +¦+++¦++ß+++++¦++++-é ß+ñ-Ã¥++++, -äß+¦++ ++ß+¦++ ß+Ç-ü+¦-â-ä+¦-üß+¦++ -ç+¦ß+û-ü+¦ -ä++ß+û-é ++++-üß+++++¦-é, -äß+¦++ +¦ß+¦ +¦+¦+++¦ß+¦++ -äß++ -â-äß+¦+++¦-ä+¦ -Ç-ü++-â+¦+¦+¦++ß+¦++++++ ß+ö-ç-ë++. ß+ÿ+¦+¦-ü+¦-ä+¦-â-äß+¦-ü++-à  +¦ß+¦-ü ß+ñ+¦-ä++ -ç+¦+++¦++++ß+ª +¦+¦ß+û-â+++¦+¦ -äß+¦++ +¦++ß+¦-ä-ä+¦++.
Anacharsis - Called to dinner by Solon he fell asleep and was seen having his left hand over his genitals while the right hand over his mouth. He considered the mouth needing a greater restrain.


... oops they are not early church fathers...  ;)
Why do a lot of the earlier posts have these strange characters in them?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2012, 02:12:21 PM
Why do a lot of the earlier posts have these strange characters in them?

At one point I think they did something with the database, like had to reset everything and reload all the data, and some of the data got garbled. Not sure if that was after a hack or what. Anyway, for a while you could report it and they'd fix it, if I remember correctly, but eventually they just had to move on.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on July 26, 2012, 02:14:23 PM
Why do a lot of the earlier posts have these strange characters in them?

At one point I think they did something with the database, like had to reset everything and reload all the data, and some of the data got garbled. Not sure if that was after a hack or what. Anyway, for a while you could report it and they'd fix it, if I remember correctly, but eventually they just had to move on.
Thank you.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 28, 2012, 08:39:25 AM
And therefore, first in the holy Synod of Nicæa, the gathering of the three hundred and eighteen chosen men, united by the Holy Ghost, as far as in him [ie. St. Athanasius] lay, he stayed the disease. Though not yet ranked among the Bishops, he held the first rank among the members of the Council, for preference was given to virtue just as much as to office. Afterwards, when the flame had been fanned by the blasts of the evil one, and had spread very widely (hence came the tragedies of which almost the whole earth and sea are full), the fight raged fiercely around him who was the noble champion of the Word.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 391), Oration 21.14 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310221.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Αριστοκλής on July 28, 2012, 09:40:45 AM
Why do a lot of the earlier posts have these strange characters in them?

At one point I think they did something with the database, like had to reset everything and reload all the data, and some of the data got garbled. Not sure if that was after a hack or what. Anyway, for a while you could report it and they'd fix it, if I remember correctly, but eventually they just had to move on.

Strange characters = mostly Greek but some Cyrillic letters.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 29, 2012, 12:41:57 PM
There are two kinds of humility, as there are two kinds of pride. The first kind of pride is when a man reproaches his brother, condemns and reviles him as someone of no account, regarding himself as his superior. If such a man does not speedily come to his senses and try to mend his ways, he comes, little by little, to the second kind of pride, which puffs itself up in the face of God Himself and ascribes to itself its achievements and virtues, as though the man has done it all himself, with his own intelligence and knowledge, and not with the help of God. From this can be seen what constitutes the two kinds of humility. The first humility consists in considering that one's brother has better judgment and is in all things superior to oneself—or in considering oneself below all men. The second humility consists in ascribing one's achievements to God. This is the perfect humility of the saints.

-- St. Dorotheus of Gaza (d. c. 565), Directions on the Spiritual Life (Source (http://archangelsbooks.com/articles/spirituality/DirectionsSpiritualLife.asp))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 30, 2012, 04:47:42 PM
You see what sort of person a widow is said to be, the wife of one man, tested also by the progress of age, vigorous in religion, and worn out in body, whose resting-place is the temple, whose conversation is prayer, whose life is fasting, who in the times of day and night by a service of unwearied devotion, though the body acknowledge old age, yet knows no age in her piety. Thus is a widow trained from her youth, thus is she spoken of in her age, who has kept her widowhood not through the chance of time, nor through weakness of body, but by large-heartedness in virtue.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Concerning Widows, 22 (Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3408.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 31, 2012, 11:32:06 PM
Some members we can dispense with and yet live: without others life is an impossibility. Some offences are light, some heavy. It is one thing to owe ten thousand talents, another to owe a farthing. We shall have to give account of the idle word no less than of adultery; but it is not the same thing to be put to the blush, and to be put upon the rack, to grow red in the face and to ensure lasting torment. Do you think I am merely expressing my own views? Hear what the Apostle John says: 'He who knows that his brother sinneth a sin not unto death, let him ask, and he shall give him life, even to him that sinneth not unto death. But he that hath sinned unto death, who shall pray for him?' You observe that if we entreat for smaller offences, we obtain pardon: if for greater ones, it is difficult to obtain our request: and that there is a great difference between sins.

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Against Jovinianus, 2, 30
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 01, 2012, 11:22:03 PM
Let Presbyters and Deacons do nothing without the consent of the Bishop. For he is the one entrusted with the Lord’s people, and it is from him that an accounting will be demanded with respect to their souls.

-- 39th Apostolic Canon



As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavour that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Therefore run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. c. 107), Epistle to the Magnesians, 7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 02, 2012, 05:42:35 PM
Now the demon of envy could not control his envy so he found an instrument worthy of his evil designs. A certain harlot,* Basiane, who had lately come to Constantinople from the East, entrapped many of those who hunted after women of her sort. The sons of some heretics summoned her and made the following suggestion to her: 'If you can in any way bring a scandal upon the man who stands on the pillar in Anaplus* or upon any of those who are with him, we will pay you a hundred gold pieces.' The shameless woman agreed and went up to the holy man with much parade and took with her a crowd of young men and prostitutes and simulated illness and remained in the suburb opposite the Saint's enclosure. And though she stayed there no little time she spent her time in vain.

As she was anxious to get possession of the money she went down to the city and plotted after this fashion. To her lovers she said, 'I managed to seduce the man, for he became enamoured of my beauty and ordered his disciples to bring me up to him by means of the ladder; but as I would not consent, the men there planned to lie in wait and kill me; and it is with difficulty that I have escaped from their hands'. When her lovers heard this they thought they had gained their object and imparted the news to all their fellow conspirators. And thereupon as the report spread you could have seen a war between the believers and unbelievers. While matters were in this state, God Who rejoices in the truth and ever defends His servants, brought it about that the abandoned woman, Basiane, should be tormented by an evil demon in the middle of the City and then and there should proclaim her plot and the wrong which the licentious men had suggested to her against the righteous Daniel, promising her money if she were successful. And not only did she make public their names, shouting them for all to hear, but their rank also. Then could be seen a change in the ordering of affairs, for the faithful now rejoiced, whilst the faithless who had threatened to throw stones against the just man were put to shame.

While she was being chastised terribly for many days, the Christ-loving inhabitants of the City took pity upon her and led her away to the Saint and importuned him to pray to God on her behalf that she might obtain healing. But the servant of God said to them, 'Believe me, beloved, the former calumnies have now become as it were blessings to me; for neither does a man who is praised falsely benefit thereby nor does he sustain any injury who is slandered unjustly. For he who has entrusted his soul to God rejoices rather in false calumnies-for they procure a reward for him-than in true praises which swell and puff up the mind'. After these words as they all besought him to bear no malice against her, because they saw the wretched woman being so afflicted before the column, he bade them all stand for prayer. And stretching out his hands to heaven in the sight of them all, he besought God with tears for many hours that she might be healed. And it came to pass, as he prayed, that the demon cast her to the ground and came out of her in that same hour; and he bade them give her to drink from the oil of the saints. And when she came to herself she stood up and embraced the pillar weeping and praising God. And all those who were present gave thanks to God Who had granted such grace to the holy man: and they took her and went away with rejoicing.

-- The Life and Works of our Holy Father St. Daniel the Stylite, 39-40 (Source (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/dan-stylite.asp))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 03, 2012, 05:57:35 PM
Christ's gifts therefore raise men to a hope long looked for, and to a most dear joy. The woman who was guilty of many impurities, and deserving of blame for most disgraceful deeds, was justified, that we also may have confidence that Christ certainly will have mercy upon us, when He sees us hastening to Him, and endeavouring to escape from the pitfalls of wickedness. Let us too stand before Him: let us shed the tears of repentance: let us anoint Him with ointment: for the tears of him that repenteth are a sweet savour to God. Call him to mind who saith, "Awake, they who are drunken with wine: weep and howl all they who drink wine to drunkenness." For Satan intoxicates the heart, and agitates the mind by wicked pleasure, leading men down to the pollutions of sensuality.

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444),  Sermon 40 on the Gospel of Luke (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_on_luke_04_sermons_39_46.htm#SERMON XL)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 04, 2012, 01:52:00 PM
If then the prophets prophesied that the Son of God was to appear upon the earth, and prophesied also where on the earth and how and in what manner He should make known His appearance, and all these prophecies the Lord took upon Himself; our faith in Him was well-founded, and the tradition of the preaching (is) true: that is to say, the testimony of the apostles, who being sent forth by the Lord preached in all the world the Son of God, who came to suffer, and endured to the destruction of death and the quickening of the flesh: that by the putting away of the enmity towards God, which is unrighteousness, we should obtain peace with Him, doing that which is pleasing to Him.

-- St. Irenaeus (d. 202), The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 86 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/irenaeus_02_proof.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 05, 2012, 07:53:39 PM
But it will be said, If the words, the sentiments, the promises of Scripture, are appealed to by the Devil and his disciples, of whom some are false apostles, some false prophets and false teachers, and all without exception heretics, what are Catholics and the sons of Mother Church to do? How are they to distinguish truth from falsehood in the sacred Scriptures? They must be very careful to pursue that course which, in the beginning of this Commonitory, we said that holy and learned men had commended to us, that is to say, they must interpret the sacred Canon according to the traditions of the Universal Church and in keeping with the rules of Catholic doctrine, in which Catholic and Universal Church, moreover, they must follow universality, antiquity, consent.

And if at any time a part opposes itself to the whole, novelty to antiquity, the dissent of one or a few who are in error to the consent of all or at all events of the great majority of Catholics, then they must prefer the soundness of the whole to the corruption of a part; in which same whole they must prefer the religion of antiquity to the profaneness of novelty; and in antiquity itself in like manner, to the temerity of one or of a very few they must prefer, first of all, the general decrees, if such there be, of a Universal Council, or if there be no such, then, what is next best, they must follow the consentient belief of many and great masters. Which rule having been faithfully, soberly, and scrupulously observed, we shall with little difficulty detect the noxious errors of heretics as they arise.

-- Vincent of Lerins (d. mid-5th century), The Commonitory, 27 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3506.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 07, 2012, 02:16:57 PM
Make your mind contrite, humble your soul by the memory of the offenses committed by you, and wrath will not be able even to trouble you. But the cause of all these evils is this, that we scrutinise the sins of all others with great exactitude; while we let our own pass with great remissness. Whereas we ought to do the contrary--to keep our own faults unforgotten; but never even to admit a thought of those of others. If we do this we shall both have God propitious, and shall cease cherishing immortal anger against our neighbours, and we shall never have any one as an enemy; and even if we should have at any time we shall both quickly put an end to his enmity, and should obtain speedy pardon for our own sins.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily Against Publishing the Errors of the Brethren, 12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1913.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 08, 2012, 05:10:15 AM
Christ therefore must be received that He may beget, for thus saith the Apostle John, 'As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.' But these things cannot otherwise be fulfilled except by the Sacrament of [baptism], and of the Chrism, and of the Bishop. For by [baptism] sins are washed away, by Chrism the Holy Spirit is poured out, but both these we obtain at the hand and the mouth of the Bishop. And so the whole man is born again and renewed in Christ, that 'like as Christ was raised up from the dead, even so we also should walk in newness of life;' that is, that having laid aside the errors of our former life, the serving of idols, cruelty, fornication, wantonness, and all other vices of flesh and blood, we should through the Spirit follow new ways in Christ, faith, modesty, innocence, chastity.

-- St. Pacian of Barcelona (d. 391), Discourse on Baptism, 7 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/pacian_5_baptism.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 08, 2012, 11:54:57 PM
Therefore, let them not deceive themselves who suppose that by giving alms--however profusely, and whether of their fruits or money or anything else--they purchase impunity to continue in the enormity of their crimes and the grossness of their wickedness. For not only do they do such things, but they also love them so much that they would always choose to continue in them--if they could do so with impunity. "But he who loves iniquity hates his own soul." (Ps. 10:6) And he who hates his own soul is not merciful but cruel to it. For by loving it after the world's way he hates it according to God's way of judging. Therefore, if one really wished to give alms to himself, that all things might become clean to him, he would hate his soul after the world's way and love it according to God's way. No one, however, gives any alms at all unless he gives from the store of Him who needs not anything. "Accordingly," it is said, "His mercy shall go before me." (Ps. 58:11)

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Enchiridion: On Faith, Hope, and Love, 20 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm#C20)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 09, 2012, 09:09:12 PM
Everyone who has fallen away from divine love is ruled through sensual pleasure by the carnal law. With such a law, he cannot keep a single divine commandment, nor does he wish to: preferring a life of pleasure to a life ruled by virtue and lived in the Spirit of God, he embraces ignorance instead of knowledge.

A person who does not penetrate with his intellect towards the divine and spiritual beauty contained within the letter of the Law develops a propensity for pleasure - that is, an attachment to the world and a love of worldly things; for his knowledge derives merely from the literal expression of the Law.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662), Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice, 20-21

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 10, 2012, 04:59:48 PM
Hatred against the demons contributes greatly to our salvation and helps our growth in holiness. But we do not of ourselves have the power to nourish this hatred into a strong plant, because the pleasure-loving spirits restrict it and encourage the soul again to indulge in its old habitual loves. But this indulgence--or rather this gangrene that is so hard to cure--the Physician of souls heals by abandoning us. For He permits us to undergo some fearful suffering night and day, and then the soul returns again to its original hatred, and learns like David to say to the Lord: 'I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies' (Ps. 139: 22). For a man hates his enemies with perfect hatred when he sins neither in act nor in thought--which is a sign of complete dispassion.

-- St. Evagrius the Solitary (d. 399), Texts on Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts, 9
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2012, 07:25:00 PM
Someone once said to blessed Arsenius, 'How is it that we, with all our education and our wide knowledge get nowhere, while these Egyptian peasants acquire so many virtues?' Abba Arsenius said to him, 'We indeed get nothing from our secular education, but these Egyptian peasants acquire the virtues by hard work.'

One day Abba Arsenius consulted an old Egyptian monk about his own thoughts. Someone noticed this and said to him, 'Abba Arsenius, how is it that you with such a good Latin and Greek education ask this peasant about your thoughts?' He replied, 'I have indeed been taught Latin and Greek, but I do not know even the alphabet of this peasant.'

-- Abba Arsenius the Great (d. 445), Selections From the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, 5-6 (Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=Wzn_UoayInIC&lpg=PA14&ots=xxNbUqPekc&dq=sayings%20of%20the%20desert%20fathers&pg=PA15#v=onepage&q&f=false))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 12, 2012, 08:51:29 AM
Dispassion is a state in which the soul does not yield to any evil impulse; and it can be realized only through Christ’s mercy.

Christ is the savior of both soul and body, and the person who follows in His footsteps is freed from evil.

-- St. Thalassios the Libyan (d. 7th century), On Love, Self-control and Life in Accordance with the Intellect, 1.40-41
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on August 12, 2012, 07:21:54 PM
That Christ is True God and True Man Simultaneously

+"Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was: God."

-Origen, The Fundamental Doctrines, 225 A.D.


+"We are not playing the fool, you Greeks, nor do we talk nonsense, when we report that God was born in the form of a man."

-(Saint?) Tatian the Syrian, Address to the Greeks; Chapter 21, 170 A.D.


+"The origins of both his substances display him as man and as God: from the one, born, and from the other, not born."

-Tertullian, The Flesh of Christ Chapter 5:6–7, A.D. 210




Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on August 12, 2012, 07:27:35 PM
That Christ is Truly Present in the Holy Eucharist

+"We do not consume the Eucharistic bread and wine as if it were ordinary food and drink, for we have been taught that as Jesus Christ our Savior became a man of flesh and blood by the power of the Word of God, so also the food that our flesh and blood assimilates for its nourishment becomes the flesh and blood of the incarnate Jesus by the power of his own words contained in the prayer of thanksgiving."

-Saint Justin Martyr, First Apology, 155-157 A.D.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on August 12, 2012, 08:13:47 PM
The Holy Trinity

There are too many passages to post here, but this webpage has a large collection of quotations from Ante-Nicene (and Post-Nicene) Fathers regarding the doctrine of the Trinity:

http://www.bible.ca/H-trinity.htm
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 13, 2012, 12:09:00 PM
From this we may understand that virtue is a thing most delicately balanced, and that if neglected it quickly turns into its opposite. Scripture seems to refer to this symbolically, saying: 'The land into which you go so as to inherit it is a land subject to change through the movement of the peoples' (Ezra 9:11 LXX). For as soon as someone who has attained the state of virtue inclines towards its opposite, his virtue is thereby altered, being ‘a land subject to change'. So from the moment that harmful fantasies appear we should deny them entry into our mind. We should not allow it to 'go down into Egypt', for from there it is led away into captivity by the Assyrians (cf. Jer. 42:19; 43:2-3). For when the mind descends into the darkness of impure thoughts — and that is what Egypt means — then the passions drag it forcibly and against its will into their service.

-- St. Neilos the Ascetic (d. c. 430), Ascetic Discourse (Philokalia, Vol. 1, p. 226)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on August 14, 2012, 03:57:16 AM
That We Do Not Inherit Adam's Guilt
 
+"What has Adam’s guilt to do with us? Why are we held responsible for his sin when we were not even born when he committed it? Did not God say : “The parents will not die for the children, nor the children for parents, but the soul which had sinned, it shall die.” How then shall we defend this doctrine? The soul, I say, which had sinned, it shall die. We have become sinners because of Adam’s disobedience in the following manner.... After he fell into sin and surrendered to corruption, impure lusts invaded the nature of his flesh, and at the same time the evil law of our members was born. For our nature contracted the disease of sin because of the disobedience of one man, that is Adam, and thus many became sinners. This was not because they sinned along with Adam, because they did not then exist, but because they had the same nature as Adam, which fell under the law of sin. Thus, just as human nature acquired the weakness of corruption in Adam because of disobedience, and evil desires invaded it, so the same nature was later set free by Christ, who was obedient to God the Father and did not commit sin."

-Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Explanation of the Letter to the Romans: Migne PG 74, col 788-89 in: Romans By Gerald Lewis Bray, Thomas C. Oden pp 142-143


+"The sin of those who engendered us, viz. the sin of Adam and Eve, is not naturally (kata phusin) mixed with our substance (ousia), as the evil and impious opinion of the Messalians, in other words the Manichees, claims, but because they (Adam and Eve) had lost the grace of immortality the judgment and the sentence reach down to us, when, following a natural disposition. We are born mortal insofar as [we are born] of mortal parents. but not sinners insofar as we are of sinful parents. For it is not true that sin is a nature (phusis) and that it naturally passes from parents to their children."

-Saint Severus of Antioch, Correspondence with Julian of Halicarnassus
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Severian on August 14, 2012, 03:57:58 AM
That We Are Not Saved By Faith Alone

+"Then, in the tenth place, work that which is good upon this foundation of dogma; for faith without works is dead, even as are works apart from faith."

-Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration 40; On Holy Baptism, 381 A.D.

Some other Patristic quotes concerning the heresy of Sola Fide:

http://www.catholic-forum.com/members/catholictracts/tract44.html
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2012, 02:59:34 PM
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. But it your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23)

The single eye is the love unfeigned; for when the body is enlightened by it, it sets forth through the medium of the outer members only things which are perfectly correspondent with the inner thoughts. But the evil eye is the pretended love, which is also called hypocrisy, by which the whole body of the man is made darkness. We have to consider that deeds meet only for darkness may be within the man, while through the outer members he may produce words that seem to be of the light: for there are those who are in reality wolves, though they may be covered with sheep's clothing. Such are they who wash only the outside of the cup and platter, and do not understand that, unless the inside of these things is cleansed, the outside itself cannot be made pure. Wherefore, in manifest confutation of such persons, the Saviour says: “If the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness!” That is to say, if the love which seems to you to be light is really a work meet for darkness, by reason of some hypocrisy concealed in you, what must be your patent transgressions!

-- St. Gregory of Neocaesarea (d. c. 275), On Matt. 6:22-23 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0611.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2012, 05:20:03 PM
The first degree of humility, then, is that a person keep the fear of God before his eyes and beware of ever forgetting it. Let him be ever mindful of all that God has commanded; let his thoughts constantly recur to the hell-fire which will burn for their sins those who despise God, and to the life everlasting which is prepared for those who fear Him. Let him keep himself at every moment from sins and vices, whether of the mind, the tongue, the hands, the feet, or the self-will, and check also the desires of the flesh. Let a man consider that God is always looking at him from heaven, that his actions are everywhere visible to the divine eyes and are constantly being reported to God by the Angels... As for self-will, we are forbidden to do our own will by the Scripture, which says to us, "Turn away from your own will" (Eccles. 18:30), and likewise by the prayer in which we ask God that His will be done in us. And rightly are we taught not to do our own will when we take heed to the warning of Scripture: "There are ways which seem right, but the ends of them plunge into the depths of hell" (Prov. 16:25)

-- St. Benedict of Nursia (d. 543), Rules of St. Benedict (Source (http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/rule_st_benedict_e.htm#_Toc74181914))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 16, 2012, 12:58:19 PM
But now, after all this bondage to death and corruption of the manhood, God has visited His creature, which He formed after His own image and similitude; and this He has done that it might not for ever be the sport of death. Therefore God sent down from heaven His incorporeal Son to take flesh upon Him in the Virgin's womb; and thus, equally as you, was He made man; to save lost man, and collect all His scattered members. For Christ, when He joined the manhood to His person, united that which death by the separation of the body had dispersed. Christ suffered that we should live for ever.

-- St. Alexander of Alexandria (d. 326), On the Soul and Body and the Passion of the Lord, 5 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0622.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 17, 2012, 11:33:13 AM
A brother asked an old man, "How do people get on when seeking remission of their sins?" The old man replied, "Before they become filled with the grace which comes with their labour they are ineffectual and overburdened. But when through patience the grace of Christ comes upon them they flourish, their souls rejoice, their faces shine like the sun coming out of the clouds. Just as the sun pales when covered with clouds, so does the soul when hidden by passions and temptations. When cleansed by the grace of God they shine, as it is written, "Great is the glory of him who lives in your salvation" (Psalms 21.1).

Vitae Patrum, 7.28.2 (Source (http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page104.html))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 18, 2012, 07:42:37 PM
He learnt that some people who were in dispute with their enemies had been refraining from putting their case to him as they wished, for they were intimidated by the officials and other staff who surrounded him. He took thought as to what he might do which would be acceptable to God, and on the fourth and fifth days of the week put a desk and two chairs outside the church, where he sat holding the Gospels in his hands. In order to show that anyone who wished might approach him with confidence, he allowed none of his staff near him except one of the church guards. He had the church guards announce this to the people, and gave orders that none of them should endeavour to dissuade their unworthy head priest.

Leontius of Neapolis (d. 7th century), The Life of St John the Almsgiver
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 20, 2012, 02:01:13 AM
Now, if they ask, Why then did He not appear by means of other and nobler parts of creation, and use some nobler instrument, as the sun, or moon, or stars, or fire, or air, instead of man merely? Let them know that the Lord came not to make a display, but to heal and teach those who were suffering. For the way for one aiming at display would be, just to appear, and to dazzle the beholders; but for one seeking to heal and teach the way is, not simply to sojourn here, but to give himself to the aid of those in want, and to appear as they who need him can bear it; that he may not, by exceeding the requirements of the sufferers, trouble the very persons that need him, rendering God's appearance useless to them.

Now, nothing in creation had gone astray with regard to their notions of God, save man only. Why, neither sun, nor moon, nor heaven, nor the stars, nor water, nor air had swerved from their order; but knowing their Artificer and Sovereign, the Word, they remain as they were made. But men alone, having rejected what was good, then devised things of nought instead of the truth, and have ascribed the honour due to God, and their knowledge of Him, to demons and men in the shape of stones. With reason, then, since it were unworthy of the Divine Goodness to overlook so grave a matter, while yet men were not able to recognise Him as ordering and guiding the whole, He takes to Himself as an instrument a part of the whole, His human body, and unites Himself with that, in order that since men could not recognise Him in the whole, they should not fail to know Him in the part; and since they could not look up to His invisible power, might be able, at any rate, from what resembled themselves to reason to Him and to contemplate Him.

-- St. Athanasius of Alexandria, On the Incarnation, 43.1-4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 22, 2012, 10:04:06 PM
Wearing the monastic habit once more, she passed her days in humility of mind and body, her eyes bathed in tears, disciplining herself with the strictest abstinence, declaring unceasingly with untroubled confidence before the Lord that her tears were offered in sure hope of the forgiveness of her sins. She cried out for mercy so powerfully that he would be hard hearted indeed who would not have been overcome with compassion at the sound of her weeping. Who is there so devoid of mercy that would not have wept in sympathy with her in her lamentation? And who in true compunction of heart would not have given thanks to God?  Her penitence was beyond measure, compared to ours. So zealously did she pray to the Lord to pardon what she had done, that she was bold enough to ask God for a sign that her sins were indeed forgiven. And the most merciful Lord who wills no one to perish but rather come to repentance (1 Tim. 2:4), so graciously accepted her penances, that after three years salvation began to come to many other people through her prayers. For crowds of people began to flow eagerly towards her, begging that she might pray to the Lord for their salvation.

From: Life of St Mary the Harlot (Source (http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page45.html))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 23, 2012, 05:10:13 PM
And so on the manner of fasting a uniform rule cannot easily be observed, because everybody has not the same strength; nor is it like the rest of the virtues, acquired by steadfastness of mind alone. And therefore, because it does not depend only on mental firmness, since it has to do with the possibilities of the body, we have received this explanation concerning it which has been handed down to us, viz.: that there is a difference of time, manner, and quality of the refreshment in proportion to the difference of condition of the body, the age, and sex: but that there is one and the same rule of restraint to everybody as regards continence of mind, and the virtue of the spirit.

-- St. John Cassian (d. c. 435), Institutes 5.5
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Ansgar on August 24, 2012, 06:47:02 PM
‘According to the blameless faith of the Christians which we have obtained from God, I confess and agree that I believe in one God the Father Almighty; God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost; I adore and worship one God, the Three. I confess to the economy of the Son in the flesh, and that the holy Mary, who gave birth to Him according to the flesh, was Mother of God. I acknowledge also the holy apostles, prophets, and martyrs; and I invoke them to supplication to God, that through them, that is, through their mediation, the merciful God may be propitious to me, and that a ransom may be made and given me for my sins. Wherefore also I honour and kiss the features of their images, inasmuch as they have been handed down from the holy apostles, and are not forbidden, but are in all our churches.’
 
~St. Basil the Great
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 24, 2012, 07:39:40 PM
Let him who has love in Christ keep the commandments of Christ. Who can describe the [blessed] bond of the love of God? What man is able to tell the excellence of its beauty, as it ought to be told? The height to which love exalts is unspeakable. Love unites us to God. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love bears all things, is long-suffering in all things. There is nothing base, nothing arrogant in love. Love admits of no schisms: love gives rise to no seditions: love does all things in harmony. By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself. On account of the love He bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.

-- St. Clement of Rome (d. c. 96), First Epistle to the Corinthians, 49 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 25, 2012, 07:05:08 PM
Let us not therefore remain craving after the things of this life, neither after the luxury of the table, or costliness of raiment. For you have the most excellent of raiment, you have a spiritual table you have the glory from on high, and Christ has become to you all things, your table, your raiment, your home, your head, your stem. “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ, did put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:27) See how he has become raiment for you. Do you wish to learn how he becomes a table for you? “He who eats me,” says He, “as I live because of the Father, he also shall live because of me;” and that he becomes a home for you, “he that eats my flesh abides in me, and I in him;” (John 6:56)

-- St. John Chrysostom, Instruction to Catechumens, 2.2 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1908.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 26, 2012, 03:55:32 PM
Hear and be comforted, beloved, how merciful is God. To the sinful woman He forgave her offenses; yea, He upheld her when she was afflicted. With clay He opened the eyes of the blind, so that the eyeballs beheld the light. To the palsied He granted healing, who arose and walked and carried his bed. And to us He has given the pearls; His holy Body and Blood.

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian (d. 373), Homily on the Sinful Woman (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3708.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 27, 2012, 05:27:35 PM
Considering His love and mercy, we ought not to be so bitter, nor cruel, nor inhuman in cherishing the brethren, but to mourn with those that mourn, and to weep with them that weep, and to raise them up as much as we can by the help and comfort of our love; neither being too ungentle and pertinacious in repelling their repentance; nor, again, being too lax and easy in rashly yielding communion. Lo! A wounded brother lies stricken by the enemy in the field of battle. There the devil is striving to slay him whom he has wounded; here Christ is exhorting that he whom He has redeemed may not wholly perish. Whether of the two do we assist? On whose side do we stand? Whether do we favour the devil, that he may destroy, and pass by our prostrate lifeless brother, as in the Gospel did the priest and Levite; or rather, as priests of God and Christ, do we imitate what Christ both taught and did, and snatch the wounded man from the jaws of the enemy, that we may preserve him cured for God the judge?

-- St. Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258), Epistles, 51.19 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050651.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 28, 2012, 12:39:22 PM
But granted that a man is free from vice, and has reached the greatest heights of virtue: I do not see what knowledge or power would justify him in venturing upon this office. For the guiding of man, the most variable and manifold of creatures, seems to me in very deed to be the art of arts and science of sciences. Any one may recognize this, by comparing the work of the physician of souls with the treatment of the body; and noticing that, laborious as the latter is, ours is more laborious, and of more consequence, from the nature of its subject matter, the power of its science, and the object of its exercise. The one labours about bodies, and perishable failing matter, which absolutely must be dissolved and undergo its fate, Genesis 3:19 even if upon this occasion by the aid of art it can surmount the disturbance within itself, being dissolved by disease or time in submission to the law of nature, since it cannot rise above its own limitations. The other is concerned with the soul, which comes from God and is divine, and partakes of the heavenly nobility, and presses on to it, even if it be bound to an inferior nature.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 391), Oration 2.16-17 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310202.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 30, 2012, 11:21:10 AM
I may be permitted at the end of this little treatise to ask those who do not know the extent of their possessions, who adorn their homes with marble, who string house to house and field to field, what did this old man in his nakedness ever lack? Your drinking vessels are of precious stones; he satisfied his thirst with the hollow of his hand. Your tunics are of wrought gold; he had not the raiment of the meanest of your slaves. But on the other hand, poor though he was, Paradise is open to him; you with all your gold will be received into Gehenna. He though naked yet kept the robe of Christ; you, clad in your silks, have lost the vesture of Christ. Paul lies covered with worthless dust, but will rise again to glory; over you are raised costly tombs, but both you and your wealth are doomed to the burning. Have a care, I pray you, at least have a care for the riches you love. Why are even the grave-clothes of your dead made of gold? Why does not your vaunting cease even amid mourning and tears? Cannot the carcasses of rich men decay except in silk?

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), The Life of Paulus the First Hermit, 17 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3008.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 31, 2012, 01:42:42 PM
And this was the rule of life they had, and which they all observed -- neither to talk to one another, nor to know how each one lived and fasted. If they did happen to catch sight of one another, they went to another part of the country, living alone and always singing to God, and at a definite time eating a very small quantity of food. In this way they spent the whole of the fast and used to return to the monastery a week before the Resurrection of Christ, on Palm Sunday. Each one returned having his own conscience as the witness of his labour, and no one asked another how he had spent his time in the desert. Such were rules of the monastery. Everyone of them whilst in the desert struggled with himself before the Judge of the struggle -- God -- not seeking to please men and fast before the eyes of all. For what is done for the sake of men, to win praise and honour, is not only useless to the one who does it but sometimes the cause of great punishment.

St. Sophronius of Jerusalem (d. 638), The Life of Our Venerable Mother Mary of Egypt (Source (http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/files/library/life.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on September 01, 2012, 01:43:27 PM
The next condition is, that the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly shall not stand in the way of sinners. For there are many whose confession concerning God, while it acquits them of ungodliness, yet does not set them free from sin; those, for example, who abide in the Church but do not observe her laws; such are the greedy, the drunken, the brawlers, the wanton, the proud, hypocrites, liars, plunderers. No doubt we are urged towards these sins by the promptings of our natural instincts; but it is good for us to withdraw from the path into which we are being hurried and not to stand therein, seeing that we are offered so easy a way of escape. It is for this reason that the man who has not stood in the way of sinners is happy, for while nature carries him into that way, religious belief draws him back.

-- St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 368), Homily on Psalm 1 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3303001.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Alpo on September 26, 2012, 07:22:25 AM
112. ... But let them suppose, if it pleases them, that, for certain intervals of time, the punishments of the damned are somewhat mitigated. Even so, the wrath of God must be understood as still resting on them. And this is damnation--for this anger, which is not a violent passion in the divine mind, is called "wrath" in God. Yet even in his wrath--his wrath resting on them--he does not "shut up his mercy." This is not to put an end to their eternal afflictions, but rather to apply or interpose some little respite in their torments. For the psalm does not say, "To put an end to his wrath," or, "After his wrath," but, "In his wrath." ... 113. The eternal death of the damned--that is, their estrangement from the life of God--will therefore abide without end, and it will be common to them all, no matter what some people, moved by their human feelings, may wish to think about gradations of punishment, or the relief or intermission of their misery. In the same way, the eternal life of the saints will abide forever, and also be common to all of them no matter how different the grades of rank and honor in which they shine forth in their effulgent harmony.

-- Arch-Heretic Saint Blessed Augustine of Hippo, Enchiridion: On Faith, Hope, and Love XXIX 112-113 (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm#C29)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: WeldeMikael on September 26, 2012, 08:34:08 AM
Good to see this topic.  ;D
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Alpo on September 26, 2012, 09:04:22 AM
113. The eternal death of the damned--that is, their estrangement from the life of God--will therefore abide without end, and it will be common to them all, no matter what some people, moved by their human feelings, may wish to think about gradations of punishment, or the relief or intermission of their misery. In the same way, the eternal life of the saints will abide forever, and also be common to all of them no matter how different the grades of rank and honor in which they shine forth in their effulgent harmony.

I'd like to emphasize that my point in quoting this was that according to Augustine Hell is first of all "estrangement from the life of God" not physical punishments and even though the estrangement from the life of God will be eternal we are free to believe in "gradation of punishmens, or the relief or intermission of their misery" which correspond to "the grades of rank and honor" in Heaven.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on October 12, 2012, 01:44:59 PM
I know that we shall appear to most people to be higglers, in being so particular about the contracts. But I beg you to pardon me; for that Mammon about whom I have so often said such hard things, has at last departed from me as far as he can possibly go, being disgusted, I suppose, at the nonsense that is constantly talked against him, and has fortified himself against me by an impassable gulf— to wit, poverty— so that neither can he come to me, nor can I pass to him.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. 395), Letter 16 (source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/291116.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on October 12, 2012, 01:53:21 PM
The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. With us there is no nice enquiry as to its being formed or unformed. In this case it is not only the being about to be born who is vindicated, but the woman in her attack upon herself; because in most cases women who make such attempts die. The destruction of the embryo is an additional crime, a second murder, at all events if we regard it as done with intent. The punishment, however, of these women should not be for life, but for the term of ten years. And let their treatment depend not on mere lapse of time, but on the character of their repentance.

-- St. Basil of Caesarea (d. 379), letter 188:2 (source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202188.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on October 12, 2012, 02:05:12 PM
And then, too, you do not in that case deal with us in the ordinary way of judicial proceedings against offenders; for, in the case of others denying, you apply the torture to make them confess— Christians alone you torture, to make them deny.

-- Tertullian, Apologeticus 2 (source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0301.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on October 12, 2012, 02:08:44 PM
If the Tiber rises against the walls of the city, or the Nile does not overflow its banks, if there is drought, or earthquake, or famine, or pestilence, the cry at once is, "Take the Christians to the lion!"-- What! so many to one beast?

-- Tertullian, Apologeticus 40 (source (http://www.tertullian.org/articles/chevallier_apology.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on October 12, 2012, 02:17:22 PM
But what a spectacle is that fast-approaching advent of our Lord, now owned by all, now highly exalted, now a triumphant One! What that exultation of the angelic hosts! What the glory of the rising saints! What the kingdom of the just thereafter! What the city New Jerusalem! Yes, and there are other sights: that last day of judgment.

[...]

What my derision? Which sight gives me joy? Which rouses me to exultation?— as I see so many illustrious monarchs, whose reception into the heavens was publicly announced, groaning now in the lowest darkness with great Jove himself, and those, too, who bore witness of their exultation; governors of provinces, too, who persecuted the Christian name, in fires more fierce than those with which in the days of their pride they raged against the followers of Christ. What world's wise men besides, the very philosophers, in fact, who taught their followers that God had no concern in ought that is sublunary, and were wont to assure them that either they had no souls, or that they would never return to the bodies which at death they had left, now covered with shame before the poor deluded ones, as one fire consumes them! Poets also, trembling not before the judgment-seat of Rhadamanthus or Minos, but of the unexpected Christ! I shall have a better opportunity then of hearing the tragedians, louder-voiced in their own calamity; of viewing the play-actors, much more "dissolute" in the dissolving flame; of looking upon the charioteer, all glowing in his chariot of fire; of beholding the wrestlers, not in their gymnasia, but tossing in the fiery billows; unless even then I shall not care to attend to such ministers of sin, in my eager wish rather to fix a gaze insatiable on those whose fury vented itself against the Lord.

-- Tertullian, De Spectaculis 30 (source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0303.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on November 29, 2012, 04:03:35 PM
For the Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners.

As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven.  They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life.  They are poor, yet make many rich;  they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless;  they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

-- Mathethes, Epistle to Diognetus, chapter 5 (source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0101.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: WeldeMikael on November 29, 2012, 04:16:34 PM
Good to see this thread back !  ;D
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on December 02, 2012, 04:12:09 PM
Neither pride of ancestry, nor bodily strength, nor beauty, nor greatness, nor the esteem of all men, nor kingly authority, nor, indeed, whatever of human affairs may be called great, do we consider worthy of desire, or the possessors of them as objects of envy; but we place our hopes upon the things which are beyond, and in preparation for the life eternal do all things that we do.

--- St. Basil of Caesarea (d. 379), Adress to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature (source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/basil_litterature01.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 28, 2012, 12:18:33 AM
The one who imitates God by giving alms knows no difference between evil and good or just and unjust in regard ot the needs of the body, but distributes to all without distinction according to their need even if he prefers the virtuous person over the wicked because of his good intention.

-- St. Maximos the Confessor (d. 662), The Four Hundred Chapters on Love, 1.24
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 28, 2012, 09:39:51 PM
Peter was clean, but he must wash his feet, for he had sin by succession from the first man, when the serpent overthrew him and persuaded him to sin. His feet were therefore washed, that hereditary sins might be done away, for our own sins are remitted through baptism. Observe at the same time that the mystery consists in the very office of humility, for Christ says: “If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; how much more ought you to wash one another's feet.” For, since the Author of Salvation Himself redeemed us through His obedience, how much more ought we His servants to offer the service of our humility and obedience.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), On the Mysteries, 6 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3405.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 29, 2012, 02:37:34 PM
How then does Paul say, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves”? Having said above, “whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Heb. 13:7), he then said, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.” (Heb. 13:17)

What then (you say), when he is wicked should we obey?

Wicked? In what sense? If indeed in regard to Faith, flee and avoid him; not only if he be a man, but even if he be an angel come down from Heaven; but if in regard to life, be not over-curious. And this instance I do not allege from my own mind, but from the Divine Scripture. For hear Christ saying, “The Scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat.” (Matt. 23:2) Having previously spoken many fearful things concerning them, He then says, “They sit on Moses' seat: all therefore whatsoever they tell you observe, do; but do not ye after their works.” (Matt. 23:2-3) They have (He means) the dignity of office, but are of unclean life. Do thou however attend, not to their life, but to their words. For as regards their characters, no one would be harmed [thereby]. How is this? Both because their characters are manifest to all, and also because though he were ten thousand times as wicked, he will never teach what is wicked. But as respects Faith, [the evil] is not manifest to all, and the wicked [ruler] will not shrink from teaching it.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 34 on Hebrews (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240234.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 30, 2012, 06:15:11 PM
Next, [teach] your wives [to walk] in the faith given to them, and in love and purity tenderly loving their own husbands in all truth, and loving all [others] equally in all chastity; and to train up their children in the knowledge and fear of God. Teach the widows to be discreet as respects the faith of the Lord, praying continually for all, being far from all slandering, evil-speaking, false-witnessing, love of money, and every kind of evil; knowing that they are the altar of God, that He clearly perceives all things, and that nothing is hid from Him, neither reasonings, nor reflections, nor any one of the secret things of the heart.

-- St. Polycarp of Smyrna (d. 155), Epistle to the Philippians, 4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0136.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 01, 2013, 05:59:50 AM
Faith is compounded of many things, and by many kinds is it brought to perfection. For it is like a building that is built up of many pieces of workmanship and so its edifice rises to the top. And know, my beloved, that in the foundations of the building stones are laid, and so resting upon stones the whole edifice rises until it is perfected. Thus also the true Stone, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the foundation of all our faith. And on Him, on [this] Stone faith is based. And resting on faith all the structure rises until it is completed.

-- Aphraates (d. 367), Demonstration 1: On Faith, 2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 02, 2013, 04:41:42 PM
And, therefore, because none of us, dearly beloved, is so perfect and holy as not to be able to be more perfect and more holy, let us all together, without difference of rank, without distinction of desert, with pious eagerness pursue our race from what we have attained to what we yet aspire to, and make some needful additions to our regular devotions. For he that is not more attentive than usual to religion in these days, is shown at other times to be not attentive enough.

-- Pope St. Leo the Great (d. 461), Sermon 40.1 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360340.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 03, 2013, 02:18:03 PM
Each text then which refers to the creature is written with reference to Jesus in a bodily sense. For the Lord's Humanity was created as 'a beginning of ways,' and He manifested it to us for our salvation. For by it we have our access to the Father. For He is the way (John 14:6) which leads us back to the Father. And a way is a corporeal visible thing, such as is the Lord's humanity.

-- St. Athanasius of Alexandria (d. 373), Statement of Faith (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2821.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 05, 2013, 04:34:35 AM
Vigils, prayer and patient acceptance of what comes constitute a breaking that does not harm but benefits the heart, provided we do not destroy the balance between them through excess. He who perseveres in them will be helped in other ways as well; but he who is slack and negligent will suffer intolerably on leaving this life.

-- St. Mark the Monk (d. c. 5th century), On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts, 19
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 06, 2013, 03:48:06 PM
I approve the beginning of your letter; but what is there of yours that I do not approve? And you are convicted of having written just like me; for I, too, was forced into the rank of the Priesthood, for indeed I never was eager for it. We are to one another, if ever any men were, trustworthy witnesses of our love for a humble and lowly philosophy. But perhaps it would have been better that this had not happened, or I know not what to say, as long as I am in ignorance of the purpose of the Holy Ghost. But since it has come about, we must bear it, at least so it seems clear to me; and especially when we take the times into consideration, which are bringing in upon us so many heretical tongues, and must not put to shame either the hopes of those who have trusted us thus, or our own lives.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 391), Epistle 8: To St. Basil the Great
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 09, 2013, 03:37:55 AM
As to virtue leading us to a happy life, I hold virtue to be nothing else than perfect love of God. For the fourfold division of virtue I regard as taken from four forms of love. For these four virtues (would that all felt their influence in their minds as they have their names in their mouths!), I should have no hesitation in defining them: that temperance is love giving itself entirely to that which is loved; fortitude is love readily bearing all things for the sake of the loved object; justice is love serving only the loved object, and therefore ruling rightly; prudence is love distinguishing with sagacity between what hinders it and what helps it. The object of this love is not anything, but only God, the chief good, the highest wisdom, the perfect harmony. So we may express the definition thus: that temperance is love keeping itself entire and incorrupt for God; fortitude is love bearing everything readily for the sake of God; justice is love serving God only, and therefore ruling well all else, as subject to man; prudence is love making a right distinction between what helps it towards God and what might hinder it.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Of the Morals of the Catholic Church, 15
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 10, 2013, 08:22:56 AM
Today, a person wears the monastic habit without washing away the stains on his soul, or erasing the marks which past sins have stamped upon his mind; indeed, he may still take lustful pleasure in the fantasies these sins suggest. He has not yet trained his character so as to fit his vocation, nor does he grasp the purpose of the divine philosophy. Already he has developed a Pharisaic superciliousness, being filled with conceit by his robes. He goes about carrying various tools the use of which he does not understand. By virtue of his outward dress he lays claim to a knowledge -which in reality he has not tasted even with the tip of his tongue. He is a reef, not a harbor; a whited sepulcher, not a temple; a wolf, not a sheep; the ruin of those decoyed by his appearance.

-- St. Neilos The Ascetic (d. c. 430), Ascetic Discourse
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 11, 2013, 03:44:24 PM
We have, it must be admitted, a use for anger excellently implanted in us for which alone it is useful and profitable for us to admit it, viz., when we are indignant and rage against the lustful emotions of our heart, and are vexed that the things which we are ashamed to do or say before men have risen up in the lurking places of our heart, as we tremble at the presence of the angels, and of God Himself, who pervades all things everywhere, and fear with the utmost dread the eye of Him from whom the secrets of our hearts cannot possibly be hid.

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), Institutes, 8.7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 13, 2013, 02:06:52 PM
If any presbyter despises his own bishop, and assembles separately, and fixes another altar, when he has nothing to condemn in his bishop either as to piety or righteousness, let him be deprived as an ambitious person; for he is a tyrant, and the rest of the clergy, whoever join themselves to him. And let the laity be suspended. But let these things be done after one, and a second, or even a third admonition from the bishop.

-- Apostolic Canons, Canon 32
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 14, 2013, 12:43:55 PM
Wretch that I am! I have not remembered that God observes the mind, and hears the voice of the soul. I turned consciously to sin, saying to myself, God is merciful, and will bear with me; and when I was not instantly smitten, I ceased not, but rather despised His forbearance, and exhausted the long-suffering of God.

-- St. Peter of Alexandria (d. 311), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0621.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 15, 2013, 10:44:27 PM
Many of us are talkers, few are doers. But no one should distort the word of God through his own negligence. He must confess his weakness and not hide God’s truth. Otherwise he will be guilty not only of breaking the commandments but also of falsifying the word of God.

-- St. Maximos the Confessor (d. 662), The Four Hundred Chapters on Love, 4.85
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 17, 2013, 10:26:51 PM
Question (no. 730). Since the Lord said: "Blessed are they that mourn" (Mt. 5:4) and the Apostle says: "Be joyful and cheerful" (Rom. 12:8), what should one do in order to appear to be both mournful and cheerful? In addition, how can both of these, mournfulness and cheerfulness, exist in one and the same person?

Response. Mourning is sorrow according to God, which gives rise to repentance. The characteristics of repentance are fasting, psalmody, prayer, and meditation on the words of God. Cheerfulness is gladness according to God, which is revealed through modesty in word and conduct when people encounter one another. Therefore, let your heart have mourning, while your conduct and words should have modest gladness; then, both virtues may coexist.

-- St. Barsanuphius (d. c. 540) and John, Source (http://books.google.com/books?id=qC8kPZS-rwgC&lpg=PA5&pg=PA39#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 21, 2013, 07:35:11 PM
And how gloriously strong in this most excellent manner of doctrine the blessed martyr Laurentius is, by whose sufferings today is marked, even his persecutors were able to feel, when they found that his wondrous courage, born principally of love for Christ, not only did not yield itself, but also strengthened others by the example of his endurance. For when the fury of the gentile potentates was raging against Christ's most chosen members, and attacked those especially who were of priestly rank, the wicked persecutor's wrath was vented on Laurentius the deacon, who was pre-eminent not only in the performance of the sacred rites, but also in the management of the church's property , promising himself double spoil from one man's capture: for if he forced him to surrender the sacred treasures, he would also drive him out of the pale of true religion. And so this man, so greedy of money and such a foe to the truth, arms himself with double weapon: with avarice to plunder the gold; with impiety to carry off Christ. He demands of the guileless guardian of the sanctuary that the church wealth on which his greedy mind was set should be brought to him. But the holy deacon showed him where he had them stored, by pointing to the many troops of poor saints, in the feeding and clothing of whom he had a store of riches which he could not lose, and which were the more entirely safe that the money had been spent on so holy a cause.

-- St. Leo the Great (d. 461), Sermon 85.2 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360385.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2013, 09:32:47 PM
The feeling of reverence which I have for him compels me to say something about St. Salvius. He often used to tell how, during his years as a layman, while he was occupying himself with worldly affairs he never permitted himself to be ensnared by the carnal desires which so frequently fill the minds of young people. When the Holy Spirit finally found a place in his heart, he gave up the struggle of worldly existence and entered a monastery. As one now consecrated to Almighty God, he understood that it was better to serve the Lord in poverty and to humble oneself before Him, rather than to strive after the wealth of this transient world. He spent many years in his monastery and observed the rule instituted by the Fathers.

-- St. Gregory of Tours (d. 594), Life of the Fathers (Source (http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/stsalvius.aspx))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 23, 2013, 10:54:51 AM
And without music there can be no perfect knowledge, for there is nothing without it. For even the universe itself is said to have been put together with a certain harmony of sounds, and the very heavens revolve under the guidance of harmony.

-- St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), Source (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isidore_of_Seville)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 24, 2013, 07:02:55 PM
If the relics of the martyrs are not worthy of honour, how comes it that we read Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints, (Ps. 116:15)? If dead men's bones defile those that touch them, how came it that the dead Elisha raised another man also dead, and that life came to this latter from the body of the prophet which according to Vigilantius must have been unclean? In that case every encampment of the host of Israel and the people of God was unclean; for they carried the bodies of Joseph and of the patriarchs with them in the wilderness, and carried their unclean ashes even into the holy land. In that case Joseph, who was a type of our Lord and Saviour, was a wicked man; for he carried up Jacob's bones with great pomp to Hebron merely to put his unclean father beside his unclean grandfather and great-grandfather, that is, one dead body along with others.

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Epistle 109: To Vigilantius (http://www.voskrese.info/spl/jerome109.html)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 26, 2013, 06:12:23 PM
"I am the Door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture."

After His usual manner, He moulds the form of His speech to a spiritual application as though it arose naturally from the course of His story, and seems to treat things which are simple to look at and contain nothing difficult of comprehension, as images of things more obscure. For the thieves, He saith, and robbers, violently breaking into the enclosures of the sheep, do not enter by the door, but leap in by some other way, and by getting over the wall of the fold put themselves in danger. For perhaps, or rather very probably, one who is robbing in this way and rashly practising villainy may be detected and caught; but they who enter by the door itself, effect an entrance without risk, being manifestly not mean in conduct, nor yet unknown to the lord of the sheep. For he who standeth at the doors openeth to them and they run in: moreover, saith He, such as these shall be together with the sheep in great security, having effected an entrance very lawfully as it were and without guile, and without incurring any suspicion of being robbers.

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_on_john_06_book6.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 27, 2013, 04:22:51 PM
Reasonably, the evangelists used different beginnings although the one and the same purpose of evangelization is represented. Matthew, as writing to Hebrews, composed the order of the genealogy of Christ, so that he would show that Christ had descended from this progeny, from which all the prophets had foretold him to be born. But John, based in Ephesus, made the beginning of the gospel from the reason of our redemption, of us who from the gentiles as it were did not know the law, which reason is evident from him that God wished his son to be incarnated for our salvation. Luke, however, began from Zacharias the priest so that he would declare the divinity of Christ to the gentiles by the miracle of the birth of his son and by the office of so many preachers. From which Mark too declares the ancient qualifications of the prophetic mystery of the coming of Christ so that his preaching had been proven not to be new but uttered from ancient times or account of that. The evangelists were concerned with using introductions, which each decided to set forth that for the listeners. Thus nothing is found to the contrary where even for different writings the same basis is arrived at.

-- Pseudo-Polycarp, Fragments from Victor of Capua (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/polycarp_fragments_01_text.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 28, 2013, 06:11:21 PM
Abstinence from fleshly foods without love is profitless. Better therefore are those who fast without great display, and do not beyond measure abstain from what God has created, but anxiously preserve a clean heart within (from which they know is the issue of life), than those who refuse to eat flesh or delight themselves in worldly foods, who ride not in vehicles and on horseback, and because of these things regard themselves as superior to others. To these men death enters by the windows of pride.

-- St. Gildas the Wise (d. c. 570), Fragments From Lost Letters (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/gildas_04_letters.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 30, 2013, 06:10:40 PM
 And being raised from the dead and exalted at the Father's right hand, He awaits the time appointed by the Father for the judgment, when all enemies shall be put under Him. Now the enemies are all those who were found in apostasy, angels and archangels and powers and thrones, who despised the truth. And the prophet David himself says thus: The Lord said unto my Lord, 'Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.' (Ps. 110:1) And that He ascended thither, whence He had come down, David says: From the end of heaven is his going forth, and his cessation even at the end of heaven. Then he signifies his judgment: 'And there is none that shall be hid from his heat.' (Ps. 19:6)

-- St. Irenaeus (d. 202), Proof of the Apostolic Preaching (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/irenaeus_02_proof.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 31, 2013, 03:33:46 PM
As we are dealing with numbers, and every number has among real existences a certain significance, of which the Creator of the universe made full use as well in the general scheme as in the arrangement of the details, we must give good heed, and with the help of the Scriptures trace their meaning, and the meaning of each of them. Nor must we fail to observe that not without reason the canonical books are twenty-two, according to the Hebrew tradition, the same in number as the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. For as the twenty-two letters may be regarded as an introduction to the wisdom and the Divine doctrines given to men in those Characters, so the twenty-two inspired books are an alphabet of the wisdom of God and an introduction to the knowledge of realities.

-- Origen, Philocalia, 3.1 (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/origen_philocalia_02_text.htm#C3))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 01, 2013, 06:40:32 PM
The demons cunningly withdraw for a time in the hope that we will cease to guard our heart, thinking we have now attained peace; then they suddenly attack our unhappy soul and seize it like a sparrow. Gaining possession of it, they drag it down mercilessly into all kinds of sin, worse than those which we have already committed and for which we have asked forgiveness. Let us stand, therefore, with fear of God and keep guard over our heart, practicing the virtues which check the wickedness of our enemies.

-- St. Isaiah the Solitary (d. c. 491), On Guarding the Intellect: Twenty-Seven Texts, 11
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 03, 2013, 01:41:55 AM
There are some, indeed, who believe that those who do not abandon the name of Christ, and who are baptized in his laver in the Church, who are not cut off from it by schism or heresy, who may then live in sins however great, not washing them away by repentance, nor redeeming them by alms--and who obstinately persevere in them to life's last day--even these will still be saved, "though as by fire." They believe that such people will be punished by fire, prolonged in proportion to their sins, but still not eternal. But those who believe thus, and still are Catholics, are deceived, as it seems to me, by a kind of merely human benevolence. For the divine Scripture, when consulted, answers differently. Moreover, I have written a book about this question, entitled Faith and Works, in which, with God's help, I have shown as best I could that, according to Holy Scripture, the faith that saves is the faith that the apostle Paul adequately describes when he says, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but the faith which works through love." But if faith works evil and not good, then without doubt, according to the apostle James "it is dead in itself." He then goes on to say, "If a man says he has faith, yet has not works, can his faith be enough to save him?"

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Enchiridion, 18 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/augustine_enchiridion_02_trans.htm#C18)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 06, 2013, 12:22:23 PM
The books of Origen have been read before a council of bishops and unanimously condemned. The following are his chief errors, mainly found in the περὶ ᾿Αρχῶν .

1. The Son compared with us is truth, but compared with the Father he is falsehood.

2. Christ's kingdom will one day come to an end.

3. We ought to pray to the Father alone, not to the Son.

4. Our bodies after the resurrection will be corruptible and mortal.

5. There is nothing perfect even in heaven; the angels themselves are faulty, and some of them feed on the Jewish sacrifices.

6. The stars are conscious of their own movements, and the demons know the future by their courses.

7. Magic, if real, is not evil.

8. Christ suffered once for men; he will suffer again for the demons.

-- St. Theophilus (d. 412), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001092.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 08, 2013, 07:50:56 PM
For that our soul doth live after the death of the body, reason doth teach us, assisted and holpen with faith: for almighty God created three kinds of spirits having life. One altogether spiritual without body: another with a body, but yet which dieth not with the body: the third that which is both joined with the body, and also together with the body doth die. The spirits that have no bodies be the Angels: they that have bodies but die not with them, be the souls of men: those |180 that have bodies and die together with them, be the souls of cattle and brute beasts. Man, therefore, as he is created in the middle state,2 inferior to Angels and superior to beasts, so doth he participate of both: having immortality of soul with the Angels, and mortality of body with beasts, until the day of doom: for then the glory of the resurrection shall take away and consume the mortality of the body: for being then reunited to the soul, it shall be preserved for ever: as the soul joined to the body is preserved for God. Neither shall the bodies of the damned, lying in torments, ever perfectly perish: for though they always decay, yet for ever shall they continue: and as they sinned both with soul and body, so living always in body and soul, they shall always die without end.

-- St. Gregory the Dialogist (d. 604), Dialogues, 4.3 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/gregory_04_dialogues_book4.htm#C3)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on February 09, 2013, 06:06:41 AM
Even to our own children, when they are crying their heart out, as the saying goes, we are not in the habit of telling fabulous stories to soothe them; for we shrink from fostering in the children the atheism proclaimed by these men [the Greek philosophers], who, though wise in their own conceit, have no more knowledge of the truth than infants.

[...]

I long for the Lord of the winds, the Lord of fire, the Creator of the world, He who gives light to the sun. I seek for God Himself, not for the works of God. Whom am I to take from you as fellow worker in the search? For we do not altogether despair of you.

"Plato," if you like. How, then, Plato, must we trace out God? "It is a hard task to find the Father and Maker of this universe, and when you have found Him, it is impossible to declare Him to all. (Timaeus 28c (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text;jsessionid=85659FE1DA4F4796EEC7D40C478B9E87?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0179%3Atext%3DTim.%3Asection%3D28c))" Why, pray, in God's name, why? "Because He can in no way be described. (Epistles VII, 341C (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0163%3Aletter%3D7%3Asection%3D341c))" Well done, Plato, you have hit the truth.

-- Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks VI
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 10, 2013, 07:28:06 PM
As there is a harsh and evil zeal which separateth from God and leadeth to hell, so there is a virtuous zeal which separateth from vice and leadeth to God and life everlasting. Let the monks, therefore, practice this zeal with most ardent love; namely, that in honor they forerun one another (cf Rom 12:10). Let them bear their infirmities, whether of body or mind, with the utmost patience; let them vie with one another in obedience. Let no one follow what he thinketh useful to himself, but rather to another. Let them practice fraternal charity with a chaste love. Let them fear God and love their Abbot with sincere and humble affection; let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ, and my He lead us all together to life everlasting.

-- St. Benedict of Nursia (d. 547), Holy Rule, 72 (Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/benedict/rule2/files/rule2.html#ch72))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 12, 2013, 03:02:08 PM
The entire worth of heavenly mysteries is not known indiscriminately and randomly, nor is the sacred set before dogs nor pearls before swine (Matt. 7:6), because, in truth, like the silver-plated dove whose posterior parts shine with the radiance of gold (Ps. 67:14), so the divine scriptures first shine like silver but glow like gold in their hidden parts. Rightly it is so managed, because the purity of eloquence is hidden altogether from the promiscuous eyes of the crowd, as if it were covered by a garment of modesty. And so, the divine is taken care of by the best stewardship; the scriptures themselves protect the heavenly mysteries by cloaking them, just as divinity itself works in its own mysterious way. Therefore, when in sacred books, one finds the eyes of the Lord, the neck of the Lord, the feet, and even the long-reaching arms of the Lord, written of--that God, God who is invisible, incomprehensible, eternally the same, should be limited in body is far from the universal faith of the church--is sought, just as He is disclosed, through the Holy Spirit, in the exposition of the image.

-- St. Eucherius of Lyons (d. c. 449), Letter to Veranus (Source (http://www.voskrese.info/spl/lyonsintro.html))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 14, 2013, 06:48:17 AM
I may be permitted at the end of this little treatise to ask those who do not know the extent of their possessions, who adorn their homes with marble, who string house to house and field to field, what did this old man in his nakedness ever lack? Your drinking vessels are of precious stones; he satisfied his thirst with the hollow of his hand. Your tunics are of wrought gold; he had not the raiment of the meanest of your slaves. But on the other hand, poor though he was, Paradise is open to him; you with all your gold will be received into Gehenna. He though naked yet kept the robe of Christ; you, clad in your silks, have lost the vesture of Christ. Paul lies covered with worthless dust, but will rise again to glory; over you are raised costly tombs, but both you and your wealth are doomed to the burning. Have a care, I pray you, at least have a care for the riches you love. Why are even the grave-clothes of your dead made of gold? Why does not your vaunting cease even amid mourning and tears? Cannot the carcases of rich men decay except in silk?

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), The life of Paul the First Hermit (Source (http://www.voskrese.info/spl/jer-paul.html))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 16, 2013, 01:08:36 PM
And now you are offering me Fabiola, praised by Christians, regarded as miraculous even by the heathen, mourned by the poor, and lamented by the monks she used to cherish. Where should I begin? Anything I might say is overshadowed by what I might say next. Shall I praise her fasting? Her almsgiving was greater. Should I extol her humility? It was exceeded by the ardour of her faith. I could mention her search for lowliness, and her rejection of silken robes in favour of the kind of dress worn by the lower classes; but it is a much bigger thing to change your attitude to life than it is to change your clothing. It is much more difficult to renounce an inner feeling of superiority than to go without gold and jewels, for once we have renounced these things we are often so fearful of this kind of lowliness, however glorious it might be, that we then try to flaunt our poverty in order to make a public impression. A hidden virtue, however, cherished secretly in our own conscience, seeks no judge except God.

-- The Life of St. Fabiola, Virgin and Martyr (d. c. 399), Source (http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page50.html)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 17, 2013, 10:28:32 AM
A brother came to see Abba Poemen and said to him, "Abba, I have many thoughts and they put me in danger."  The old man led him outside and said to him, "Expand your chest and do not breathe in."  He said, "I cannot do that." Then the old man said to him, "If you cannot do that, no more can you prevent thoughts from arising, but you can resist them."

-- Abba Poemen (d. c. 450), Sayings of the Desert Fathers (Source (http://www29.homepage.villanova.edu/christopher.haas/saying%20of%20the%20desert%20fathers.html))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Cyrillic on February 17, 2013, 10:42:46 AM
A certain king was grieved and exceeding sad at heart, because that he had no male issue, deeming this no small misfortune. While he was in this condition, there was born to him a son, and the king's soul was filled with joy thereat. Then they that were learned amongst his physicians told him that, if for the first twelve years the boy saw the sun or fire, he should entirely lose his sight, for this was proved by the condition of his eyes. Hearing this, the king, they say, caused a little house, full of dark chambers, to be hewn out of the rock, and therein enclosed his child together with the men that nursed him, and, until the twelve years were past, never suffered him to see the least ray of light.

 After the fulfilment of the twelve years, the king brought forth from his little house his son that had never seen a single object, and ordered his waiting men to show the boy everything after his kind; men in one place, women in another; elsewhere gold and silver; in another place, pearls and precious stones, fine and ornamental vestments, splendid chariots with horses from the royal stables, with golden bridles and purple caparisons, mounted by armed soldiers; also droves of oxen and flocks of sheep.

In brief, row after row, they showed the boy everything. Now, as he asked what each ox these was called, the king's esquires and guards made known unto him each by name: but, when he desired to learn what women were called, the king's spearman, they say, wittily replied that they were called, "Devils that deceive men." But the boy's heart was smitten with the love of these above all the rest. So, when they had gone round everywhere and brought him again unto the king, the king asked, which of all these sights had pleased him most. "What," answered the boy, "but the Devils that deceive men?

-- St. John Damascene, Barlaam and Joasaph, XXX (source (http://omacl.org/Barlaam/parts26-30.html))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 18, 2013, 10:06:19 PM
O marvellous! A sun is made, and no counsel precedes; a heaven likewise; and to these no single thing in creation is equal. So great a wonder is formed by a word alone, and the saying indicates neither when, nor how, nor any such detail. So too in all particular cases, the æther, the stars, the intermediate air, the sea, the earth, the animals, the plants—all are brought into being with a word, while only to the making of man does the Maker of all draw near with circumspection, so as to prepare beforehand for him material for his formation, and to liken his form to an archetypal beauty, and, setting before him a mark for which he is to come into being, to make for him a nature appropriate and allied to the operations, and suitable for the object in hand.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. c. 395), On the Making of Man, 3

(In the proper thread this time!)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 19, 2013, 03:54:15 PM
Man cannot drive away impassioned thoughts unless he watches over his desire and incensive power. He destroys desire through fasting, vigils and sleeping on the ground, and he tames his incensive power through longsuffering, forbearance, forgiveness and acts of compassion. For with these two passions are connected almost all the demonic thoughts which lead the intellect to disaster and perdition. It is impossible to overcome these passions unless we can rise above attachment to food and possessions, to self-esteem and even to our very body, because it is through the body that the demons often attempt to attack us. It is essential, then, to imitate people who are in danger at sea and throw things overboard because of the violence of the winds and the threatening waves. But here we must be very careful in case we cast things overboard just to be seen doing so by men. For then we shall get the reward we want; but we shall suffer another shipwreck, worse than the first, blown off our course by the contrary wind of the demon of self-esteem.

-- Evagrius the Solitary (d. 399), Texts on Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts, 3
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 24, 2013, 09:02:20 AM
The Christians, then, trace the beginning of their religion from Jesus the Messiah; and he is named the Son of God Most High. And it is said that God came down from heaven, and from a Hebrew virgin assumed and clothed himself with flesh; and the Son of God lived in a daughter of man. This is taught in the gospel, as it is called, which a short time ago was preached among them; and you also if you will read therein, may perceive the power which belongs to it. This Jesus, then, was born of the race of the Hebrews; and he had twelve disciples in order that the purpose of his incarnation might in time be accomplished. But he himself was pierced by the Jews, and he died and was buried; and they say that after three days he rose and ascended to heaven. Thereupon these twelve disciples went forth throughout the known parts of the world, and kept showing his greatness with all modesty and uprightness. And hence also those of the present day who believe that preaching are called Christians, and they are become famous.

-- St. Aristides the Athenian (d. mid-2nd century), The Apology 2 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/aristides_02_trans.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 23, 2013, 12:29:34 AM
So have I learned not only from the apostles and prophets but also from the interpreters of their writings, Ignatius, Eustathius, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory, John, and the rest of the lights of the world; and before these from the holy Fathers in council at Nicæa, whose confession of the faith I preserve in its integrity, like an ancestral inheritance, styling corrupt and enemies of the truth all who dare to transgress its decrees.

-- St. Theodoret of Cyrus (d. c. 457), Letter 89 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2707089.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 24, 2013, 03:16:34 AM
To sum up briefly, he has given in the Hypotyposes  abridged accounts of all canonical Scripture, not omitting the disputed books,—I refer to Jude and the other Catholic epistles, and Barnabas  and the so-called Apocalypse of Peter. He says that the Epistle to the Hebrews  is the work of Paul, and that it was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke translated it carefully and published it for the Greeks, and hence the same style of expression is found in this epistle and in the Acts. But he says that the words, Paul the Apostle, were probably not prefixed, because, in sending it to the Hebrews, who were prejudiced and suspicious of him, he wisely did not wish to repel them at the very beginning by giving his name.

-- Eusebius (d. c. 340), Ecclesiastical History, 6.14.1-3
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 24, 2013, 10:03:44 PM
The wise, when: sick, fear not the physician, not even when about to cut, not even when about to burn them in the secret parts of the body. We have heard of some who, not ashamed even as to parts of the body, withdrawn by modesty from sight, have endured the pains of the knife and of cautery, and even of the corrosive powder. And how great then is the endurance which men have shewn? Shall the sinner fear? Shall the sinner blush to purchase everlasting life by present shame? And withdraw his ill-concealed wounds from the Lord when He stretcheth forth His Hands? And hath he any thing whereat to blush before the priest, who hath injured the Lord? Or is it better that he should thus be lost, lest thou, shrinking through shame, shouldest without shame perish? By not giving way to shame, thou wouldest gain more through its loss, thou, for whom it were better to perish for thyself. But if ye are ashamed that the eyes of your brethren should see, fear not those who are partners in your misfortune. No body is glad at the suffering of its own members; it grieves with them, and labours with them for a remedy. In one and two is the Church, and in the Church is Christ. And he therefore, who hides not his sins from the brethren, assisted by the tears of the Church, is absolved by Christ.

-- St. Pacian of Barcelona (d. 391), Treatise of the Exhortation Unto Penance, 15 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/pacian_4_paraenesis.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 16, 2013, 01:07:52 AM
Let us not then weary when we hear Scriptures which we do not understand; but let it be unto us according to our faith, by which we believe that all Scripture being inspired by God is profitable. For as regards these Scriptures, you must admit one of two things: either that they are not inspired because they are not profitable, as an unbeliever might suppose; or, as a believer, you must allow that because they are inspired they are profitable.

-- Origen (d. c. 254), Philocalia, 12.2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 25, 2013, 08:08:05 PM
God is the 'sun of justice' (Mal. 3:20), as it is written, who shines rays of goodness on simply everyone. The soul develops according to its free will into either wax because of its love for God or into mud because of its love of matter. Thus just as by nature the mud is dried out by the sun and the wax is automatically softened, so also every soul which loves matter and the world and has fixed its mind far from God is hardened as mud according to its free will and by itself advances to its perdition, as did Pharaoh. However, every soul which loves God is softened as wax, and receiving divine impressions and characteristics it becomes 'the dwelling place of God in the spirit.' (Eph. 2:22)

-- St. Maximos the Confessor (d. 662), Chapters on Knowledge, 1, 12
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2013, 09:03:35 AM
This being He placed in Paradise, whatever the Paradise may have been, having honoured him with the gift of Free Will (in order that God might belong to him as the result of his choice, no less than to Him who had implanted the seeds of it), to till the immortal plants, by which is meant perhaps the Divine Conceptions, both the simpler and the more perfect; naked in his simplicity and inartificial life, and without any covering or screen; for it was fitting that he who was from the beginning should be such. Also He gave him a Law, as a material for his Free Will to act upon. This Law was a Commandment as to what plants he might partake of, and which one he might not touch. This latter was the Tree of Knowledge; not, however, because it was evil from the beginning when planted; nor was it forbidden because God grudged it to us...Let not the enemies of God wag their tongues in that direction, or imitate the Serpent...But it would have been good if partaken of at the proper time, for the tree was, according to my theory, Contemplation, upon which it is only safe for those who have reached maturity of habit to enter; but which is not good for those who are still somewhat simple and greedy in their habit; just as solid food is not good for those who are yet tender, and have need of milk

-- St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 38.12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310238.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 26, 2013, 04:21:42 PM
If a man should come here with earnestness--even though he does not read the Scriptures at home--and if he pays attention to what is said here, within the space of even one year he will be able to  obtain  a  considerable  acquaintance  with  them. For we do not read these Scriptures today, and tomorrow others that are quite different, but always the same section and consecutively. However, in spite of this, many have such an apathetic attitude that after such reading they do not even know the names of the books. And they are not ashamed, nor do they shudder with dread, because they have come so carelessly to the hearing of the word of God. On the other hand, if a musician, or a dancer, or anyone else connected with the theater should summon them to the city, they all hurry eagerly, and thank the one who invited them, and spend an entire half-day with their attention fixed on the performer exclusively. Yet when God addresses us through the prophets and apostles, we yawn, we are bored, we become drowsy.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 58 On John
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 27, 2013, 04:49:38 PM
Accordingly it is patience which is both subsequent and antecedent to faith. In short, Abraham believed God, and was accredited by Him with righteousness;  but it was patience which proved his faith, when he was bidden to immolate his son, with a view to (I would not say the temptation, but) the typical attestation of his faith. But God knew whom He had accredited with righteousness.  So heavy a precept, the perfect execution whereof was not even pleasing to the Lord, he patiently both heard, and (if God had willed) would have fulfilled. Deservedly then was he “blessed,” because he was “faithful;” deservedly “faithful,” because “patient.”

-- Tertullian (d. c. 225), Of Patience, 6 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0325.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 29, 2013, 11:34:15 PM
We too indeed, if we finish our course, shall be equal to the angels of God; but now when we chafe against the wicked, we are as yet but men. And we ought now to give ear to the words, “Wherefore let him that thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”  For do ye think, my Brethren, that these tares we read of do not get up into this  seat? Think ye that they are all below, and none above up here? God grant we may not be so. “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you.”  I tell you of a truth, my Beloved, even in these high seats there is both wheat, and tares, and among the laity there is wheat, and tares. Let the good tolerate the bad; let the bad change themselves, and imitate the good. Let us all, if it may be so, attain to God; let us all through His mercy escape the evil of this world. Let us seek after good days, for we are now in evil days; but in the evil days let us not blaspheme, that so we may be able to arrive at the good days.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Sermons on the New Testament, Sermon 23, 4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/160323.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 31, 2013, 04:24:46 AM
“That they are neither cold nor hot.” (Rev. 3:15) That is, neither unbelieving nor believing, for they are all things to all men. And because he who is neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, gives nausea, He says: “I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (Rev. 3:16) Although nausea is hateful, still it hurts no one; so also is it with men of this kind when they have been cast forth. But because there is time of repentance, He says: “I persuade you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire.” (Rev. 3:18) That is, that in whatever manner you can, you should suffer for the Lord's name tribulations and passions. "And anoint your eyes with eye-salve.” (Rev. 3:18) That what you gladly know by the Scripture, you should strive also to do the work of the same. And because, if in these ways men return out of great destruction to great repentance, they are not only useful to themselves, but they are able also to be of advantage to many, He promised them no small reward--to sit, namely, on the throne of judgment.

-- Victorinus of Pettau (d. c. 303), Commentary on the Apocalypse (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0712.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 31, 2013, 09:31:23 PM
Yet more clearly and concisely, let me say, do not you call us to account for our loftier word (for envy has nothing to do with this ascent), and we will not find fault with what you have been able to attain, until by another road you are brought up to the same resting place. For we are not seeking victory, but to gain brethren, by whose separation from us we are torn. This we concede to you in whom we do find something of vital truth, who are sound as to the Son. We admire your life, but we do not altogether approve your doctrine. You who have the things of the Spirit, receive Himself in addition, that you may not only strive, but strive lawfully, which is the condition of your crown.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 391), Oration 41.7-8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 06, 2013, 06:47:12 AM
He also said, 'Do not be always wanting everything to turn out as you think it should, but rather as God pleases, then you will be
undisturbed and thankful in your prayer.'


-- Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Abba Nilus, 7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 10, 2013, 09:30:22 AM
Now the Lord declares, “No servant can serve two masters.”  If we desire, then, to serve both God and mammon, it will be unprofitable for us. “For what will it profit if a man gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  This world and the next are two enemies. The one urges  to adultery and corruption, avarice and deceit; the other bids farewell to these things. We cannot, therefore, be the friends of both; and it behooves us, by renouncing the one, to make sure  of the other. Let us reckon  that it is better to hate the things present, since they are trifling, and transient, and corruptible; and to love those [which are to come,] as being good and incorruptible. For if we do the will of Christ, we shall find rest; otherwise, nothing shall deliver us from eternal punishment, if we disobey His commandments. For thus also says the Scripture in Ezekiel, “If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they should not deliver their children in captivity.”  Now, if men so eminently righteous are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children, how  can we hope to enter into the royal residence  of God unless we keep our baptism holy and undefiled? Or who shall be our advocate, unless we be found possessed of works of holiness and righteousness?

-- Pseudo-Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians, 6 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1011.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2013, 07:52:07 PM
But if any one of those for whom we entreat God be hindered by some obstacle and lose the benefit of immediate absolution, and before he attain to the remedies appointed, end his days in the course of nature, he will not be able when stripped of the flesh to gain that which when yet in the body he did not receive. And there will be no need for us to weigh the merits and acts of those who have thus died, seeing that the Lord our God, whose judgments cannot be found out, has reserved for His own decision that which our priestly ministry could not complete: for He wishes His power to be so feared that this fear may benefit all, and every one may dread that which happens to the lukewarm or careless. For it is most expedient and essential that the guilt of sins should be loosed by priestly supplication before the last day of life.

-- Pope St. Leo the Great (d. 461), Letter 108.3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3604108.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2013, 06:02:20 AM
"When I am in the world, I am the Light of the world." (John 9:5) Shall we then think that Christ is now not at all in the world, or do we believe that He, having ascended to heaven after His restoration to life from the dead, no longer dwells among those in this present life? And yet being very God, He fills and tends not only the heavens and what is beyond the firmament, but also the world which we inhabit. And just as while He associated in the flesh with men, He was not absent from heaven, so if we think rightly we shall hold the opinion that even though He is out of the world as regards the flesh, His Divine and ineffable Nature is yet no less present among those who dwell in the world. Yea, it overrules the universe, being absent from nothing that exists, neither having abandoned anything, but present everywhere in all things; and, filling all the visible universe and whatever may be conceived of as beyond it, is fully contained by Itself alone.

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444), Commentary on the Gospel of John, 6 (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_on_john_06_book6.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2013, 08:46:29 PM
We Christians therefore hold the mystery not in the wisdom of Greek arguments, but in the power of faith richly supplied to us by God through Jesus Christ. And to show that this statement is true, behold now, without having learned letters, we believe in God, knowing through His works His providence over all things. And to show that our faith is effective, so now we are supported by faith in Christ, but you by professional logomachies. The portents of the idols among you are being done away, but our faith is extending everywhere. You by your arguments and quibbles have converted none from Christianity to Paganism. We, teaching the faith on Christ, expose your superstition, since all recognise that Christ is God and the Son of God. You by your eloquence do not hinder the teaching of Christ. But we by the mention of Christ crucified put all demons to flight, whom you fear as if they were gods. Where the sign of the Cross is , magic is weak and witchcraft has no strength.

-- St. Anthony the Great (d. 356)

Found in: St. Athanasius, Life of St. Anthony, 78 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2811.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 17, 2013, 12:27:37 AM
I have diligently examined the whole force of the suggestions sent to your most pious Fortitude, as well by Agatho, the most holy Pope of Old  Rome, as by his synod, and I have scrutinized the works of the holy and approved Fathers, which are laid up in my venerable patriarchate, and I have found that all the testimonies of the holy and accepted Fathers, which are contained in those suggestions agree with, and in no particular differ from, the holy and accepted Fathers. Therefore I give my submission to them and thus I profess and believe.

-- Sixth Ecumenical Council (680), Session VIII (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3813.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 19, 2013, 07:55:41 AM
In truth, our evil comes out of our want of resemblance to God, and our ignorance of Him; and, on the other hand, our great good consists in our resemblance to Him. And, therefore, our conversion and faith in the Being who is incorruptible and divine, seems to be truly our proper good, and ignorance and disregard of Him our evil; if, at least, those things which are produced in us and of us, being the evil effects of sin, are to be considered ours.

-- St. Methodius of Olympus (d. c. 311), Fragments (Against Porphyry) (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0626.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 17, 2013, 12:15:05 PM
Let us, then, submit ourselves to God, and not be subject to sin, and when we ponder the remembrance of our offenses, let us blush as though at some disgrace, and not speak of them as a glory to us, as some boast of overcoming modesty, or putting down the feeling of justice. Let our conversion be such, that we who did not know God may now ourselves declare Him to others, that the Lord, moved by such a conversion on our part, may answer to us: “Ephraim is from youth a dear son, a pleasant child, for since My words are concerning him, I will verily remember him, therefore have I hastened to be over him; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.”

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Concerning Repentance, 2.5 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34062.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 18, 2013, 10:06:51 PM
The question which you have put seems to me to do honour to chastity, and to demand a kind reply. Chastity, in respect of which I see that the majority of men are ill-disposed, and that their laws are unequal and irregular. For what was the reason why they restrained the woman, but indulged the man, and that a woman who practises evil against her husband's bed is an adulteress, and the penalties of the law for this are very severe; but if the husband commits fornication against his wife, he has no account to give? I do not accept this legislation; I do not approve this custom. They who made the Law were men, and therefore their legislation is hard on women, since they have placed children also under the authority of their fathers, while leaving the weaker sex uncared for. God does not so; but says Honour your father and your mother, which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with you; and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death. Similarly He gave honour to good and punishment to evil. And, The blessing of a father strengthens the houses of children, but the curse of a mother uproots the foundations. (Sir. 3:11) See the equality of the legislation. There is one Maker of man and woman; one debt is owed by children to both their parents.

How then do you demand Chastity, while thou dost not yourself observe it? How do you demand that which thou dost not give? How, though you are equally a body, do you legislate unequally? If you enquire into the worse— The Woman Sinned, and so did Adam. (Gen. 3:6) The serpent deceived them both; and one was not found to be the stronger and the other the weaker. But do you consider the better? Christ saves both by His Passion. Was He made flesh for the Man? So He was also for the woman. Did He die for the Man? The Woman also is saved by His death. He is called of the seed of David; (Rom. 1:3) and so perhaps you think the Man is honoured; but He is born of a Virgin, and this is on the Woman's side. They two, He says, shall be one Flesh; so let the one flesh have equal honour.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 391), Oration 37.6-7 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310237.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 19, 2013, 06:16:58 PM
The old man was asked, 'What is the good of the fasts and watchings which a man imposes on himself?' and he replied, 'They make the soul humble. For it is written, "Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins." (Ps.25.18) So if the soul gives itself all this hardship, God will have mercy on it.'

-- Abba Moses (d. 405), Instructions sent to Abba Poemen, 5  (Sayings of the Desert Fathers, p. 142)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 20, 2013, 11:17:01 AM
Humility consists, not in condemning our conscience, but in recognizing God’s grace and compassion.

-- St. Mark the Monk (d. c. 5th century), On Those who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works: Two Hundred Twenty Six Texts, 111
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 22, 2013, 10:51:27 PM
Your rock is your deed, your rock is your mind. Upon this rock your house is built. Your rock is your faith, and faith is the foundation of the Church. If you are a rock, you will be in the Church, because the Church is on a rock. If you are in the Church the gates of hell will not prevail against you.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Commentary on Luke, 6.98
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 24, 2013, 02:34:48 AM
He also said, 'Obedience is the best ornament of the monk. He who has acquired it will be heard by God, and he will stand beside
the crucified with confidence, for the crucified Lord became obedient unto death.'

-- Sayings of the Desert Fathers, Abba Hyperechius, 8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 26, 2013, 01:53:04 AM
Well, they say, if then the flesh rise, it must rise the same as it falls; so that if it die with one eye, it must rise one-eyed; if lame, lame; if defective in any part of the body, in this part the man must rise deficient. How truly blinded are they in the eyes of their hearts! For they have not seen on the earth blind men seeing again, and the lame walking by His word. All things which the Saviour did, He did in the first place in order that what was spoken concerning Him in the prophets might be fulfilled, “that the blind should receive sight, and the deaf hear,” (Isa. 35:5) and so on; but also to induce the belief that in the resurrection the flesh shall rise entire. For if on earth He healed the sicknesses of the flesh, and made the body whole, much more will He do this in the resurrection, so that the flesh shall rise perfect and entire. In this manner, then, shall those dreaded difficulties of theirs be healed.

-- St. Justin Martyr (d. c. 165), On the Resurrection, 4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0131.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 01, 2013, 10:03:09 AM
But in one of those times a certain man who was a counsellor seized the power that he might govern the city of Antioch. And he was a man evil and wicked, who oppressed and plundered many, but especially those who dyed skins red. He imposed upon them three times as much taxes as they had given in any year. So they came and informed the Saint; now they were about three hundred men; and they fell down before him. And when the Saint knew, he sent word to him, "This evil should not come through thee, that thou shouldst impose this burden upon these poor people and they should be required to bear it for ever. But be merciful to them and tax them as they were formerly accustomed to be taxed." But he in his pride and stubbornness made answer to the one who was sent to him, "Go say to Simeon who sent thee, Give them thyself some of the gold which thou hast collected. For I, if I, seize them, will imprison them, and not a thing will be left to them.''

And when the saint learned these things, he lifted his eyes to heaven and said, "Lord, thou knowest that from the day I became a monk I have not taken for myself a coin, and do not possess a thing except these skins with which I am clad; and lo, before God I am giving an account. But as for those who are thinking these things about me, Lord, forgive them." After three days the appointed judgment overtook the wicked one, and an incurable disease devoured him. His belly swelled up like a wineskin, even while those poor people were in the mandra. Being in anguish, he wrote letters to the priests of some villages of his, that they should go up to beseech the Blessed One on his behalf. He also spent much money upon drugs and physicians, but no one could give him any help.

And when those priests went up, and besought him much in his  behalf, the Saint said to them, "Take some of this water and go. If God knows that when he is healed he will turn away from his evil deeds, mercy will be shown him and he will recover. But if he would continue in his wickedness, he will never see this water at all."' Taking the water they went, and as they arrived at the door of his dwelling, he asked that he might be turned over in his bed, whereupon on a sudden his belly burst open, and his bowels gushed out so that he died. So he did not see that water at all, according to the word of the Saint. And there was fear upon many, and the oppressed were delivered, and our Lord was glorified through his worshipper.

-- Concerning St. Simeon Stylites (d. 459), Source (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/simeon_stylites_vita_01_trans.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 04, 2013, 03:20:56 AM
But a man who states what God is not without going on to say what He is, acts much in the same way as one would who when asked how many twice five make, should answer, “Not two, nor three, nor four, nor five, nor twenty, nor thirty, nor in short any number below ten, nor any multiple of ten;” but would not answer “ten,” nor settle the mind of his questioner upon the firm ground of the answer. For it is much easier, and more concise to show what a thing is not from what it is, than to demonstrate what it is by stripping it of what it is not. And this surely is evident to every one.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 391), Oration 28.9 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310228.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 06, 2013, 01:29:02 AM
And pray without ceasing in behalf of other men. For there is in them hope of repentance that they  may attain to God. See,  then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way. Be meek in response to their wrath, humble in opposition to their boasting: to their blasphemies return  your prayers; in contrast to their error, be steadfast (Col. 1:23) in the faith; and for their cruelty, manifest your gentleness. While we take care not to imitate their conduct, let us be found their brethren in all true kindness; and let us seek to be followers of the Lord (who ever more unjustly treated, more destitute, more condemned?), that so no plant of the devil may be found in you, but you may remain in all holiness and sobriety in Jesus Christ, both with respect to the flesh and spirit.

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. c. 107), Epistle to the Ephesians, 10 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0104.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 16, 2013, 06:47:19 AM
Surely it is altogether childish, and like a babe who must needs be fed on milk, to be ignorant of the great mystery of our salvation; inasmuch as, in accordance with the gradual progress of our education, while being brought to perfection in our training for godliness,  we were first taught elementary and easier lessons, suited to our intelligence, while the Dispenser of our lots was ever leading us up, by gradually accustoming us, like eyes brought up in the dark, to the great light of truth. For He spares our weakness, and in the depth of the riches (Rom. 11:33) of His wisdom, and the inscrutable judgments of His intelligence, used this gentle treatment, fitted for our needs, gradually accustoming us to see first the shadows of objects, and to look at the sun in water, to save us from dashing against the spectacle of pure unadulterated light, and being blinded. Just so the Law, having a shadow of things to come, and the typical teaching of the prophets, which is a dark utterance of the truth, have been devised means to train the eyes of the heart, in that hence the transition to the wisdom hidden in mystery (1 Cor. 2:7) will be made easy.

-- St. Basil of Caesarea (d. 379), On the Holy Spirit, 14 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3203.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 17, 2013, 01:17:22 PM
'Destroy them by Your truth.' (Ps. 54:5) Truth confounds falsehood, and lying is destroyed by truth. We have shown that the whole of the foregoing prayer is the utterance of that human nature in which the Son of God was born; so here it is the voice of human nature calling upon God the Father to destroy His enemies in His truth. What this truth is, stands beyond doubt; it is of course He Who said: 'I am the Life, the Way, the Truth.' (John 14:6) And the enemies were destroyed by the truth when, for all their attempts to win Christ's condemnation by false witness, they heard that He was risen from the dead and had to admit that He had resumed His glory in all the reality of Godhead.

-- St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 368), Commentary on Psalm 54 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3303053.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 18, 2013, 01:11:26 PM
Abba Poemen said that Abba John said that the saints are like a group of trees, each bearing different fruit, but watered from the same source. The practices of one saint differ from those of another, but it is the same Spirit that works in all of them.

-- St. John Kolobos (d. c. 405), Sayings of the Desert Fathers (p. 95)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 20, 2014, 05:49:43 PM
On the other hand the patient are to be admonished that they grieve not inwardly for what they bear outwardly, lest they spoil with the infection of malice within a sacrifice of so great value which without they offer whole; and lest the sin of their grieving, not perceived by men, but yet seen as sin under the divine scrutiny, be made so much the worse as it claims to itself the fair show of virtue before men. The patient therefore should be told to study to love those whom they must needs bear with; lest, if love follow not patience, the virtue exhibited be turned to a worse fault of hatred. Whence Paul, when he said, 'charity is patient,' immediately added, 'is kind' (1 Cor. 13:4); showing certainly that those whom in patience she bears with in kindness also she ceases not to love.

-- St. Gregory the Dialogist (d. 604), Pastoral Rule, 3.9 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/36013.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 22, 2014, 12:54:14 AM
Let us pray, therefore, and implore of His mercy, that we may live blameless in love, free from all human partialities for one above another. All the generations from Adam even unto this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God, have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be made manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of Christ.

-- St. Clement of Rome (d. c. 96), First Epistle to the Corinthians, 50 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 13, 2014, 01:58:38 AM
The Holy Spirit speaks in the sacred Scriptures, and says, “By almsgiving and faith sins are purged.” (cf. Prov. 16:6) Not assuredly those sins which had been previously contracted, for those are purged by the blood and sanctification of Christ. Moreover, He says again, “As water extinguishes fire, so almsgiving quenches sin.” (Sir. 3:30) Here also it is shown and proved, that as in the layer of saving water the fire of Gehenna is extinguished, so by almsgiving and works of righteousness the flame of sins is subdued. And because in baptism remission of sins is granted once for all, constant and ceaseless labour, following the likeness of baptism, once again bestows the mercy of God. The Lord teaches this also in the Gospel.

-- St. Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258), Treatise 8: On Works and Alms, 2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 21, 2014, 02:45:23 AM
How the Emperor Theodosius received intelligence of what was done in an incredibly short space of time, and how he was quickly informed of events taking place far away, I shall attempt to explain. For he had the good fortune to possess among his subjects a man endowed with extraordinary energy both of body and mind, named Palladius; who rode so vigorously that he would reach the frontiers of the Roman and Persian dominions in three days,  and again return to Constantinople in as many more. The same individual traversed other parts of the world on missions from the emperor with equal celerity: so that an eloquent man once said not unaptly, 'This man by his speed proves the vast expanse of the Roman Empire to be little.' The king of the Persians himself was astonished at the expeditious feats which were related to him of this courier: but we must be content with the above details concerning him.

-- Socrates of Constantinople (d. mid-4th century), Church History, 7.19 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26017.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2014, 08:38:34 AM
For always and without intermission it is a duty to pray, both for him who is in affliction, and him who is in dangers, and him who is in prosperity--for him who is in relief and much prosperity, that these may remain unmoved and without vicissitude, and may never change; and for him who is in affliction and his many dangers, that he may see some favourable change brought about to him, and be transported into a calm of consolation. Are you in a calm? Then beseech God that this calm may continue settled to you. Have you seen a storm risen up against you? Beseech God earnestly  to cause the billow to pass, and to make a calm out of the storm. Have you been heard? Be heartily thankful for this; because you have been heard. Have you not been heard? Persevere, in order that you may be heard. For even if God at any time delay the giving, it is not in hatred and aversion;  but from the desire by the deferring of the giving perpetually to retain you with himself; just in the way also that affectionate fathers do;  for they also adroitly manage the perpetual and assiduous attendance of children who are rather indolent by the delay of the giving.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Concerning Lowliness of Mind, 11 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1907.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 24, 2014, 11:20:00 PM
My child, him that speaks to you the word of God remember night and day; and you shall honour him as the Lord;  for in the place whence lordly rule is uttered,  there is the Lord. And you shall seek out day by day the faces of the saints, in order that you may rest upon  their words. You shall not long for division, but shall bring those who contend to peace.

-- Didache (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0714.htm) (c. 1st century)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2014, 06:16:23 PM
This thread has been neglected for far too long...
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2014, 09:33:02 PM
For the method of godliness consists of these two things, pious doctrines, and virtuous practice: and neither are the doctrines acceptable to God apart from good works, nor does God accept the works which are not perfected with pious doctrines. For what profit is it, to know well the doctrines concerning God, and yet to be a vile fornicator? And again, what profit is it, to be nobly temperate, and an impious blasphemer? A most precious possession therefore is the knowledge of doctrines: also there is need of a wakeful soul, since there are many 'that make spoil through philosophy and vain deceit' (Col. 2:8).

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. c. 386), Catechetical Lectures, 4.2 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310104.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2014, 10:36:23 PM
Now the cause, in all the points previously enumerated, of the false opinions, and of the impious statements or ignorant assertions about God, appears to be nothing else than the not understanding the Scripture according to its spiritual meaning, but the interpretation of it agreeably to the mere letter. And therefore, to those who believe that the sacred books are not the compositions of men, but that they were composed by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, agreeably to the will of the Father of all things through Jesus Christ, and that they have come down to us, we must point out the ways (of interpreting them) which appear (correct) to us, who cling to the standard of the heavenly Church of Jesus Christ according to the succession of the apostles.

--  Origen (d. c. 254), First Principles, 4.9
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2014, 10:45:07 PM
And in the twelfth Psalm he points out a certain lengthening of temptation in the words that say, “How long, Lord, will you forget me to the end?” Through this whole psalm he teaches us not to be downcast in affliction, that the amount of torment brought upon each to prove him is proportionate to the faith present in him. Then when he has said, “How long Lord, will you forget me to the end?” and, “How long will you turn away your face from me?," straightway he passes to the evil of the atheists. When one of the little things in life gives offense to them, not bearing the more troublesome circumstances, straightway they become doubtful in their minds about whether there is a God who is attentive to things in this world, whether he watches over each person’s concerns, whether he distributes to each the things of which he is worthy. Then when they truly endure ill-advised conditions for a long time, they confirm in themselves the evil belief, and they declare in their hearts that there is no God. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God’”. Moreover, as this enters into his mind, he then moves freely through every sin. For if there is no overseer, if there is nobody who repays each according to the merit of his actions, what prevents oppression of the poor, murder of orphans, killing of widows and strangers, daring to do every profane practice, wallowing in unclean and abominable passions and all bestial desires? Accordingly, after the psalm says, “There is no God,” it adds, “They have become corrupt and abominable in their practices.” For one cannot turn aside from the just path unless one’s soul is ill through forgetting God.

-- St. Basil the Great (d. 379), Homily Explaining that God is Not the Cause of Evil
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 01, 2014, 01:56:49 AM
Wherefore, since it is our duty fully to enjoy the truth which lives unchangeably, and since the triune God takes counsel in this truth for the things which He has made, the soul must be purified that it may have power to perceive that light, and to rest in it when it is perceived. And let us look upon this purification as a kind of journey or voyage to our native land. For it is not by change of place that we can come nearer to Him who is in every place, but by the cultivation of pure desires and virtuous habits.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), On Christian Doctrine, 1.10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 03, 2014, 10:19:33 PM
The daughters of Judah, we are told, rejoiced, because of all the judgments of the Lord. (Ps. 97:8). Therefore, since Judah means confession, and since every believing soul confesses its faith, (Rom. 10:10) he who claims to believe in Christ must rejoice in all Christ’s judgments. Am I in health? I thank my Creator. Am I sick? In this case, too, I praise God’s will. For “when I am weak, then am I strong;” and the strength of the spirit is made perfect in the weakness of the flesh. Even an apostle must bear what he dislikes, that ailment for the removal of which he besought the Lord thrice. God’s reply was: “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:8-10) Lest he should be unduly elated by his revelations, a reminder of his human weakness was given to him...

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Letter 39.2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 10, 2014, 03:17:27 PM
He also said, 'The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them. For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin, and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness.'

-- St. Epiphanius of Salamis (d. 403), Sayings of the Desert Fathers

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 13, 2014, 06:51:37 PM
If you make a habit of listening to spiritual teaching, your intellect will escape from impure thoughts.

God alone is good and wise by nature; but if you exert yourself your intellect also becomes good and wise through participation.

-- St. Thalassios the Libyan (d. c. mid-7th century), On Love, Self-control and Life in Accordance with the Intellect, 2.36-37
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 17, 2014, 01:31:33 PM
If then thou art become a throne of God, and the heavenly Charioteer has mounted thee, and thy whole soul has become a spiritual eye , and thy whole soul light; and if thou hast been nourished with that nourishment of the Spirit, and if thou hast been made to drink of the Living Water, and if thou hast put on the garments of the ineffable light; if thine inward man is established in the experience and full assurance of all these things, behold, thou livest, thou livest the eternal life indeed, and thy soul from henceforth is at rest with the Lord . Behold, thou hast received these things from the Lord and possesses them in truth, that thou mayest live the true life.

But if thou art conscious that thou hast none of these things, then weep, and mourn , and lament, because even yet thou hast not found the eternal heavenly riches. Be in trouble therefore for thy penury, beseeching the Lord night and day, because thou hast stopped short in the dreadful poverty of sin. Would to God that a man had even gained as much as this trouble because of his poverty— that we did not go on without a care, as though we were full! because one that is seriously troubled, and seeks and asks of the Lord continually, will soon find redemption and the heavenly riches...

-- Pseudo-Macarius (4th century), Fifty Spiritual Homilies, 1.12
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: minasoliman on May 21, 2014, 09:05:30 PM
The good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face.

St. Clement of Rome, 1st Century (Corinthians 34)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 22, 2014, 12:20:36 PM
Why are we so ready to judge our neighbor? Why are we so concerned about the burden of others? We have plenty to be concerned about, each one has his own debt and his own sins. It is for God alone to judge, to justify or to condemn. He knows the state of each one of us and our capacities, our deviations, and our gifts, our constitution and our preparedness, and it is for him to judge each of these things according to the knowledge that he alone has. For God judges the affairs of a bishop in one way and those of a prince in another. His judgment is for an abbot or for a disciple, he judges differently the senior and the neophyte, the sick man and the healthy man. Who could understand all these judgments except the one who has done everything, formed everything, knows everything?

I remember once hearing the following story: a slave ship put in at a certain port where there lived a holy virgin who was in earnest about her spiritual life. When she learned about the arrival of the ship she was glad, for she wanted to buy a small serving maid for herself. She thought to herself, 'I will take her into my home and bring her up in my way of life so that she knows nothing of the evils of the world.' So she sent and inquired of the master of the ship and found that he had two small girls who he thought would suit her. Whereupon she gladly paid the price and took one of the children into her house. The ship's master went away. He had not gone very far when there met him the leader of a dancing troupe who saw the other small girl with him and wanted to buy her; the price was agreed and paid, and he took her away with him.

Now take a look at God's mystery; see what his judgment was. Which of us could give any judgment about this case? The holy virgin took one of these little ones to bring her up in the fear of God, to instruct her in every good work, to teach her all that belongs to the monastic state and all the sweetness of holy commandments of God. The other unfortunate child was taken for the dancing troupe, to be trained in the works of the devil. What effect would teaching her this orgiastic dancing have, but the ruin of her soul? What can we have to say about this frightful judgment? Here were two little girls taken away from their parents by violence. Neither knew where they came from; one is found in the hands of God and the other falls into the hands of the devil.

Is it possible to say that what God asks from the one he asks also from the other? Surely not! Suppose they both fell into fornication or some other deadly sin; is it possible that they both face the same judgment or that their fall is the same? How does it appear to the mind of God when one learns about the Judgment and about the Kingdom of God day and night, while the other unfortunate knows nothing of it, never hears anything good but only the contrary, everything shameful, everything diabolical? How can he allow them to be examined by the same standard?
 
-- St. Dorotheos of Gaza (d. 6th century), Discourses and Sayings, (Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications, 1977), pp. 133-134

(Quoted in the Hermitage of the Holy Cross newsletter for May 2014)

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 22, 2014, 10:23:23 PM
Prayer is the flower of gentleness and of freedom from anger. Prayer is the fruit of joy and thankfulness. Prayer is the remedy for gloom and despondency

-- Evagrios Pontikos (d. 399), On Prayer: One Hundred and Fifty-Three Texts, 14-16
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 02, 2014, 07:52:32 PM
For, as I before said, it cannot be that they who enjoy the hearing of such things as these [ie. The Gospel], and who are in the company of such an Apostle [ie. John], should depart without receiving some great and remarkable advantage, be it man, woman, or youth, that partakes of this table. If we train by words the animals which we have, and so tame them, how much more shall we effect this with men by this spiritual teaching, when there is a wide difference between the remedy in each case, and the subject healed as well. For neither is there so much fierceness in us as in the brutes, since theirs is from nature, ours from choice; nor is the power of the words the same, for the power of the first is that of the human intellect, the power of the second is that of the might and grace of the Spirit.

Let then the man who despairs of himself consider the tame animals, and he shall no longer be thus affected; let him come continually to this house of healing, let him hear at all times the laws of the Spirit, and on retiring home let him write down in his mind the things which he has heard; so shall his hopes be good and his confidence great, as he feels his progress by experience. For when the devil sees the law of God written in the soul, and the heart become tablets to write it on, he will not approach any more. Since wherever the king's writing is, not engraved on a pillar of brass, but stamped by the Holy Ghost on a mind loving God, and bright with abundant grace, that (evil one) will not be able even to look at it, but from afar will turn his back upon us. For nothing is so terrible to him and to the thoughts which are suggested by him as a mind careful about Divine matters, and a soul which ever hangs over this fountain...

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 3 on the Gospel of John
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: minasoliman on June 02, 2014, 08:28:38 PM
How blessed and wonderful, beloved, are the gifts of God! Life in immortality, splendour in righteousness, truth in perfect confidence, faith in assurance, self-control in holiness! And all these fall under the cognizance of our understandings [now]; what then shall those things be which are prepared for such as wait for Him? The Creator and Father of all worlds, the Most Holy, alone knows their amount and their beauty. Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts.

St. Clement of Rome, 1st Century (Corinthians 35)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 05, 2014, 06:52:21 PM
Near as the body is to the soul, the Lord is nearer, to come and open the locked doors of the heart, and to bestow on us the riches of heaven.

-- Pseudo-Macarius (4th century), Fifty Spiritual Homilies, 11.15
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 12, 2014, 01:17:04 PM
The which may be illustrated in human nature: for not only in the present life, but in the future also, each individual man will consist of soul and body; nor will his body ever be converted into soul, or his soul into body; but while each individual man will live for ever, the distinction between the two substances will continue in each individual man for ever. So likewise in Christ each substance will for ever retain its own characteristic property, yet without prejudice to the unity of Person.

-- St. Vincent of Lerins (d. c. 450), The Commonitory, 13
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 15, 2014, 05:21:57 PM
On Love For The Poor (http://books.google.com/books?id=DJzPq-MvYo0C&lpg=PA39&pg=PA39#v=onepage&q&f=false)

All of it.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 390), Oration 14
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 24, 2014, 12:35:53 AM
I purpose to quote to you Scriptures, not that I am anxious to make merely an artful display of words; for I possess no such faculty, but God's grace alone has been granted to me to the understanding of His Scriptures, of which grace I exhort all to become partakers freely and bounteously, in order that they may not, through want of it,  incur condemnation in the judgment which God the Maker of all things shall hold through my Lord Jesus Christ.

-- St. Justin Martyr (d. c. 165), Dialogue with Trypho, 58
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 11, 2014, 11:58:21 PM
And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him. But communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store. But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God, He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord. But separation from God is death, and separation from light is darkness; and separation from God consists in the loss of all the benefits which He has in store. Those, therefore, who cast away by apostasy these forementioned things, being in fact destitute of all good, do experience every kind of punishment. God, however, does not punish them immediately of Himself, but that punishment falls upon them because they are destitute of all that is good. Now, good things are eternal and without end with God, and therefore the loss of these is also eternal and never-ending.

It is in this matter just as occurs in the case of a flood of light: those who have blinded themselves, or have been blinded by others, are for ever deprived of the enjoyment of light. It is not, [however], that the light has inflicted upon them the penalty of blindness, but it is that the blindness itself has brought calamity upon them: and therefore the Lord declared, "He that believeth in Me is not condemned," that is, is not separated from God, for he is united to God through faith. On the other hand, He says, "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God;" that is, he separated himself from God of his own accord. "For this is the condemnation, that light is come into this world, and men have loved darkness rather than light. For every one who doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that he has wrought them in God." (John 3:18-21)

- St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 5.27.2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 12, 2014, 09:30:01 PM
Moreover also: “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force” (Matt. 11:12), for no virtue is acquired without effort, nor can anyone attain to that mental stability which he desires without great sorrow of heart, for “man is born to trouble” (Job 5:7) and in order that he may be able to attain to “the perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13) he must ever be on the watch with still greater intentness, and toil with ceaseless carefulness.

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), Conferences, 7.6
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 13, 2014, 10:44:48 PM
Moses baptized but it was in water, and before that in the cloud and in the sea. This was typical as Paul saith; the Sea of the water, and the Cloud of the Spirit; the Manna, of the Bread of Life; the Drink, of the Divine Drink.  John also baptized; but this was not like the baptism of the Jews, for it was not only in water, but also "unto repentance."  Still it was not wholly spiritual, for he does not add "And in the Spirit." Jesus also baptized, but in the Spirit.  This is the perfect Baptism. And how is He not God, if I may digress a little, by whom you too are made god?

-- St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 39.17
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 18, 2014, 03:04:19 AM
And how become they one flesh? As if thou shouldest take away the purest part of gold, and mingle it with other gold; so in truth here also the woman as it were receiving the richest part fused by pleasure, nourisheth it and cherisheth it, and withal contributing her own share, restoreth it back a Man. And the child is a sort of bridge, so that the three become one flesh, the child connecting, on either side, each to other. For like as two cities, which a river divides throughout, become one, if a bridge connect them on both sides, so is it in this case; and yet more, when the very bridge in this case is formed of the substance of each. As the body and the head are one body; for they are divided by the neck; but not divided more than connected, for it, lying between them brings together each with the other. And it is the same as if a chorus that had been severed should, by taking one part of itself from this quarter, and the other again from the right, make one; or as these when come into close rank, and extending hands, become one; for the hands extended admit not of their being two. Therefore to wit He said with accuracy of expression, not “they shall be one flesh” but joined together “into one flesh” (Gen. 2:2 LXX), namely, that of the child. What then? when there is no child, will they not be two? Nay, for their coming together hath this effect, it diffuses and commingles the bodies of both. And as one who hath cast ointment into oil, hath made the whole one; so in truth is it also here.

I know that many are ashamed at what is said, and the cause of this is what I spoke of, your own lasciviousness, and unchasteness. The fact of marriages being thus performed, thus depraved, hath gained the thing an ill name: for “marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled.” (Heb. 13:4) Why art thou ashamed of the honorable, why blushest thou at the undefiled? This is for heretics, this is for such as introduce harlots thither. For this cause I am desirous of having it thoroughly purified, so as to bring it back again to its proper nobleness, so as to stop the mouths of the heretics. The gift of God is insulted, the root of our generation; for about that root there is much dung and filth. This then let us cleanse away by our discourse. Endure then a little while, for he that holdeth filth must endure the stench. I wish to show you that ye ought not to be ashamed at these things, but at those which ye do; but thou, passing by all shame at those, art ashamed at these; surely then thou condemnest God who hath thus decreed.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 12 on Colossians
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 20, 2014, 09:18:18 PM
What shall we do,  then, brethren? Shall we become slothful in well-doing, and cease from the practice of love? God forbid that any such course should be followed by us! But rather let us hasten with all energy and readiness of mind to perform every good work. For the Creator and Lord of all Himself rejoices in His works. For by His infinitely great power He established the heavens, and by His incomprehensible wisdom He adorned them. He also divided the earth from the water which surrounds it, and fixed it upon the immovable foundation of His own will. The animals also which are upon it He commanded by His own word  into existence. So likewise, when He had formed  the sea, and the living creatures which are in it, He enclosed them [within their proper bounds] by His own power. Above all, with His holy and undefiled hands He formed man, the most excellent [of His creatures], and truly great through the understanding given him— the express likeness of His own image. For thus says God: “Let us make man in our image, and after our likeness. So God made man; male and female He created them” (Gen. 1:26-27). Having thus finished all these things, He approved them, and blessed them, and said, “Increase and multiply” (Gen. 1:28). We see,  then, how all righteous men have been adorned with good works, and how the Lord Himself, adorning Himself with His works, rejoiced. Having therefore such an example, let us without delay accede to His will, and let us work the work of righteousness with our whole strength.

-- St. Clement of Rome (d. c. 99), First Letter to the Corinthians, 33
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on December 27, 2014, 08:20:00 PM
Ahab, too, the King of Samaria, became a most wicked idolater, an outrageous man, the murderer of the Prophets (1 Kings 18:4), a stranger to godliness, a coveter of other men’s fields and vineyards.  Yet when by Jezebel’s means he had slain Naboth, and the Prophet Elias came and merely threatened him, he rent his garments, and put on sackcloth.  And what saith the merciful God to Elias?  "Hast than seen how Ahab is pricked in the heart before Me" (1 Kings 21:29), as if almost He would persuade the fiery zeal of the Prophet to condescend to the penitent. For He saith, "I will not bring the evil in his days."  And though after this forgiveness he was sure not to depart from his wickedness, nevertheless the forgiving God forgave him, not as being ignorant of the future, but as granting a forgiveness corresponding to his present season of repentance.  For it is the part of a righteous judge to give sentence according to each case that has occurred.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Catechetical Lectures, 2.13
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 02, 2015, 12:17:44 AM
And they are not ashamed to parade the sacred mysteries before catechumens, and worse than that, even before heathens: whereas, they ought to attend to what is written, 'It is good to keep close the secret of a king,' (Tob. 12:7) and as the Lord has charged us, 'Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine' (Matt. 7:6). We ought not then to parade the holy mysteries before the uninitiated, lest the heathen in their ignorance deride them, and the catechumens being over-curious be offended.

-- Encyclical Letter of the Council of Egypt (c. 339) -- (Found in: St. Athanasius of Alexandria, Defense Against the Arians, 1, 11)

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 07, 2015, 11:12:29 AM
Thus, when one shall say, "He [Moses] meant as I do," and another, "Nay, but as I do," I suppose that I am speaking more religiously when I say, “Why not rather as both, if both be true?” And if there be a third truth, or a fourth, and if any one seek any truth altogether different in those words, why may not he be believed to have seen all these, through whom one God has tempered the Holy Scriptures to the senses of many, about to see therein things true but different? I certainly,— and I fearlessly declare it from my heart—were I to write anything to have the highest authority, should prefer so to write, that whatever of truth any one might apprehend concerning these matters, my words should re-echo, rather than that I should set down one true opinion so clearly on this as that I should exclude the rest, that which was false in which could not offend me.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Confessions 12.31
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 07, 2015, 12:18:56 PM
Thus, when one shall say, "He [Moses] meant as I do," and another, "Nay, but as I do," I suppose that I am speaking more religiously when I say, “Why not rather as both, if both be true?” And if there be a third truth, or a fourth, and if any one seek any truth altogether different in those words, why may not he be believed to have seen all these, through whom one God has tempered the Holy Scriptures to the senses of many, about to see therein things true but different? I certainly,— and I fearlessly declare it from my heart—were I to write anything to have the highest authority, should prefer so to write, that whatever of truth any one might apprehend concerning these matters, my words should re-echo, rather than that I should set down one true opinion so clearly on this as that I should exclude the rest, that which was false in which could not offend me.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Confessions 12.31
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 07, 2015, 12:21:40 PM
Thus, when one shall say, "He [Moses] meant as I do," and another, "Nay, but as I do," I suppose that I am speaking more religiously when I say, “Why not rather as both, if both be true?” And if there be a third truth, or a fourth, and if any one seek any truth altogether different in those words, why may not he be believed to have seen all these, through whom one God has tempered the Holy Scriptures to the senses of many, about to see therein things true but different? I certainly,— and I fearlessly declare it from my heart—were I to write anything to have the highest authority, should prefer so to write, that whatever of truth any one might apprehend concerning these matters, my words should re-echo, rather than that I should set down one true opinion so clearly on this as that I should exclude the rest, that which was false in which could not offend me.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Confessions 12.31

Quote
...the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one)...- The Westminster Confession 1.9

Another good reason to dislike Calvinism.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2015, 10:37:55 PM
My dear brother, weigh well the various forms of transgression, and think not that the sins which I have mentioned are less flagrant than that of idolatry. Nay, hear the apostle’s view of the matter. “For this ye know,” he writes, “that no whore-monger or unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” (Eph. 5:5) In a general way all that is of the devil savors of enmity to God, and what is of the devil is idolatry, since all idols are subject to him. Yet Paul elsewhere lays down the law in express and unmistakable terms, saying: “Mortify your members, which are upon the earth, laying aside fornication, uncleanness, evil concupiscence and covetousness, which are idolatry, for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh.” (Col. 3:5-6)

Idolatry is not confined to casting incense upon an altar with finger and thumb, or to pouring libations of wine out of a cup into a bowl. Covetousness is idolatry, or else the selling of the Lord for thirty pieces of silver was a righteous act. (Matt. 26:15)  Lust involves profanation, or else men may defile with common harlots those members of Christ which should be “a living sacrifice acceptable to God.” (Rom. 12:1)  Fraud is idolatry, or else they are worthy of imitation who, in the Acts of the Apostles, sold their inheritance, and because they kept back part of the price, perished by an instant doom. (Acts 5)  Consider well, my brother; nothing is yours to keep. “Whosoever he be of you,” the Lord says, “that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33)  Why are you such a half-hearted Christian?

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Letter 14: To Heliodorus the Monk, 5 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001014.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 24, 2015, 12:32:27 AM
There are many differing methods of prayer. No method is harmful; if it were, it would be not prayer but the activity of Satan.

-- St. Mark the Monk (d. c. 5th century), On the Spiritual Law: Two Hundred Texts, 22 (Philokalia, v. 1, p. 111)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 21, 2015, 02:25:26 AM
"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father." (1 Thes. 1:2-3)

What labor is it to love? Merely to love is no labor at all. But to love genuinely is great labor. For tell me, when a thousand things are stirred up that would draw us from love, and we hold out against them all, is it not labor? For what did not these men suffer, that they might not revolt from their love? Did not they that warred against the Preaching go to Paul's host, and not having found him, drag Jason before the rulers of the city? Acts 17:5-6 Tell me, is this a slight labor, when the seed had not yet taken root, to endure so great a storm, so many trials? And they demanded security of him. And having given security, he says, Jason sent away Paul. Is this a small thing, tell me? Did not Jason expose himself to danger for him? And this he calls a labor of love, because they were thus bound to him.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 1 on First Thessalonians
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 18, 2015, 10:22:38 PM
...for in that place [ie. heaven] there is no want, nor any deficiency, nor concupiscence, nor generation, nor ending, nor failure, nor death, nor termination, nor old age.  There is neither hatred, nor wrath, nor envy, nor weariness, nor toil, nor darkness, nor night, nor falsehood.  There is not in that place any want at all; but it is full of light, and life, and grace, and fullness, and satisfaction and renewal, and love, and all the good promises that are written but not yet sealed.  For there is there that 'which eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard, and which hath not come up into the heart of man,' (1 Cor. 2:9) that which is unspeakable and which a man cannot utter. And the Apostle said:—'That which God hath prepared for them that love Him.' Though men shall say much, they shall not be able to express it. 

That which eye hath not seen, they are unable to relate; and that which ear hath not heard, it is not right to speak of in such wise as to compare it with anything that the ear has heard and the eye has seen.  And that which has not come up unto the heart, who is there dares to speak of it, as though it was like anything that has come up into the heart?  But this is right for a speaker, to liken and call that place the abode of God, and the place of life, the perfect place, the place of light, the place of glory, the Sabbath of God, the day of rest, the repose of the righteous, the joy of the just, the abode and dwelling-place of the righteous and the holy, the place of our hope, the sure abode of our trust, the place of our treasure, the place that shall assuage our weariness and remove our afflictions, and soothe our sighs.  To these things it is right for us to liken, and thus to call, that place.

-- Aphrahat (d.c. 345), Demonstration 22: Of Death and the Latter Times, 13
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 20, 2015, 09:52:47 PM
For often it has been proved that what the Apostle says really takes place. “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light,” (2 Cor. 11:14). so that he deceitfully sheds abroad a confusing and foul obscuration of the thoughts instead of the true light of knowledge. And unless these thoughts are received in a humble and gentle heart, and kept for the consideration of some more experienced brother or approved Elder, and when thoroughly sifted by their judgment, either rejected or admitted by us, we shall be sure to venerate in our thoughts an angel of darkness instead of an angel of light, and be smitten with a grievous destruction: an injury which it is impossible for any one to avoid who trusts in his own judgment, unless he becomes a lover and follower of true humility and with all contrition of heart fulfils what the Apostle chiefly prays for:

“If then there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any bowels of compassion, fulfil ye my joy, that you be of one mind, having the same love, being of one accord, doing nothing by contention, neither by vainglory; but in humility each esteeming others better than themselves;” and this: “in honour preferring one another,” (Phil. 2:1–3; Rom. 12:10) that each may think more of the knowledge and holiness of his partner, and hold that the better part of true discretion is to be found in the judgment of another rather than in his own.

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), Conferences, 16.11
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 24, 2015, 11:31:41 PM
Weeping  takes place without the gate of the oratory; and the offender standing there ought to implore the faithful as they enter to offer up prayer on his behalf. Waiting on the word,  again, takes place within the gate in the porch, where the offender ought to stand until the catechumens depart, and thereafter he should go forth. For let him hear the Scriptures and doctrine, it is said, and then be put forth, and reckoned unfit for the privilege of prayer. Submission,  again, is that one stand within the gate of the temple, and go forth along with the catechumens. Restoration  is that one be associated with the faithful, and go not forth with the catechumens; and last of all comes the participation in the holy ordinances.

-- St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 270), Canonical Epistle, 11
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 01, 2015, 11:33:15 PM
For the grace of God is mighty to associate and join together in the bond of charity and unity even those things which seem to be divided by a considerable space of earth, according to the way in which of old also the divine power associated in the bond of unanimity Ezekiel and Daniel, though later in their age, and separated from them by a long space of time, to Job and Noah, who were among the first; so that although they were separated by long periods, yet by divine inspiration they felt the same truths.

And this also we now observe in you, that you who are separated from us by the most extensive regions, approve yourselves to be, nevertheless, joined with us in mind and spirit. All which arises from the divine unity. For even as the Lord who dwells in us is one and the same, He everywhere joins and couples His own people in the bond of unity, whence their sound has gone out into the whole earth, who are sent by the Lord swiftly running in the spirit of unity; as, on the other hand, it is of no advantage that some are very near and joined together bodily, if in spirit and mind they differ, since souls cannot at all be united which divide themselves from God’s unity.

-- St. Firmilian of Caesarea (d. c. 268), Letter to Cyprian, Against the Letter of Stephen
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 10, 2015, 12:02:45 AM
To be wise as men are in general is quite a different thing to being really wise. He who is ordinarily wise is wise for temporal matters, is wise for himself, so as to deprive another of something and get it for himself. He who is really wise does not know how to regard his own advantage, but looks with all his desire to that which is eternal, and to that which is seemly and virtuous, seeking not what is useful for himself, but for all.  Let this, then, be our rule, so that we may never go wrong between two things, one virtuous, the other useful. The upright man must never think of depriving another of anything, nor must he ever wish to increase his own advantage to the disadvantage of another.

This rule the Apostle gives thee, saying: “All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but each one another’s.” (1 Cor. 10:23-24) That is: Let no man seek his own advantage, but another’s; let no man seek his own honour, but another’s. Wherefore he says in another place: “Let each esteem other better than themselves, looking not each one to his own things, but to the things of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4). And let no one seek his own favour or his own praise, but another’s. This we can plainly see declared in the book of Proverbs, where the Holy Spirit says through Solomon: “My son, if thou be wise, be wise for thyself and thy neighbours; but if thou turn out evil, thou alone shalt bear it.” (Prov. 9:12)

-- Saint Ambrose of Milan, On the Duties of the Clergy, 3.2
___________

I've been looking at the idea of 'one mind in Christ' for a couple-few weeks now, and the above sums it up well. St. Paul and others speak of "one mind" but really for us it is more like "one heart." Talking about consistency/agreement in doctrines, how much diversity is allowed in practices, what is and is not moral, etc. is in a very real way putting the cart before the horse.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2015, 08:05:33 PM
Are you a sinner? Do not become discouraged; come to Church to put forward repentance. Have you sinned? Then tell God, ‘I have sinned.’ What manner of toil is this, what prescribed course of life, what affliction? What manner of difficulty is it to make one statement, ‘I have sinned’? Perhaps if you do not call yourself a sinner, you do not have the devil as an accuser? Anticipate this and snatch the honor away from him, because it is his purpose to accuse. Therefore, why do you not prevent him, and why do you not tell your sin and wipe it out, since you know that you have such an accuser who cannot remain silent? Have you sinned? Come to Church. Tell God, ‘I have sinned.’ I do not demand anything else of you than this. Holy Scripture states, ‘Be the first one to tell of your transgressions, so you may be justified.’ (Is. 43:26 LXX) Admit the sin to annul it. This requires neither labor nor a circuit of words, nor monetary expenditure, nor anything else whatsoever such as these. Say one word, think carefully about the sin and say, ‘I have sinned.'

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), On Repentance and Almsgiving, 2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Eastern Mind on August 14, 2015, 08:41:21 PM
St. Gregory of Nyssa, from his first sermon on the Beatitudes:

"You are pleased because you are handsome, because your hands move quickly, because your feet are nimble, because your curls are tossed by the wind and your cheeks show a downy beard...You look at such things, but you do not look at yourself. Let me show you as in a mirror your true image.

"Have you ever witnessed the mysteries of the cemetery? Have you seen the heaps of bones tossed hither and thither? Skulls without flesh on them, fearful and ugly, the sockets empty. The grinning jaws and the limbs strewn about. Look at these things: there you will find yourself. Where, then, is the flower of youth?...Where, in all these bones, are the things that make you proud?"

I love this quote.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2015, 11:49:24 PM
But alms may be done not only by money, but by acts. For example: one may kindly stand by a person (to succor and defend him), one may reach to him a helping hand: the service rendered by acts has often done more good even than money. Let us set to work all the different kinds of almsgiving. Can you do alms by money? Be not slack. Can you by good offices? Say not, 'Because I have no money, this is nothing.' This is a very great point: look upon it as if you had given gold. Can you do it by kind attentions? Do this also. For instance, if you be a physician, (give) your skill: for this also is a great matter. Can you by counsel? This (service) is much greater than all: this (alms) is better than all, or it is also more, by how much the gain it has is greater. For in so doing you put away not starvation, but a grievous death. (Acts 3:6; 6:4) With such alms the Apostles above measure abounded: therefore it was that the distribution of money they put into the hands of those after them, themselves exhibiting the (mercy) shown by words.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 25 on Acts
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: ElisabethConvent on December 23, 2015, 09:01:48 AM
41 Quotes, phrases and teachings of St.Basil the Great:  http://catalogueofstelisabethconvent.blogspot.com.by/2015/12/41-quotes-phrases-and-teachings-of.html
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 03, 2016, 12:07:17 AM
Let excellence be reckoned by thee as the body, contemplation as the soul. The two [form] one complete spiritual man, composed of sensible and intelligible parts. And as it is not possible that the soul reach existence and birth without the accomplished formation of the body, so it is not possible that contemplation, the second soul, the spirit of revelations, be formed in the womb of the intellect which receives the fullness of spiritual seed, without the corporeal performance of excellence, the dwelling place of knowledge which receives revelations. Contemplation is the apprehension of the divine mysteries which are hidden in the things spoken.

-- St. Isaac the Syrian (d. 700), Six Treatises on the Behavior of Excellence, Treatise 2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 03, 2016, 12:41:41 AM
EDIT//OOPSIE
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 20, 2016, 03:04:32 AM
...when one is required to believe, there are reasonings which confuse and make havoc of the minds of most men, and it wants a soul of some vigor to shake them thoroughly off... here is need of vigor, and a lofty soul, that takes in things beyond expectation, and stumbles not at appearances. This then he does here also, and shows that it requires a wise mind, and a spirit heavenly (Gr. heaven-reaching) and great... You see that this is a chief characteristic of faith, to leave all the consequences of this lower world, and so to seek for that which is above nature, and to cast out the feebleness of calculation, and so to accept everything from the Power of God.

...For there is no need to say, he means, that one must go up to heaven, or cross a great sea, and then receive the commandments, but things so great and grand has God made of easy access to us. And what means the phrase, 'The Word is near you?' (Rom. 10:8) That is: It is easy. For in your mind and in your tongue is your salvation. There is no long journey to go, no seas to sail over, no mountains to pass, to get saved. But if you be not minded to cross so much as the threshold, you may even while you sit at home be saved. For in your mouth and in your heart is the source of salvation.

...But there is nothing worse than vainglory... What then can be more wasteful than this? What more disgraceful, or more offensive? For that this disorder is a wasteful one is plain from the people who spend to no purpose whatsoever on theatres, horse-races, and other such irrelevant expenditures: from those that build the fine and expensive houses, and fit up everything in a useless style of extravagance, on which I must not enter in this discourse. But that a person diseased in this way must needs be extravagant, and expensive, and rapacious, and covetous, anybody can see.

...From this mischief also irregular loves are conceived. For there are many whom it is not the beauty of the appearance, nor the desire of lying with her, but the wish to boast that 'I have made conquest of such an one,' has even drawn into adultery. And why need I mention the other mischiefs that spring of this? For I had rather be long the slave of ten thousand savages, than of vanity once. For even they do not put such commands upon their captives, as this vice lays upon its votaries. Because it says, Be thou every one's slave, be he nobler or be he lower than yourself. Despise your soul, neglect virtue, laugh at freedom, immolate your salvation, and if you do any good thing, do it not to please God, but to display it to the many, that for these things you may even lose your crown. And if you give alms, or if you fast, undergo the pains, but take care to lose the gain. What can be more cruel than these commands?

...look to God continually, and be content with glory from Him; and if you find the passion tickling you, and stirring you to tell your well-doings to your fellow-servants, bethink yourself next, that after telling them you gain nothing. Quench the absurd desire, and say to your soul, Lo, you have been so long big with your own well-doings to tell them, and you have not had the courage to keep them to yourself, but hast blabbed them out to all. What good then have you gotten from this? None at all, but loss to the utmost, and avoidance of all that had been gathered together with much labor.

...For if in every art you look to the workmen in it to be judges of it, how come you to trust the proving of virtue to the many, and not most of all to Him Who knows it more surely then any, and is best able to applaud and to crown it?

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 17 on Romans
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on January 25, 2016, 02:26:11 PM
For when you hear, 'Not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy,' (Rom. 9:16) I counsel you to think the same. For since there are some who are so proud of their successes that they attribute all to themselves and nothing to Him that made them and gave them wisdom and supplied them with good; such are taught by this word that even to wish well needs help from God; or rather that even to choose what is right is divine and a gift of the mercy of God. For it is necessary both that we should be our own masters and also that our salvation should be of God.

This is why He says 'not of him that wills;' that is, not of him that wills only, nor of him that runs only, but also of God. That shows mercy. Next: since to will also is from God, he has attributed the whole to God with reason. However much you may run, however much you may wrestle, yet you need one to give the crown. Except the Lord build the house, they laboured in vain that built it: Except the Lord keep the city, in vain they watched that keep it. 'I know,' He says, 'that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,' (Eccl. 9:11) nor the victory to the fighters, nor the harbors to the good sailors; but to God it belongs both to work victory, and to bring the barque safe to port...

'There are,' He says, 'some eunuchs which were so born from their mother’s womb; and there are some eunuchs which were made eunuchs of men; and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.  He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.' (Matt. 19:12) I think that the discourse would sever itself from the body, and represent higher things by bodily figures; for to stop the meaning at bodily eunuchs would be small and very weak, and unworthy of the Word; and we must understand in addition something worthy of the Spirit. 

Some, then, seem by nature to incline to good.  And when I speak of nature, I am not slighting free will, but supposing both—an aptitude for good, and that which brings the natural aptitude to effect.  And there are others whom reason cleanses, by cutting them off from the passions.  These I imagine to be meant by those whom men have made Eunuchs, when the word of teaching distinguishing the better from the worse and rejecting the one and commanding the other (like the verse, 'Depart from evil and do good') works spiritual chastity.  This sort of making eunuchs I approve; and I highly praise both teachers and taught, that the one have nobly effected, and the other still more nobly endured, the cutting off.

And there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake.  Others, too, who have not met with teachers, have been laudable teachers to themselves.  No father nor mother, no Priest or Bishop, nor any of those commissioned to teach, taught you your duty; but by moving reason in yourself and by kindling the spark of good by your free will, you made yourself a eunuch, and acquired such a habit of virtue that impulse to vice became almost an impossibility to you.  Therefore I praise this kind of Eunuch-making also, and perhaps even above the others.  He that is able to receive it let him receive it.  Choose which part you will; either follow the Teacher or be your own teacher

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d.c. 390), Oration 37.13, 20-21
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 31, 2016, 02:05:02 AM
I take it as admitted by men of sense, that the first of our advantages is education; and not only this our more noble form of it, which disregards rhetorical ornaments and glory, and holds to salvation, and beauty in the objects of our contemplation: but even that external culture which many Christians ill-judgingly abhor, as treacherous and dangerous, and keeping us afar from God. For as we ought not to neglect the heavens, and earth, and air, and all such things, because some have wrongly seized upon them, and honour God's works instead of God: but to reap what advantage we can from them for our life and enjoyment, while we avoid their dangers; not raising creation, as foolish men do, in revolt against the Creator, but from the works of nature apprehending the Worker, and, as the divine apostle says, bringing into captivity every thought to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5): and again, as we know that neither fire, nor food, nor iron, nor any other of the elements, is of itself most useful, or most harmful, except according to the will of those who use it; and as we have compounded healthful drugs from certain of the reptiles; so from secular literature we have received principles of enquiry and speculation, while we have rejected their idolatry, terror, and pit of destruction. Nay, even these have aided us in our religion, by our perception of the contrast between what is worse and what is better, and by gaining strength for our doctrine from the weakness of theirs. We must not then dishonour education, because some men are pleased to do so, but rather suppose such men to be boorish and uneducated, desiring all men to be as they themselves are, in order to hide themselves in the general, and escape the detection of their want of culture.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. c. 390), Oration 43.11
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 02, 2016, 05:05:48 AM
Whatever things were rightly said among all men, are the property of us Christians. For next to God, we worship and love the Word who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God, since also He became man for our sakes, that becoming a partaker of our sufferings, He might also bring us healing. For all the writers were able to see realities darkly through the sowing of the implanted word that was in them. For the seed and imitation impacted according to capacity is one thing, and quite another is the thing itself, of which there is the participation and imitation according to the grace which is from Him.

--St. Justin Martyr (d. c. 165), Second Apology, 13
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 18, 2017, 10:51:00 PM
After [Dorotheus], Barbas presided over the Arian sect, in whose time the Arian faction was favored by possessing two very eloquent members, both having the rank of presbyter, one of whom was named Timothy, and the other George. Now George excelled in Grecian literature; Timothy, on the other hand, was proficient in the sacred Scriptures. George indeed constantly had the writings of Aristotle and Plato in his hands: Timothy found his inspiration in Origen; he also evinced in his public expositions of the holy Scriptures no inconsiderable acquaintance with the Hebrew language. Now Timothy had formerly identified himself with the sect of the Psathyrians; but George had been ordained by Barbas.

I have myself conversed with Timothy, and was exceedingly struck by the readiness with which he would answer the most difficult questions, and clear up the most obscure passages in the Divine oracles; he also invariably quoted Origen as an unquestionable authority in confirmation of his own utterances. But it is astonishing to me that these two men should continue to uphold the heresy of the Arians; the one being so conversant with Plato, and the other having Origen so frequently on his lips. For Plato does not say that the second and third cause, as he usually terms them, had a beginning of existence: and Origen everywhere acknowledges the Son to be co-eternal with the Father. Nevertheless although they remained connected with their own church, still they unconsciously changed the Arian sect for the better, and displaced many of the blasphemies of Arius by their own teachings

-- Socrates Scholasticus (d. mid-5th century), Ecclesiastical History, 7.6
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 20, 2017, 04:32:20 PM
As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils, whose authority in the Church is most useful, e.g. the annual commemoration, by special solemnities, of the Lord’s passion, resurrection, and ascension, and of the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven, and whatever else is in like manner observed by the whole Church wherever it has been established.

There are other things, however, which are different in different places and countries: e.g., some fast on Saturday, others do not; some partake daily of the body and blood of Christ, others receive it on stated days: in some places no day passes without the sacrifice being offered; in others it is only on Saturday and the Lord’s day, or it may be only on the Lord’s day. In regard to these and all other variable observances which may be met anywhere, one is at liberty to comply with them or not as he chooses; and there is no better rule for the wise and serious Christian in this matter, than to conform to the practice which he finds prevailing in the Church to which it may be his lot to come. For such a custom, if it is clearly not contrary to the faith nor to sound morality, is to be held as a thing indifferent, and ought to be observed for the sake of fellowship with those among whom we live.


-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Letter 54.1-2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2017, 10:54:18 PM
This being the case, he is the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith above every thing, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius, above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever; who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time; but that whatsoever new and unheard-of doctrine he shall find to have been furtively introduced by some one or another, besides that of all, or contrary to that of all the saints, this, he will understand, does not pertain to religion, but is permitted as a trial, being instructed especially by the words of the blessed Apostle Paul, who writes thus in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, "There must needs be heresies, that they who are approved may be made manifest among you," (1 Cor. 2:9) as though he should say, 'This is the reason why the authors of Heresies are not immediately rooted up by God, namely, that they who are approved may be made manifest'; that is, that it may be apparent of each individual, how tenacious and faithful and steadfast he is in his love of the Catholic faith.

-- St. Vincent of Lerins (d. c. 445), The Commonitory, 20
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 07, 2017, 03:15:13 AM
The doctrines of true religion are overthrown. The laws of the Church are in confusion. The ambition of men, who have no fear of God, rushes into high posts, and exalted office is now publicly known as the prize of impiety. The result is, that the worse a man blasphemes, the fitter the people think him to be a bishop. Clerical dignity is a thing of the past. There is a complete lack of men shepherding the Lord's flock with knowledge. Ambitious men are constantly throwing away the provision for the poor on their own enjoyment and the distribution of gifts. There is no precise knowledge of canons. There is complete immunity in sinning; for when men have been placed in office by the favour of men, they are obliged to return the favour by continually showing indulgence to offenders. Just judgment is a thing of the past; and everyone walks according to his heart's desire. Vice knows no bounds; the people know no restraint...

-- St. Basil the Great (d. 379), Letter 92.2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 08, 2017, 05:42:52 PM
We have until now followed the course of this life; now we are summoned to that terrible test of heavenly majesty. By the order of the Creator we obediently followed the way of this flesh and the uncertain life of the present world; and having completed the duties of our own servitude, with manifest consolation we will travel to the true and eternal homeland.

We served until now in the spiritual army, we defeated the darts of the treacherous body with the roughness of a Cilician cloak; imploring help from above, we overcame the obstacle of every vice through the rigor of abstinence and the heaviness of vigils; we broke the snares of the mind through holy meditation; occupied by the study of celestial doctrine, we did not cease to pay out the talent of eternity to the multitude of the faithful; we have sailed through the ocean of this life, and, with God’s help, we have bought diverse wares of virtues using the capital of salubrious profit, now to be returned to God; we begin to approach the port of peace, with God guiding us; although we have fought with the  powerful men of this world, with whom, the apostle writes, war is continual, nobody can avoid this who desires to reach blessedness, preceded by celestial grace and leaving behind his works.

I believe that I have been absolved and liberated, and will soon come to the sight of my Lord, should these works appease him: we are given obstacles to overcome, so that, persevering in our course, we might obtain these things.

-- St. Hilary of Arles (d. 449), Source (https://www.academia.edu/12265722/The_Life_of_Saint_Hilary_of_Arles)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 09, 2017, 09:02:20 PM
To the wise man truth shines from whatsoever mouth it has issued forth.

-- St. Gildas (d. 570), Fragments From Lost Letters (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gildas_04_letters.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 11, 2017, 07:21:49 PM
Our prayer is public and common; and when we pray, we pray not for one, but for the whole people, because we the whole people are one. The God of peace and the Teacher of concord, who taught unity, willed that one should thus pray for all, even as He Himself bore us all in one. This law of prayer the three children observed when they were shut up in the fiery furnace, speaking together in prayer, and being of one heart in the agreement of the spirit...

-- St. Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258), Treatise 4.8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 13, 2017, 01:16:25 AM
Later, as she traveled, one very hot day, Etheldreda was overpowered with fatigue. She stuck her staff into the ground and lay down to rest on the open plain. When she awoke, the staff had put forth leaves and branches, and it afterwards became a mighty oak tree, larger than any other for many miles around. At length, after many days of weary walking, the saint arrived on her own lands in Ely. Here, there was a piece of good, firm, rich land, supporting six hundred families and surrounded to a great distance by fens, forming a more formidable rampart than walls or plain water would have done.

Here, in AD 673, Etheldreda built a large double monastery. Wilfred, who never lost sight of his old friend, made her abbess and gave the veil to her first nuns. He obtained special privileges for her, from the Pope, and often visited her and helped her with advice and suggestions useful in the management of her large establishment. Etheldreda ruled over her monastery for seven years, setting a great example of piety and abstinence and all other monastic virtues. Though such a great lady, and so delicately reared, she never wore any linen, but only rough woolen clothing. She denied herself the use of the warm bath, a luxury much in use among the English in her time. Only permitting herself this indulgence at the four great festivals of the year and, even then, she only used the bath that had already served the other nuns. Many of her old friends, relations and courtiers followed her and her example.

-- Said of Saint Etheldreda of Ely (d. 679), Source (http://www.earlybritishkingdoms.com/adversaries/bios/etheldreda.html)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 14, 2017, 03:10:01 PM
For the son of thunder [John], the beloved of Christ, the pillar of the Churches throughout the world, who holds the keys of heaven, who drank the cup of Christ, and was baptized with His baptism, who lay upon his Master's bosom with much confidence, this man comes forward to us now... By this Apostle stand the powers from above, marveling at the beauty of his soul, and his understanding, and the bloom of that virtue by which he drew unto him Christ Himself, and obtained the grace of the Spirit. For he has made ready his soul, as some well-fashioned and jeweled lyre with strings of gold, and yielded it for the utterance of something great and sublime to the Spirit. Seeing then it is no longer the fisherman the son of Zebedee, but He who knows the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10), the Holy Spirit I mean, that strikes this lyre, let us hearken accordingly. For he will say nothing to us as a man, but what he says, he will say from the depths of the Spirit, from those secret things which before they came to pass the very Angels knew not; since they too have learned by the voice of John with us, and by us, the things which we know.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homilies on the Gospel of John, 1.2-3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/240101.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 16, 2017, 01:34:47 AM
The blessed Passarion, that great lover of the poor and lover of strangers, besides his other godly virtues and righteous acts, built a house for the poor outside the eastern gates of the city, for the rest and consolation of those whose bodies were wretchedly afflicted by weakness. He also erected inside the [city] walls of holy Zion [Jerusalem] a great and comely monastery for the service and for the chanting [of psalms] of those who continuously without ceasing are praising the Lord. When [Peter] saw this [foundation of Passarion's], he longed to become an imitator of this good thing.

-- Life of Peter the Iberian, 52 (https://books.google.com/books?id=tSq1wuai-XUC&lpg=PR46&dq=Juvenal%20of%20Jerusalem&pg=PA73#v=onepage&q&f=false) (5th century)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 18, 2017, 01:03:32 AM
If you refuse to accept suffering and dishonor, do not claim to be in a state of repentance because of your other virtues. For self-esteem and insensitivity can serve sin even under the cover of virtue.

-- St. Mark the Monk (d. 5th century), On Those who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works: Two Hundred and Twenty-Six Texts, 156
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2017, 08:58:59 PM
Also I say that even those who are scourged in Hell are tormented with the scourgings of love. Scourgings for love's sake, namely of those who perceive that they have sinned against love, are more hard and bitter than the tortures through fear. The suffering which takes hold of the heart through the sinning against love is more acute than any other torture. It is evil for a man to think that the sinners in Hell are destitute of love for the Creator. For love is a child of true knowledge such as is professed to be given to all people. Love works with its force in a double way. It tortures those who have sinned, as happens also in the world between friends. And it gives delight to those who have kept its decrees. Thus it is also in Hell. I say that the hard tortures are grief for love. the inhabitants of heaven, however, make drunk their soul with the delight of love.

-- St. Isaac the Syrian (d. c. 700), Mystic Treatises, 27
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 24, 2017, 08:18:41 PM
And let no one be startled at the word "creditor" (Luke 7:41). We were before under a hard creditor, who was not to be satisfied and paid to the full but by the death of the debtor. The Lord Jesus came, He saw us bound by a heavy debt. No one could pay his debt with the patrimony of his innocence. I could have nothing of my own wherewith to free myself. He gave to me a new kind of acquittance, changing my creditor because I had nothing wherewith to pay my debt. But it was sin, not nature, which had made us debtors, for we had contracted heavy debts by our sins, that we who had been free should be bound, for he is a debtor who received any of his creditor's money. Now sin is of the devil; that wicked one has, as it were, these riches in his possession. For as the riches of Christ are virtues, so crimes are the wealth of the devil.

He had reduced the human race to perpetual captivity by the heavy debt of inherited liability, which our debt-laden ancestor had transmitted to his posterity by inheritance. The Lord Jesus came, He offered His death for the death of all, He poured out His Blood for the blood of all. So, then, we have changed our creditor, not escaped wholly, or rather we have escaped, for the debt remains but the interest is cancelled, for the Lord Jesus said, "To those who are in bonds, Come out, and to those who are in prison, Go forth" (Isa. 49:9); so your sins are forgiven. All, then, are forgiven, nor is there any one whom He has not loosed. For thus it is written, that "He has forgiven all transgressions, doing away the handwriting of the ordinance that was against us" (Col. 2:13-14).

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Letter 41.7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 26, 2017, 02:27:58 AM
About Moses there might be many things to say and lengthy expositions made to he who wants to safeguard our reverence for him.  He heard God say to him without ambiguity, "I know you out of all humanity, and you have found grace in my eyes!"  The manifold virtue that was in him, and the power of the miracles that he worked in Egypt, make a shining demonstration.  Indeed he was shown submitted to God almighty, and assisted him in the revolt which He brought about in his servants against the blindness of the Egyptians.  What kind of man Plato was, even in the absence of direct testimony, is proclaimed enough by his passage from Athens in Sicily.  It is claimed that, not appreciating his flatteries, Dionysius sold him, inflicting on him, as if he wasn't a free man, the most suitable punishment for a slave.  But let us give up this argument for a moment, to return to the main subject.

The divine Moses does not appear before our eyes as one who composed doubtful stories, nor one who launched himself out on this road from simple ambition. He had in mind primarily to contribute to making lives led better. And in fact he did not attempt to discourse subtly on the nature of the things, by speaking about what the first principles are named, or about the elements which proceed from it; these things are, in my opinion, too obscure, and inaccessible to some minds. His goal was to form the spirits of his contemporaries with the doctrines of the truth: because they were being misled and had taken to worshipping each according to his imagination. Their extreme ignorance made them ignore the one God, God by nature, and to worship his creations. Some thought that the sky was god, others the disc of the sun; there were even some wretched enough to allot the glory of the supreme nature to the moon, the stars, the earth, to plants, to the watery element, birds, or to brute animals! They had come to this, and such a terrible sickness had affected all the inhabitants of the earth, when Moses came to their help and revealed himself as the initiator into knowledge of great value for all. He proclaimed clearly that there exists by nature only one Creator of the universe, and radically distinguished Him from all other realities which He had merely brought into being and existence. Considering what was useful, and as clearly as possible, neglecting every excessively subtle point, he restricted himself to deal only with that which was strictly essential.

How was it useful to him to say what is the nature of the waters, and how they were present at the beginning, or to probe the deeps and the nature of the heavens, to detour into the mode of existence of the angels? It would be difficult for anyone to cover such subjects, which I think that no one understands anyway! Would anyone even be able to do it (thanks to a knowledge lent by God, who had been there tell him), or been able to understand a so subtle speech - or rather one so inaccessible to the spirit? In fact, we find among men, at the time when the book of the very wise Moses was written, an ignorance which exceeds even that of the Greeks.  That which should have made possible for those people to understand fully the glory of God was lost, it is obvious from the account, in the pit of the deepest stupidity.  As the Scripture inspired by God says, the men of that time should have had some idea of the Creator and maker of the universe from the beauty of things created.  But they reached such a degree of wrong thinking that the things that should have led them to the knowledge of the truth shows that they were disposed instead to follow a lie.  The very wise Paul bears a witness worthy of trust to this idea by writing, "Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature, namely his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse; for although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their linking and their senseless minds were darkened."

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444), Against Julian, 2.19-21 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/cyril_against_julian_02_book2.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2017, 12:45:15 AM
Athanasius of pious memory asked abba Pambo to come down to Alexandria from the desert. And when he arrived he saw a woman of the theatre and wept. Asked by his companions why he wept he said, "Two things move me. First that this woman is lost, and secondly that I myself have not tried to please God half as much as this woman has tried to satisfy the desires of men."

-- Source (http://www.vitae-patrum.org.uk/page81.html)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2017, 01:36:12 PM
And now hear concerning faith that is based upon the Stone [Christ], and concerning the structure that is reared up upon the Stone. For first a man believes, and when he believes, he loves. When he loves, he hopes. When he hopes, he is justified. When he is justified, he is perfected. When he is perfected, he is consummated. And when his whole structure is raised up, consummated, and perfected, then he becomes a house and a temple for a dwelling-place of Christ, as Jeremiah the Prophet said: "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are you, if you amend your ways and your works." (Jer. 7:4-5) And again He said through the Prophet: "I will dwell in them and walk in them." (Lev. 26:12) And also the Blessed Apostle thus said: "You are the temple of God and the spirit of Christ dwells in you." (1 Cor. 3:16) And also our Lord again thus said to His disciples: "You are in Me and I am in you." (John 14:20)

And when the house has become a dwelling-place, then the man begins to be anxious as to that which is required for Him Who dwells in the building. Just as if a king or an honourable man, to whom a royal name is given, should lodge in the house, there would be required for the King all the appurtenances of royalty and all the service that is needed for the King's honour. For in a house that is void of all good things, the King will not lodge, nor will he dwell in the midst of it; but all that is choicest in the house is required for the King and that nothing in it be deficient. And if anything be deficient there in the house in which the King lodges, the keeper of the house is delivered over to death, because he did not make ready the service for the King. So also let the man, who becomes a house, yea a dwelling-place, for Christ, take heed to what is needed for the service of Christ, Who lodges in him, and with what things he may please Him.

-- Aphrahat (d. c. 345), Demonstration, 1.3-4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 29, 2017, 03:01:45 AM
"And behold, a hand touched me, and lifted me up upon my knees..." (Dan. 10:10) The angel appeared in the form of a man and laid his hand upon the human prophet as he lay upon the ground, in order that he might not be terrified, beholding a form like his own.

"And he said to me, 'Daniel, thou man of desires...'" (Dan. 10:11) It was fitting that he be addressed as a man of desires, for by dint of urgent prayer and affliction of body and the discipline of severe fasting he desired to learn of the future and to be informed of the secret counsels of God. Instead of "man of desires," Symmachus rendered it as "desirable man." The term is apt, for every saint possesses a beauty of soul and is beloved by the Lord.

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Commentary on Daniel (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/jerome_daniel_02_text.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 01, 2017, 09:51:37 PM
He who loves God both believes truly and performs the works of faith reverently. But he who only believes and does not love, lacks even the faith he thinks he has; for he believes merely with a certain superficiality of intellect and is not energized by the full force of love's glory. The chief part of virtue, then, is faith energized by love.

-- St. Diadochos of Photiki (d. 486), On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination: One Hundred Texts, 21
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 05, 2017, 09:19:00 PM
Most of us call ourselves sinners, and perhaps really think it; but it is indignity that tests the heart.

-- St. John Climacus (d. 7th century), The Ladder of Divine Ascent, 25.33
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 06, 2017, 05:45:23 PM
One who is pursuing the spiritual way should direct all his desire towards the Lord whom he loves; then human thoughts will find no opportunity whatever to activate within him the corresponding passions. Each passion, when active within someone whom it controls, holds his intelligence in chains; why, then, cannot zeal for holiness keep our mind free from everything else? When an angry man fights in his imagination against the person who has offended him, is he conscious of anything external? Is not the same true of the man who desires material possessions, when he imagines ways of getting what he wants? And the lustful man, even when in the company of others, often becomes oblivious of his surroundings and sits like a block of stone, saying nothing, thinking only of the women he desires; turning in upon himself, he is completely absorbed by his own fantasies. Perhaps it is a soul such as this that the Law describes as 'sitting apart' (Lev. 15:33 LXX); sitting far from the senses, it concentrates all its activities within itself, totally unconscious of external things because of the shameful fantasy that dominates it. Now if our attachment to such things gives them this power over our intelligence and stops the senses from functioning, how much more should the love of wisdom cause our intellect to renounce both sensory things and the senses themselves, lifting it up and concentrating it upon the contemplation of spiritual things?

-- St.  Nilus of Sinai (d. 430), Ascetic Discourse
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 07, 2017, 06:22:28 PM
The ordinances both of the sacred canons and of the laws allow the utensils of the Church to be sold for the redemption of captives. And so, seeing that Faustinus, the bearer of these presents, is proved to have contracted a debt of three hundred and thirty solidi for the purpose of redeeming his daughters from the yoke of captivity, and that, thirty thereof having been repaid, it is certain that he has not sufficient means for the repayment of the remaining sum, we exhort your Fraternity by this communication that you by all means give him fifteen pounds, taking his receipt for the same, out of the silver in your hands belonging to the Meriensian Church, of which he is known to be a soldier; so that, it being sold, and the debt paid, he may be freed from the bond of his obligation. But of this also your Fraternity should be careful, that in case of the aforesaid Church having so much current coin, he should receive from it the amount above-written; but otherwise you must needs supply him for the purpose in view with the sum we have stated from the consecrated vessels. For, as it is a very serious thing to sell idly ecclesiastical utensils, so on the other hand it is wrong, under pressing necessity of this kind, for an exceedingly desolated Church to prefer its property to its captives, or to loiter in redeeming them.

-- St. Gregory the Dialogist (d. 604), Register of Letters, 7.38
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 08, 2017, 10:15:49 PM
For it is not an external enemy whom we have to dread. Our foe is shut up within ourselves: an internal warfare is daily waged by us: and if we are victorious in this, all external things will be made weak, and everything will be made peaceful and subdued for the soldier of Christ. We shall have no external enemy to fear, if what is within is overcome and subdued to the spirit. And let us not believe that that external fast from visible food alone can possibly be sufficient for perfection of heart and purity of body unless with it there has also been united a fast of the soul. For the soul also has its foods which are harmful, fattened on which, even without superfluity of meats, it is involved in a downfall of wantonness.

Slander is its food, and indeed one that is very dear to it. A burst of anger also is its food, even if it be a very slight one; yet supplying it with miserable food for an hour, and destroying it as well with its deadly savour. Envy is a food of the mind, corrupting it with its poisonous juices and never ceasing to make it wretched and miserable at the prosperity and success of another. Kenodoxia, i.e., vainglory is its food, which gratifies it with a delicious meal for a time; but afterwards strips it clear and bare of all virtue, and dismisses it barren and void of all spiritual fruit, so that it makes it not only lose the rewards of huge labours, but also makes it incur heavier punishments. All lust and shifty wanderings of heart are a sort of food for the soul, nourishing it on harmful meats, but leaving it afterwards without share of the heavenly bread and of really solid food.

If then, with all the powers we have, we abstain from these in a most holy fast, our observance of the bodily fast will be both useful and profitable. For labour of the flesh, when joined with contrition of the spirit, will produce a sacrifice that is most acceptable to God, and a worthy shrine of holiness in the pure and undefiled inmost chambers of the heart. But if, while fasting as far as the body is concerned, we are entangled in the most dangerous vices of the soul, our humiliation of the flesh will do us no good whatever, while the most precious part of us is defiled: since we go wrong through that substance by virtue of which we are made a shrine of the Holy Ghost. For it is not so much the corruptible flesh as the clean heart, which is made a shrine for God, and a temple of the Holy Ghost. We ought therefore, whenever the outward man fasts, to restrain the inner man as well from food which is bad for him: that inner man, namely, which the blessed Apostle above all urges us to present pure before God, that it may be found worthy to receive Christ as a guest within, saying "that in the inner man Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." (Eph. 3:16-17)

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), Institutes, 5.21
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 09, 2017, 10:48:52 PM
And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall. And Elizabeth, having heard that they were searching for John, took him and went up into the hill-country, and kept looking where to conceal him. And there was no place of concealment. And Elizabeth, groaning with a loud voice, says: O mountain of God, receive mother and child. And immediately the mountain was cleft, and received her. And a light shone about them, for an angel of the Lord was with them, watching over them.

-- The Protoevangelium of James (mid-2nd century)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 12, 2017, 07:08:29 PM
All that Scripture therefore, which is called the Old Testament, is handed down fourfold to them who desire to know it, according to history, according to etiology, according to analogy, according to allegory. Do not think me silly for using Greek words. In the first place, because I have so received, nor do I dare to make known to you otherwise than I have received. Next you yourself perceive, that we have not in use terms for such things: and had I translated and made such, I should have been indeed more silly: but, were I to use circumlocution, I should be less free in treating: this only I pray you to believe, that in whatever way I err, I am not inflated or swollen in any thing that I do. Thus (for example) it is handed down according to history, when there is taught what has been written, or what has been done; what not done, but only written as though it had been done. According to etiology, when it is shown for what cause any thing has been done or said. According to analogy, when it is shown that the two Testaments, the Old and the New, are not contrary the one to the other. According to allegory, when it is taught that certain things which have been written are not to be taken in the letter, but are to be understood in a figure.

All these ways our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles used. For when it had been objected that His disciples had plucked the ears of grain on the sabbath-day, the instance was taken from history; "Have ye not read," says He, "what David did when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests?" (Matt. 12:3-4) But the instance pertains to etiology, that, when Christ had forbidden a wife to be put away, save for the cause of fornication, and they, who asked Him, had alleged that Moses had granted permission after a writing of divorcement had been given, "This," says He, "Moses did because of the hardness of your heart." (Matt. 19:8) For here a reason was given, why that had been well allowed by Moses for a time; that this command of Christ might seem to show that now the times were other. But it were long to explain the changes of these times, and their order arranged and settled by a certain marvellous appointment of Divine Providence.

And further, analogy, whereby the agreement of both Testaments is plainly seen... For that both history of the Old Testament, and etiology, and analogy are found in the New Testament, has been, as I think, sufficiently proved: it remains to show this of allegory. Our Redeemer Himself in the Gospel uses allegory out of the Old Testament. "This generation, says He, seeks a sign, and there shall not be given it save the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so also shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt. 11:39-40) For why should I speak of the Apostle Paul, who in his first Epistle to the Corinthians shows that even the very history of the Exodus was an allegory of the future Christian people:

"But I would not that you should be ignorant, brethren, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized into Moses, in the cloud, and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed with them; and that Rock was Christ. But in the more part of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. But these things were figures of us, that we be not lustful of evil things, as they also lusted. Neither let us worship idols, as certain of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as certain of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand men. Neither let us tempt Christ, as certain of them tempted, and perished of serpents. Neither murmur we, as certain of them murmured, and perished of the destroyer. But all these things happened unto them in a figure. But they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world have come." (1 Cor. 10:1-11)

There is also in the Apostle a certain allegory, which indeed greatly relates to the cause in hand, for this reason that they themselves are wont to bring it forward, and make a display of it in disputing. For the same Paul says to the Galatians: "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one of a bond-maid, and one of a free woman. But he who was of the bond-maid was born after the flesh: but he who was of the free woman, by promise: which things were spoken by way of allegory. For these are the two Testaments, one of Mount Sinai gendering unto bondage, which is Agar: for Sinai is a mount in Arabia, which borders upon that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." (Gal. 4:22-26)

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), On the Profit of Believing, 5-8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 13, 2017, 05:02:37 PM
Wherefore, most peace-loving prince, vouchsafe for the Faith's sake to avert this danger from your Godly conscience, and let not man's presumption use violence upon Christ's Gospel. In my sincere desire, which is shared by the bishops that are with me, that you, most Christian and revered prince, should before all things please God, to whom the prayers of the whole Church are poured with one accord for your empire, I give you counsel, for fear lest, if we keep silence on so great a matter, we incur punishment before the tribunal of Christ. I entreat you therefore before the undivided Trinity of the one Godhead, which is injured by these evil doings, and which is the guardian of your kingdom, and before Christ's holy angels that all things remain intact as they were before the judgment, and that they await the weightier decision of the Synod at which the whole number of the bishops in the whole world is gathered together: and do not allow yourselves to bear the weight of others' misdoing. We are constrained to say this plainly by the fear of a constraining necessity. But keep before your eyes the blessed Peter's glory, and the crowns which all the Apostles have in common with him, and the joys of the martyrs who had no other incentive to suffering but the confession of the true Godhead and the perfect continuance in Christ.

-- Pope St. Leo (d. 461), Letter 43.2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 19, 2017, 01:04:54 AM
I once heard a medical man tell of a wonderful freak of nature. And this was his story. A man was ill of an unmanageable complaint, and began to find fault with the medical faculty, as being able to do far less than it professed; for everything that was devised for his cure was ineffectual. Afterwards when some good news beyond his hopes was brought him, the occurrence did the work of the healing art, by putting an end to his disease. Whether it were that the soul by the overflowing sense of release from anxiety, and by a sudden rebound, disposed the body to be in the same condition as itself, or in some other way, I cannot say: for I have no leisure to enter upon such disquisitions, and the person who told me did not specify the cause. But I have just called to mind the story very seasonably, as I think: for when I was not as well as I could wish— now I need not tell you exactly the causes of all the worries which befell me from the time I was with you to the present—after some one told me all at once of the letter which had arrived from your unparalleled Erudition, as soon as I got the epistle and ran over what you had written, immediately, first my soul was affected in the same way as though I had been proclaimed before all the world as the hero of most glorious achievements— so highly did I value the testimony which you favoured me with in your letter—and then also my bodily health immediately began to improve: and I afford an example of the same marvel as the story which I told you just now, in that I was ill when I read one half of the letter, and well when I read the other half of the same.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. 395), Letter 10
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 19, 2017, 10:16:12 PM
The exile who comes here, the grieving, weary, and needy
here rediscovers, in your protection, his own native land.
You remove his grief, you turn his laments to joy,
you banish exile, you lovingly provide him a home.
The poor can get food and the naked get clothing,
here everyone always finds the blessings he wants.
You provide a single consolation, but universally bestowed on all:
the father of your people, you religiously perform many holy deeds.

-- St. Venantius Fortunatus (d. 609), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=t1v3t91b5d0C&lpg=PP1&dq=Venantius%20Fortunatus&pg=PA40#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 20, 2017, 11:49:24 PM
For God at the first, indeed, warning them by means of natural precepts, which from the beginning He had implanted in mankind, that is, by means of the Decalogue (which, if any one does not observe, he has no salvation), did then demand nothing more of them. As Moses says in Deuteronomy, "These are all the words which the Lord spoke to the whole assembly of the sons of Israel on the mount, and He added no more; and He wrote them on two tables of stone, and gave them to me." (Deut 5:22) For this reason [He did so], that they who are willing to follow Him might keep these commandments. But when they turned themselves to make a calf, and had gone back in their minds to Egypt, desiring to be slaves instead of free-men, they were placed for the future in a state of servitude suited to their wish—[a slavery] which did not indeed cut them off from God, but subjected them to the yoke of bondage; as Ezekiel the prophet, when stating the reasons for the giving of such a law, declares: "And their eyes were after the desire of their heart; and I gave them statutes that were not good, and judgments in which they shall not live." (Eze. 20:24)...

And not only so, but the Lord also showed that certain precepts were enacted for them by Moses, on account of their hardness [of heart], and because of their unwillingness to be obedient, when, on their saying to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement, and to send away a wife?" He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he permitted these things to you; but from the beginning it was not so," (Matt. 19:7-8) thus exculpating Moses as a faithful servant, but acknowledging one God, who from the beginning made male and female, and reproving them as hard-hearted and disobedient. And therefore it was that they received from Moses this law of divorcement, adapted to their hard nature.

But why say I these things concerning the Old Testament? For in the New also are the apostles found doing this very thing, on the ground which has been mentioned, Paul plainly declaring, "But these things I say, not the Lord." (1 Cor. 7:12) And again: "But this I speak by permission, not by commandment." (1 Cor. 7:6) And again: "Now, as concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one that has obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful." (1 Cor. 7:25) But further, in another place he says: "That Satan tempt you not for your incontinence." (1 Cor. 7:5) If, therefore, even in the New Testament, the apostles are found granting certain precepts in consideration of human infirmity, because of the incontinence of some, lest such persons, having grown obdurate, and despairing altogether of their salvation, should become apostates from God—it ought not to be wondered at, if also in the Old Testament the same God permitted similar indulgences for the benefit of His people, drawing them on by means of the ordinances already mentioned, so that they might obtain the gift of salvation through them, while they obeyed the Decalogue, and being restrained by Him, should not revert to idolatry, nor apostatize from God, but learn to love Him with the whole heart.

-- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Against Heresies, 4.15.1-2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on April 21, 2017, 12:52:20 AM
And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall.
-- The Protoevangelium of James (mid-2nd century)
In the gospels, didn't the holy family immediately go to Egypt because of Joseph's dream?

Matthew 2 records:

Quote
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod.

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 21, 2017, 10:00:44 PM
On account of her faith and hospitality, Rahab the harlot was saved. For when spies were sent by Joshua, the son of Nun, to Jericho, the king of the country ascertained that they had come to spy out their land, and sent men to seize them, in order that, when taken, they might be put to death. But the hospitable Rahab receiving them, concealed them on the roof of her house under some stalks of flax. And when the men sent by the king arrived and said, "There came men unto you who are to spy out our land; bring them forth, for so the king commands," she answered them, "The two men whom you seek came unto me, but quickly departed again and are gone, thus not discovering the spies to them." Then she said to the men, "I know assuredly that the Lord your God has given you this city, for the fear and dread of you have fallen on its inhabitants. When therefore you shall have taken it, keep ye me and the house of my father in safety. And they said to her, It shall be as you have spoken to us. As soon, therefore, as you know that we are at hand, you shall gather all your family under your roof, and they shall be preserved, but all that are found outside of your dwelling shall perish." Moreover, they gave her a sign to this effect, that she should hang forth from her house a scarlet thread. And thus they made it manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all them that believe and hope in God. You see, beloved, that there was not only faith, but prophecy, in this woman.

-- St. Clement of Rome (d. 99), First Epistle to the Corinthians, 12
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 21, 2017, 10:03:12 PM
And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall.
-- The Protoevangelium of James (mid-2nd century)
In the gospels, didn't the holy family immediately go to Egypt because of Joseph's dream?

Matthew 2 records:

Quote
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod.


As much as I usually shy away from simple harmonizations... could both have happened, perhaps even one following quickly after the other?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on April 21, 2017, 10:58:09 PM
And when Herod knew that he had been mocked by the Magi, in a rage he sent murderers, saying to them: Slay the children from two years old and under. And Mary, having heard that the children were being killed, was afraid, and took the infant and swaddled Him, and put Him into an ox-stall.
-- The Protoevangelium of James (mid-2nd century)
In the gospels, didn't the holy family immediately go to Egypt because of Joseph's dream?

Matthew 2 records:

Quote
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod.


As much as I usually shy away from simple harmonizations... could both have happened, perhaps even one following quickly after the other?

In Matt. 2, the magi visit Herod, agree to return to Herod when they find the child, then don't return, and Herod decides from their absence to go on the attack.

During the dream, Herod has not yet gone on the attack. The angel says that Herod will attack later. As a result, then still during that same night, Joseph leaves for Egypt, successfully escaping.

The only way to harmonize this is that during the night while preparing to leave, Mary very briefly hid Jesus in the ox stall. How did Mary learn that the children were being attacked? Maybe from Joseph. SO Joseph had awakened, told Mary, and then on hearing this Mary put Jesus in the oxstall while Joseph was preparing to leave.

Otherwise, did Joseph learn of the later killing and stay asleep while the killing began, and Mary heard about it from someone else? That sounds unlikely. In Matthew, Joseph learns that the children will be killed and that same night he leaves. Did he and Mary stay around for 3 hours in the manger after hearing of the killing while considering leaving and while keeping Jesus alone in the oxstall? That sounds unlikely. It sounds like they left immediately.

Here is Matthew's broader passage (KJV):
Quote
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
...
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
1. Herod says that when they find the child to bring him word.
2. The magi have a dream and so they leave without telling Herod
3. After the magi leave, then next the angel says that later on Herod will kill the infants.
4. Joseph that same night when he arises takes Jesus and leaves for Egypt.
5. When Herod finds out the magi deceived him, he started killing the babies.

So when did Herod find out the magi deceived him? The same night? I suppose some people could have reported this to Herod the same night. Then after Joseph's dream but before leaving, Herod could start killing the babies while Joseph was still asleep.

But that doesn't seem likely either. The reason people usually remember dreams is because they wake up during the dream. And indeed here, Joseph woke up during the night. It seems likely that as soon as the angel gave the warning of the future killing, Joseph awoke and "when he arose he took Mary and left" as Matthew says. Yet according to the Protoevangelium, the killings were already going on when Mary learned about it.

I think it's harmonizable, but the harmonization feels kind of sketchy.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Mor Ephrem on April 21, 2017, 11:03:14 PM
Something's sketchy alright...
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on April 23, 2017, 08:53:09 PM
Something's sketchy alright...
I welcome you to present your own ideas on the timing issue that I raised.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on April 24, 2017, 12:47:24 PM
On doubts about The Protoevangelium of James:
Quote
The first mention of it is by Origen of Alexandria in the early 3rd century, who says the text, like that of a Gospel of Peter, was of dubious, recent appearance and shared with that book the claim that the "brethren of the Lord" were sons of Joseph by a former wife.[7]

Pope Innocent I condemned this Gospel of James in his third epistle ad Exuperium in 405 A.D., and the so-called Gelasian Decree also excluded it as canonical around 500 A.D.[8][9] Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologiae rejects the Protevangelium of James teaching that that midwives were present at Christ's birth, and invokes Jerome as contending that the words of the canonical gospels show that Mary was both mother and midwife, that she wrapped up the child with swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. And thus concludes, "These words prove the falseness of the apocryphal ravings."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_James
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2017, 06:21:58 PM
For although "the new yoke is easy and the burden light," (Matt. 11:20) as you are told, yet this is on account of the hope and the reward, which is far more abundant than the hardships of this life. If it were not so, who would not say that the Gospel is more full of toil and trouble than the enactments of the Law? For, while the Law prohibits only the completed acts of sin, we are condemned for the causes also, almost as if they were acts. The Law says "You shall not commit adultery," but you may not even desire, kindling passion by curious and earnest looks. "You shall not kill" says the Law, but you are not even to return a blow, but on the contrary are to offer yourself to the smiter. How much more ascetic is the Gospel than the Law! You shall not forswear yourself is the Law, but you are not to swear at all, either a greater or a lesser oath, for an oath is the parent of perjury. [The Law says] you shall not join house to house, nor field to field, oppressing the poor, but you are to set aside willingly even your just possessions, and to be stripped for the poor, that without encumbrance you may take up the Cross and be enriched with the unseen riches.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. 390), Oration 45.17
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 25, 2017, 06:05:33 PM
What power, O robber, led thee to the light?  Who taught thee to worship that despised Man, thy companion on the Cross?  O Light Eternal, which gives light to them that are in darkness!  Therefore also he justly heard the words, "Be of good cheer," (cf Jn. 16:33) not that thy deeds are worthy of good cheer; but that the King is here, dispensing favours.  The request reached unto a distant time; but the grace was very speedy.  "Verily I say unto thee, This day shalt thou be with Me in Paradise," (Lk. 23:43) because to-day thou hast heard My voice, and hast not hardened thine (cf Ps. 95:7-8).  Very speedily I passed sentence upon Adam, very speedily I pardon thee.  To him it was said, "In the day wherein ye eat, ye shall surely die" (Gen. 2:17); but thou today hast obeyed the faith, today is thy salvation.  Adam by the Tree fell away; thou by the Tree art brought into Paradise.  Fear not the serpent; he shall not cast thee out; for he is fallen from heaven (cf Lk. 10:18)  And I say not unto thee, This day shalt thou depart, but, This day shalt thou be with Me.  Be of good courage:  thou shalt not be cast out.  Fear not the flaming sword; it shrinks from its Lord (Gen. 3:24) O mighty and ineffable grace!  The faithful Abraham had not yet entered, but the robber enters. Moses and the Prophets had not yet entered, and the robber enters though a breaker of the law.  Paul also wondered at this before thee, saying, "Where sin abounded, there grace did much more abound." (Rom. 5:20)  They who had borne the heat of the day had not yet entered; and he of the eleventh hour entered.  Let none murmur against the goodman of the house, for he says, "Friend, I do thee no wrong; is it not lawful for Me to do what I will with Mine own"? (Matt. 20:12)  The robber has a will to work righteousness, but death prevents him; I wait not exclusively for the work, but faith also I accept.  "I am come who feed My sheep among the lilies." (Song 6:3) I am come to feed them in the gardens.  "I have found a sheep that was lost" (Lk. 15:5-6), but I lay it on My shoulders; for he believes, since he himself has said, "I have gone astray like a lost sheep" (Ps. 119:176) Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Catechetical Lectures, 13.31
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 25, 2017, 06:13:30 PM
In Matt. 2, the magi visit Herod, agree to return to Herod when they find the child, then don't return, and Herod decides from their absence to go on the attack.

During the dream, Herod has not yet gone on the attack. The angel says that Herod will attack later. As a result, then still during that same night, Joseph leaves for Egypt, successfully escaping.

This timeline hinges on the dreams of the Magi and Joseph happening one immediately after the other ("that same night"), but I don't see that in the text. It says, "And when they were departed," which could mean an hour later or a month later, or innumerable other spaces of time.  Is there something in the Greek which suggests one following the other the same night?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2017, 09:32:02 PM
But in Your Resurrection You persuade them concerning Your Birth; since the womb was sealed, and the sepulchre closed up; being alike pure in the womb, and living in the sepulchre. The womb and the sepulchre being sealed were witnesses unto You. The belly and hell cried aloud of Your Birth and Your Resurrection: The belly conceived You, which was sealed; hell brought You forth which was closed up. Not after nature did either the belly conceive You, or hell give You up!

Sealed was the sepulchre whereto they had entrusted You, that it might keep the dead [safe], Virgin was the womb which no man knew. Virgin womb and sealed sepulchre, like trumpets, proclaimed Him in the ears of a deaf people. The sealed belly and the closed rock were among the accusers. For they slandered the Conception as being of the seed of man, and the Resurrection as being of the robbery of man; the seal and the signet convicted them, and pleaded that You were of Heaven.

The people stood between Your Birth and Your Resurrection. They slandered Your Birth, Your Death condemned them: they set aside Your Resurrection, Your Birth refuted them; they were two wrestlers that stopped the mouth that slandered.

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian (d. 373), Hymns on the Nativity, 8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Mor Ephrem on April 27, 2017, 11:07:36 AM
^Love that man...
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 27, 2017, 07:04:07 PM
Once, indeed, He descended, and once He ascended,— not, however, through any change of nature, but only in the condescension of His philanthropic Christhood; and He is seated as the Word with the Father, and as the Word He dwells in the womb, and as the Word He is found everywhere, and is never separated from the God of the universe. Aforetime did the devil deride the nature of man with great laughter, and he has had his joy over the times of our calamity as his festal-days. But the laughter is only a three days' pleasure, while the wailing is eternal; and his great laughter has prepared for him a greater wailing and ceaseless tears, and inconsolable weeping, and a sword in his heart. This sword did our Leader forge against the enemy with fire in the virgin furnace, in such wise and after such fashion as He willed, and gave it its point by the energy of His invincible divinity, and dipped it in the water of an undefiled baptism, and sharpened it by sufferings without passion in them, and made it bright by the mystical resurrection; and herewith by Himself He put to death the vengeful adversary, together with his whole host.

-- St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 270), On All the Saints (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0610.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 28, 2017, 08:41:52 PM
Let us exclaim without ceasing, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord! Very God, in the name of the Very God, the Omnipotent from the Omnipotent, the Son in the name of the Father. The true King from the true King, whose kingdom, even as His who begot Him, is with eternity, coeval and pre-existent to it. For this is common to both; nor does the Scripture attribute this honour to the Son, as if it came from another source, nor as if it had a beginning, or could be added to or diminished— away with the thought!— but as that which is His of right by nature, and by a true and proper possession. For the kingdom of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is one, even as their substance is one and their dominion one.

Whence also, with one and the same adoration, we worship the one Deity in three Persons, subsisting without beginning, uncreate, without end, and to which there is no successor. For neither will the Father ever cease to be the Father, nor again the Son to be the Son and King, nor the Holy Ghost to be what in substance and personality He is. For nothing of the Trinity will suffer diminution, either in respect of eternity, or of communion, or of sovereignty. For not on that account is the Son of God called king, because for our sakes He was made man, and in the flesh cast down the tyrant that was against us, having, by taking this upon Him, obtained the victory over its cruel enemy, but because He is always Lord and God; therefore it is that now, both after His assumption of the flesh and for ever, He remains a king, even as He who begot Him. Speak not, O heretic, against the kingdom of Christ, lest you dishonour Him who begot Him. If you are faithful, in faith approach Christ, our very Cod, and not as using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness. If you are a servant, with trembling be subject unto your Master; for he who fights against the Word is not a well-disposed servant, but a manifest enemy, as it is written: He that honours not the Son, honours not the Father which has sent Him.

-- St. Methodius of Olympus (d. 311), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0628.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 29, 2017, 07:07:13 PM
But the multitude are frightened at the Hellenic philosophy, as children are at masks, being afraid lest it lead them astray. But if the faith (for I cannot call it knowledge) which they possess be such as to be dissolved by plausible speech, let it be by all means dissolved, and let them confess that they will not retain the truth. For truth is immoveable; but false opinion dissolves. We choose, for instance, one purple by comparison with another purple. So that, if one confesses that he has not a heart that has been made right, he has not the table of the money-changers or the test of words. And how can he be any longer a money-changer, who is not able to prove and distinguish spurious coin, even offhand?

Now David cried, "The righteous shall not be shaken for ever;" (Ps. 112:6) neither, consequently, by deceptive speech nor by erring pleasure. Whence he shall never be shaken from his own heritage. "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings;" (Ps. 112:7) consequently neither of unfounded calumny, nor of the false opinion around him. No more will he dread cunning words, who is capable of distinguishing them, or of answering rightly to questions asked. Such a bulwark are dialectics, that truth cannot be trampled under foot by the Sophists. "For it behooves those who praise in the holy name of the Lord," according to the prophet, "to rejoice in heart, seeking the Lord. Seek then Him, and be strong. Seek His face continually in every way." (Ps. 105:3-4) "For, having spoken at sundry times and in various manners," (Heb. 1:1) it is not in one way only that He is known.

-- St. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215), The Stromata, 6.10 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02106.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 02, 2017, 01:26:31 AM
In the case of those who have sent Christian slaves to offer sacrifice for them, the slaves indeed as being in their master's hands, and in a manner themselves also in the custody of their masters, and being threatened by them, and from their fear having come to this pass and having lapsed, shall during the year show forth the works of penitence, learning for the future, as the slaves of Christ, to do the will of Christ and to fear Him, listening to this especially, that "whatsoever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." (Eph. 6:8)

-- St. Peter of Alexandria (d. 311), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0620.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 03, 2017, 07:01:35 PM
After the sermons of the Bishops, the prayer for the catechumens is to be made first by itself; and after the catechumens have gone out, the prayer for those who are under penance; and, after these have passed under the hand [of the Bishop] and departed, there should then be offered the three prayers of the faithful, the first to be said entirely in silence, the second and third aloud, and then the [kiss of] peace is to be given. And, after the presbyters have given the [kiss of] peace to the Bishop, then the laity are to give it [to one another], and so the Holy Oblation is to be completed. And it is lawful to the priesthood alone to go to the Altar and [there] communicate.

-- Council of Laodicea (364), Canon 19
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 04, 2017, 11:40:29 AM
But to me Jesus Christ is in the place of all that is ancient: His cross, and death, and resurrection, and the faith which is by Him, are undefiled monuments of antiquity; by which I desire, through your prayers, to be justified. The priests indeed are good, but the High Priest [Christ] is better; to whom the holy of holies has been committed, and who alone has been trusted with the secrets of God. He is the door of the Father, by which enter in Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the prophets, and the apostles, and the Church. All these have for their object the attaining to the unity of God. But the Gospel possesses something transcendent [above the former dispensation], viz., the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, His passion and resurrection. For the beloved prophets announced Him, but the Gospel is the perfection of immortality.

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107), Epistle to the Philadelphians, 8-9
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 05, 2017, 04:07:39 PM
Understand, then, you children of gladness, that the good Lord has foreshown all things to us, that we might know to whom we ought for everything to render thanksgiving and praise. If therefore the Son of God, who is Lord [of all things], and who will judge the living and the dead, suffered, that His stroke might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God could not have suffered except for our sakes. Moreover, when fixed to the cross, He had given Him to drink vinegar and gall. (Matt. 27:34) Hearken how the priests of the people gave previous indications of this. His commandment having been written, the Lord enjoined, that whosoever did not keep the fast should be put to death, because He also Himself was to offer in sacrifice for our sins the vessel of the Spirit, in order that the type established in Isaac when he was offered upon the altar might be fully accomplished. What, then, says He in the prophet? "And let them eat of the goat which is offered, with fasting, for all their sins." Attend carefully: "And let all the priests alone eat the inwards, unwashed with vinegar." Wherefore? Because to me, who am to offer my flesh for the sins of my new people, you are to give gall with vinegar to drink: eat alone, while the people fast and mourn in sackcloth and ashes. [These things were done] that He might show that it was necessary for Him to suffer for them.

How, then, ran the commandment? Give your attention. Take two goats of goodly aspect, and similar to each other, and offer them. And let the priest take one as a burnt-offering for sins. And what should they do with the other? "Accursed," says He, "is the one." Mark how the type of Jesus now comes out. "And all of you spit upon it, and pierce it, and encircle its head with scarlet wool, and thus let it be driven into the wilderness." And when all this has been done, he who bears the goat brings it into the desert, and takes the wool off from it, and places that upon a shrub which is called Rachia, of which also we are accustomed to eat the fruits when we find them in the field. Of this kind of shrub alone the fruits are sweet.  Why then, again, is this? Give good heed. [You see] "one upon the altar, and the other accursed;" and why [do you behold] the one that is accursed crowned? Because they shall see Him then in that day having a scarlet robe about his body down to his feet; and they shall say, Is not this He whom we once despised, and pierced, and mocked, and crucified? Truly this is He who then declared Himself to be the Son of God. For how like is He to Him! With a view to this, [He required] the goats to be of goodly aspect, and similar, that, when they see Him then coming, they may be amazed by the likeness of the goat. Behold, then, the type of Jesus who was to suffer. But why is it that they place the wool in the midst of thorns? It is a type of Jesus set before the view of the Church. [They place the wool among thorns], that any one who wishes to bear it away may find it necessary to suffer much, because the thorn is formidable, and thus obtain it only as the result of suffering. Thus also, says He, "Those who wish to behold Me, and lay hold of My kingdom, must through tribulation and suffering obtain Me." (Acts 14:22)

-- Epistle of Barnabas (1st century)

(so far as I can tell, it is unknown which Jewish text the author is referencing)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 06, 2017, 08:04:03 PM
For many, in discussing the subject of the resurrection, have rested the whole cause on the third argument alone, deeming that the cause of the resurrection is the judgment. But the fallacy of this is very clearly shown, from the fact that, although all human beings who die rise again, yet not all who rise again are to be judged: for if only a just judgment were the cause of the resurrection, it would of course follow that those who had done neither evil nor good— namely, very young children — would not rise again; but seeing that all are to rise again, those who have died in infancy as well as others, they too justify our conclusion that the resurrection takes place not for the sake of the judgment as the primary reason, but in consequence of the purpose of God in forming men, and the nature of the beings so formed.

-- St. Athenagoras of Athens (d. 190), On the Resurrection of the Dead, 14
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 07, 2017, 07:21:07 PM
It is not lawful for truth to be in conflict and contradiction with herself; nor that of two pronounced opposites there should exist but one and the same ground and cause. The universe is ordered by the divine laws of the providence of God that controls all things, and the peculiar nature of man's soul renders him master of himself and judge, ruler and lord of himself; and it teaches him through the laws of nature, and the tenets of philosophy, that of things which exist some are within our own control, but others not; and within our control is everything which comes into being in accordance with our will and choice and action, and these are naturally free, unhindered and unimpeded. But such things as are not in our control are weak and  servile, restrained and alien to ourselves; for example, our bodily processes and external objects which are both lifeless and destitute of reason, and in their manner of existence wholly foreign to the proper nature of a reasonable living creature.

As for things which are in our control, each one of us possesses in the will itself alternative impulses of virtue and vice; and while the principle which controls the universe and governs it executes its rounds in direct accordance with nature, it is at the same time always accompanied by a justice which punishes infractions of the divine law; but for the motives on which we act the responsibility lies not with destiny nor fate, nor with necessity. It lies with him who makes the choice, and God is not to be blamed. If therefore anyone is so foolhardy as to controvert the fact of our responsibility, let him be duly exposed; and let him openly proclaim that lie is an atheist, seeing that he does not recognize either providence or God or anything else except the Fates and necessity. And let him bare-headed enumerate the consequences of these doctrines, let him cease to call anyone wise or foolish, just or unjust, virtuous or vicious, or charlatan; let him deny that anyone is divine in our humanity, that there is any philosophy, any education, in a word any art of any kind, or science, let him not call anyone else by nature good or evil, but admit that everything whatever is whirled round in an eddy of necessity by the spindles of the Fates.

-- Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 340), Against Hierocles, 42 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/eusebius_against_hierocles.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 08, 2017, 04:20:07 PM
"Save me, O God, by Thy Name, and judge me by Thy power. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear unto the words of my mouth." (Ps. 54:1-2) The suffering of the Prophet David is, according to the account we have given of the title, a type of the Passion of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. This is why his prayer also corresponds in sense with the prayer of Him Who being the Word was made flesh: in such wise that He Who suffered all things after the manner of man, in everything He said, spoke after the manner of man; and He who bore the infirmities and took on Him the sins of men approached God in prayer with the humility proper to men. This interpretation, even though we be unwilling and slow to receive it, is required by the meaning and force of the words, so that there can be no doubt that everything in the Psalm is uttered by David as His mouthpiece. For he says: "Save me O God, by Thy name." Thus prays in bodily humiliation, using the words of His own Prophet, the Only-begotten Son of God, Who at the same time was claiming again the glory which He had possessed before the ages. He asks to be saved by the Name of God whereby He was called and wherein He was begotten, in order that the Name of God which rightly belonged to His former nature and kind might avail to save Him in that body wherein He had been born.

And because the whole of this passage is the utterance of One in the form of a servant—of a servant obedient unto the death of the Cross—which He took upon Him and for which He supplicates the saving help of the Name that belongs to God, and being sure of salvation by that Name, He immediately adds: "and judge Me by Thy power." For now as the reward for His humility in emptying Himself and assuming the form of a servant, in the same humility in which He had assumed it, He was asking to resume the form which He shared with God, having saved to bear the Name of God that humanity in which as God He had obediently condescended to be born. And in order to teach us that the dignity of this Name whereby He prayed to be saved is something more than an empty title, He prays to be judged by the power of God. For a right award is the essential result of judgment, as the Scripture says: "Becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the Cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him and gave unto Him the name which is above every name." (Phil. 2:8-9)

Thus, first of all the name which is above every name is given unto Him; then next, this is a judgment of decisive force, because by the power of God, He, Who after being God had died as man, rose again from death as man to be God, as the Apostle says: "He was crucified from weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God" (2 Cor. 13:4), and again: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth" (Rom. 1:16). For by the power of the Judgment human weakness is rescued to bear God’s name and nature; and thus as the reward for His obedience He is exalted by the power of this judgment unto the saving protection of God’s name; whence He possesses both the Name and the Power of God. Again, if the Prophet had begun this utterance in the way men generally speak, he would have asked to be judged by mercy or kindness, not by power. But judgment by power was a necessity in the case of One Who being the Son of God was born of a virgin to be Son of Man, and Who now being Son of Man was to have the Name and power of the Son of God restored to Him by the power of judgment.

-- St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 367), Homily on Psalm 54
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on May 08, 2017, 04:54:39 PM
Understand, then, you children of gladness, that the good Lord has foreshown all things to us, that we might know to whom we ought for everything to render thanksgiving and praise. If therefore the Son of God, who is Lord [of all things], and who will judge the living and the dead, suffered, that His stroke might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God could not have suffered except for our sakes. Moreover, when fixed to the cross, He had given Him to drink vinegar and gall. (Matt. 27:34) Hearken how the priests of the people gave previous indications of this. His commandment having been written, the Lord enjoined, that whosoever did not keep the fast should be put to death, because He also Himself was to offer in sacrifice for our sins the vessel of the Spirit, in order that the type established in Isaac when he was offered upon the altar might be fully accomplished. What, then, says He in the prophet? "And let them eat of the goat which is offered, with fasting, for all their sins." Attend carefully: "And let all the priests alone eat the inwards, unwashed with vinegar." Wherefore? Because to me, who am to offer my flesh for the sins of my new people, you are to give gall with vinegar to drink: eat alone, while the people fast and mourn in sackcloth and ashes. [These things were done] that He might show that it was necessary for Him to suffer for them.

How, then, ran the commandment? Give your attention. Take two goats of goodly aspect, and similar to each other, and offer them. And let the priest take one as a burnt-offering for sins. And what should they do with the other? "Accursed," says He, "is the one." Mark how the type of Jesus now comes out. "And all of you spit upon it, and pierce it, and encircle its head with scarlet wool, and thus let it be driven into the wilderness." And when all this has been done, he who bears the goat brings it into the desert, and takes the wool off from it, and places that upon a shrub which is called Rachia, of which also we are accustomed to eat the fruits when we find them in the field. Of this kind of shrub alone the fruits are sweet.  Why then, again, is this? Give good heed. [You see] "one upon the altar, and the other accursed;" and why [do you behold] the one that is accursed crowned? Because they shall see Him then in that day having a scarlet robe about his body down to his feet; and they shall say, Is not this He whom we once despised, and pierced, and mocked, and crucified? Truly this is He who then declared Himself to be the Son of God. For how like is He to Him! With a view to this, [He required] the goats to be of goodly aspect, and similar, that, when they see Him then coming, they may be amazed by the likeness of the goat. Behold, then, the type of Jesus who was to suffer. But why is it that they place the wool in the midst of thorns? It is a type of Jesus set before the view of the Church. [They place the wool among thorns], that any one who wishes to bear it away may find it necessary to suffer much, because the thorn is formidable, and thus obtain it only as the result of suffering. Thus also, says He, "Those who wish to behold Me, and lay hold of My kingdom, must through tribulation and suffering obtain Me." (Acts 14:22)

-- Epistle of Barnabas (1st century)

(so far as I can tell, it is unknown which Jewish text the author is referencing)
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 09, 2017, 09:41:49 PM
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.

Any idea on specifics? I looked around a bit before posting it, but it certainly wasn't an exhaustive search.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 09, 2017, 09:47:55 PM
He said to me, "Be simple and guileless, and you will be as the children who know not the wickedness that ruins the life of men. First, then, speak evil of no one, nor listen with pleasure to any one who speaks evil of another. But if you listen, you will partake of the sin of him who speaks evil, if you believe the slander which you hear; for believing it, you will also have something to say against your brother. Thus, then, will you be guilty of the sin of him who slanders. For slander is evil and an unsteady demon. It never abides in peace, but always remains in discord. Keep yourself from it, and you will always be at peace with all. Put on a holiness in which there is no wicked cause of offense, but all deeds that are equable and joyful. Practise goodness; and from the rewards of your labours, which God gives you, give to all the needy in simplicity, not hesitating as to whom you are to give or not to give. Give to all, for God wishes His gifts to be shared among all. They who receive, will render an account to God why and for what they have received. For the afflicted who receive will not be condemned, but they who receive on false pretences will suffer punishment. He, then, who gives is guiltless. For as he received from the Lord, so has he accomplished his service in simplicity, not hesitating as to whom he should give and to whom he should not give. This service, then, if accomplished in simplicity, is glorious with God. He, therefore, who thus ministers in simplicity, will live to God. Keep therefore these commandments, as I have given them to you, that your repentance and the repentance of your house may be found in simplicity, and your heart may be pure and stainless."

-- Hermas (mid-2nd century), The Shepherd, 2.2
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on May 10, 2017, 12:15:15 AM
Asteriktos,
How do you get these quotes, are they random things you choose yourself?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on May 10, 2017, 12:16:52 AM
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.

Any idea on specifics? I looked around a bit before posting it, but it certainly wasn't an exhaustive search.
My favorite editions of the church fathers are the ones with footnotes showing cross references. Most of the time the editions don't have the footnotes, but some do.

Also, epistle of barnabas seemed to sometimes beparaphrasing general concepts from memory.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on May 10, 2017, 12:27:42 AM
The author refers to different Jewish verses. The one about animal sacrifice seems to be from the Torah, eg. Leviticus., which has some rules about goat slaughter.

Any idea on specifics? I looked around a bit before posting it, but it certainly wasn't an exhaustive search.
One annotated version pointed to this:

Lev 16:3-37; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=+Lev+16%3A3-37%3B+23%3A26-32%3B+25%3A9%2C+Ex+30%3A10%2C+Num+29%3A7-11&version=KJV

Three Commentaries & Endnotes:
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rak/publics/barn/barndiss01.htm

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob17.htm#fn_640

https://books.google.com/books?id=Sio-XwY4Q4AC&pg=PT31&lpg=PT31&dq=%22epistle+of+barnabas%22+endnotes+OR+footnotes&source=bl&ots=sZSFdFiUli&sig=woroyXManqD4xoU96tZCgx2AEtE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjP74GvvOTTAhUC6yYKHc7QDMIQ6AEITzAI#v=onepage&q=%22epistle%20of%20barnabas%22%20endnotes%20OR%20footnotes&f=false

Quote
3 Hear therefore how the priests of the temple did foreshew this also:  1 the Lord by his command which was written, declared that whosoever did not fast the appointed fast he  2 should die the death: because he also was himself one day to offer up his  3 body for our sins; that so the type of what was done in  4 Isaac might be fulfilled, who was offered upon the altar.

4 What therefore is it that he says by the prophet?  5 And let them eat of the goat which is offered in the day of the fast for all their sins. Hearken diligently (my brethren,) and all the priests, and they only shall eat the inwards not washed with vinegar.

5 Why so? because  6 I know that when I shall hereafter offer my flesh for the sins of a new people, ye will give me vinegar to drink mixed with gall; therefore do ye only eat, the people fasting the while, and lamenting in sackcloth and ashes.

6 And that he might foreshew that he was to suffer for them, hear then how he appointed it.

7  7 Take, says he, two goats, fair and alike, and offer them, and let the high priest take one of them for a burnt offering. And what must be done with the other? Let it says he be accursed.

8 Consider how exactly this appears to have been a type of Jesus.  8 And let all the congregation spit upon it, and prick it; and put the scarlet wool about its head, and thus let it be carried forth into the wilderness.

9 And this being done, he that was appointed to convey the goat, led it into the wilderness,  9 and took away the scarlet wool, and put it upon a thorn bush, whose  10 young sprouts when we find them in the field we are wont to eat: so the fruit of that thorn only is sweet.

10 And to what end was this ceremony? Consider; one was offered upon the altar, the other was accursed.

11 And why was that which was accursed crowned? Because they shall see Christ in that day having a scarlet garment about his body; and shall say: Is not this he whom we crucified; having despised him, pierced him, mocked him? Certainly, this is he, who then said, that he was the Son of God.

12  11 As therefore he shall be then like to what he was on earth, so were the Jews heretofore commanded, to take two goats fair and equal. That when they shall see (our Saviour) hereafter coming (in the clouds of heaven), they may be amazed at the likeness of the goats.

13 Wherefore  12 ye here again see a type of Jesus who was to suffer for us.


Endnotes

152:1 In same manner applied Heb. ix.

152:2 Lev. xxiii. 29.

152:3 The vessel of his spirit.

152:4 Gen. xxii.

152:5 Numb. xxix., &c., Vic. Cot. in Marg. et Annot. in loc.

152:6 Vid. Annot. Cot.

152:7 Levit xi. Vid. Maimon, tract. de die Exv. Edit. du Veil, p. 350, &c.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/lbob/lbob17.htm#fn_640

Was there something unusual that made you ask about this?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 10, 2017, 01:28:49 PM
Asteriktos,
How do you get these quotes, are they random things you choose yourself?

There's some semblance of a process, but more or less random yeah. I usually pick a name at random, someone who hasn't been quoted in a while (or ever), and then find something by or about them and just start reading. When I come across something that seems interesting I post it. The only thing beyond that is I try to be somewhat balanced (not all Eastern Fathers, not just quotes I happen to agree with, etc.)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 13, 2017, 01:35:44 AM
Was there something unusual that made you ask about this?

Just came up empty with my own search and was curious... thanks for posting the material :)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 13, 2017, 02:03:29 AM
And furthermore, on the ground of difference in diction, it is possible to prove a distinction between the Gospel and the Epistle [of John] on the one hand, and the Revelation on the other. For the former are written not only without actual error as regards the Greek language, but also with the greatest elegance, both in their expressions and in their reasonings, and in the whole structure of their style. They are very far indeed from betraying any barbarism or solecism, or any sort of vulgarism, in their diction. For, as might be presumed, the writer possessed the gift of both kinds of discourse, the Lord having bestowed both these capacities upon him, viz., that of knowledge and that of expression. That the author of the latter, however, saw a revelation, and received knowledge and prophecy, I do not deny. Only I perceive that his dialect and language are not of the exact Greek type, and that he employs barbarous idioms, and in some places also solecisms. These, however, we are under no necessity of seeking out at present. And I would not have any one suppose that I have said these things in the spirit of ridicule; for I have done so only with the purpose of setting right this matter of the dissimilarity subsisting between these writings.

-- St. Dionysius the Great (d. 264), Fragments (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0612.htm) from the Two Books on Promises, 7

(There's a good deal more of this kind of biblical criticism, especially in paragraphs 4-6)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Jetavan on May 13, 2017, 02:47:19 PM
"She is truly blessed who was greater than heaven, stronger than the earth, vaster than the world. She alone contained within herself that God whom the world cannot contain; she bore him who bears the world; she gave birth to her Father; she nursed him who nurtures every living thing." -- Peter Chrysologus, Sermo 143, 7

From: Reynolds, B. K. (2012). Gateway to Heaven: Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Image and Typology in the Patristic and Medieval Periods (Vol. 1: Doctrine and Devotion). Hyde Park, New York: New City Press, p. 32.

Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 14, 2017, 07:21:27 PM
Again I believe the words of the prayer of the saints to be full of power above all when praying "with the spirit," they pray "also with the understanding," which is like a light rising from the suppliant's mind and proceeding from his lips to gradually weaken by the power of God the mental venom injected by the adverse powers into the intellect of such as neglect prayer and fail to keep that saying of Paul's in accordance with the exhortations of Jesus, "Pray without ceasing." For it is as if a dart from the suppliant's soul, sped by knowledge and reason or by faith, proceeds from the saint and wounds to their destruction and dissolution the spirits adverse to God and desirous of casting round us the bonds of sin. Now, since the performance of actions enjoined by virtue or by the commandments is also a constituent part of prayer, he prays without ceasing who combines prayer with right actions, and becoming actions with prayer. For the saying "pray without ceasing" can only be accepted by us as a possibility if we may speak of the whole life of a saint as one great continuous prayer.

Of such prayer what is usually termed prayer is indeed a part, and ought to be performed at least three times each day, as is plain from the account of Daniel who, in spite of the grave danger that impended, prayed three times daily. Peter furnishes an instance of the middle prayer of the three when he goes up to the housetop about the sixth hour to pray on that occasion on which he also saw the vessel which descended from heaven let down by four corners. The first is spoken of by David: "In the morning shall you hear my prayer: in the morning will I present myself to you and keep watch." The last is indicated in the words: "the lifting up of my hands in evening sacrifice." Indeed we shall not rightly speak even the season of night without such prayer as David refers to when he says "at midnight I arose to make acknowledgment to you for your righteous judgments" and as Paul exemplifies when, as it is said in the Acts of the Apostles, along with Silas he offers prayer and praise to God "about midnight" in Phillipi so that the prisoners also heard them.

-- Origen of Alexandria (d. 254), On Prayer, 7 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/origen_on_prayer_02_text.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 16, 2017, 05:35:15 PM
Theophilus, bishop of the church of Alexandria, wrote one great volume Against Origen in which he condemns pretty nearly all his sayings and himself likewise, at the same time saying that he was not original in his views but derived them from the ancient fathers especially from Heraclas, that he was deposed from the office of presbyter driven from the church and compelled to fly from the city. He also wrote Against the Anthropomorphites, heretics who say that God has the human form and members, confuting in a long discussion and arguing by testimonies of Divine Scripture and convincing.

He shows that, according to the belief of the Fathers, God is to be thought of as incorporal, not formed with any suggestion of members at all, and therefore there is nothing like Him among created things in substance, nor has the incorruptibility nor unchangeableness nor incorporeality of his nature been given to any one but that all intellectual natures are corporeal, all corruptible, all mutable, that He alone should not be subject to corruptibility or changeableness, who alone has immortality and life. Likewise the return of the paschal feast which the great council at Nicea had found would take place after ninety years at the same time, the same month and day adding some observations on the festival and explanations he gave to the emperor Theodosius. I have read also three books On faith, which bear his name but, as their language is not like his, I do not very much think they are by him.

-- Gennadius of Massilia (d. 496), Additions to 'On Illustrious Men,' 34
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 17, 2017, 09:28:47 PM
It must be noted, that he names the law a good gift, on account of the man who takes gifts into his bosom unrighteously. And he forsakes the law who transgresses it; the law, namely, of which he speaks, or which he has kept. (Prov. 4:2) And what is meant by "exalt (fortify) her" (Ps. 4:8)? Surround her with holy thoughts; for you have need of large defence, since there are many things to imperil such a possession. But if it is in our power to fortify her, and if there are virtues in our power which exalt the knowledge of God, these will be her bulwarks—as, for example, practice, study, and the whole chain of other virtues; and the man who observes these, honours wisdom; and the reward is, to be exalted to be with her, and to be embraced by her in the chamber of heaven.

The heterodox are the wicked, and the transgressors of the law are evil men, whose ways— that is to say, their deeds— he bids us not enter. (Prov. 4:14-15) He looks right on who has thoughts free of passion; and he has true judgments, who is not in a state of excitement about external appearances. When he says, "Let your eyes look right on" (Prov. 4:25), he means the vision of the soul; and when he gives the exhortation, "Eat honey, my son, that it may be sweet to your palate" (Prov. 24:13) he uses honey figuratively, meaning divine doctrine, which restores the spiritual knowledge of the soul. But wisdom embraces the soul also; "for," says he, "love her, that she may embrace you" (Prov. 4:6). And the soul, by her embrace being made one with wisdom, is filled with holiness and purity. Yea more, the fragrant ointments of Christ are laid hold of by the soul's sense of smell.

-- St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235), Exegetical Fragments On Proverbs
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 18, 2017, 09:56:36 PM
"God created man," it says, "in the image of God created He him" (Gen. 1:27). There is an end of the creation of that which was made in the image: then it makes a resumption of the account of creation, and says, "male and female created He them." I presume that every one knows that this is a departure from the Prototype: "for in Christ Jesus,"  as the apostle says, "there is neither male nor female." (Gal. 3:28)  Yet the phrase declares that man is thus divided. Thus the creation of our nature is in a sense twofold: one made like to God, one divided according to this distinction: for something like this the passage darkly conveys by its arrangement, where it first says, "God created man, in the image of God created He him," and then, adding to what has been said, "male and female created He them"— a thing which is alien from our conceptions of God.

I think that by these words Holy Scripture conveys to us a great and lofty doctrine; and the doctrine is this. While two natures— the Divine and incorporeal nature, and the irrational life of brutes— are separated from each other as extremes, human nature is the mean between them: for in the compound nature of man we may behold a part of each of the natures I have mentioned—of the Divine, the rational and intelligent element, which does not admit the distinction of male and female; of the irrational, our bodily form and structure, divided into male and female: for each of these elements is certainly to be found in all that partakes of human life. That the intellectual element, however, precedes the other, we learn as from one who gives in order an account of the making of man; and we learn also that his community and kindred with the irrational is for man a provision for reproduction.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. 395), On the Making of Man
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 19, 2017, 08:45:37 PM
For they say that all those of the first age, and the apostles themselves, both received and taught those things which these men now maintain; and that the truth of Gospel preaching was preserved until the times of Victor, who was the thirteenth bishop in Rome from Peter, and that from his successor Zephyrinus the truth was falsified. And perhaps what they allege might be credible, did not the Holy Scriptures, in the first place, contradict them. And then, besides, there are writings of certain brethren older than the times of Victor, which they wrote against the heathen in defence of the truth, and against the heresies of their time: I mean Justin and Miltiades, and Tatian and Clement, and many others, in all which divinity is ascribed to Christ. For who is ignorant of the books of Irenaeus and Melito, and the rest, which declare Christ to be God and man? All the psalms, too, and hymns of brethren, which have been written from the beginning by the faithful, celebrate Christ the Word of God, ascribing divinity to Him.

-- Fr. Caius of Rome (d. early-3rd century), Fragments from Against the Heresy of Artemon
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on May 21, 2017, 02:39:26 AM
Augustine on John 14:1-3:
Quote
1. Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
2. In my Father"s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4. And where I go you know, and the way you know.


But why has He gone away to prepare it, if it is ourselves that He prepares: if He leaves us, how can He prepare us? The meaning is, that, in order that those mansions may be prepared, the just must live by faith and if you see, there is no faith. Let Him go away then, that He be not seen; let Him be hid, that He be believed. Then a place is prepared, if you live by faith: let faith desire, that desire may enjoy.
https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcc/john-14.html
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 21, 2017, 02:59:57 PM
Neither shall light ever be darkness as long as light exists, nor shall the truth of the things pertaining to us be controverted. For truth is that than which nothing is more powerful. Every one who might speak the truth, and speaks it not, shall be judged by God.

-- St. Justin Martyr (d. 165), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0132.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 27, 2017, 08:37:16 PM
What "will rise beneath" (Zech. 6:12 LXX) the man called Dawn is either a light or a plant bearing fruits of salvation (the word "rising" being applied equally to lights and plants). They will rise beneath the great teacher, lawgiver, and king. What is underneath him are the rational beings subject to divine laws and to teaching germane to them. After all, how could everyone properly called man not be underneath Christ as their head? All the members of Christ that compose the Church, the body of Christ, are underneath Christ, who is head of the Church. This is also the way in which you could say subjects and pupils are under a king and a teacher, since from them comes a dawning of light of the knowledge of the truth and of a tree bearing good fruit. Speaking of the latter, God the vine-dresser says, "I planted you as a quite choice fruit-bearing vine"; may the sequel not be true of every devout person, "How did you turn bitter, becoming a wild vine?" (Jer. 2:21)

Underneath the spiritual farmer you could say there rise also different kinds of virtues and their works, produce of justice, of whom the apostle writes, "May God sanctify the produce of your righteousness," (2 Cor. 9:10) while the prophet Hosea says, "Seek out the Lord until the produce of justice reaches you." (Hos. 10:12) "Those who sow it in tears"--that is, with labor and sweat for the sake of their religion--"will reap with rejoicing" this produce. (Ps. 126:5)

It is possible to take the clause "It will rise beneath him" this way as well: the Word made flesh, "born of a woman," (Gal. 4:4) Jesus, rose beneath the dawning from on high: of God the Word, the true light. Furthermore, this must be said as well: when the Son was seated at the right hand of the Father, "his enemies like a footstool were placed" under him (Ps. 110:1), all of whom benefited from being under his feet and rose like a light and like produce. The person rising beneath the one confessed to be God "will rebuild the house of the Lord," the Church of the living God--in particular, the human being rising beneath God the Word in his coming. As well, however, those rising beneath according to the other interpretations, subjects of the great kind and good teacher, putting into action the commands of the one commanding in instructing them, built their lives like a house on the rock which is Christ, establishing the base and foundation of the house on the firm and indestructible faith in the Trinity.

The name "rock" is given to the one making a confession of the one confessed, according to the saying: "You are Peter, and on this rock I shall build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." (Matt. 16:18) The enemies who according to the third interpretation, however, were placed under the feet of the great king will become friends instead of adversaries, and rebuild the house of the Lord so that "he will dwell and walk among them," (2 Cor. 6:16) having summoned and transformed them. The one who in his coming rose from beneath in a manner like the text, "Truth rose from the earth," (Ps. 85:11) will receive virtue since those saved by him and brought to a high degree of glory produce it as fruit. After all, how does he not receive it from those who become God's righteousness through him when he became sin for them, accord to the apostle's sound observation, "The one who did not know sin he made sin for our sake so that through him we might become God's righteousness"? (2 Cor. 5:21) I mean, how does he not receive as virtue the righteousness and abundance of people occurring in the days of his Incarnation?

Since he does agree to receive the virtue found among human beings, however, let each of the faithful bear fruit and make an offering of it--the one committed to being continent produce modesty and continence, purity, and virginity; the one committed to controlling himself, self-control--"always carrying about in the body the death of Jesus." (2 Cor. 4:10) They also make an offering of virtue who are sharers in the honorable state of marriage and an undefiled marriage bed, (Heb. 13:4) the condition of Joseph, Susanna, Anna the prophetess, Elizabeth the mother of the Baptist, and all other such men and women who were distinguished for purity.

-- St. Didymus the blind (d. 398), Commentary on Zechariah 6 (https://books.google.com/books?id=BcOHb6oYw1sC&lpg=PP1&dq=didymus%20the%20blind&pg=PA126#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 29, 2017, 04:38:17 PM
Some say that the Eucharist ought to be received daily unless some sin comes in the way; for, at the Lord's command, we request that this bread be given to us daily, saying: "Give us each day our daily bread" (Luke 11:3). They say this well if they receive it with reverence and devotion and humility, and if they do not perform this action, proudly believing in the presumption of their own righteousness. On the other hand, if there are such sins that would move them back ffrom the altar as if dead, penance is to be accomplished first and then this salvific medication is to be received. "For whoever eats in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment against themselves" (1 Cor. 11:27, 29). And this is to receive unworthily--if one receives at the very time that one ought to be doing penance.

On the other hand, if the sins are not so great that it is judged one ought to be kept from communion, one should not separate oneself from the medicine of the Lord's body, lest, the abstaining person being prohibited for a long time, he would be separated from the body of Christ. It is clear that they live who draw near to his body. Thus, it is to be feared, lest, while one is separated for a long time from the body of Christ, one would remain separated from salvation, the Lord himself saying: "unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:54). Thus whoever has presently ceased from sinning ought not to stop from communicating. However, marital couples ought to abstain from conjugal union and [they ought] to free themselves for many days of prayer, and thus then approach the body of Christ.

-- St. Isidore of Seville (d. 636), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=_YhkqmfNeIIC&lpg=PP1&dq=isidore%20of%20seville&pg=PA43#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 02, 2017, 05:31:13 PM
Abba John the Sabbaite said, “When I stayed once in the further desert I received a brother who came from the monastery to visit me. I asked him how the fathers were. He said, ‘Through your prayers they are well.’ I asked him about a certain brother who had a bad reputation and name. ‘Believe me, father, he is not at all departing from that reputation.’ Hearing that I heard an ‘Ouph!’ And as I heard this ‘Ouph!’ I was transported as if out of myself as in sleep and I saw myself placed before the holy Golgotha and I saw the Lord crucified between the two thieves. I wanted to worship and come near him. As soon as He saw it there was a great voice saying to the angels who stood around, ‘Throw him out, because he is antichrist to me. Before I judged he condemned his brother.’ They drove me out and when we came to the door they grabbed my cloak and locked the door behind me.

“And immediately I woke up. I said to the brother who came to me, that this is an evil day for me. He said to me, ‘For what reason, father?’ Then I told him the vision and said, ‘Believe me, my cloak is the protection of God, which was on me, and I was deprived of it.’ “From that day I passed seven years sojourning in the wilderness never tasting sleep, never coming under a roof, never eating with people until I saw again the Lord permit (them) to give me back my cloak.” When we heard this from the venerable John, we said, “If the righteous are barely saved, the impious and the sinner - where will he appear?” So from this is shown the appropriate great evil.

-- St. Anastasius of Sinai  (d. early 8th century), Source (http://www.monachos.net/content/patristics/patristictexts/76-anastasius-of-sinai-concerning-the-holy-fathers-in-sinai)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 04, 2017, 02:51:13 PM
This is He who was from the beginning, who appeared as if new, and was found old, and yet who is ever born afresh in the hearts of the saints. This is He who, being from everlasting, is today called the Son; through whom the Church is enriched, and grace, widely spread, increases in the saints, furnishing understanding, revealing mysteries, announcing times, rejoicing over the faithful, giving to those that seek, by whom the limits of faith are not broken through, nor the boundaries set by the fathers passed over. Then the fear of the law is chanted, and the grace of the prophets is known, and the faith of the gospels is established, and the tradition of the Apostles is preserved, and the grace of the Church exults; which grace if you grieve not, you shall know those things which the Word teaches, by whom He wills, and when He pleases. For whatever things we are moved to utter by the will of the Word commanding us, we communicate to you with pains, and from a love of the things that have been revealed to us.

-- Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus (mid-2nd century)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 06, 2017, 09:11:33 PM
The Arians, as is customary with the prosperous, because more insolent, persecuted unmercifully all Christians whose religious sentiments were opposed to their own. These Christians being exposed to bodily injuries, and betrayed to magistrates and prisons, and finding themselves moreover gradually impoverished by the frequent fines, were at length compelled to appeal for redress to the emperor. Although exceedingly angry, the emperor did not openly manifest any wrath, but secretly commanded the prefect to seize and slay the whole deputation.

But the prefect, being apprehensive that a whole popular insurrection would be excited if he were to put so many good and religious men to death without any of the forms of justice, pretended that they were to be sent into exile, and under this pretext compelled them to embark on board a ship, to which they assented with the most perfect resignation. When they had sailed to about the center of the bay, which was called Astacius, the sailors, according to the orders they had received, set fire to the vessel and leaped into the tender. A wind arising, the ship was blown along to Dacibiza, a place on the sea-coast of Bithynia; but no sooner had it neared the shore, than it was utterly consumed with all the men on board.

-- Sozomen (d. 450), Ecclesiastical History, 6.14 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26026.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 09, 2017, 10:26:50 PM
But the Empress [Eudoxia], when the Emperor [Arcadius] came in to her, told him the business of the bishops, and asked him that the [pagan] temples of Gaza might be destroyed. But the Emperor, when he heart it, was vexed, and said: "I know that the city is idolatrous, but it is well-disposed in the matter of the paying of taxes, contributing much money If therefore we come suddenly upon them, and affright them, they will flee and we shall lose so much tribute. But if it seem good, we shall afflict them piecemeal, taking away the dignities from the idol-madmen, and the other civic offices, and will command their temples to be shut up and to give oracles no longer. For when they are afflicted and brought altogether into a strait place, they will acknowledge the truth. For a change that is over-sudden is heavy thing for subjects to bear."  But the Empress when she heard it was sore grieved (for she was fervent in the faith), but answered not the Emperor save only this: "The Lord is able to succour his servants the Christians, whether we wish it or whether we wish it not." These things the God-fearing Amantius, the chamberlain, related to us.

On the next day the Augusta sent for us, and having first after her wont saluted the holy bishops bad them sit down. And after they had spoken much of spiritual matters, she saith unto them: "I spake unto the Emperor and le was a little vexed. But be not discouraged; for, if God will, I will not cease until ye be satisfied and depart having accomplished your desire which is of God." And the bishops, when they heard her words, worshipped her. And our Saint Porphyry, being sore moved, and remembering the words of the thrice blessed Procopius, the anchorite, said to the Empress: "Do though labour for Christ, and he shall grant thee for thy labour a son, who shall live and reign, for thee to see and enjoy many years." And when the Empress heard his words she was filled with joy and blushed, and the beauty which was in her countenance was increased; for the things which are apparent make manifest the things which are unseen.

The saith she unto the most holy bishops: "Pray ye, Fathers, that according to your words by God's will I may bring forth the male child, and if this comes to pass, I promise you to do all that ye ask. And another thing which ye did not ask I purpose to do, with Christ's will; for I will found a holy church in Gaza in the midmost of the city. Depart ye, therefore, in peace and abide quietly, praying continually for me that my travail may be happy; for this is the ninth month and it is night to be fulfilled." So the bishops having taken their leave and commended her to God went forth from the palace. And prayer was made that she should bring forth a male child; for we trusted in the words of the holy Procopius, the anchorite. And we went daily to the most holy John [Chrysostom], the archbishop, and enjoyed his holy words, which were sweeter than honey and the honey-comb. And Amantius the chamberlain came continually to us, sometimes bringing us answers from the Empress, and sometimes for the sake of our conversation.

-- Mark the Deacon, The Life of Saint Porphyry of Gaza (https://archive.org/stream/lifeofporphyrybi00marcuoft#page/50/mode/2up) (d. 420)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 13, 2017, 02:04:10 AM
Abba John the Dwarf said, 'a house is not built by beginning at the top and working down. You must begin with the foundations in order to reach the  top. They said  to him, 'What  does this saying  mean?' He said, 'The foundation is our neighbor, whom we must win, and that is  the place to begin. For all the commandments of Christ depend on this one.'

-- St. John the Dwarf (d. 405), Source (http://www.coptic.net/articles/sayingsofdesertfathers.txt)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 17, 2017, 09:00:34 PM
Reading the Lives of the holy martyrs, Saint Anastasius was inspired with the desire to imitate them. A mysterious dream, which he had on Great and Holy Saturday, the day before the Resurrection of Christ, urged him to do this. Having fallen asleep after his daily tasks, he beheld a radiant man giving him a golden chalice filled with wine, who said to him, “Take this and drink.” Draining the chalice, he felt an ineffable delight. Saint Anastasius then realized that this vision was his call to martyrdom.

He went secretly from the monastery to Palestinian Caesarea. There he was arrested for being a Christian, and was brought to trial. The governor tried in every way to force Saint Anastasius to renounce Christ, threatening him with tortures and death, and promising him earthly honors and blessings. The saint, however, remained unyielding. Then they subjected him to torture: they beat him with rods, they lacerated his knees, they hung him up by the hands and tied a heavy stone to his feet, they exhausted him with confinement, and then wore him down with heavy work in the stone quarry with other prisoners.

Finally, the governor summoned Saint Anastasius and promised him his freedom if he would only say, “I am not a Christian.” The holy martyr replied, “I will never deny my Lord before you or anyone else, neither openly nor even while asleep. No one can compel me to do this while I am in my right mind.” Then by order of the emperor Chozroes, Saint Anastasius was strangled, then beheaded.

-- St. Anastasius the Persian (d. 628), Source (https://oca.org/saints/lives/2011/01/22/100263-monkmartyr-anastasius-the-persian)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on June 19, 2017, 04:15:39 AM
As your wisdom well knows, the whole Church is undone. And you see everything in all directions in your mind's eye like a man looking from some tall watch tower, as when at sea many ships sailing together are all dashed one against the other by the violence of the waves, and shipwreck arises in some cases from the sea being furiously agitated from without, in others from the disorder of the sailors hindering and crowding one another. It is enough to present this picture, and to say no more. Your wisdom requires nothing farther, and the present state of affairs does not allow me freedom of speech.

What capable pilot can be found in such a storm? Who is worthy to rouse the Lord to rebuke the wind and the sea? Who but he who from his boyhood fought a good fight on behalf of true religion? Since now truly all that is sound among us is moving in the direction of fellowship and unity with those who are of the same opinion, we have come confidently to implore you to send us a single letter, advising us what is to be done. In this way they wish that they may have a beginning of communication which may promote unity.

-- St. Basil the Great (d. 379), Letter 82: To Athanasius of Alexandria
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: byhisgrace on June 20, 2017, 11:31:07 PM
Thanks for continuing to post quotes from the Fathers, Asteriktos. They are edifying.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 14, 2017, 11:04:38 PM
For in other matters also which go to make up life, we shall find differences according to circumstances. For example, it is not right to kill, yet in war it is lawful and praiseworthy to destroy the enemy; accordingly not only are they who have distinguished themselves in the field held worthy of great honours, but monuments are put up proclaiming their achievements. So that the same act is at one time and under some circumstances unlawful, while under others, and at the right time, it is lawful and permissible.

-- St. Athanasius of Alexandria (d. 373), Letter 48
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 15, 2017, 10:21:25 PM
But the assembly of monks and clergy went back to Jerusalem. And the people and the bishops who were with them, were distressed, and they consulted together as to what they should do. And they decided to appoint another bishop instead of [St.] Juvenal. When they were speaking of the chaste monks, Romanus and Marcian, and of other men of wonderful excellence, at length it was agreed that they should appoint Theodosius, who had been found zealous, and who also had contended for years on behalf of the faith. And they took him by force, while he persisted in refusing, and conjuring them not to do so, and begging them to allow him to be the helper of the person whom they appointed from amongst themselves. However, they would not yield to his entreaties; but blessed him and placed him on the throne. And when the other cities of Palestine heart it; inasmuch as they knew him to be a man of surpassing virtue, and zealous for the truth; they severally brought persons to receive his blessing and be admitted to the priesthood...

And when Theodosius was prospering in this manner, the report of all that he was doing reached Marcian the Emperor. And Juvenal returned, having with him Count Dorotheus and an army; for the purpose of taking Theodosius, and making him a prisoner, and deposing all the bishops whom he had made in his district and punishing the monks and the people, and expelling them in consequence of their insolence and rashness in setting up Theodosius as bishop in Jerusalem. But, by the desire of the Empress, Peter the Iberian alone was to be spared; even though he should not consent to hold communion with the other bishops. 

And when Juvenal arrived at Neapolis, he found a large number of monks there; and at first he tried to seduce them, simple men as they were, and single-minded, whose arms and helmet were the truth faith and works of righteousness. These he endeavored to persuade to hold communion with himself. And when they turned away from this proposal with disgust, unless he would anathematize the violent transactions of Chalcedon; he then said, "It is the Emperor's will." And they still refused. Whereupon he gave orders to the Romans and the Samaritans, who smote and killed these monks, while they were singing psalms and saying, "O God, the heathen are come into Thine inheritance, and they have defiled Thy holy temple; and behold they are making Jerusalem a waste place!" And some of the Romans were overcome with pity, and wept. But some of them, along with the Samaritans, killed many of the monks, whose blood also was poured out upon the ground.

There was a certain blind Samaritan who deceived his own guide, and said, "since mine eyes cannot see the blood of the slaughter of these Christians, so that I may delight myself in it, bring me near and I shall feel it." And when the guide brought him near and caused him to feel it, he dipped his hands in the blood. And he prostrated himself upon the ground, and he wept, with prayer and supplication, that he might be a sharer in their martyrdom. Then he arose, and smeared his eyes, and lifted up his hands to heaven, and his eyes were opened, and he received his sight. And all who were witnesses of this miracle, were astonished and believed in God. And the blind man also believed, and was baptized. But the party who administered the [Emperor's] orders, laid hold upon the surviving believers, and expelled them from the whole district.

The Syriac Chronicle, 3.3-6 (https://books.google.com/books?id=iptbAAAAMAAJ&dq=The%20Syriac%20Chronicle&pg=PA50#v=onepage&q&f=false) (late 5th century)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 18, 2017, 03:45:24 PM
This Good is celebrated by the sacred theologians, both as beautiful and as Beauty, and as Love, and as Beloved; and all the other Divine Names which beseem the beautifying and highly-favoured comeliness. But the beautiful and Beauty are not to be divided, as regards the Cause which has embraced the whole in one. For, with regard to all created things, by dividing them into participations and participants, we call beautiful that which participates in Beauty; but beauty, the participation of the beautifying Cause of all the beautiful things. But, the superessential Beautiful is called Beauty, on account of the beauty communicated from Itself to all beautiful things, in a manner appropriate to each, and as Cause of the good harmony and brightness of all things which flashes like light to all the beautifying distributions of its fontal ray, and as calling all things to Itself (whence also it is called Beauty), and as collecting all in all to Itself.

-- Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (6th century), On Divine Names, 4.7
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 19, 2017, 06:34:11 PM
But what he says here--"We will make you a likeness of gold with chasings of silver" (Song 1:11)--when it says "gold" is referring to the bright splendor of the Holy Spirit. Thus the Magi presented gold to the Lord in order to declare his kingly majesty. Silver, however, denotes the lustrous holiness of virginal flesh. Therefore the Holy Spirit, when joined with the pure and unspoiled flesh, constitutes "a likeness of gold with chasings of silver." And because on the authority of the apostle we have learned that we are members of the body of Christ, which is the Church, so too the martyrs are compared with gold (as it is written: "Like gold in the furnace he will try them"--Wis. 3:6), the virgins with silver, and the righteous confessors with precious stones because, by subjecting the neck of the churchly body to the discipline of the gospel yoke, they adorn minds with the fair beauty of their virtues; and this is why he says, "Your neck is like a jeweled necklace; we will make you a likeness of gold with chasings of silver." (Song 1:10-11) He was declaring clearly that there will be spiritual persons in the Church to serve as jewels.

-- St. Gregory of Elvira (d. 392), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=nW8O9KhNOucC&lpg=PA109&dq=%22wounded%20by%20love%22&pg=PA69#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 20, 2017, 09:49:08 PM
The bishops of the other party remaining at Constantinople, entered into a consultation about the ordination of a bishop; for [St.] Gregory, as we have before said, had resigned that see, and was preparing to return to Nazianzus. Now there was a person named [St.] Nectarius, of a senatorial family, mild and gentle in his manners, and admirable in his whole course of life, although he at that time bore the office of proctor. This man was seized upon by the people, and elected to the episcopate, and was ordained accordingly by one hundred and fifty bishops then present. The same prelates moreover published a decree, prescribing 'that the bishop of Constantinople should have the next prerogative of honor after the bishop of Rome, because that city was New Rome.' They also again confirmed the Nicene Creed. Then too patriarchs were constituted, and the provinces distributed, so that no bishop might exercise any jurisdiction over other churches out of his own diocese: for this had been often indiscriminately done before, in consequence of the persecutions.

-- Socrates of Constantinople (d. mid-5th century), Ecclesiastical History, 5.8
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on July 24, 2017, 06:52:41 PM
Now, in the first year of that period of 1020 years, stretching from Moses and Ogygus to the first Olympiad, the passover and the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt took place, and also in Attica the flood of Ogygus. And that is according to reason. For when the Egyptians were being smitten in the anger of God with hail and storms, it was only to be expected that certain parts of the earth should suffer with them; and, in special, it was but to be expected that the Athenians should participate in such calamity with the Egyptians, since they were supposed to be a colony from them, as Theopompus alleges in his Tricarenus, and others besides him.

-- Sextus Julius Africanus (d. 240), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0614.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 10, 2017, 09:59:03 PM
But let those who repent learn how they ought to carry it out, with what zeal, with what affection, with what intention of mind, with what shaking of the inmost bowels, with what conversion of heart: "Behold," he says, "O Lord, that I am in distress, my bowels are troubled by my weeping, my heart is turned within me." (Lam. 1:20) Here you recognize the intention of the soul, the faithfulness of the mind, the disposition of the body: "The elders of the daughters of Sion sat, he says, upon the ground, they put dust upon their heads, they girded themselves with haircloth, the princes hung their heads to the ground, the virgins of Jerusalem fainted with weeping, my eyes grew dim, my bowels were troubled, my glory was poured on the earth." (Lam. 2:10-11)  So, too, did the people of Nineveh mourn, and escaped the destruction of their city. (Jon. 3:5)  Such is the remedial power of repentance, that God seems because of it to change His intention. To escape is, then, in your own power; the Lord wills to be entreated, He wills that men should hope in Him, He wills that supplication should be made to Him.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Concerning Repentance, 2.6 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34062.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 11, 2017, 08:03:20 PM
We said in the first book that that heresy which copies and follows the lead of Pelagianism, strives and contends in every way to make it believed that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, when born of the Virgin was only a mere man; and that having afterwards taken the path of virtue He merited by His holy and pious life to be counted worthy for this holiness of His life that the Divine Majesty should unite Itself to Him: and thus by cutting off altogether from Him the honour of His sacred origin, it only left to Him the selection on account of His merits. And their aim and endeavour was this; viz., that, by bringing Him down to the level of common men, and making Him one of the common herd, they might assert that all men could by their good life and deeds secure whatever He had secured by His good life. A most dangerous and deadly assertion indeed, which takes away what truly belongs to God, and holds out false promises to men; and which should be condemned for abominable lies on both sides, since it attacks God with wicked blasphemy, and gives to men the hope of a false assurance.

-- St. John Cassian (d. 435), On the Incarnation, 5.1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 13, 2017, 07:18:09 PM
Moreover, the souls of the martyrs being worthy of the kingdom of heaven are in honour together with the company of the prophets and apostles. Let us therefore, likewise, who stand in need of the aid of their prayers, and have been also charged in the book of the Apostles, that we should be partakers in the remembrance of the Saints,-- let us also be partakers with them, and begin to describe those conflicts of theirs against sin, which are at all times published abroad by the mouth of those believers who were acquainted with them...

-- Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339), On the Martyrs in Palestine (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/eusebius_martyrs.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 14, 2017, 04:30:32 PM
Unto one of the saints, because of his serenity, the gift was granted that he knew beforehand if any one should visit him; but he asked God, and he persuaded others to pray for this, that the gift might be taken away from him.

-- St. Isaac the Syrian (d. 700), Mystical Treatises, 60
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on October 15, 2017, 10:57:12 AM
Asteriktos,

How late do you think the church's period of the Apostolic Fathers lasted? That is the time of Papias, Polycarp and others who may have known the apostles.


Some scholars interpret Jesus to have predicted apocalyptic events to occur during the time of the generation then living, or while some are still "standing" in 33 AD. 120 years for a generation + 33 AD = 153 AD.

I read that Marcion the gnost lived in 85 to 160 ad, and there is a medieval drawing of him meeting St John, so maybe this reflects possible lifespans and ranges for that time.

The synod condemning Montanism, which looks like a solid end point for frequent widespread prophecying in the church, was in 160 ad.

I read different ideas on whether Papias and Polycarp died in about 155 or 164 AD. Irenaeus called Papias "ancient" in age. And Polycarp was martyred at 82.

I think St John supposedly lived in 15 to 100 ad, living 85 years. Someone who was 15 years old and knew St John in 100 ad would have been 85 in 170 ad.

I read different writers say that the time of the Apostolic Fathers ended in the early 2nd c., in 170 ad, or in 180 ad.

Someone who was 13 years old in 33 AD and heard Jesus teach would be 90 in 110 ad. Another person who was 13 in 110 ad and heard that 90 year old teach then would be 90 in 187 ad.

What do you think?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 15, 2017, 11:57:56 AM
You've clearly thought a lot more about this than I have. For the typical use of the term, the best I could give for my own opinion would be an 'off the top of my head'... I'd assume that the last apostle (St. John) died c. 95, and that someone would have to be at least 15 years old at that time to understand and remember with any accuracy what he taught. And... that's about it. It seems to be a category or not when but who. However, I seriously doubt the usefulness of it for EOs. For a Protestant it might be important to get a message 'straight from the source,' because for many there is the idea that corruption is starting to set in right after the 'apostolic age,' and also their distrust of tradition. Not so for Orthodox and Catholics.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 15, 2017, 03:06:37 PM
Christ, who was called the Son of God before the ages, was manifested in the fullness of time, in order that He might cleanse us through His blood, who were under the power of sin, presenting us as pure sons to His Father, if we yield ourselves obediently to the chastisement of the Spirit. And in the end of time He shall come to do away with all evil, and to reconcile all things, in order that there may be an end of all impurities.

- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Fragments, 39 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0134.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: rakovsky on October 16, 2017, 01:12:55 AM
I seriously doubt the usefulness of it for EOs. For a Protestant it might be important to get a message 'straight from the source,' because for many there is the idea that corruption is starting to set in right after the 'apostolic age,' and also their distrust of tradition. Not so for Orthodox and Catholics.
The usefulness is not in subscribing to a "Great Apostasy" theory, whereby the Apostolic Fathers supposedly taught low church Reformed Protestantism. One of the elements of the Apostolic Fathers' usefulness is in dispelling this claim, as R.Arakaki notes about the early Church fathers:
Quote
One reason why many Protestants today bought the notion that the early Church Fathers were theological infants is their ignorance of church history.  The best remedy for that is getting to know the Church Fathers by actually reading their writings.  ...

Getting to know the early Church Fathers will not be an easy task for many Protestants.  For many reading the early Christian writings will be like stumbling into a foreign land where the customs and landmarks are either unfamiliar or entirely absent.  I remember struggling to make sense of the early Church Fathers when I was at seminary.  Looking back, one important lesson I learned was the need to hold in suspension the assumption that the early Church was Protestant and to pay attention to the issues, vocabulary, and the methods employed by the early Christians, only then could I make headway in comprehending the early Church Fathers.
...
Early documents like the Didache brings clarity to certain ambiguities in Scripture.  For example, the Eucharist as a normal part of Christian worship and early Christians worshiped on Sunday, not Saturday.

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/getting-know-church-fathers/
So it is useful in showing why we don't follow the Seventh Day Adventists in treating Saturday liturgically like we do Sunday, for example.

Another point of usefulness is in seeing how the tradition developed sequentially. Just as apostolic succession has a principle of bishops succeeding and passing on their office, the traditions are passed down too, with the apostles, and then the Apostolic Fathers being two of the early stages, as Vol. III in Church History notes:
Quote
Written in the years ­immediately after the era of the original Apostles, these invaluable writings provide a fascinating glimpse into what the Church believed, how it was structured, and how the Christians lived and worshiped in these early years. As such, these writings can be considered the sequel to the Book of Acts, and to the New Testament writings in general.
https://oca.org/orthodoxy/the-orthodox-faith/church-history/second-century/the-apostolic-fathers

Some of the Apostolic Fathers' writings, like the Epistle of Barnabas, were even considered for inclusion in scripture. And there are noteworthy traits among the period of the Apostolic Fathers. For one, one scholar noted that their main writing often tended to be more in the form of Epistles (eg. the epistles of Barnabas, Clement, Polycarp, and Ignatius), than did later second century writings, which tended to be more often in the form of Apologia.

I also thought you made a good idea about dating the people's lives, with someone being 15 years old and listening to John in 95 AD. The person, if he lived to 85 like John did, would reach that age in 165 AD.

You also made a good point of asking "not when but who". I don't know of anyone who knew the apostles and lived past Polycarp, which writers tend to date as dying at c.157 AD.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 16, 2017, 06:30:41 PM
Good points, rakovsky :)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 16, 2017, 06:48:25 PM
I have received the desired letters of my Desiderius, who in a foretelling of things to happen has obtained with Daniel a certain name beseeching that I might hand over to our hearers a translation of the Pentateuch in the Latin tongue from the Hebrew words. Certainly a dangerous work, open to the barkings of detractors, who accuse me of insult to the Seventy to prepare a new interpretation from the old ones...

Therefore, what? We condemn the ancients? By no means! But after those earlier in the House of God, we work at what we can. They are interpreted before the coming of Christ and what they didn’t know, they tranlated in ambiguous (or "uncertain") sentences. We write after His Passion and Resurrection, not so much prophecy as history. For in the one are told what things were heard, in the other what were seen. What we understand better, we also translate better. Hear, therefore, O rival; listen, O detractor! I do not condemn, I do not censure the Seventy, but I confidently prefer the Apostles to all of them. Christ speaks to me through their mouth, who I read were placed before the prophets among the Spiritual gifts, among which interpreters hold almost the last place...

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Prologue on the Pentateuch (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/jerome_preface_genesis.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 17, 2017, 12:08:57 PM
When God brought into being natures endowed with intelligence and intellect He communicated to them, in His supreme goodness, four of the divine attributes by which He sustains, protects and preserves created things. These attributes are being, eternal being, goodness and wisdom. Of the four He granted the first two, being and eternal being, to their essence, and the second two, goodness and wisdom, to their volitive faculty, so that what He is in His essence the creature may become by participation.

This is why man is said to have been created in the image and likeness of God (cf Gen. 1:26). He is made in the image of God, since his being is in the image of God's being, and his eternal being is in the image of God's eternal being (in the sense that, though not without origin, it is nevertheless without end). He is also made in the likeness of God, since he is good in the likeness of God's goodness, and wise in the likeness of God's wisdom, God being good and wise by nature, and man by grace. Every intelligent nature is in the image of God, but only the good and the wise attain His likeness.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662), Centuries on Love, 3.25
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 18, 2017, 07:25:27 PM
You heard the day before yesterday how Jacob carried out everything recommended by Rebecca and won the blessing from his father by demonstrating that celebrated deception, on account of which he enjoyed cooperation from God, and the object of his desires became a reality for him. But great envy was engendered by this in Esau, who then made preparations for murder. That, you see, is what this deadly passion is like: it doesn't stop until it brings the person in the grip of the passion to tumble over the precipice and proceed to the crime of murder.

In other words, envy is the root of murder. This is the way it was even in the beginning with Cain and Abel: the former had no grounds, small or great, for complaint against his brother, on seeing him approved by the Lord of all for the appropriateness of his gifts and himself rejected for his own indifference; but he was immediately prompted to envy, giving rise to the root of murder, at once demonstrating as well that deadly fruit by putting murder into effect. In just the same way in this case Esau beheld his brother receiving the blessings from his father, and under the impule of the passion of envy he contemplated the destruction of his brother.

- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homilies on Genesis, 54.7-8 (https://books.google.com/books?id=AeK7DblH53AC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA95#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 19, 2017, 09:26:56 PM
For all diseases there are medicines, and there will be healing when a skilled physician shall have found them. And for those who have been smitten in our conflict there is the medicine of penitence, and those who apply it to their wounds are healed...

Also I counsel you who have been smitten that ye be not ashamed to say: "We have fallen in the battle." Receive the medicine which is without price, and repent, and live, before ye are slain. Also I remind you physicians of that which is written in the Scriptures of our wise Physician, that He does not forbid repentance. For when Adam had sinned He called him to repentance when He said to him: "Adam, where art thou?" (Gen. 3:8). And he, hiding his sin from Him who beholds the heart, laid the blame upon Eve who had deceived him. And because he did not confess his sin death was decreed against him and against all his offspring. And Cain also was full of guile, and sacrifice was not accepted from him; and He gave to him (a place) of repentance, and he did not accept. For He said to him: "if thou hadst done well I would have accepted thy sacrifice; but thou hast not done well and thy sin will accompany thee" (Gen. 4:7). And in the guile of his heart he slew his brother and was accursed, "and he was trembling and wandering on the earth" (Gen. 4:12). And also to the generation in the days of Noah he gave one hundred and twenty years for repentance; and they were not willing to repent and, one hundred years being completed, He destroyed them.

-- St. Aphrahat (d. c. 345), Demonstrations, 7.2 & 7.8 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/aphrahat_dem7.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 20, 2017, 08:26:16 PM
Excerpts from Sermon 3 and Sermon 4 discussing the parable of the Prodigal Son...

"Fetch quickly the best robe." (Lk. 15:22) Here the father who did not suffer the sinner to be poorly clothed wants to derive his joy from pardon rather than justice. "Fetch quickly the best robe." He did not ask: "Where are you coming from? Where have you been? Where are the goods you carried off? Why did you exchange such great honor for such disgrace?" No, his words were: "Fetch quickly the best robe and put it on him." You see that the power of love overlooks transgressions. The mercy which a father knows is not a tardy kind... "And bring out the fattened calf." (Lk. 15:23) An ordinary calf is not good enough; it must be one sleek and fattened. The stout calf is evidence that the father's charity is stout.

We have rejoiced over the younger son's return and safety; with tearful grief we now take up the elder son's envy. Through his excessive sin of envious jealousy he spoiled the great virtue of his thriftiness... "His elder son was in the field." (Lk. 15:25) He was in the field, cultivating the earth but leaving himself uncared for. He breaks up the tough sod, but hardens the affection in his heart... Envy is an ancient evil, the first sin, an old venom, the poison of the ages, a cause of death. In the beginning, this vice expelled the Devil from heaven and cast him down. This vice shut the first parent of our race out of paradise. It kept this elder brother out of his father's house... "But he answered and said to his father, 'Behold, these many years I have been serving you.'" (Lk. 15:29) This is the view of one who dares to sit in judgment on the father's love... "I have never transgressed one of thy commands." (Lk. 15:29) This is the result, not of your innocence, but of your father's forgiveness, because with deep love he preferred to cover up a son's transgressions than expose them.

-- St. Peter Chrysologus (d. 450), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=26kayA7ZqHUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA35#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 21, 2017, 08:39:42 PM
Some people, however, who are heedless of the divine precepts, exercise such an absolute power over their slaves and those subject to them that they do not hesitate these days to cut them to pieces with scourges, to fasten them with fetters, and, if perchance the waiter is a little bit late when mealtime has come, to lacerate him at once with blows and to satiate themselves with the slave's blood before doing so with the pleasures of the table. Such is the fast of these people that they fast not in order to call forth the divine mercy but to pour out the cry of their groaning household. But whoever wishes to deserve mercy from God must hmself be merciful, for it is written: "By the smae measure that you have meted out it will be meted out to you." (Matt. 7:2)

And, what is still more tragic, these days a Christian master does not spare his Christian slave and does not consider that, even though he is a slave by condition, nonetheless he is a brother by grace, for he has also put on Christ, participates in the sacraments and, just as you do, has God for his Father. Why would he not have you as his brother? For there are many who, on returning from the hunt, pay more attention to their hounds than to their slaves. Not caring if their slaves die of hunger, they have their hounds recline or sleep next to them while they themselves feed them a daily portion.

And, what is worse, if the food has not been well prepared for them, a slave is slain for the sake of a dog. In some homes you may see sleek and fat dogs running around, but human beings going about wan and faltering. Will such persons ever take pity on the poor when they are without mercy for their own households? We ought to know, then, brethren, that this is the fast acceptable to God, not only that we chastise our bodies with abstinence but also that we clothe our souls with humility. Let us be gentle to our slaves, amenable to those not of our household, and merciful to the poor. Rising at the first light of dawn, let us hasten to church, offer thanks to God, and beg pardon for our sins, asking for indulgence concerning past crimes and for vigilance concerning future ones.

Let us spend the whole day in constant prayer and reading. If someone does not know how to read, let him look for a holy man and be nourished by his conversation. Let no worldly deeds hinder sacred deeds, let no gaming tables distract the mind, no pleasure in hounds lead the senses astray, no success in business pervert the soul with avarice. For whatever you do other than God's commandment, although you may abstain you do not fast. This is the saving fast, that just as the body abstains from feasting, so the soul should refrain from wickedness. This also, brethren, should not go unsaid with respect to the perfection of fasting: we who abstain and do not eat during this time should give our meals to the poor. For this is true justice, that while you go hungry someone else is satisfied with your food, and that you who are fasting should beseech the Lord because of your sins and the one who has been filled should pray on your behalf.

-- St. Maximus of Turin (d. 5th century), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=m2pWOHEeVvsC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 22, 2017, 01:21:43 PM
But if both the loosening of bonds and the power of the Sacrament are given in one place, either the whole has been derived to us from the Apostolic form and authority, or else not even this relaxation has been made from the decree. "I, he saith, have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon." (1 Cor. 3:10) This, therefore, we build up, which the doctrine of the Apostles laid as the foundation. And, lastly, Bishops also are named Apostles, as saith Paul of Epaphroditus, "My brother and fellow-soldier, but your Apostle." (Phil. 2:25) If, therefore, the power of the Laver, and of the Anointing, gifts far greater, descended thence to Bishops, then the right of binding and of loosing was with them (Matt. 18:18). Which although for our sins it be presumptuous in us to claim, yet God, Who hath granted unto Bishops the name even of His only Beloved, will not deny it unto them, as if holy and sitting in the chair of the Apostles.

-- St. Pacian of Barcelona (d. 391), Epistle 1.12-13 (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/pacian_1_letter1.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 23, 2017, 08:14:27 PM
For the Lord's Resurrection was not the ending, but the changing of the flesh, and His substance was not destroyed by His increase of power. The quality altered, but the nature did not cease to exist: the body was made impassible, which it had been possible to crucify: it was made incorruptible, though it had been possible to wound it. And properly is Christ's flesh said not to be known in that state in which it had been known, because nothing remained passable in it, nothing weak, so that it was both the same in essence and not the same in glory. But what wonder if St. Paul maintains this about Christ's body, when he says of all spiritual Christians "wherefore henceforth we know no one after the flesh." (2 Cor. 5:16) Henceforth, he says, we begin to experience the resurrection in Christ, since the time when in Him, Who died for all, all our hopes were guaranteed to us. We do not hesitate in diffidence, we are not under the suspense of uncertainty, but having received an earnest of the promise, we now with the eye of faith see the things which will be, and rejoicing in the uplifting of our nature, we already possess what we believe.

-- Pope St. Leo (d. 461), Sermon 71.4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360371.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 24, 2017, 06:06:10 PM
Let us see, then, how Abraham is the father of many nations. (Rom. 4:17-18) Of Jews he is confessedly the father, through succession according to the flesh. But if we hold to the succession according to the flesh, we shall be compelled to say that the oracle was false. For according to the flesh he is no longer father of us all: but the example of his faith makes us all sons of Abraham. How? And in what manner? With men it is incredible that one should rise from the dead; as in like manner it is incredible also that there should be offspring from aged persons as good as dead. But when Christ is preached as having been crucified on the tree, and as having died and risen again, we believe it. By the likeness therefore of our faith we are adopted into the sonship of Abraham. And then, following upon our faith, we receive like him the spiritual seal, being circumcised by the Holy Spirit through Baptism, not in the foreskin of the body, but in the heart, according to Jeremiah, saying, "And you shall be circumcised unto God in the foreskin of your heart" (Jer. 4:4; Deut. 10:16), and according to the Apostle, "in the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with Him in baptism, and the rest" (Col. 2:11-12).

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Catechetical Lectures, 5.6
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 25, 2017, 08:24:19 PM
Question from the same [brother] to the same [Old Man]: "If a passionate thought enters my heart, how should I reject it? By contradicting it? By rebuking it, in order to become angry against it? Or by hastening toward God and casting my weakness before him?"

[Answer:] Brother, the passions are afflictions. And the Lord did not distinguish between them, but rather said: "Call upon me in the day of affliction; I shall deliver you, and you shall glorify me." (Ps. 50:15) Therefore, in the case of every passion, there is nothing more beneficial than to invoke the name of God. Contradicting a passion does not belong to everyone, but only to those who are strong according to God, who are able to subdue the demons. (cf Luke 10:19-20) For if someone who is not strong contradicts them, then the demons ridicule that person for being inferior to them and yet still trying to contradict them.

Similarly, rebuking the passions belongs to the great and powerful ones. Whom among the saints will you find rebuking the devil like the archangel Michael? (Jude 9-10) Indeed, he had the power to do so. Those of us who are weak can only take refuge in the name of Jesus. For according to Scripture, the passions are demons, and [this is how] they are cast out. (Acts 16:18) What more do you want? God will strengthen you and empower you in your fear of him.

-- St. John the Prophet (d. 6th century), Letters of Barsanuphius and John, Letter 304 (https://books.google.com/books?id=HSBnh9_7Cw8C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA289#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 26, 2017, 06:45:46 PM
We have a love for the causes of involuntary thoughts, and that is why they come. In the case of voluntary thoughts we clearly have a love not only for the causes but also for the objects with which they are concerned.

-- St. Mark the Monk (d. 5th century), On Those who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works: Two Hundred Twenty Six Texts, 86 (pdf (http://jbburnett.com/resources/mark_ascetic-righteousness.pdf))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 27, 2017, 07:59:10 PM
We are like people enticed by ugly prostitutes who lack true beauty but conceal their ugliness with the help of cosmetics, producing a counterfeit beauty that ensnares those who see it. Having once been overcome by the vain things of this present life, we are unable to see the ugliness of matter, for we are fooled by our attachment to it. For this reason, we do not remain content with basic necessities, but become dependent on all sorts of possessions, ruining our lives by our greed. We do not see that our possessions should be limited according to our bodily needs, and that what exceeds these is in bad taste and unnecessary. A cloak measured to fit the body is both necessary and in good taste; while one which is too long, getting entangled in our feet and dragging on the ground, not only looks unsightly, but also proves a hindrance in every kind of work. Similarly, possessions superfluous to our bodily needs are an obstacle to virtue, and are strongly condemned by those capable of understanding the true nature of things.

-- St.  Nilus of Sinai (d. 430), Ascetic Discourse (Philokalia, v. 1, p. 245)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 28, 2017, 12:01:05 PM
His own feeling in regard to letters is gracefully expressed in his work "Dion." All Greeks, he says, who have written anything good, of any sort, are to be had in honour. Literature trains us from childhood—when philosophy would be too strong medicine for us—till we can rise to further heights, and when we have attained them, and are weary with the exertion, we give ourselves up once more to Calliope, and she soothes and restores us for fresh efforts. Nor are poetry and rhetoric useless to a man who delights in them for their own sake, without a desire for high philosophy, for such men are gratified and improved by culture, and are not to be wholly despised. In the realms of the air there is room for singing birds, as well as for eagles...

But, along with his literary tastes, Synesius was singularly loose in his method both of reading and of writing. In both occupations we seem to see the effects of his want of intellectual companionship, and his exaggerated fear of becoming a slave to the letter, instead of penetrating to the inner meaning of the authors he read. He says that in reading, whether to himself or to others, he would occasionally withdraw his eyes from the book, and finish a sentence for himself, thus using a test to show whether he had caught the spirit of the author, and acquiring a useful facility in dealing with corrupt texts. He despised the tinkering up of manuscripts, and held in abhorrence the habit of calling up authorities to prove any point. To his freedom in dealing with all the books he read, he owed that freshness and vigour which is the great charm of his writings, and that want of accuracy, and sometimes of moderation, which is their chief defect.

-- Said of Bp. Synesius of Ptolemais (d. 414), (source: Alice Gardner, Synesius of Cyrene: Philosopher and Bishop)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 29, 2017, 03:36:27 PM
So what happened to you? How could you [St. Basil] cast me off so suddenly?
May the kind of friendship which treats its friends in such a way be banished from this life.
We were lions yesterday but today
I am an ape. But to you even a lion is of little worth.
Even if you had regarded all your friends in this way,
(for I will make a proud claim) you should not have regarded me so,
I whom you once preferred to all your other friends
before you were raised above the clouds [made a bishop] and considered all beneath you.

But why, my soul, do you seethe? Restrain the untamed colt by force.
My words must turn towards the winning-post.
That man was false to me but in other respects he was most honest.
He had often heard me say this,
that I could bear it all for the time being, even if things got worse,
but if my parents were to depart this life,
then I would have every reason to depart from public affairs
so that I might draw some benefit from a life without ties
and effortlessly become a citizen of every place.

Basil heard me say this and expressed agreement,
and yet he forced me onto the bishop's throne,
he and my father who thus tricked me twice over.
(Do not get upset until you have heard the whole story.)
If my enemies had spent a long time plotting
as to how they might insult me, I do not think
they could have found any better means than this.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. 390), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=sBSpSwnqhzwC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA41#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 30, 2017, 08:13:48 PM
If, from among your weapons, you consider your spears and your helmet and your breast-plate to be an assurance for your well-being, while you plunder and desolate the highways, know that many who had armed themselves more impregnably than you won for themselves a most lamentable death. Among us are recorded, on the one hand, Oreb, Zebah, Zalmunna, Abimelech and Goliath, and Absalom, and as many others who were like them. Among those outside, on the other hand, are the Hectors, the Ajaxes, and the Lacedaimonians themselves who, above all others, were prideful of their strength, since they did not possess justice in proportion to their power. If, then, you do not wish to be a worthless soldier, arrange yourself at once toward the spiritual war and wage war rather upon your own disorderliness.

-- St. Isidore of Pelusium (d. 450), Source (http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2013/04/23/isidore-of-pelusium-letter-78/)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on October 31, 2017, 05:15:49 PM
So, then, brethren, if we do the will of our Father God, we shall be members of the first church, the spiritual—that which was created before sun and moon; but if we shall not do the will of the Lord, we shall come under the Scripture which says, "My house became a den of robbers." (Jer. 7:11) So, then, let us elect to belong to the church of life, that we may be saved. I think not that you are ignorant that the living church is the body of Christ (for the Scripture, says, God created man male and female, Gen. 1:27; the male is Christ, the female the church, Eph. 5:22-23) and that the Books and the Apostles teach that the church is not of the present, but from the beginning. For it was spiritual, as was also our Jesus, and was made manifest at the end of the days in order to save you. (1 Pet. 1:20) The church being spiritual, was made manifest in the flesh of Christ, signifying to us that if any one of us shall preserve it in the flesh and corrupt it not, he shall receive it in the Holy Spirit.

-- Pseudo-Clement (2nd century), Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, 14 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1011.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 01, 2017, 06:50:54 PM
Amma Sarah said, "If I prayed God that all men should approve of my conduct I should find myself a penitent at the door of each one, but I shall rather pray that my heart may be pure towards all."

-- St. Sarah of the Desert (d. 5th century), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=vkYXwTkDMngC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA35#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 02, 2017, 03:04:16 PM
The Scriptures testify that if a man still under the sway of the passions believes humbly yet with all his heart, he will receive the gift of dispassion. For it is said: 'Today you shall be with Me in paradise' (Luke 23:43), and: 'Your faith has saved you; go in peace' (Luke 7:50)--the peace, that is, of blessed dispassion. Other texts express the same idea--for example: 'The grapes shall ripen at seedtime' (Amos 9:13 LXX), and: 'According to your faith so be it done to you' (Matt. 9:29).

-- St. John of Karpathos (7th century), For the Encouragement of the Monks in India who had Written to Him: One Hundred Texts, 15 (Philokalia, v. 1, p. 301)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 02, 2017, 11:39:57 PM
It behooves those who preside over the churches, every day but especially on Lord's days, to teach all the clergy and people words of piety and of right religion, gathering out of holy Scripture meditations and determinations of the truth, and not going beyond the limits now fixed, nor varying from the tradition of the God-bearing fathers. And if any controversy in regard to Scripture shall have been raised, let them not interpret it otherwise than as the lights and doctors of the church in their writings have expounded it, and in those let them glory rather than in composing things out of their own heads, lest through their lack of skill they may have departed from what was fitting. For through the doctrine of the aforesaid fathers, the people coming to the knowledge of what is good and desirable, as well as what is useless and to be rejected, will remodel their life for the better, and not be led by ignorance, but applying their minds to the doctrine, they will take heed that no evil befall them and work out their salvation in fear of impending punishment.

-- Council in Trullo (692), Canon 19
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 03, 2017, 09:56:26 PM
But among us you will find uneducated persons, and artisans, and old women, who, if they are unable in words to prove the benefit of our doctrine, yet by their deeds exhibit the benefit arising from their persuasion of its truth: they do not rehearse speeches, but exhibit good works; when struck, they do not strike again; when robbed, they do not go to law; they give to those that ask of them, and love their neighbours as themselves.

Should we, then, unless we believed that a God presides over the human race, thus purge ourselves from evil? Most certainly not. But, because we are persuaded that we shall give an account of everything in the present life to God, who made us and the world, we adopt a temperate and benevolent and generally despised method of life, believing that we shall suffer no such great evil here, even should our lives be taken from us, compared with what we shall there receive for our meek and benevolent and moderate life from the great Judge.

-- St. Athenagoras of Athens (d. 190), A Plea for the Christians, 11-12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0205.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 04, 2017, 12:22:37 PM
The birds are deceived, and the beasts of the woods in the woods, by those very charms by which their ruin is ever accomplished, and caves as well as food deceive them as they follow; and they know not how to shun evil, nor are they restrained by law. Law is given to man, and a doctrine of life to be chosen, from which he remembers that he may be able to live carefully, and recalls his own place, and takes away those things which belong to death. He severely condemns himself who forsakes rule; either bound with iron, or cast down from his degree; or deprived of life, he loses what he ought to enjoy. Warned by example, do not sin gravely; translated by the laver, rather have charity; flee far from the bait of the mouse-trap, where there is death. Many are the martyrdoms which are made without shedding of blood. Not to desire other men's goods; to wish to have the benefit of martyrdom; to bridle the tongue, you ought to make yourself humble; not willingly to use force, nor to return force used against you, you will be a patient mind, understand that you are a martyr.

-- Commodian (d. 250), Instructions, 48 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0411.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 04, 2017, 03:44:03 PM
Question: What do those birds, as well as the land animals and sea animals, that were held by the law to be unclean, indicate with regard to general reasoning? (Lev. 11; Deut. 14:3-20)

Answer: We have interpreted the birds as representing, in general, the passion of vainglory and arrogance, a passion separated into different categories according to the differences of the birds. And the land animals, universally, represent the passion of avarice, which is divided into different [categories] according to the difference of each disposition of the animals. And the water animals, universally, represent the passion of gluttony because of its [the passion's] sliminess and difficulty in moving and because they roll around in the earth, and the unclean fish which are unclean according to the law are an inflammation.

And the law defines those that have fins and scales to be clean, indicating by the one that has fins on the belly that the person who has developed against pleasure a high reason does not allow it to enter the belly; and the one that has fins on the top of its back swims in a manly way through the sea of life, bearing patiently the things that befall [it]. And the one that has fins on its tail is the person who skillfully runs away from the grips of the hunting demons, and the one that has fins on both sides [of the head] has a mind that secures the contemplative [part] on all sides.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662), Questions and Doubts, 37
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 04, 2017, 03:47:03 PM
St. Maximos: be like the fish that swims in a manly way.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 05, 2017, 03:23:46 PM
Besides, we were not created, like the rest of the world, by word alone, but also by deed. For God made the world to exist by the power of a single word, but us He produced by the efficacy alike of His word and working. For it was not enough for God to say, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," (Gen. 1:26) but deed followed word; for, taking the dust from the ground, He formed man out of it, conformable to His image and similitude, and into him He breathed the breath of life, so that Adam became a living soul.

-- St. Alexander of Alexandria (d. 326), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0622.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 06, 2017, 08:16:04 PM
There are many things that disallow us from accepting the words of the Gospel in a simple sense. Because some facts have been inserted into the text that contradict each other according to the nature of human common sense, we are urged to seek the underlying principle of its heavenly meaning. (Commentary on Matthew, 20.2 (https://books.google.com/books?id=2398ZZ9dIQoC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA208#v=onepage&q&f=false))

"Jesus, however, knowing their thoughts, said to them, 'Every kingdom divided against itself will be dissolved.'" (Matt. 12:25) The Word of God is rich and has been established to provide every kind of proof for various meanings. It exhibits from itself an abundance of examples. Whether it is understood in a simple fashion or studied for the inner meaning, it is necessary for every step of our progression. Let us pass over those things that are commonly understood, and focus on interior causes. (Commentary on Matthew, 12.12 (https://books.google.com/books?id=2398ZZ9dIQoC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA143#v=onepage&q&f=false))

-- St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 367)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 07, 2017, 11:40:22 PM
"Climb the mountain, cut the wood, and build the house, and I shall be glorified in it [again] and take pleasure," (Hag. 1:8) that is, I [God] shall welcome and commend the effort and enthuisiasm of those laboring to that end. It is therefore surely a fine thing pleasing to God to exert oneself to perform everything which would seem useful and necessary to the fabric of the Church and its upbuilding. Now, this we shall do with great prudence by gathering material that is necessary, and 'chopping' as 'wood' from a forest the spiritual meanings in the inspired Scripture. Through them you would render secure and reliable glory to God, or recognition of him, and you would ensure that the manner of the Incarnation in the flesh is eminently conveyed. In addition, you would convey as well a precise knowledge of spiritual lore, and the goodness found in manners and behavior. These are surely the ways in which we claim that 'the house of God is rebuilt' and the fabric of the Church created.

I shall also go on to say that each of us could be considered a temple and house of God; Christ dwells in us through the Spirit, and we are temples of the living God, according to the Scriptures (2 Cor. 6:16). So let each of us also build up his own heart through right faith, and have Christ the Savior of all himself as the truly precious foundation. Let him also add to this a different material, namely, obedience, compliance in every respect, fortitude, endurance, self-control; thus "knitted together by every ligament with which we are equipped, we shall grow up into a holy temple and a dwelling place for God in the Spirit" (Eph. 4:16; 2:21-22).

-- St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444), Commentary on the Twelve Prophets (https://books.google.com/books?id=lG_NF6CrjtcC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA69#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 08, 2017, 03:11:46 PM
"Who teaches my hands to war, and has made my arms like a brazen bow." (Ps. 18:34) To be taught mans to become watchful of looming traps, and "hands" denotes activities. "War" refers to the struggle with the devil, with whom we are locked in spiritual conflict, and against whom we are ever armed for unceasing struggles. The "arms" are Christ's prophets and apostles, through whom He achieved what He longed to do. He compares them with a brazen bow because the servants of God acknowledge no slackening in their preaching. They persist by divine strength, and fire the words of salvation like arrows shot from afar which pricks the hearts of committed men.

"And thou hast given me the protection of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath held me up. And thy discipline, the same shall teach me." (Ps. 18:35) The protection of salvation alludes to the glory of the resurrection, when He laid aside His mortal flesh and took it up again, incorruptible and glorified. The "right hand" is the power of the Godhead, which set in eternal majesty the humanity which had been assumed. He did well to say that He would be taught, for He was seeking to express the nature of His true humanity. "Tho hast spread wide my steps under me: and my footsteps are not weakened." (Ps. 18:36) He says that the most glorious acts of His incarnation, which were to be demonstrated in His most holy life, were "spread wide." "Footsteps" indicates the path of His teaching, which He left in most explicit form to the apostles, when He planted His steps and advanced with holy deeds. Accordingly He rightly said that these footsteps would not be weakened by enemies, for though the hurricane of the world arose, it could not divert His steps, which He implanted firmly so that Peter would not be drowned in the sea.

-- Cassiodorus (d. 585), Exposition of the Psalms (https://books.google.com/books?id=aX5LVObh1BgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA189#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 08, 2017, 03:19:43 PM
On a side note, here's Ps. 18:35 when taken from the Hebrew:

"Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great." (KJV)
"Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation, and thy right hand supported me, and thy help [or gentleness] made me great." (RSV)

And here's what is given for the equivalent Septuagint verse (Ps. 17:35) in the translation of Cassiodorus and in Brenton's translation:

"And thou hast given me the protection of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath held me up. And thy discipline, the same shall teach me." (Cassiodorus)
"And thou hast made me secure in my salvation: and thy right hand has helped me, and thy correction has upheld me to the end; yea, thy correction itself shall instruct me." (Brenton)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 08, 2017, 09:22:19 PM
Nay, often have I thought to make a rule which should prevent all applauding, and persuade you to listen with silence and becoming orderliness. But bear with me, I beseech you, and be persuaded by me, and, if it seem good to you, let us even now establish this rule, that no hearer be permitted to applaud in the midst of any person's discourse, but if he will needs admire, let him admire in silence: there is none to prevent him: and let all his study and eager desire be set upon the receiving the things spoken.— [audience starts clapping] What means that noise again? I am laying down a rule against this very thing, and you have not the forbearance even to hear me!

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 30 on Acts
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Mor Ephrem on November 08, 2017, 09:32:56 PM
Nay, often have I thought to make a rule which should prevent all applauding, and persuade you to listen with silence and becoming orderliness. But bear with me, I beseech you, and be persuaded by me, and, if it seem good to you, let us even now establish this rule, that no hearer be permitted to applaud in the midst of any person's discourse, but if he will needs admire, let him admire in silence: there is none to prevent him: and let all his study and eager desire be set upon the receiving the things spoken.— [audience starts clapping] What means that noise again? I am laying down a rule against this very thing, and you have not the forbearance even to hear me!

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 30 on Acts

LOL!  So cute.  I've seen this happen IRL. 
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 09, 2017, 07:11:55 PM
But Mister, you claim that these bodies are the skin tunics (Gen. 3:21) though the passage nowhere says so. But you say it because of the seeds of the Greeks' heathen teaching which were sown in you from that source, and because of the Greeks' perverse notion which brought you to this and taught you. :For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit; for they are foolishness unto him, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor. 2:14)

If Adam and Eve had gotten the tunics before their disobedience, your falsehood would be a plausible one, and deceptive. But since it is plain that <the flesh is already there> at the time of Eve's fashioning, <how can it not be an easy matter to refute your foolishness?> What was Eve fashioned from? For a body, plainly; Scripture says, "God cast a deep sleep upon Adam and he slept, and God took one of his ribs." (Gen. 2:21) But a rib is simply a bone; for God built up "flesh in its place." If flesh is mentioned [at this point], how can its creation still be in prospect?

And it says earlier, "Let us make man in our image and after our likeness." (Gen. 1:26) "And he took dust of the earth," it says, "and fashioned the man." (Gen. 2:7) But dust and flesh are nothing else than body. Then later "Adam awoke from his sleep and said, This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh." (Gen. 2:23) The skin tunics were not there yet--and neither was your allegorical falsehood. "Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh," plainly means that Adam and Eve were bodies, and not bodiless.

-- St. Epiphanius of Salamis (d. 403), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=tKtzRNP0Z70C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA199#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 10, 2017, 07:19:23 PM
A human being is someone who possesses spiritual intelligence or is willing to be rectified. One who cannot be rectified is inhuman. Such people must be avoided: because they live in vice, they can never attain immortality.

-- St. Anthony the Great (d. 356), On the Character of Men and on the Virtuous Life: One Hundred and Seventy Texts, 13 (Philokalia, v. 1, p. 331)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 11, 2017, 09:31:08 PM
[St.] Bede tells us [St.] Mellitus died on the 24th of April 624... It does not appear that Mellitus ever received the pall, which was apparently also the case with [St.] Laurentius, and it is equally remarkable that neither of them ordained any bishops, which that fact may explain. When Mellitus died, only one Roman bishop in fact remained in Britain, namely, [St.] Justus... On the death of Mellitus, Justus succeeded him as archbishop...

Bede tells us he received a letter from Pope Boniface authorising him to consecrate bishops... He writes to say that the bearer of the presents also took with him a pall which he authorised him to use at a celebration of the Holy Mysteries, and then only, and also giving him authority to ordain bishops when need required, so that Christ's Gospel, having many preachers, might be spread abroad among all the nations which were as yet unconverted; and he bade him to keep with uncorrupt sincerity of mind what the Holy See had conferred on him, and to remember what was symbolised by what he wore on his shoulders... Having received this letter, Justus proceeded to consecrate (alone, be it noted) a new bishop to the See of Rochester which he had himself vacated. This was Romanus, doubtless one of the contingent of recruits to the mission, who had accompanied him to Rome.

-- Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=37RAAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA242#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 12, 2017, 07:02:44 PM
He who stands in awe of God searches for the divine principles that God has implanted in creation; the lover of truth finds them.

-- St. Thalassios the Libyan (d. 7th century), On Love, Self Control, and Life In Accordance With the Intellect, 1.57 (Philokalia, v. 2, p. 310)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 13, 2017, 11:12:00 PM
The tree of knowledge itself was good, and its fruit was good. For it was not the tree, as some think, but the disobedience, which had death in it. For there was nothing else in the fruit than only knowledge; but knowledge is good when one uses it discreetly. But Adam, being yet an infant in age, was on this account as yet unable to receive knowledge worthily...

But as when a law has commanded abstinence from anything, and some one has not obeyed, it is obviously not the law which causes punishment, but the disobedience and transgression... so also for the first man, disobedience procured his expulsion from Paradise. Not, therefore, as if there were any evil in the tree of knowledge; but from his disobedience did man draw, as from a fountain, labour, pain, grief, and at last fall a prey to death...

And God showed great kindness to man in this, that He did not suffer him to remain in sin for ever; but, as it were, by a kind of banishment, cast him out of Paradise, in order that, having by punishment expiated, within an appointed time, the sin, and having been disciplined, he should afterwards be restored. Wherefore also, when man had been formed in this world, it is mystically written in Genesis, as if he had been twice placed in Paradise; so that the one was fulfilled when he was placed there, and the second will be fulfilled after the resurrection and judgment. For just as a vessel, when on being fashioned it has some flaw, is remoulded or remade, that it may become new and entire; so also it happens to man by death. For somehow or other he is broken up, that he may rise in the resurrection whole; I mean spotless, and righteous, and immortal. And as to God's calling, and saying, Where are you, Adam? God did this, not as if ignorant of this; but, being long-suffering, He gave him an opportunity of repentance and confession.

-- St. Theophilus of Antioch (d. 185), Apology to Autolycus, 2.25-26 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02042.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 15, 2017, 02:48:11 AM
"I desire thee to insist, that they who believe in God may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and useful to men. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and quarrels and disputes about the Low; for they are useless and futile." (Tit. 3:8-9)  When the blessed Apostle wrote this, he already foresaw that there would be men who would neglect good works. They would be preoccupied by curious and useless questions, and thus lose the peace which the Lord had bequeathed to His Church. The fact is that men who look for lofty wisdom are often puzzled by the simplest problems. They forget what the Apostle said, "Be not highminded, but fear." (Rom. 11:20)

Seeking what is unlawful, they lose what is lawful. They pretend to weigh and grasp the very Author and Maker of heaven and earth. Yet, they are unable to perceive and grasp what God has made even with their senses. In the presence of the magnitude and multitude of God's works, their single and simple duty should be to adore. Yet, they choose to doubt. The nature and immensity of God are matters of mystery. Yet, they debate the questions: How big is the Father? What kind of a Son is there? And what sort of a Holy Spirit? Imagine a mere man, without full knowledge even of himself, daring to set limits to God.

-- St. Nicetas of Remesiana (d. 414), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=oJMoz89kGdQC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA13#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 16, 2017, 01:25:39 AM
I too believe this sacred teaching ("The Word became flesh." - Jn. 1:14), but I understand it in the religious sense that [the Word] is said to have become flesh by taking flesh and a rational soul. But if God the Word took nothing from our nature, then the covenants with oaths made by the God of the universe with the patriarchs are not true, the blessing of Judah is worthless, the promise of David is a lie, and the virgin is superfluous, since she gave nothing of our nature to the God who was made flesh. And so the predictions of the prophets are not fulfilled.

"Our preaching is empty," therefore, "our faith is also empty," (1 Cor. 15:14) and the hope of the resurrection is in vain. For the Apostle apparently is lying when he says, "[God] raised us and made us sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:6) For if Christ the Lord had nothing from our nature, he has falsely been named our firstfruit, (1 Cor. 15:20), the body's nature has not been raised from the dead and has not gained the seat at the right hand in heaven. (Eph. 2:6) And if none of this happened, how did God raise us and make us with Christ, when we had nothing in common with him according to nature?

...after he said, "The Word became flesh," (Jn. 1:14) he added, "and dwelt among us"; in other words, [the Word] is said to have become flesh by dwelling among us and using, as a kind of temple, the flesh that was taken from us. And to teach us that [the Word] remained immutable he added, "and we have seen his glory, glory as of an only begotten son from a father, full of grace and truth." For even though he was clothed in flesh, he manifested his father's excellence, emitted rays of divinity, and poured out the radiance of the Lord's power, revealing through miracles the hidden nature.

-- (St.?) Theodoret of Cyrus (d. 458), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=nKDjUgUaTVsC&lpg=PP1&dq=Eranistes%20theodoret&pg=PA58#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 16, 2017, 08:37:57 PM
It is necessary also to mention in my book certain women with manly qualities, to whom God apportioned labours equal to those of men, lest any should pretend that women are too feeble to practise virtue perfectly. Now I have seen many such and met many distinguished virgins and widows. Among them was the Roman lady Paula, mother of Toxotius, a woman of great distinction in the spiritual life. She was hindered by a certain Jerome from Dalmatia. For though she was able to surpass all, having great abilities, he hindered her by his jealousy, having induced her to serve his own plan. She has a daughter now living an ascetic life at Bethlehem, Eustochium by name. I have never met her, but she is said to be very chaste, and she has a convent of fifty virgins;

I knew also Veneria, wife of Vallovicus the count, who gallantly distributed her camel's burden  and was delivered from the wounds which property inflicts. And Theodora the wife of the tribune, who reached such a depth of poverty that she became a recipient of alms and finally died in the monastery of Hesychas near the sea. I knew a lady named Hosia, in every respect most venerable; and her sister Adolia, who lived in a way not indeed comparable to her, but proportionately to her own capacity. I knew also Basianilla, the wife of Candidianus the general, who practised virtue ardently and scrupulously, and is still even now strenuously engaged in contests. Also the virgin Photina, venerable in the extreme, daughter of Theoctistus the priest near Laodicea. Again, I met in Antioch a most venerable lady who conversed familiarly with God, the deaconess Sabaniana, aunt of John the bishop of Constantinople. And I saw also in Rome the beautiful Asella, the virgin who had grown old in the monastery, a very gentle lady and a supporter of convents. There also I saw men and women recently instructed. I saw also Avita, who was worthy of God, with her husband Apronianus and their daughter Eunomia, all so desirous to please God that they were publicly converted to the life of virtue and continence, and were held worthy on this account to fall asleep in Christ freed from all sin, having become possessed of knowledge and leaving their life in good remembrance.

-- Bp. Palladius of Helenopolis (d. 425), The Lausiac History, 41 (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/palladius_lausiac_02_text.htm#C41)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 16, 2017, 08:49:59 PM
As for the relics of the most revered apostles, which you have asked me to send, I truthfully reply that I have not a single martyr's relics so preserved that I can know whose they are. My lords and predecessors were of the opinion that the labels should be removed from all of them to make them indistinguishable, and that they should all be put in a single room, since, in many ways, either by theft or against their wills or by the coercion of the piety of many, they were being forced either to give away or to lose what they had. Some seventy were set apart, however, and are in common use, but among them are to be found none of those which you requested.

-- St. Braulio of Zaragoza (d. 651), Letter 9 (https://books.google.com/books?id=d1bxxQfKD_oC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA27#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 18, 2017, 12:21:06 AM
Q. Why is it that, when there exists many more serious insults, the Lord in the gospels stipulates that he who calls his brother a fool is liable to Gehenna, while he who says "raka," he says is subject to the council? (Matt. 5:22)

A. The name "fool" is said to be understood as "idiotic and unintelligent," and raka is interpreted to mean "despicable" in the language of the Hebrews. And so, since the name "fool" is said regarding the ungodly and unfaithful according to the saying, "the fool person has said in his heart, 'there is no God'" (Ps. 13:1) and according to Moses, who says, "this people is foolish and not wise," (Deut. 32:56) whoever calls his brother of the same faith 'ungodly' and 'idolater' and 'heretic' and 'unfaithful,' this person says "fool," and, rightly, he becomes liable to Gehenna. But whoever says raka, which means, "you despicable, unclean one," he reproaches his brother's life and fittingly is subject to a lighter penalty.

-- St. Maximus the Confessor (d. 662), Questions and Doubts, 40
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 19, 2017, 02:23:38 AM
'Hear, all of you. Afar I cry and I proclaim,
From this high gibbet I send forth my flaming word:
The splendor of the Father's glory, Christ, is God,
Creator of all things and sharer of our lot,
Who to the faithful promises eternal life,

'Salvation of the soul, the spirit that never dies,
But lives forever in the one or other state;
It either shines in light or in dark night is sunk;
When it has followed Christ, it enters Heaven above;
Cut off from Christ, it is consigned to lower Hell.

'What should concern me is the kind of recompense
That my immortal soul will merit to receive;
To me it matters little how my body dies,
Since by the law of its own nature it must die.
Let what is doomed to perish crumble into dust.

'It does not matter whether fire or chains torment,
Or whether cruel sickness racks the weakened frame,
For grave disease is often armed with greater pangs.
The iron claws that penetrate into the side
Cause not such piercing darts of pain as pleurisy.

'The red-hot plates that sear the skin burn not so deep
As fever that consumes the veins with deadly plague,
Or inflammation from within that chafes the flesh
And breaks out on the body in a violent rash,
More painful, you would feel, then hissing branding irons.

'You think me wretched that I am suspended here,
With my arms behind my back and feet wrenched out of place,
And that my joints creak as breaking tendons snap;
But those tormented by arthritis or by gout
Cry out in pain as though their bones were rent apart.

'You shudder at the blows of executioners.
But are the hands of doctors more considerate
When they make use of Hippocratic butchery?
The living flesh is cut and blood, fresh-flowing, stains
The scalpels when the tainted members are removed.

'Consider that the surgeons thrust their cruel knives
Into my ribs and that to heal they cut my flesh.
That which restores health is not injurious:
These butchers seem to rend and tear my putrid limbs,
But they give healing to the living spirit within.

'And yet who does not know how subject to decay
Is mortal flesh, polluted and ephemeral.
It is unclean and bloated, rheumy, fetid, sore;
It is puffed up with anger, gives free rein to lust,
And often wears the livid marks that gall effects.

'Is not the shining gold amassed but for the flesh?
Embroidered robes and jewels, purple cloth and silks
By myriad wiles are sought to gratify the flesh;
Excess in eating pampers flesh and makes it fat,
And pleasures of the flesh give rise to every crime.

'I pray you, O assassin, heal these mighty ills,
Cut off and tear asunder that which leads to sin,
Remove the gangrene from the flesh that now decays,
In order that my soul may live secure from pain
And wearing nought by tyrant to be cut away.

-- Prudentius of Spain (d. 413), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=3e0b3zYer1UC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA211#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 19, 2017, 07:54:23 PM
Homer could give us nothing which pertains to the truth; he described human things rather than divine. Hesiod could, who encompassed the generation of the gods in the work of one book, but he gave nothing, nonetheless, taking his 'beginning of things' not from a god-establisher, but from chaos, which is a confused mass of rude and formless matter. he ought to have explained before chaos itself, whence, when, how it had begun to be or to be determined. Just as all things have been disposed, arranged, and produced by some artificer, so it is certainly necessary for the very matter to have been made by someone. Who, then, made this but God to whose power all things are subject? But that writer avoided this conclusion while he shuddered at unlearned truth. He did not pour forth that song on Helicon by the inspiration of the Muses, as he wished it to seem; it came after he had meditated and prepared for it.

-- Lactantius (d. 325), Divine Institutes, 1.5 (https://books.google.com/books?id=uM7RsyLQTlAC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA28#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 22, 2017, 03:56:51 AM
Therefore, by remitting sins, He did indeed heal man, while He also manifested Himself who He was. For if no one can forgive sins but God alone, while the Lord remitted them and healed men, it is plain that He was Himself the Word of God made the Son of man, receiving from the Father the power of remission of sins; since He was man, and since He was God, in order that since as man He suffered for us, so as God He might have compassion on us, and forgive us our debts, in which we were made debtors to God our Creator. And therefore David said beforehand, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord has not imputed sin," (Ps. 32:1-2) pointing out thus that remission of sins which follows upon His advent, by which "He has destroyed the handwriting of our debt" and "fastened it to the cross," (Col. 2:14) so that as by means of a tree we were made debtors to God, [so also] by means of a tree we may obtain the remission of our debt.

This fact has been strikingly set forth by many others, and especially through means of Elisha the prophet. For when his fellow prophets were hewing wood for the construction of a tabernacle, and when the iron [head], shaken loose from the axe, had fallen into the Jordan and could not be found by them, upon Elisha's coming to the place, and learning what had happened, he threw some wood into the water. Then, when he had done this, the iron part of the axe floated up, and they took up from the surface of the water what they had previously lost. (2 Kings 6:4-7) By this action the prophet pointed out that the sure word of God, which we had negligently lost by means of a tree, and were not in the way of finding again, we should receive anew by the dispensation of a tree, [viz., the cross of Christ].

For that the word of God is likened to an axe, John the Baptist declares [when he says] in reference to it, "But now also is the axe laid to the root of the trees." (Matt. 3:10) Jeremiah also says to the same purport: "The word of God cleaves the rock as an axe." (Jer. 23:29) This word, then, what was hidden from us, did the dispensation of the tree make manifest, as I have already remarked. For as we lost it by means of a tree, by means of a tree again was it made manifest to all, showing the height, the length, the breadth, the depth in itself; and, as a certain man among our predecessors observed, "Through the extension of the hands of a divine person, gathering together the two peoples to one God." For these were two hands, because there were two peoples scattered to the ends of the earth; but there was one head in the middle, as there is but one God, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.

-- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Against Heresies, 5.17.4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103517.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 22, 2017, 05:38:35 AM
-- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Against Heresies, 5.17.4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103517.htm)

That should be: Against Heresies, 5.17.3-4

Anyway, since I'm here...

Quote
Therefore it is not possible for us to open our mouths, when the state of the church is no better than that of worldly men. Have ye not heard that the apostles would not consent so much as to distribute the money that was collected without any trouble? But now our bishops have gone beyond agents, and stewards, and hucksters in their care about these things; and when they ought to be careful and thoughtful about your souls, they are vexing themselves every day about these things, for which the innkeepers, and tax-gatherers, and accountants, and stewards are careful. These things I do not mention for nought in the way of complaint, but in order that there may be some amendment and change, in order that we may be pitied for serving a grievous servitude, in order that you may become a revenue and store for the church.

But if you are not willing, behold the poor before your eyes; as many as it is possible for us to suffice, we will not cease to feed; but those, whom it is not possible, we will leave to you, that you may not hear those words on the awful day, which shall be spoken to the unmerciful and cruel. "You saw me an hungered, and fed me not." (Matt. 25:42) For together with you this inhumanity makes us laughing-stocks, because leaving our prayers, and our teaching, and the other parts of holiness, we are fighting all our time, some with wine merchants, some with grain-factors, others with them that retail other provisions.

Hence come battles, and strifes, and daily revilings, and reproaches, and jeers, and on each of the priests names are imposed more suitable for houses of secular men; when it would have been fit to take other names in the place of these, and to be named from those things, from which also the apostles ordained, from the feeding of the hungry, from the protection of the injured, from the care of strangers, from succoring them that are despitefully used, from providing for the orphans, from taking part with the widows, from presiding over the virgins; and these offices should be distributed among us instead of the care of the lands and houses.

These are the stores of the church, these the treasures that become her, and that afford in great degree both ease to us and profit to you; or rather to you ease with the profit. For I suppose that by the grace of God they that assemble themselves here amount to the number of one hundred thousand; and if each bestowed one loaf to some one of the poor, all would be in plenty; but if one farthing only, no one would be poor; and we should not undergo so many revilings and jeers, in consequence of our care about the money. For indeed the saying, Sell your goods, and give to the poor, and come and follow me, might be seasonably addressed to the prelates of the church with respect to the property of the church. For in any other way it is not possible to follow Him as we ought, not being freed from all grosser and more worldly care.

But now the priests of God attend at the vintage and harvest, and at the sale and purchase of the produce; and whereas they that served the shadow had an entire immunity from such matters, although entrusted with a more carnal service; we, who are invited to the very inmost shrines of the heavens, and who enter into the true holy of holies, take upon ourselves the cares of tradesmen and retail dealers. Hence great neglect of the Scriptures, and remissness in prayers, and indifference about all the other duties; for it is not possible to be split into the two things with due zeal. Where I pray and beseech you that many fountains may spring up to us from all quarters, and that your forwardness may be to us the threshing floor and the wine press. For in this way both the poor will more easily be supported, and God will be glorified, and you will advance unto a greater degree of love to mankind, and will enjoy the good things eternal...

-- St. John Chrysostom, Homily 85 on Matthew (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/200185.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 23, 2017, 07:14:07 AM
Gladly, then, let us announce His salvation, this day born of the Eternal Day, let us declare 'his glory among the Gentiles: his wonders among all people.' (Ps. 96:3) He lies in a manger but He holds the world in His hand; he is nourished at the breast but He feeds the angels; He is wrapped in swaddling clothes but He clothes us with immortality; He is suckled but is adored; He does not find room in the inn but He makes a temple for Himself in the hearts of believers. For strength took on weakness that weakness might become strong. Therefore, let us marvel at rather than despise His human birth; from it let us learn the lowliness which such loftiness assumed for our sake. Then let us enkindle our love so that we may come to His eternal day.

-- St. Augustine (d. 430), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=ig8mwr2XUTcC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA26#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 24, 2017, 07:03:35 AM
When a man stands out of doors in winter at the break of day, facing the east, the front of his body is warmed by the sun, while his back is still cold because the sun is not on it. Similarly, the heart of those who are beginning to experience the energy of the Spirit is only partially warmed by God's grace. The result is that, while their intellect begins to produce spiritual thoughts, the outer parts of the heart continue to produce thoughts after the flesh, since the members of the heart have not yet all become fully conscious of the light of God's grace shining upon them. Because some people have not understood this, they have concluded that two beings are fighting one another in the intellect. But just as the man in our illustration both shivers and yet feels warm at the touch of the sun, so the soul may have both good and evil thoughts simultaneously.

-- St. Diadochos of Photiki (d. 486), On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination: One Hundred Texts, 88
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 24, 2017, 11:40:15 PM
I've been working my way through the work Questions and Doubts by St. Maximos, in which he gives answers to (mostly) questions about the Bible, and it's been interesting and helpful but also at times disappointing. I knew St. Maximos loved 'anagogical' interpretations of Scripture, but it's been a real let down how often he completely ignores a more literal or historical answer in favor of a more 'spiritual' one. Several times he includes more than one interpretation, so it's not like he couldn't have provided both when it's warranted, yet often he seems to have no interest in attempting an explanation about the more obvious or plain meaning of certain passages, or clearing up seeming discrepancies. For example question 82 is:

"What does Jericho signify and who is Achar, the one 'who stole' from 'what is cursed,' (Jos. 7:11) and why did God order him to be burned, but [instead] Joshua stoned him?" (Jos. 7:15-26)

The question is set up in a way that asks for a 'spiritual' answer, but that second part brings up an interesting historical question: God did tell them to burn the guilty person (Achan) along with "all that he has," so why did Joshua and Israel instead stone Achan (they also burned his possessions and family, after stoning them as well)? Was a preliminary stoning tacitly understood as a first step? And the way the passage reads, it seems like Achan may not have been burnt at all, but only stoned? And why so gruesome and wide-ranging a punishment? I could ruminate on these things on my own, but I would have liked to get the interpretation of a master of understanding spiritual things. Instead St. Maximos doesn't touch anything on the literal level, but rather says:

"Whoever, being counted among the divine troops, encircles Jericho seven times sounding the trumpet, that is, marching through the sevenfold age of this time period by the trumpet of the Gospel, is taught to entrust all things of this age to God. And whoever removes an ingot and hides it in the earth, that is, hides the logos in the earthly wisdom of this world, or also, 'a bare thing'--which is an outer garment--that is, practices morality for the sake of impressing onlookers, and steals 'two hundred gold pieces,' that is, all the things perceptible by the senses, and having concealed such gold pieces in the earth of his own carnal enjoyment, this one is killed, first by the commanding Word which boils upon him like a fire, and then also by the divine words, by which he is pelted as though by stones."

It's not that I have a problem with this interpretation--far from it. It's just that it's like the 80th such 'spiritual' explanation I've seen, and man cannot be nourished on anagogy alone.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 26, 2017, 08:39:34 AM
"For it will be whenever you call me" (Prov. 1:28) Just like the Lord, we call on Wisdom, who is Christ. So the one calling on Christ (if you think about who He really is) also calls on Wisdom, Understanding, Holiness, Righteousness, and every Virtue. We should call not with lips, but deeds. So let’s not become that sort of person, lest when we call he not listen...

"Then you will know the fear of the Lord." (Prov. 2:5) Look at from how many things we know the fear of the Lord. For the fear itself is obscure, but it is clear from more simple examples. You can see that there are some who fear the Lord when they should not, and do not fear when they should!

"Give your voice to understanding." (Prov. 2:3) Everyone gives his voice to something, whether to anger (if that happens to be that of which one is speaking), or to suffering, or to fornication. The blessed one offers his whole voice to the Lord so that whatever he says might be Wisdom. Just as another would seek silver you should seek wisdom, as if you were greedy for it!

-- Origen of Alexandria (d. 254), Commentary on Proverbs (http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Origen-Commentary_on_Proverbs_Fernald_2015.pdf)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0136.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on November 28, 2017, 05:17:50 PM
I guess he's talking about St. Gregory of Nyssa there at the end.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on November 28, 2017, 05:32:07 PM
This is who St. Maximus thought of as well:

Quote
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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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 (https://ia902605.us.archive.org/22/items/fathersofthechur013929mbp/fathersofthechur013929mbp.pdf)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.vi.vii.ii.ii.html)


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 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf06.vi.vii.ii.ix.html)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/gregory_thaumaturgus_homily.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos 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
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Antonis on February 06, 2018, 03:22:03 PM
If, then, those who were conversant with the ancient Scriptures came to newness of hope, expecting the coming of Christ, as the Lord teaches us when He says, “If ye had believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me;” and again, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad; for before Abraham was, I am;” how shall we be able to live without Him? The prophets were His servants, and foresaw Him by the Spirit, and waited for Him as their Teacher, and expected Him as their Lord and Saviour, saying, “He will come and save us.”

Let us therefore no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish manner, and rejoice in days of idleness; for “he that does not work, let him not eat.” For say the [holy] oracles "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread.” But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them.

And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days [of the week]. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, “To the end, for the eighth day,” on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ, whom the children of perdition, the enemies of the Saviour, deny, “whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things,” who are “lovers of pleasure, and not lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” These make merchandise of Christ, corrupting His word, and giving up Jesus to sale: they are corrupters of women and covetous of other men’s possessions, swallowing up wealth insatiably; from whom may ye be delivered by the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ!

-- St. Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians, Chapter 9
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Antonis on February 13, 2018, 02:06:29 AM
And yet, will we ever come to an end of discussion and talk if we think we must always reply to replies?

--St. Augustine, City of God
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 20, 2018, 01:20:28 PM
After an interval of some years from the death of Nero, there arose another tyrant no less wicked (Domitian), who, although his government   was exceedingly odious, for a very long time oppressed his subjects,   and reigned in security, until at length he stretched forth his impious   hands against the Lord. Having been instigated by evil demons to   persecute the righteous people, he was then delivered into the power of his enemies, and suffered due punishment. To be murdered in his own   palace was not vengeance ample enough: the very memory of his name was   erased. For although he had erected many admirable edifices, and rebuilt the Capitol, and left other distinguished marks of his   magnificence, yet the senate did so persecute his name, as to leave no   remains of his statues, or traces of the inscriptions put up in honour of him; and by most solemn and severe decrees it branded him, even after death, with perpetual infamy. Thus, the commands of the tyrant having been rescinded, the Church was not only restored to her former state, but she shone forth with additional splendour, and became more   and more flourishing. And in the times that followed, while many   well-deserving princes guided the helm of the Roman empire, the Church   suffered no violent assaults from her enemies, and she extended her hands unto the east and unto the west, insomuch that now there was not   any the most remote corner of the earth to which the divine religion had not penetrated, or any nation of manners so barbarous that did not,   by being converted to the worship of God, become mild and gentle.c

-- Lactantius (d. 320), Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died, 3
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 20, 2018, 10:49:54 PM
So then, my son, let whoever reads this Book of Psalms take the things in it quite simply as God-inspired; and let each select from it, as from the fruits of a garden, those things of which he sees himself in need. For I think that in the words of this book all human life is covered, with all its states and thoughts, and that nothing further can be found in man. For no matter what you seek, whether it be repentance and confession, or help in trouble and temptation or under persecution, whether you have been set free from plots and snares or, on the contrary, are sad for any reason, or whether, seeing yourself progressing and your enemy cast down, you want to praise and thank and bless the Lord, each of these things the Divine Psalms show you how to do, and in every case the words you want are written down for you, and you can say them as your own.

-- St. Athanasius (d. 373), Letter to Marcellinus On the Interpretation of the Psalms
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2018, 02:58:07 AM
For it is not the body that masters the soul, but it is the soul that masters the body. Nor is the soul contained in the body, as if in a vessel, or bag. It might rather be said that the body is in the soul. For we must not think of intelligibles as liable to meet resistance from bodies. We should think of them as extending through the whole body, as though they ranged over them, or pervaded them. They must not, on the other hand, be supposed confined to some portion of space... Therefore, if the soul is said to be in a body, it is not so said in the sense of being located in a body, but rather as being in habitual relation of presence there, even as God is said to be in us. For we may say that the soul is bound by habit to the body, or by an inclination or disposition towards it, just as we say that a lover is bound to his beloved, not meaning physically, or spatially, but habitually. For the soul is a thing that has neither size, bulk, or parts, transcending particular and local circumscription.

-- Bp. Nemesius of Emesa (4th century), On the Nature of Man, 3
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2018, 10:22:13 PM
But the Christians, O King, while they went about and made search, have found the truth; and as we learned from their writings, they have come nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest of the nations. For they know and trust in God, the Creator of heaven and of earth, in whom and from whom are all things, to whom there is no other god as companion, from whom they received commandments which they engraved upon their minds and observe in hope and expectation of the world which is to come...

And their oppressors they appease (lit: comfort) and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies... Further, if one or other of them have bondmen and bondwomen or children, through love towards them they persuade them to become Christians, and when they have done so, they call them brethren without distinction... and they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting.

And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and. rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or  afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food.

And if any righteous man among them passes from the world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God; and they escort his body as if he were setting out from one place to another near. And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. And further if they see that any one of them dies in his ungodliness or in his sins, for him they grieve bitterly, and sorrow as for one who goes to meet his doom.

-- St. Aristides the Philosopher (2nd century), Apology, 15 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/aristides_02_trans.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on February 23, 2018, 10:25:26 PM
So, I guess St. Aristides didn't know anything about infant baptism? It almost sounds like he believed in an idea of "age of accountability."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 23, 2018, 11:02:46 PM
I'm not sure what can be taken with certainty, doctrinally or practically, from his apology, but it does seem like an interesting witness.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 26, 2018, 04:51:20 PM
The present time has brought us a great abundance of naked and homeless. A host of prisoners stands before the door of everyone. And the stranger, the immigrant, is not absent, and everywhere you see extended the hand that begs. To these, home is the outdoors. Havens the stoas, and the crossroads, and the most deserted parts of the agora. Like the night birds and the owls they nest in holes. Their clothes are patched rags; produce is the good intentions of the merciful; food, whatever falls from the passerby; drink, just what the town fountain is for the animals; and cup, the hollow of their hands; treasure, their pocket, when it doesn't have holes and holds what is put in; table, their knees held together; bed, the ground; both, the river, or lake, which God gave unadorned to all. Their life is that of a vagabond and wild, not because it was that way from the beginning but because of misfortune and need...

Come to the help of these, you who fast. Become generous to the unfortunate brethren. That food which you abstained from give to the hungry. Let the just fear of God equalize all. Cure through your prudent temperance two passions which oppose each other--your desire for satiation and the hunger of your brother. That is what the doctors do--some they force to limit their food, and the portions of others they increase, so that by addition and subtraction the health of each may be restored. Heed this good admonition. Let the word open the doors of the rich. Let the counsel lead the poor man toward him who has... Let each be concerned for his neighbor. Let not another receive the treasure that is for you. Embrace the suffering like gold. Embrace the unfortunate as your own health, as the salvation of your wife, your children, your servants, and your entire house.

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. 395), quoted in: Demetrios J. Constantelos, Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare (2nd [Revised] edition), pp. 52-53
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 27, 2018, 07:21:49 PM
By all these earthquakes and calamities, however, not a man of us was restrained from his evil ways, so that our country and our city remained without excuse. Because we had been preserved from the chastisement inflicted on others, and rumours from afar had not alarmed us, we were (presently) smitten with a stroke for which there was no healing. Let us recognise therefore the justice of God and say, "Righteous is the Lord, and very upright are His judgments;" for lo, in His longsuffering He was yet willing by means of signs and wonders to restrain us from our evil doings. In the month of the first Teshrin (October) of this year, on the 23rd, which was a Saturday, at the rising of the sun, his brightness was taken away from him, and his sphere of light appeared like silver. He had no perceptible rays, and our eyes could easily gaze upon him without hindrance, for he had neither rays nor beams to hinder them from looking upon him. Just as it is easy for us to look upon the moon, so we could look upon him. He continued thus till towards the eighth hour. The ground over which shone the little light that there was, seemed as if ashes or sulphur had been sprinkled upon it.

On this day another dreadful and terrible sign took place on the wall of the city. This city, which, because of the faith of its king and the righteousness of its inhabitants in days of old, was deemed worthy to receive a blessing from our Lord, was well nigh overwhelming its inhabitants at the present day, because of the multitude of their sins. For there was a breach in the wall from the south to the Great Gate; and some of the stones at this spot were scattered to no inconsiderable distance from it. By the order of our father the bishop Mar Peter, public prayers were offered, and every one besought mercy from God. He took all his clergy and all the members of religious orders, both men and women, and all the lay members of the holy Church, both rich and poor, men women and children, and they traversed all the streets of the city, carrying crosses, with psalms and hymns, clad in black garments of humiliation. All the convents too in our district kept up continual services with great diligence; and so, by the prayers of all the holy ones, the light of the sun was restored to its place, and we were a little cheered.

-- Joshua the Stylite  (d. 6th century), Chronicle, 36 (http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/joshua_the_stylite_02_trans.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on February 28, 2018, 10:47:28 PM
Alexandra was a beautiful young woman of the fourth century who fled the unwanted advances of a young man, left the city of Alexandria, and shut herself up in a mausoleum. She received food and supplies through a window from a woman friend. Alexandra maintained strict privacy through the remaining ten or twelve years of her life, keeping a curtain at her window so that no one ever saw her face to face again. Melania the Elder sought a visit with Alexandra. When Melania asked Alexandra how she persevered through the harsh conditions and the difficult inner journey, she replied:

"From early dawn to the ninth hour I weave linen, and recite the Psalms and pray; and during the rest of the day I commemorate in my heart the holy fathers, and I revolve in my thoughts the histories of all the Prophets and Apostles, and Martyrs; and during the remaining hours I work with my hands and eat my bread, and by means of these things I am comforted whilst I await the end of my life in good hope."

-- St. Alexandra of Alexandria (d. 4th century), The Forgotten Desert Mothers, pp. 71-72 (https://books.google.com/books?id=l2ZT2wJC92UC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA71#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 01, 2018, 06:07:19 PM
There is among the passions an anger of the intellect, and this anger is in accordance with nature. Without anger a man cannot attain purity: he has to feel angry with all that is sown in him by the enemy. When Job felt this anger he reviled his enemies, calling them "dishonorable men of no repute, lacking everything good, whom I would not consider fit to live with the dogs that guard my flocks" (Job 30:1, 4 LXX). He who wishes to acquire the anger that is in accordance with nature must uproot all self-will, until he establishes within himself the state natural to the intellect.

-- St. Isaiah the Solitary (d. 490), On Guarding the Intellect, 1
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 02, 2018, 01:35:42 AM
Alexandra was a beautiful young woman of the fourth century who fled the unwanted advances of a young man, left the city of Alexandria, and shut herself up in a mausoleum. She received food and supplies through a window from a woman friend. Alexandra maintained strict privacy through the remaining ten or twelve years of her life, keeping a curtain at her window so that no one ever saw her face to face again. Melania the Elder sought a visit with Alexandra. When Melania asked Alexandra how she persevered through the harsh conditions and the difficult inner journey, she replied:

"From early dawn to the ninth hour I weave linen, and recite the Psalms and pray; and during the rest of the day I commemorate in my heart the holy fathers, and I revolve in my thoughts the histories of all the Prophets and Apostles, and Martyrs; and during the remaining hours I work with my hands and eat my bread, and by means of these things I am comforted whilst I await the end of my life in good hope."

-- St. Alexandra of Alexandria (d. 4th century), The Forgotten Desert Mothers, pp. 71-72 (https://books.google.com/books?id=l2ZT2wJC92UC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA71#v=onepage&q&f=false)

That looks like a really interesting book. Do you own it?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 02, 2018, 01:43:46 AM
Either my wife or I did, but I haven't had a copy in a long time. I remember being somewhat let down by it, but that was probably due to the crap place I was at at that time in my life.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 02, 2018, 01:51:50 AM
Either my wife or I did, but I haven't had a copy in a long time. I remember being somewhat let down by it, but that was probably due to the crap place I was at at that time in my life.

Ah, ok. Well, looks like it's only 15 bucks on Amazon. I might pick up a copy.

Sure beats that HtM book that was like 50 dollars (of course, it's obviously more thorough).
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 02, 2018, 02:05:58 AM
Feel free to say what you think after reading it  :angel:
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 02, 2018, 03:42:08 AM
Feel free to say what you think after reading it  :angel:

Will do. But I should have said, "will buy it next time I actually have cash." So, you might be waiting awhile lol.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 02, 2018, 06:57:04 PM
But the present circumstances are forcing me to think differently about our way of life, for why are [so many] wars being fought among us? Why do barbarian raids abound? Why are the troops of the Saracens [Muslims] attacking us? Why has there been so much destruction and plunder? Why are there incessant outpourings of human blood? Why are the birds of the sky devouring human bodies? Why have churches been pulled down? Why is the cross mocked? Why is Christ, who is the dispenser of all good things and the provider of this joyousness of ours, blasphemed by pagan mouths so that he justly cries out to us: "Because of you my name is blasphemed among the pagans," and this is the worst of all the terrible things that are happening to us. That is why the vengeful and God-hating Saracens, the abomination of desolation clearly foretold to us by the prophets, overrun the places which are not allowed to them, plunder cities, devastate fields, burn down villages, set on fire the holy churches, overturn the sacred monasteries, oppose the Byzantine armies arrayed against them, and in fighting raise up the trophies [of war] and add victory to victory.

Moreover, they are raised up more and more against us and increase their blasphemy of Christ and the church, and utter wicked blasphemies against God. Those God-fighters boast of prevailing over all, assiduously and unrestrainably imitating their leader, who is the devil, and emulating his vanity because of which he has been expelled from heaven and been assigned to the gloomy shades. Yet these vile ones would not have accomplished this nor seized such a degree of power as to do and utter lawlessly all these things, unless we had first insulted the gift [of baptism] and first defiled the purification, and in this way grieved Christ, the giver of gifts, and prompted him to be angry with us, good though he is and though he takes no pleasure in evil, being the fount of kindness and not wishing to behold the ruin and destruction of men. We are ourselves, in truth, responsible for all these things and no word will be found for our defence. What word or place will be given us for our defence when we have taken all these gifts from him, befouled them and defiled everything with our vile actions?

-- St. Sophronius of Jerusalem (d. 638), Source (https://web.archive.org/web/20060429163403/http://www.christianorigins.com/islamrefs.html#sophronius)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 03, 2018, 10:28:16 PM
That it is also necessary to keep laughter in check.

This too, although lightly regarded by many, merits no small vigilance on the part of ascetics. For to be overcome by unrestrained and unchecked laughter is a sign of intemperance, of a failure to steady the emotions and of a frivolity of the soul unchecked by strict reason. For while it is not unfitting to express the overflow of the soul to the extent of a cheerfule smile--if only as far as the Scripture shows: A glad heart makes a joyful face (Prov. 15:13)--yet for one who has steadied his soul, or is of proven virtue, or has command of himself it is unseemly to raise one's voice in cackling laughter (and a raucous din) and allow the body to shake uncontrollably. Yet when there is intemperance of soul, this will be sure to happen as a matter of habit, even unwillingly. This kind of laughter Ecclesiastes reproves especially (softening and) undermining (gravity and) constancy of soul, saying: Of laughter I have said it is madness (Eccl. 2:2) and, as the cackle of thorns under the cooking pot so is the laughter of fools (Eccl. 7:6), and Solomon, the most wise, confirms the word, saying The fool raises his voice in laughter, but the wise man will scarely smile quietly (Sir. 21:20)

The Lord, too, revealed that he experienced (in himself) the necessary passions of the flesh and those which tend to evidence of virtue, such as weariness on the one hand and compassion for the afflicted on the other. But he is never found to have used laughter as far as the GOspel narrative (touches on it), and indeed, deems unfortunate those who have succumbed to it (cf. Luke 6:25). Let not the ambiguity of 'laughter' deceive us, for it is often the custom of Scripture to call the joy of the soul and a cheerful response to good fortune 'laughter' as in: Sarah said, God has made laughter for me (Gen. 21:6) and again, Blessed are those who weep now for they shall laugh (cf. Luke 6:21) and there is the saying in Job: he shall fill a truthful mouth with laughter (Job 8:21). All these terms are used of exultation of soul rather than merriment.

This is why he who is superior to every passion and does not admit any goad of pleasure, but is disposed to be self-controlled and unyielding towards every harmful enjoyment, is (called) perfectly self-controlled--and such a one (thereby) is clearly quit of every (kind of) sin. Moreover, there are times when one should even abstain from things permissable and necessary for life, if such abstinence is ordered to the benefit of our brothers, as the Apostle says: If food causes my brother to stumble, I will never again eat meat (1 Cor. 8:13). And though he had a right to live from the Gospel, he did not use the right, in case there should be any obstacle to the Gospel of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 9:12)

Self-control then is a taking away of sin, a weaning from passions, a mortifying of the body (cf. Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5) with its natural passions and cravings (Gal. 5:24; it is the beginning of spiritual life, th sponsor of eternal blessings and extinguishes in itself the sting of pleasure. For pleasure is the great snare of (all) evil--by means of it we human beings are (all) especially drawn to sin; by it every soul is dragged to death as with a fish-hook; anyone not debilitated or overthrown by it, accomplishes the complete avoidance of sin through self-control.

-- St. Basil the Great (d. 379), The Longer Asketikon, 17 (https://books.google.com/books?id=VcQSDAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA208#v=onepage&q&f=false)

There are only tears subdued smiles in holy Pontus.

Note: the above material isn't all in the original text by St. Basil, but also includes the later additions to the text.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 04, 2018, 06:00:27 PM
Flee from the counsel of the deceiver, for he who apportions debt to the inexperienced is wont to cast his whole property for nothing to the loss of the merchants. He impoverished the treasures of great Adam, who with his money acquired a weight of debt. O Body, do not borrow from him that does not ask back what he has lent, that if thou pay him his silver the debt impoverishes.

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian (d. 373), Discourse on Virginity, 7-8 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/ephraim2_6_virginity.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 04, 2018, 07:03:15 PM
Flee from the counsel of the deceiver, for he who apportions debt to the inexperienced is wont to cast his whole property for nothing to the loss of the merchants. He impoverished the treasures of great Adam, who with his money acquired a weight of debt. O Body, do not borrow from him that does not ask back what he has lent, that if thou pay him his silver the debt impoverishes.

-- St. Ephraim the Syrian (d. 373), Discourse on Virginity, 7-8 (https://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/morefathers/files/ephraim2_6_virginity.htm)

I don't get it. How does one "borrow" from Satan (I'm guessing that's who he means by "the deceiver")?
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 04, 2018, 07:24:20 PM
I found the wording a bit confusing, but this is how I took it.  The previous passage spoke of those who decided to embrace virginity but then were unable to follow through in action, and ended up too ashamed to publicly admit their failure, yet were also too weak to resist sexual temptations, so they became trapped. So you should consider carefully what virtues you are capable of, and which ones would lead to harm if you pursued them.  I think part of his point is also something along the lines that when your bodily desires leads you into sin, these are not simple and unrelated lapses, but are cumulative, and "usurius" in the sense of costing you more than the the initial cost indicates, such that you can become so indebted that you become imprisoned in your ways (debtor's prison) or get sold into slavery until your debt (as a consequence of sins) is paid off with the currency of long-suffering virtue and repentance. So, better to not fall into the trap or debt to begin with.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 04, 2018, 07:47:37 PM
Ah, ok. That makes sense.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 05, 2018, 06:29:46 PM
This afternoon I combed through the recent pages of this thread and the Pre-Modern Fathers thread (from 2.18.17 till now), mostly to get an idea of who I can quote without just repeating the same figures too often. Out of curiosity though I also kept track of how many quotes were by/about Latin-speaking Christians:

Early Church Fathers - 144 total quotes, 45 Latin (31%)
Pre-Modern Church Fathers - 105 total quotes, 27 Latin (26%)

A few things playing into the lower numbers: 1) Latin wasn't really used to any significant extent by Christian writers for the first couple centuries; 2) there are significantly more Greek writers given at places like CCEL and New Advent than there are Latin ones; and 3) I don't use a set-in-stone cut off for how late to go with Latin writers, but the further past the mid-11th century a writer gets the more unlikely I am to use a quote.

Still, I'd like to get the numbers closer to 40%.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 05, 2018, 07:03:41 PM
From this source, even at the very beginnings of the world, the devil was the first who both perished (himself) and destroyed (others). He who was sustained in angelic majesty, he who was accepted and beloved of God, when he beheld man made in the image of God, broke forth into jealousy with malevolent envy—not hurling down another by the instinct of his jealousy before he himself was first hurled down by jealousy, captive before he takes captive, ruined before he ruins others. While, at the instigation of jealousy, he robs man of the grace of immortality conferred, he himself has lost that which he had previously been. How great an evil is that, beloved brethren, whereby an angel fell, whereby that lofty and illustrious grandeur could be defrauded and overthrown, whereby he who deceived was himself deceived! Thenceforth envy rages on the earth, in that he who is about to perish by jealousy obeys the author of his ruin, imitating the devil in his jealousy; as it is written, "But through envy of the devil death entered into the world." (Wis. 2:24) Therefore they who are on his side imitate him.

-- St. Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258), Treatise 10: On Jealousy and Envy, 4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050710.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 06, 2018, 10:19:38 PM
But in this divine virtue, as we may call it, exhibited by these Confessors, we must note especially that the defense which they then undertook in appealing to the Ancient Church, was the defense, not of a part, but of the whole body. For it was not right that men of such eminence should uphold with so huge an effort the vague and conflicting notions of one or two men, or should exert themselves in the defense of some ill-advised combination of some petty province; but adhering to the decrees and definitions of the universal priesthood of Holy Church, the heirs of Apostolic and Catholic truth, they chose rather to deliver up themselves than to betray the faith of universality and antiquity.

-- St. Vincent of Lerins (d. c. 450), Commonitory, 5 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3506.htm))
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 07, 2018, 11:15:09 PM
Blessed Elezboi, Emperor of Ethiopia, lived during the time when Arabia was ruled by the oppressor of Christians, Dunaan. Pious Elezboi was unable to look on indifferently as believers in Christ were being massacred, and he declared war on Dunaan. But his military campaign was unsuccessful. Wanting to learn the reason for his defeat, Elezboi at the prompting from above turned to a certain hermit, who revealed to the emperor, that he had proceeded unrighteously in deciding to take revenge against Dunaan, since the Lord had said: "Vengeance is Mine, and I shalt mete it forth!" (Heb. 10: 30). The hermit counselled Blessed Elezboi to devote his final days of life to God, so as to flee the wrath of God for his self-willed revenge, and then to defeat Dunaan. Saint Elezboi made a vow to the Lord, and having set off with his army against the enemy, he defeated and captured and executed him. After the victory the saint resigned as emperor, secluded himself within a monastery and for 15 years he dwelt in strict fast and ascetic deeds.

-- St. Elezboi of Ethiopia (d. 553), Source (http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/iconoftheday/los/October/24-04.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 08, 2018, 02:04:54 AM
Blessed Elezboi, Emperor of Ethiopia, lived during the time when Arabia was ruled by the oppressor of Christians, Dunaan. Pious Elezboi was unable to look on indifferently as believers in Christ were being massacred, and he declared war on Dunaan. But his military campaign was unsuccessful. Wanting to learn the reason for his defeat, Elezboi at the prompting from above turned to a certain hermit, who revealed to the emperor, that he had proceeded unrighteously in deciding to take revenge against Dunaan, since the Lord had said: "Vengeance is Mine, and I shalt mete it forth!" (Heb. 10: 30). The hermit counselled Blessed Elezboi to devote his final days of life to God, so as to flee the wrath of God for his self-willed revenge, and then to defeat Dunaan. Saint Elezboi made a vow to the Lord, and having set off with his army against the enemy, he defeated and captured and executed him. After the victory the saint resigned as emperor, secluded himself within a monastery and for 15 years he dwelt in strict fast and ascetic deeds.

-- St. Elezboi of Ethiopia (d. 553), Source (http://www.holytrinityorthodox.com/iconoftheday/los/October/24-04.htm)

I think I read somewhere that most Emperors and Empresses of Ethiopia actually ended their reigns by retiring to a monastery. It's an interesting dynamic.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: RobS on March 15, 2018, 03:43:42 AM
Asteriktos, someone on FB mentioned that St. John Chrysostom once said that Christianity was the ultimate philosophy...but I can't find anything where he said such a bizarre thing. Do you know of a quote that might come close? Thanks.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Porter ODoran on March 15, 2018, 03:49:25 AM
Asteriktos, someone on FB mentioned that St. John Chrysostom once said that Christianity was the ultimate philosophy...but I can't find anything where he said such a bizarrecharacteristic thing. Do you know of a quote that might come close? Thanks.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 16, 2018, 11:45:37 AM
Asteriktos, someone on FB mentioned that St. John Chrysostom once said that Christianity was the ultimate philosophy...but I can't find anything where he said such a bizarre thing. Do you know of a quote that might come close? Thanks.

I don't know about those exactly words--'ultimate philosophy'--but St. John does call Christian philosophy things like 'true,' 'highest,' and 'heavenly,' and sees it as superior to the pagan philosophies (by philosophy he means both beliefs and the living out of those beliefs). No quote came to me off the top of my head so I did a search, and these are the ones which seemed to come closest to what you are asking about:

"These are our philosophers, and theirs the best philosophy, exhibiting their virtue not by their outward appearance, but by their mind. The pagan philosophers are in character no wise better than those who are engaged on the stage, and in the sports of actors; and they have nothing to shew beyond the threadbare cloak, the beard, and the long robe! But these, quite on the contrary, bidding farewell to staff and beard, and the other accoutrements, have their souls adorned with the doctrines of the true philosophy, and not only with the doctrines, but also with the real practice." (Homilies on the Statues 19.3)

"For if a set of Greeks, men worthless as they are, and dogs, by taking up that worthless philosophy of theirs, (for such the Grecian philosophy is,) or rather not itself but only its mere name, and wearing the threadbare cloak, and letting their hair grow, impress many; how much more will he who is a true philosopher? If a false appearance, if a mere shadow of philosophy at first sight so catches us, what if we should love the true and pure philosophy?" (Homily 21 on Ephesians)

"But the virgin has striven for nobler aims, and eagerly sought the highest kind of philosophy, and professes to exhibit upon earth the life which angels lead, and while yet in the flesh proposes to do deeds which belong to the incorporeal powers." (Treatise on the Priesthood 3.17)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Iconodule on March 16, 2018, 12:10:55 PM
Asteriktos, someone on FB mentioned that St. John Chrysostom once said that Christianity was the ultimate philosophy...but I can't find anything where he said such a bizarrecharacteristic thing. Do you know of a quote that might come close? Thanks.

I'd have to agree. If Christ is Wisdom than Christianity must be the greatest love of such wisdom. I'm encountered several places where fathers refer to Christianity or Christian ascetic practice as philosophy.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 17, 2018, 11:18:11 AM
A quiet soul makes room for words of wisdom, for the Lord will guide the meek in judgment, (Ps. 24:9) or rather, in discretion.

Simplicity is a constant habit of soul that has become immune to evil thinking.

Innocent is he whose soul is in its natural purity as it was created, and who makes intercession for all.

-- St. John Climacus (d. 649), Ladder of Divine Ascent 24.10, 14, 19 (http://www.prudencetrue.com/images/TheLadderofDivineAscent.pdf)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 17, 2018, 04:21:08 PM
...we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself... When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion...

-- Edict of Milan (313)


My own desire is, for the common good of the world and the advantage of all mankind, that your people should enjoy a life of peace and undisturbed concord. Let those, therefore, who still delight in error, be made welcome to the same degree of peace and tranquillity which they have who believe. For it may be that this restoration of equal privileges to all will prevail to lead them into the straight path. Let no one molest another, but let every one do as his soul desires.... Let no one use what he has received by inner conviction as a means to harm his neighbor. What each has seen and understood, he must use, if possible, to help the other; but if that is impossible, the matter should be dropped. It is one thing to take on willingly the contest for immortality, quite another to enforce it with sanctions.

-- St. Emperor Constantine (d. 337), Life of Constantine 2.56, 60
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 18, 2018, 11:42:21 PM
Salute also Mary my daughter, distinguished both for gravity and erudition, as also the Church which is in her house. (Col. 4:15) May my soul be in place of hers: she is the very pattern of pious women.

-- Pseudo-Ignatius (5th century), Letter to Hero the Deacon of Antioch
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2018, 03:17:20 AM
However, not only is the flesh of the lamb not to be eaten raw, it is not to be cooked in water either. (Ex. 12:9) Now what does water here signify, if not human thinking, of the sort described through Solomon, who says, speaking of heretics: "Stolen waters are sweeter" (Prov. 9:17)? Thus our Redeemer must neither be considered to be only a man, nor, when we ask in what way God was able to become man, is he to be reflected on through purely human thinking. Everyone, indeed, who believes our Redeemer to be simply a man, does nothing other than eat the flesh of the lamb raw, and refuses to cook it, as it were, by understanding his divinity. Everyone, on the other hand, who attempts to discuss the mystery of his becoming man, through purely human thought, is trying to cook the flesh of the lamb in water. That is, he is trying to penetrate the mystery of this divine process by the kind of thought which, like boiling, dissolves what it cooks. The person, therefore, who wishes to celebrate the joy of Easter with due solemnity, eats the flesh roasted by fire (Ex. 12:8). In this way he may come to understand how everything is ordered, not through human thought, but through the burning power of the Holy Spirit.

Concerning this mystery, the text adds, "You shall devour the head, with the feet and the intestines." (Ex. 12:9) For our Redeemer is the Alpha and the Omega, that is, he is God from before all ages and now, at the end of time, he is also man. And as we have already said, dear friends, we learn through the testimony of Paul that "the head of Christ is God" (1 Cor. 11:3). Therefore, to devour the head of the lamb is to accept his divinity, through faith. To devour the feet, however, means to follow in the tracks of his humanity, by loving and imitating him. But what are the intestines? Surely they are the hidden and spiritual commands contained in his words. These we devour when we avidly consume the words of life. Does this term "devouring" rebuke our apathy and laziness? For we do not inquire into his words and mysteries ourselves, and we are reluctant to listen to his teachings from others.

"None of it shall remain till the morning" (Ex. 12:11). That is, we are to study his teaching assiduously until the day of the Resurrection dawns. In the night of this present life, we are to enter into all his commandments, by understanding them and by following them. But since it is extremely difficult to understand every sacred word, and to penetrate every one of his mysteries, the text adds: "If anything is left over, it is burnt on the first" (Ex. 12:11). We burn what is left of hte lamb when we humbly entrust to the power of the Holy Spirit whatever we cannot understand about the mystery of Christ becoming man. Thus whoever hears this mystery proclaimed will not arrogantly despise or reject what he does not understand. Instead he will cast it into the fire by entrusting it to the Holy Spirit.

-- St. Gregory the Dialogist (d. 604), Homilies on the Gospels 22 (https://books.google.com/books?id=BFb_GZ74yrcC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA47#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 19, 2018, 03:30:38 AM
Salute also Mary my daughter, distinguished both for gravity and erudition, as also the Church which is in her house. (Col. 4:15) May my soul be in place of hers: she is the very pattern of pious women.

-- Pseudo-Ignatius (5th century), Letter to Hero the Deacon of Antioch

I don't get "May my soul be in place of hers"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2018, 03:54:44 AM
Salute also Mary my daughter, distinguished both for gravity and erudition, as also the Church which is in her house. (Col. 4:15) May my soul be in place of hers: she is the very pattern of pious women.

-- Pseudo-Ignatius (5th century), Letter to Hero the Deacon of Antioch

I don't get "May my soul be in place of hers"

This is just speculation, but I wondered if it was a kind of idiom along the lines of "someone after my own heart"? I'm basing this partly on the above passage, and also on another passage in which Pseudo-Ignatius used the same phrase:

"I salute the holy presbytery. I salute the sacred deacons, and that person most dear to me, whom may I behold, through the Holy Spirit, occupying my place [as bishop] when I shall attain to Christ [through martyrdom]. My soul be in place of his." (Epistle to the Antiochians 12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0114.htm); bracketed words added by me)

Both times he is talking about someone he respects and seems to feel spiritual kinship towards.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 19, 2018, 04:13:30 AM
Huh. Maybe.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Hawkeye on March 19, 2018, 04:45:44 AM
Salute also Mary my daughter, distinguished both for gravity and erudition, as also the Church which is in her house. (Col. 4:15) May my soul be in place of hers: she is the very pattern of pious women.

-- Pseudo-Ignatius (5th century), Letter to Hero the Deacon of Antioch

I don't get "May my soul be in place of hers"

This is just speculation, but I wondered if it was a kind of idiom along the lines of "someone after my own heart"? I'm basing this partly on the above passage, and also on another passage in which Pseudo-Ignatius used the same phrase:

"I salute the holy presbytery. I salute the sacred deacons, and that person most dear to me, whom may I behold, through the Holy Spirit, occupying my place [as bishop] when I shall attain to Christ [through martyrdom]. My soul be in place of his." (Epistle to the Antiochians 12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0114.htm); bracketed words added by me)

Both times he is talking about someone he respects and seems to feel spiritual kinship towards.

I figured it was an expression of praise and personal humility and meant something akin to "May I receive their [same] reward."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on March 19, 2018, 06:05:08 AM
Salute also Mary my daughter, distinguished both for gravity and erudition, as also the Church which is in her house. (Col. 4:15) May my soul be in place of hers: she is the very pattern of pious women.

-- Pseudo-Ignatius (5th century), Letter to Hero the Deacon of Antioch

I don't get "May my soul be in place of hers"

This is just speculation, but I wondered if it was a kind of idiom along the lines of "someone after my own heart"? I'm basing this partly on the above passage, and also on another passage in which Pseudo-Ignatius used the same phrase:

"I salute the holy presbytery. I salute the sacred deacons, and that person most dear to me, whom may I behold, through the Holy Spirit, occupying my place [as bishop] when I shall attain to Christ [through martyrdom]. My soul be in place of his." (Epistle to the Antiochians 12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0114.htm); bracketed words added by me)

Both times he is talking about someone he respects and seems to feel spiritual kinship towards.

I figured it was an expression of praise and personal humility and meant something akin to "May I receive their [same] reward."

Sounds plausible.

Or maybe, "If they wind up in Hell, may their punishment be given to me instead."
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2018, 09:24:20 AM
Yeah, either of those as well could be it. Don't know if it'd be any clearer what is meant in the original Greek.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 19, 2018, 06:46:05 PM
Gregory was especially concerned with leadership and education. He made sure that each church had a priest and each region had a bishop. Then he persuaded the king to gather peasant children from all over the country so that they, too, might learn from him and the men he had chosen. The king was willing also to have some children taught to read and become better acquainted with the Scriptures and other sacred writings. Some learned Syriac and some Greek, but all found new and precious knowledge in the word of God. So Gregory's work continued. He spread the gospel message everywhere; he helped many in distress and despair, and established monastic orders in the populous plains and the isolated mountain caves. He educated many of the pagan priests' children and when they were ready he made them bishops of the Church.

The first of these, Albianos, was often left in charge of the court so that Gregory could retreat to a lonely place and live austerely with pupils from the monasteries. They would give themselves to prayer and works of humility, proclaiming god's strength by their own weakness. They did the worship services together, studied the Bible, sang spiritual songs, and encouraged each other to live according to God's way rather than the world's. But Gregory was always ready to visit a city to work with the people in churches there, and met often with priests and bishops. He was their best example of how to live and do their work as the Lord would want, and constantly reminded them to teach others as Christ had done.

-- said of: St. Gregory the Illuminator (d. 331), History of St. Gregory and the Conversion of Armenia (http://www.vehi.net/istoriya/armenia/agathangelos/en/AGATHANGELOS.html) by Agathangelos
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 20, 2018, 03:57:14 PM
Now the ways of wisdom are various that lead right to the way of truth. Faith is the way... But faith, which the Greeks disparage, deeming it futile and barbarous, is a voluntary preconception, the assent of piety— the subject of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, according to the divine apostle. (Heb. 11:1)... But we, who have heard by the Scriptures that self-determining choice and refusal have been given by the Lord to men, rest in the infallible criterion of faith, manifesting a willing spirit, since we have chosen life and believe God through His voice. And he who has believed the Word knows the matter to be true; for the Word is truth. But he who has disbelieved Him that speaks, has disbelieved God. "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made of things which appear," says the apostle. "By faith Abel offered to God a fuller sacrifice than Cain, by which he received testimony that he was righteous, God giving testimony to him respecting his gifts; and by it he, being dead, yet speaks," and so forth, down to "than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." (Heb. 11:3-25) Faith having, therefore, justified these before the law, made them heirs of the divine promise. Why then should I review and adduce any further testimonies of faith from the history in our hands? "For the time would fail me were I to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David, and Samuel, and the prophets," and what follows (Heb. 11:32)

-- Clement of Alexandria (d. 215), The Stromata 2.2, 4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 21, 2018, 06:30:31 PM
"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:2). He may have set a small child in their midst simply in order to make an inquiry about its age and to demonstrate an image of innocence (St. Hilary); or at least he did this to give them an example of humility, namely, that of himself, who had come not to be served but to serve (Matt. 20:28). Others (Origen) interpret the child as the Holy Spirit, whom he put into the hearts of the disciples that they might exchange their arrogance with humility.

"Amen I say to you: Unless you are converted so that you become as little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:3). The apostles are not being commanded to have the age of little children, but to possess their innocence by means of their own diligent effort, an innocence that children possess because of their years. Thus they become children not in respect to wisdom, but to malice.

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 18:4). Just as this little child, whose example I offer to you, does not persist in wrath, does not remember injuries, is not enticed when it looks upon a beautiful woman, does not think one thing and say something else, so also you. For unless you have such innocence and purity of heart, you will not be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Here is another interpretation: "Whoever humbles himself as this little child, he is greatest in the kingdom of heaven." That is to say, the one who imitates me and humbles himself through my example, so that he lowers himself as much as I have lowered myself when I "took the form of a servant" (Phil. 2:7), he will enter the kingdom of heaven.

"And he who receives one such little child in my name receives me." (Matt. 18:5) He who becomes the kind of person who imitates the humility and innocence of Christ, in him Christ is received. And he wisely added that they are not to be received on the basis of their own merit, but for the honor of their teacher. For otherwise, when this was made known to the apostles, they may have thought that they themselves had been honored.

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Commentary on Matthew (https://books.google.com/books?id=j0UmWBivNJgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA207#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 22, 2018, 06:44:13 PM
The same Abba Isaiah, when someone asked him what avarice was, replied, 'Not to believe that God cares for you, to despair of the promises of God and to love boasting.'

-- Abba Isaiah (5th century), The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (transl. by Benedicta Ward), p. 70
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 23, 2018, 10:12:07 PM
In truth, our evil comes out of our want of resemblance to God, and our ignorance of Him; and, on the other hand, our great good consists in our resemblance to Him. And, therefore, our conversion and faith in the Being who is incorruptible and divine, seems to be truly our proper good, and ignorance and disregard of Him our evil; if, at least, those things which are produced in us and of us, being the evil effects of sin, are to be considered ours.

-- St. Methodius of Olympus (d. 311), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0626.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 25, 2018, 10:05:29 PM
Do not attempt to explain something difficult with contentiousness, but in the way which the spiritual law enjoins: with patience, prayer and unwavering hope.

-- St. Mark the Monk (d. 5th century), On the Spiritual Law 12
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 27, 2018, 06:17:28 PM
Once a certain brother who lived with him asked him; ‘What is the mystery of contemplation?’ Realizing that he was intent on learning, the Elder replied: ‘I tell you, my son, that when one’s intellect is completely pure, God reveals to him the visions that are granted to the ministering powers and angelic hosts.’ The same brother also asked: ‘Why, father, do you find more joy in the psalms than in any other part of divine Scripture? And why, when quietly chanting them, do you say the words as though you were speaking with someone?’ And Abba Philimon replied: ‘My son, God has impressed the power of the psalms on my poor soul as He did on the soul of the prophet David. I cannot be separated from the sweetness of the visions about which they speak: they embrace all Scripture.’ He confessed these things with great humility, after being much pressed, and then only for the benefit of the questioner.

-- said of: Abba Philimon (7th century), Philokalia, v. 2, p. 347
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 28, 2018, 10:52:02 PM
The bishops of every country ought to know who is the chief among them, and to esteem him as their head, and not to do any great thing without his consent; but every one to manage only the affairs that belong to his own parish, and the places subject to it. But let him not do anything without the consent of all; for it is by this means there will be unanimity, and God will be glorified by Christ, in the Holy Spirit.

-- Apostolic Canons 35 (4th century)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 30, 2018, 06:15:37 PM
As in the law, therefore, and in the Gospel [likewise], the first and greatest commandment is, to love the Lord God with the whole heart, and then there follows a commandment like to it, to love one's neighbour as one's self; the author of the law and the Gospel is shown to be one and the same. For the precepts of an absolutely perfect life, since they are the same in each Testament, have pointed out [to us] the same God, who certainly has promulgated particular laws adapted for each; but the more prominent and the greatest [commandments], without which salvation cannot [be attained], He has exhorted [us to observe] the same in both.

-- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Against Heresies 4.12.3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103412.htm)


For the law, since it was laid down for those in bondage, used to instruct the soul by means of those corporeal objects which were of an external nature, drawing it, as by a bond, to obey its commandments, that man might learn to serve God. But the Word set free the soul, and taught that through it the body should be willingly purified. Which having been accomplished, it followed as of course, that the bonds of slavery should be removed, to which man had now become accustomed, and that he should follow God without fetters... Now all these [NT precepts], as I have already observed, were not [the injunctions] of one doing away with the [OT] law, but of one fulfilling, extending, and widening it among us; just as if one should say, that the more extensive operation of liberty implies that a more complete subjection and affection towards our Liberator had been implanted within us. For He did not set us free for this purpose, that we should depart from Him (no one, indeed, while placed out of reach of the Lord's benefits, has power to procure for himself the means of salvation), but that the more we receive His grace, the more we should love Him. Now the more we have loved Him, the more glory shall we receive from Him, when we are continually in the presence of the Father.

-- St. Irenaeus of Lyon (d. 202), Against Heresies 4.13.2-3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103413.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on March 31, 2018, 02:50:19 PM
You know, dearly beloved, what practice is observed when land is cultivated. First, thorns are pulled out and stones thrown away. Next, the soil itself is ploughed, harrowed, and dragged; then, in proper order, seed is sown in every fourth or fifth furrow. Thus it should also happen in our soul, beloved brethren. First, the thorns should be torn out, that is, evil thoughts. Next, the stones should be removed, that is, all malice and harshness ought to be taken away. Then, our heart should be broken up and cultivated by the plough of the Gospel and the ploughshare of the Cross: shattered by repentance, softened by almsgiving, and prepared by charity for the Lord's sowing. When the soil of our heart has been cleared and well cultivated, it can with joy receive the seed of the word of God and bring forth fruit, not only thirty-fold, but even sixty- and a hundred-fold.

Now, there are three professions in the holy Catholic Church: there are virgins, widows, and the married. Virgins produce the hundred-fold, widows the sixty-fold, and the married thirty-fold. One bears more, another less, but they are all kept in the heavenly barn and happily enjoy eternal bliss. Therefore, while the virgins think of Mary, the widows consider Anne, and married women reflect upon Susanna, they should imitate the chastity of those women in this life so that they may merit to be united and associated with them in eternity.

-- St. Caesarius of Arles (d. 542), Sermon 6.7 (https://books.google.com/books?id=0pWzRdNohzgC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA43#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 02, 2018, 02:04:34 PM
May all who want to find genuine humility and rest for their soul learn to have a humble mind and to perceive that in it is all joy and glory, and peace, and in the haughtiness of superiority, the opposite. From where do all these agonies of the mind come from? Is it not by our haughtiness, and our thinking too greatly of ourselves? Is it not by elevating ourselves and our evil choices? Is it not the hardness of our nature that will lord over us? But how did this happen? Was not man formed in all comfort, all delight, in full peace and glory? Was he not placed in paradise? He was removed. Why? God said you will not do this, and he did it.

Do you see the arrogance of that, the stubbornness and the self-will? And thus God said, man is mad, he does not understand how to be happy, unless he suffers bad days he will depart and be brought to ruin. Unless he understands what strife is he will never understand what rest is. He then gave what he was due and cast him out of paradise. Then he delivered him over to his own will and to his own lusts, so that he might grind down his bones and learn that he is unable to go straight by himself, but only through the command of God. So that he might learn the poverty of disobedience and that peace that comes from obedience. As the prophet declared, "Your rebellion will instruct you."

Still, the virtue of God, as I have often stated, did not hate what he had made, but again urged him to be obedient. "Come to me," he said, "all you that are heavy laden and I will refresh you." That is to say, "See how you must work. See the distress you have brought on your own head. See how you are tried by evil and your own disobedience. But come change your behavior, admit your own impotence so that you may come to be at peace and true glory. Live with a humble mind rather than giving in to your grave by pretentious pride. Learn from me, because I am meek and humble of heart and you will discover rest for your souls."

-- St. Dorotheus of Gaza (6th century), Discourses: About Renunciation
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Antonis on April 02, 2018, 02:15:26 PM
1. His [St. Dionysios of Alexandria's] fifth epistle was written to Xystus, bishop of Rome. In this, after saying much against the heretics, he relates a certain occurrence of his time as follows: For truly, brother, I am in need of counsel, and I ask your judgment concerning a certain matter which has come to me, fearing that I may be in error.

2. For one of the brethren that assemble, who has long been considered a believer, and who, before my ordination, and I think before the appointment of the blessed Heraclas, was a member of the congregation, was present with those who were recently baptized. And when he heard the questions and answers, he came to me weeping, and bewailing himself; and falling at my feet he acknowledged and protested that the baptism with which he had been baptized among the heretics was not of this character, nor in any respect like this, because it was full of impiety and blasphemy.

3. And he said that his soul was now pierced with sorrow, and that he had not confidence to lift his eyes to God, because he had set out from those impious words and deeds. And on this account he besought that he might receive this most perfect purification, and reception and grace.

4. But I did not dare to do this; and said that his long communion was sufficient for this. For I should not dare to renew from the beginning one who had heard the giving of thanks and joined in repeating the Amen; who had stood by the table and had stretched forth his hands to receive the blessed food; and who had received it, and partaken for a long while of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But I exhorted him to be of good courage, and to approach the partaking of the saints with firm faith and good hope.

5. But he does not cease lamenting, and he shudders to approach the table, and scarcely, though entreated, does he dare to be present at the prayers.

6. Besides these there is also extant another epistle of the same man on baptism, addressed by him and his parish to Xystus and the church at Rome. In this he considers the question then agitated with extended argument. And there is extant yet another after these, addressed to Dionysius of Rome, concerning Lucian. So much with reference to these.


-- from the Church History of Eusebius, Book VII, Ch. 9, "The Ungodly Baptism of the Heretics"
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 03, 2018, 03:44:07 PM
But when the days of Easter have come, during those eight days, that is, from Easter to the Octave, when the dismissal from the church has been made, they go with hymns to the Anastasis. Prayer is said anon, the faithful are blessed, and the bishop stands, leaning against the inner rails which are in the cave of the Anastasis, and explains all things that are done in Baptism. In that hour no catechumen approaches the Anastasis, but only the neophytes and the faithful, who wish to hear concerning the mysteries, enter there, and the doors are shut lest any catechumen should draw near. And while the bishop discusses and sets forth each point, the voices of those who applaud are so loud that they can be heard outside the church. And truly the mysteries are so unfolded that there is no one unmoved at the things that he hears to be so explained.

Now, forasmuch as in that province some of the people know both Greek and Syriac, while some know Greek alone and others only Syriac; and because the bishop, although he knows Syriac, yet always speaks Greek, and never Syriac, there is always a priest standing by who, when the bishop speaks Greek, interprets into Syriac, that all may understand what is being taught. And because all the lessons that are read in the church must be read in Greek, he always stands by and interprets them into Syriac, for the people's sake, that they may always be edified. Moreover, the Latins here, who understand neither Syriac nor Greek, in order that they be not disappointed, have (all things) explained to them, for there are other brothers and sisters knowing both Greek and Latin, who translate into Latin for them. But what is above all things very pleasant and admirable here, is that the hymns, the antiphons, and the lessons, as well as the prayers which the bishop says, always have suitable and fitting references, both to the day that is being celebrated and also to the place where the celebration is taking place.

-- The Pilgrimage of Egeria 7.5 (http://www.ccel.org/m/mcclure/etheria/etheria.htm) (4th century),
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on April 03, 2018, 05:56:48 PM
I wonder why the bishop chose Greek over Syriac.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 03, 2018, 07:26:21 PM
EDIT--Not sure
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 03, 2018, 09:26:11 PM
I wonder why the bishop chose Greek over Syriac.

I guess they were in Jerusalem, so maybe that was just the unofficial language of the place? Plus they might have people from all over, not just speaking Syriac and Latin as mentioned, but maybe other languages as well, so they just do one and them manage the rest as best they can? I'm guessing here...
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Tzimis on April 03, 2018, 10:11:12 PM
I wonder why the bishop chose Greek over Syriac.
The churches in Jerusalem were erected by Hellenic Romans. The liturgy would certainly be in Greek.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on April 03, 2018, 10:25:10 PM
Yeah, both your answers make sense.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 04, 2018, 03:28:54 PM
For by whose teachings but those of Patience is Charity—the highest sacrament of the faith, the treasure-house of the Christian name, which the apostle commends with the whole strength of the Holy Spirit— trained? Charity, he says, is long suffering; thus she applies patience: is beneficent; Patience does no evil: is not emulous; that certainly is a peculiar mark of patience: savours not of violence: she has drawn her self-restraint from patience: is not puffed up; is not violent; for that pertains not unto patience: nor does she seek her own if, she offers her own, provided she may benefit her neighbours: nor is irritable; if she were, what would she have left to Impatience? Accordingly he says, Charity endures all things; tolerates all things; of course because she is patient. Justly, then, will she never fail; for all other things will be cancelled, will have their consummation.

-- Tertullian (d. 240), On Patience 12 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0325.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 08, 2018, 08:59:21 PM
And I can show the trophies of the apostles. For if you choose to go to the Vatican or to the Ostian Road, you will find the trophies of those who founded this church.

-- Fr. Caius of Rome (d. early-3rd century), Fragments from a Dialogue or Disputation Against Proclus (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0510.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 09, 2018, 06:21:22 PM
Imitate, therefore, the ambassador of our Lord, and be his follower in every thing. That John, again, who "reclined on the bosom of our Lord, and whom He greatly loved," (John 21:20)--he, too, was a holy person. For it was not without reason that our Lord loved him. Paul, also, and Barnabas, and Timothy, with all the others, "whose names are written in the book of life," (Phil. 4:3)--these, I say, all cherished and loved sanctity, and ran in the contest, and finished their course without blemish, as imitators of Christ, and as sons of the living God. Moreover, also, Elijah and Elisha, and many other holy men, we find to have lived a holy and spotless life. If, therefore, you desire to be like these, imitate them with all your power.

-- Pseudo-Clement?? (2nd century), Epistles on Virginity 1.6 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0803.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 10, 2018, 09:37:13 PM
Rufinus, presbyter of the church at Aquileia, was not the least among the doctors of the church and had a fine talent for elegant translation from Greek into Latin. In this way he opened to the Latin speaking church the greater part of the Greek literature; translating the works of Basil of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Gregory Nazianzan, that most eloquent man, the Recognitions of Clement of Rome, the Church history of Eusebius of Caesarea in Palestine, the Sentences of Xystus, the Sentences of Evagrius and the work of Pamphilus Martyr Against the mathematicians. Whatever among all these which are read by the Latins have prefatory matter, have been translated by Rufinus, but those which are without Prologue have been translated by some one else who did not choose to write a prologue. Not all of Origen, however, is his work, for Jerome translated some which are identified by his prologue. On his own account, the same Rufinus, ever through the grace of God published an Exposition of the Apostles' creed so excellent that other expositions are regarded as of no account in comparison.

-- Gennadius of Massilia (d. 496), Additions to 'On Illustrious Men,' 17
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 11, 2018, 08:02:42 PM
He showed me again many trees, some budding, and others withered. And he said to me, "Do you see these trees?" "I see, sir," I replied, "some putting forth buds, and others withered." "Those," he said, "which are budding are the righteous who are to live in the world to come; for the coming world is the summer of the righteous, but the winter of sinners. When, therefore, the mercy of the Lord shines forth, then shall they be made manifest who are the servants of God, and all men shall be made manifest. For as in summer the fruits of each individual tree appear, and it is ascertained of what sort they are, so also the fruits of the righteous shall be manifest, and all who have been fruitful in that world shall be made known.

"But the heathen and sinners, like the withered trees which you saw, will be found to be those who have been withered and unfruitful in that world, and shall be burnt as wood, and [so] made manifest, because their actions were evil during their lives. For the sinners shall be consumed because they sinned and did not repent, and the heathen shall be burned because they knew not Him who created them. You should therefore bear fruit, that in that summer your fruit may be known. And refrain from much business, and you will never sin: for they who are occupied with much business commit also many sins, being distracted about their affairs, and not at all serving their Lord. How, then, he continued, can such a one ask and obtain anything from the Lord, if he serve Him not? They who serve Him shall obtain their requests, but they who serve Him not shall receive nothing. And in the performance even of a single action a man can serve the Lord; for his mind will not be perverted from the Lord, but he will serve Him, having a pure mind. If, therefore, you do these things, you shall be able to bear fruit for the life to come. And every one who will do these things shall bear fruit."

-- Hermas (mid-2nd century), The Shepherd, 3.4
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 12, 2018, 11:28:18 PM
Now I must proceed to my former subject of faith, that on it are reared up all the good works of the building. And again, in what I said with regard to the building, it was in no strange fashion that I spoke, but the blessed Apostle wrote in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, saying — "I as a wise master-builder have laid the foundation, but every one builds on it." (1 Cor.3:10) One builds silver and gold and goodly stones; another builds reed and straw and stubble. In the last day that building shall be tried by fire; for the gold and silver and goodly stones shall be preserved in the midst of the fire, because they are a firm building. But as for the straw and reed and stubble, the fire shall have power upon them and they shall be burned. And what is the gold and silver and goodly stones by which the building is raised up? Clearly the good deeds of faith, which shall be preserved in the midst of the fire; because Christ dwells in that secure building, and He is its preserver from the fire.

And let us consider and understand (this) from the example that God has given us also in the former dispensation, because the promises of that dispensation will abide sure for us. Let us then understand from (the case of) those three righteous men who were cast into the midst of the fire and were not burned, namely, Hananiah, Azariah and Misael, over whom the fire had no power, because they built a secure building and rejected the commandment of Nebuchadnezzar the king and did not worship the image that he made. And as for those who transgressed the commandment of God, the fire at once prevailed over them and burned them, and they were burned without mercy. For the Sodomites were burned like straw and reed and stubble. Furthermore, Nadab and Abihu were burned, who transgressed the commandment of God. Again, two hundred and fifty men were burned, who were offering incense. Again, two princes and a hundred who were with them were burned, because they approached the mountain on which Elijah was sitting, who ascended in a chariot of fire to heaven. The calumniators also were burned because they dug a pit for righteous men. Accordingly, beloved, the righteous shall be tried by the fire, like gold and silver and goodly stones, and the wicked shall be burned in the fire like straw and reed and stubble, and the fire shall have power upon them and they shall be burned; even as the Prophet Isaiah said: "By fire shall the Lord judge and by it shall He try all flesh." (Isa. 66:16) And again he said: "You shall go out and see the carcasses of the men who offended against Me, whose worm shall not die, nor shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an astonishment to all flesh." (Isa. 66:24)

-- St. Aphrahat (d. c. 345), Demonstrations 1.12
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 13, 2018, 08:34:53 PM
If humility is a supernatural gift of God, not everyone who is by nature gentle, quiet, prudent, or meek can be regarded as humble. There is a difference between natural and supernatural humility, as Isaac discusses in Chapter XVIII of Part II. There he claims that natural humility cannot be a substitute for that humility which is born in a Christian by deep repentance and the memory of God's greatness and Christ's humility:

"Humility of heart can occur in someone for two reasons: either as a result of a precise knowledge of one's sins; or as a result of recollecting the lowliness of our Lord--or rather, as a result of recollecting the greatness of God and the extent to which the greatness of the Lord lowered itself in order to speak to and instruct us human beings in various ways--so abasing himself that he even took a body from humanity. How much did our Lord's body endure, what did it have to go through, how despised did he appear to the world, while all the time he possessed ineffable glory on high with God the Father, with the angels trembling at the sight of him as the glory of his countenance blazed among their ranks! In our case, he appeared in such lowliness that humans could, because of the ordinariness of his appearance, seize hold of him as he spoke with them and hang him on the wood of the cross."

Natural humility has little in common with this supernatural humility:

"Do not adduce for me as an example those who are humble by nature, saying that there are many such people whose very nature testifies that they are humble... [These people] do not possess this discerning lowliness which consists in lowly thoughts, discerning and painstaking reflection, the insignificance in which a person regards himself, his heart broken, and the flow of tears stemming from suffering of mind and discernment of the will. If you choose, ask them. You will find that they have one of these, no meditation that causes them real suffering, no real concern over their consciences. They do not meditate and recollect the lowliness of our Lord; they are not pierced by the sharp pain that comes from a knowledge of their sins; there is no burning fervour which enflames their hearts at the recollection of the good things that are to come; they have none of the the other advantageous thoughts that are normally stirred up in the heart as a result of the mind's wakefulness."

-- Met. Hilarion Alfeyev, quoting St. Isaac the Syrian (d. 700), in: The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian, pp. 115-116
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 14, 2018, 07:12:05 PM
Though we are crucified to the world, though we have renounced this transitory life and our purely human limitations, aspiring to the state of the angels by sharing their dispassion, yet we have relapsed and fallen back. Because of our material concerns and shameful acquisitiveness, we have blunted the edge of true asceticism; and by our negligence we discredit even those who through their genuine sanctity truly deserve to be honored. Wearing the monastic habit, we have 'put our hand to the plough', yet we look back, forgetting and even strongly rejecting our duties, and so do not become 'fit for the kingdom of heaven' (Luke 9:62). So we no longer pursue plainness and simplicity of life. We no longer value stillness, which helps to free us from past defilement, but prefer a whole host of things which distract us uselessly from our true goal. Rivalry over material possessions has made us forget the counsel of the Lord, who urged us to take no thought for earthly things, but to seek only the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 6:33). Deliberately doing the opposite, we have disregarded the Lord's commandment, trusting in ourselves and not in His protection.

-- St. Neilos the Ascetic (d. 430), Ascetic Discourse (Philokalia, v. 1, pp. 202-203)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 15, 2018, 08:40:31 PM
"Then Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit in order to be tempted by the devil." (Matt. 4:1)

The passage into the desert, the forty days of fasting, the hunger after fasting, the temptation of Satan, and the response of the Lord have been fulfilled in accordance with the realization of a great and heavenly plan... The Lord hungered not for the food of man but for their salvation. In fact, he was hungry after the forty days, not during that forty-day period, just as Moses and Elijah were not hungry when they fasted for the same amount of time (Ex. 34:28; 1 Kin. 19:8). Although the Lord hungered, his abstinence from food did not undermine him, since his power, which is not affected by his fasting for forty days, handed over his humanity to its own nature. It was necessary to defeat the devil, not by God, but by the flesh, which the devil would never have dared to tempt unless he had recognized the weakness that hunger brings to human nature. This, at least, is what the devil discerned in him when he began with the words, 'If you are the Son of God' (Matt. 4:3). The statement is an uncertain one: 'if you are the son of God.' Even though the devil saw him going hungry, he was growing frightened of him who fasted for forty days. According to the ordering of these events, the Gospel indicates that following his experience of forty days, during which Christ would remain in this world after his Passion, he possessed a hunger for the salvation of humanity. In that time he brought back humanity, which he had assumed, as his appointed service to God the Father.

-- St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 367), Commentary On Matthew 3.1-2 (https://books.google.com/books?id=2398ZZ9dIQoC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA54#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 16, 2018, 09:07:50 PM
Let the bishop be ordained after he has been chosen by all the people. When he has been named and shall please all, let him, with the presbytery and such bishops as may be present, assemble with the people on a Sunday. While all give their consent, the bishops shall lay their hands upon him, and the presbytery shall stand by in silence. All indeed shall keep silent, praying in their heart for the descent of the Spirit. Then one of the bishops who are present shall, at the request of all, lay his hand on him who is ordained bishop, and shall pray as follows, saying:

"God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who dwellest on high yet hast respect to the lowly, who knowest all things before they come to pass. Thou hast appointed the borders of thy church by the word of thy grace, predestinating from the beginning the righteous race of Abraham. And making them princes and priests, and leaving not thy sanctuary without a ministry, thou hast from the beginning of the world been well pleased to be glorified among those whom thou hast chosen. Pour forth now that power, which is thine, of thy royal Spirit, which thou gavest to thy beloved Servant Jesus Christ, which he bestowed on his holy apostles, who established the church in every place, the church which thou hast sanctified unto unceasing glory and praise of thy name. Thou who knowest the hearts of all, grant to this thy servant, whom thou hast chosen to be bishop, [to feed thy holy flock] and to serve as thy high priest without blame, ministering night and day, to propitate thy countenance without ceasing and to offer thee the gifts of thy holy church. And by the Spirit of high-priesthood to have authority to remit sins according to thy commandment, to assign the lots according to thy precept, to loose every bond according to the authority which thou gavest to thy apostles, and to please thee in meekness and purity of heart, offering to thee an odour of sweet savour. Through thy Servant Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom be to thee glory, might, honour, with [the] Holy Spirit in [the] holy church, both now and always and world without end. Amen."

-- St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235), The Apostolic Tradition 2-3 (https://books.google.com/books?id=XWI3BAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA33#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 17, 2018, 10:48:41 PM
We have learned from divine precepts, dearly beloved, as well from things laid down by the apostles, that every human being situated along the hazards of this life must seek the mercy of God by being merciful. What hope would lift up the fallen, what medicine heal the wounded, if almsgiving did not remit faults, and needs of the poor did not become remedies of sin? So by saying "Blessed are the merciful, for God will have mercy on them," (Matt. 5:7) the Lord made it clear that the entire scale on which he is going to judge the whole world when he appears in his majesty would be tilted while hanging from the following balance: Only the quality of good works directed toward the destitute would determine the sentence (for the ungodly to burn with the devil, for the generous to reign with Christ).

What deeds will not be brought out at that time? What hidden things will not be disclosed? What consciences will not lie open? No one then "will glory in having a pure heart or in being unstained by sin." (Prov. 20:9) But since "mercy will be exalted over condemnation" (James 2:13) and the gifts of clemency will surpass any just compensation, all the lives led by mortals and all different kinds of actions will be appraised under the aspect of a single rule. No charges at all would be brought up where, in the acknowledgment of the Creator, works of compassion have been found. As for those on the left, this is not the only thing they have done that will be brought against them. No, the fact that it will be shown that they have been strangers to human feeling does not mean that they will be found alien to other sins. Rather, though standing accused on many grounds, they will be condemned primarily on this count, that they have not redeemed their crimes with any alms. (Dan. 4:24) Since only the hardest heart would fail to be moved by any misery at all among those in distress, and since someone who has the means but does not help the afflicted must be considered as unjust as the one who crushes the weak, what hope remains for sinners who do not even show mercy for the sake of obtaining it themselves?

-- St. Leo of Rome (d. 461), Sermon 11 (https://books.google.com/books?id=IjnpyroeAvEC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA46#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Antonis on April 18, 2018, 12:27:20 AM
When the holy Apostle Paul preached at the place on the Hill of Ares (Acts 17:16-34), Dionysius accepted his salvific proclamation and became a Christian. For three years Saint Dionysius remained a companion of the holy Apostle Paul in preaching the Word of God. Later on, the Apostle Paul selected him as bishop of the city of Athens. And in the year 57 Saint Dionysius was present at the repose of the Most Holy Theotokos.

During the lifetime of the Mother of God, Saint Dionysius had journeyed from Athens to Jerusalem to meet Her. He wrote to his teacher the Apostle Paul: “I witness by God, that besides the very God Himself, there is nothing else filled with such divine power and grace. No one can fully comprehend what I saw. I confess before God: when I was with John, who shone among the Apostles like the sun in the sky, when I was brought before the countenance of the Most Holy Virgin, I experienced an inexpressible sensation. Before me gleamed a sort of divine radiance which transfixed my spirit. I perceived the fragrance of indescribable aromas and was filled with such delight that my very body became faint, and my spirit could hardly endure these signs and marks of eternal majesty and heavenly power. The grace from her overwhelmed my heart and shook my very spirit. If I did not have in mind your instruction, I should have mistaken Her for the very God. It is impossible to stand before greater blessedness than this which I beheld.”

--said of St. Dionysius the Areopagite (d. 96)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Volnutt on April 18, 2018, 07:11:19 PM
We have learned from divine precepts, dearly beloved, as well from things laid down by the apostles, that every human being situated along the hazards of this life must seek the mercy of God by being merciful. What hope would lift up the fallen, what medicine heal the wounded, if almsgiving did not remit faults, and needs of the poor did not become remedies of sin? So by saying "Blessed are the merciful, for God will have mercy on them," (Matt. 5:7) the Lord made it clear that the entire scale on which he is going to judge the whole world when he appears in his majesty would be tilted while hanging from the following balance: Only the quality of good works directed toward the destitute would determine the sentence (for the ungodly to burn with the devil, for the generous to reign with Christ).

What deeds will not be brought out at that time? What hidden things will not be disclosed? What consciences will not lie open? No one then "will glory in having a pure heart or in being unstained by sin." (Prov. 20:9) But since "mercy will be exalted over condemnation" (James 2:13) and the gifts of clemency will surpass any just compensation, all the lives led by mortals and all different kinds of actions will be appraised under the aspect of a single rule. No charges at all would be brought up where, in the acknowledgment of the Creator, works of compassion have been found. As for those on the left, this is not the only thing they have done that will be brought against them. No, the fact that it will be shown that they have been strangers to human feeling does not mean that they will be found alien to other sins. Rather, though standing accused on many grounds, they will be condemned primarily on this count, that they have not redeemed their crimes with any alms. (Dan. 4:24) Since only the hardest heart would fail to be moved by any misery at all among those in distress, and since someone who has the means but does not help the afflicted must be considered as unjust as the one who crushes the weak, what hope remains for sinners who do not even show mercy for the sake of obtaining it themselves?

-- St. Leo of Rome (d. 461), Sermon 11 (https://books.google.com/books?id=IjnpyroeAvEC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA46#v=onepage&q&f=false)

This inspired a split off, (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,73593.new.html#new) if anybody is interested.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 18, 2018, 07:19:18 PM
Neither need I say any thing about his pride and the haughtiness with which he assumed worldly dignities, and his wishing to be styled procurator rather than bishop, and his strutting through the market-places, and reading letters and reciting them as he walked in public, and his being escorted by multitudes of people going before him and following him; so that he brought ill-will and hatred on the faith by his haughty demeanour and by the arrogance of his heart. Nor shall I say any thing of the quackery which he practises in the ecclesiastical assemblies, in the way of courting popularity and making a great parade, and astounding by such arts the minds of the less sophisticated; nor of his setting up for himself a lofty tribunal and throne, so unlike a disciple of Christ; nor of his having a secretum and calling it by that name, after the manner of the rulers of this world; nor of his striking his thigh with his hand and beating the tribunal with his feet; nor of his censuring and insulting those who did not applaud him nor shake their handkerchiefs, as is done in the theatres, nor bawl out and leap about after the manner of his partisans, both male and female, who were such disorderly listeners to him, but chose to hear reverently and modestly as in the house of God; nor of his unseemly and violent attacks in the congregation upon the expounders of the Word who have already departed this life, and his magnifying of himself, not like a bishop, but like a sophist and juggler; nor of his putting a stop to the psalms sung in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, as the recent compositions of recent men, and preparing women to sing psalms in honour of himself in the midst of the Church...

And then again there are these women— these adopted sisters, as the people of Antioch call them — who are kept by him and by the presbyters and deacons with him, whose incurable sins in this and other matters, though he is cognisant of them, and has convicted them, he connives at concealing, with the view of keeping the men subservient to himself, and preventing them, by fear for their own position, from daring to accuse him in the matter of his impious words and deeds. Besides this, he has made his followers rich, and for that he is loved and admired by those who set their hearts on these things.

-- Fr. Malchion of Antioch (d. 3rd century), Epistle Against Paul of Samosata 2-3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0617.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 19, 2018, 03:58:20 PM
O Father of truth, behold your Son, the well-pleasing sacrifice to you,
as you accept him who died for me, so may I be forgiven through him.
Receive this offering from my hands and be reconciled with me.
And do not remember the sins I committed before your greatness.
Behold his blood is shed on Golgotha by the wicked, and it is pleading for me.
For my sake, accept my petition.
If you weigh how much are my debts and how much is your mercy,
your compassion is heavier than the mountains that are weighed by you.
Look at the sins and look at the offering for them--
the offering and sacrifice are much greater than the debts.
Because I sinned, your beloved One endured the nails and the spear.
Sufficient are his sufferings to reconcile you, and by them shall I live.
Glory be to the Father, who delivered his Son for our salvation.
Adoration to the Son, who died on the cross and gave life to all of us.
Thanks to the Spirit, who began and fulfilled the mystery of our salvation.
O Trinity, exalted aboe all, have mercy on us all.

-- Jacob of Serugh (d. 521), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=XoRRn25n6WwC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA111#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Antonis on April 20, 2018, 04:30:50 PM
And when those who are conducted by the angels appointed unto the souls have passed through this gate, they do not proceed on one and the same way; but the righteous, being conducted in the light toward the right, and being hymned by the angels stationed at the place, are brought to a locality full of light. And there the righteous from the beginning dwell, not ruled by necessity, but enjoying always the contemplation of the blessings which are in their view, and delighting themselves with the expectation of others ever new, and deeming those ever better than these. And that place brings no toils to them. There, there is neither fierce heat, nor cold, nor thorn; but the face of the fathers and the righteous is seen to be always smiling, as they wait for the rest and eternal revival in heaven which succeed this location. And we call it by the name Abraham’s bosom.

But the unrighteous are dragged toward the left by angels who are ministers of punishment, and they go of their own accord no longer, but are dragged by force as prisoners. And the angels appointed over them send them along, reproaching them and threatening them with an eye of terror, forcing them down into the lower parts. And when they are brought there, those appointed to that service drag them on to the confines or hell. And those who are so near hear incessantly the agitation, and feel the hot smoke. And when that vision is so near, as they see the terrible and excessively glowing spectacle of the fire, they shudder in horror at the expectation of the future judgment, (as if they were) already feeling the power of their punishment. And again, where they see the place of the fathers and the righteous, they are also punished there. For a deep and vast abyss is set there in the midst, so that neither can any of the righteous in sympathy think to pass it, nor any of the unrighteous dare to cross it.

--St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235), Against Plato, On the Cause of the Universe
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 20, 2018, 10:55:54 PM
We acknowledge that when he created human nature, which is composed of immaterial soul and earthly body, he created it without sin--but it was not immutable--as Adam was in Paradise before transgressing the divine commandment; ...but having made it (endowed) with the authority of (free) will, he made it having the ability to perfect virtue through care and labor, with his help and grace; but it was not capable of sin--this (occurring) not as a result of nature forcing it, but whenever the will was negligent.

-- St. John II of Jerusalem (d. 417), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=C4c8MJorXzMC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA216#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 21, 2018, 12:17:11 PM
"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:2-4)

They partook not of burning but of saving fire, which consumes the thorns of sins but renders the soul radiant. This fire will come to you too, to strip away and destroy your thorn-like sins, and to make the precious possession of your souls shine yet more brightly; and He will give you grace, for He gave it then to the Apostles. He sat upon them in the form of fiery tongues, to crown them with new and spiritual diadems (by the fiery tongues on their heads). A flaming sword of old barred the gates of paradise; a fiery tongue, bringing salvation, restored the grace.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Source (https://books.google.com/books?id=IRH_XUEOM4AC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA106#v=onepage&q&f=false)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 22, 2018, 03:49:29 PM
So in this house of the world, when you look upon the heaven and the earth, its providence, its ordering, its law, believe that there is a Lord and Parent of the universe far more glorious than the stars themselves, and the parts of the whole world... He orders everything, whatever it is, by a word; arranges it by His wisdom; perfects it by His power. He can neither be seen--He is brighter than light; nor can be grasped--He is purer than touch; nor estimated; He is greater than all perceptions; infinite, immense, and how great is known to Himself alone. But our heart is too limited to understand Him, and therefore we are then worthily estimating Him when we say that He is beyond estimation. I will speak out in what manner I feel. He who thinks that he knows the magnitude of God, is diminishing it; he who desires not to lessen it, knows it not.

-- Marcus Minucius Felix (3rd century), Octavius 18 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0410.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 24, 2018, 05:36:11 PM
I know that, just as the sheep come gladly when their own shepherd calls them, so in matters of religion men attend most gladly to the admonitions of a teacher who speaks their own language: and therefore, my very dear Apronianus, when that pious lady who is my daughter but now your sister in Christ, had laid her commands on me to compose for her a treatise of such a nature that its understanding should not require any great effort, I translated into Latin in a very open and plain style the work of Xystus, who is said to be the same man who at Rome is called Sixtus, and who gained the glory of being both bishop and martyr. I think that, when she reads this, she will find it expressed with such brevity that a vast meaning is unfolded in each several line, with such power that a sentence only a line long would suffice for a whole life's training, and yet with such simplicity that one who looked over the shoulder of a girl as she read it might question whether I were not quite weak in intellect. And the whole work is so concise that it would be possible for her never to let go of it. The entire book would hardly be bigger than the finger ring of one of our ancestors. And indeed it seems but right that one who has learnt through the word of God to count as dross the ornaments of the world should now receive at my hands by way of ornament a necklace of the word and of wisdom. For the present let this little book serve for a ring and be kept constantly in the hands: but it will not be long before it will penetrate into the treasure house and be wholly laid up in the heart, and bring forth from its innermost chamber the germs of instruction and of a participation in all good works.

-- Rufinus of Aquileia (d. 411), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2712.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2018, 03:20:18 AM
O how happy shall be that departure of ours, when Christ shall receive us into his own abode after we have been purged from the stains of sin through the experience of a better life! Martyrs and prophets will meet with us, apostles will join themselves to us, angels will be glad, archangels will rejoice, and Satan, being conquered, will look pale, though still retaining his cruel countenance, inasmuch as he will lose all advantage from our sins which he had secured for himself in us. He will see glory granted us through mercy, and merits honored by means of glory. We shall triumph over our conquered foe.

-- (Pseudo?)Sulpicius Severus (5th century), Letter 1.3 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3504.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 26, 2018, 03:32:54 PM
Wherefore our Lord Jesus Christ permitted the first of the apostles, whose confession He had fixed as a kind of groundwork and foundation of the Church, to waver to and fro, and to deny Him, and then raised Him up again. And thus He gave us two lessons: not to be confident in our own strength, and to strengthen the unstable. Reach out, therefore, I beseech you, a hand to them that are fallen, "draw them out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set their feet upon a rock," and "put a new song into their mouth, even praise unto our God," that their example of life may become an example of salvation, that "many shall see it and fear and shall trust in the Lord" (Ps. 40:2-3). Let them be prevented from participating in the holy mysteries, but let them not be kept from the prayer of the catechumens, nor from hearing the divine Scriptures and the exhortation of teachers, and let them be prohibited from partaking of the sacred mysteries, not till death, but during a given time, till they recognise their ailment, covet health, and are properly contrite for having abandoned their true Prince and deserted to a tyrant, and for having left their benefactor and gone over to their foe.

-- Theodoret of Cyrus (d. 458), Letter 77
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on April 27, 2018, 05:43:58 PM
Who seeing that the human race was plunged in the depth of misery, that You might rescue man, Yourself also became man: nor were You willing only to be born with a body, but You became flesh, which endured to be born and to die. You undergo funeral obsequies, Yourself the author of life and framer of the world, You enter the path of death, in giving the aid of salvation. The gloomy chains of the infernal law yielded, and chaos feared to be pressed by the presence of the light. Darkness perishes, put to flight by the brightness of Christ; the thick pall of eternal night falls. But restore the promised pledge, I pray You, O power benign! The third day has returned; arise, my buried One; it is not becoming that Your limbs should lie in the lowly sepulchre, nor that worthless stones should press that which is the ransom of the world. It is unworthy that a stone should shut in with a confining rock, and cover Him in whose fist all things are enclosed. Take away the linen clothes, I pray; leave the napkins in the tomb: You are sufficient for us, and without You there is nothing. Release the chained shades of the infernal prison, and recall to the upper regions whatever sinks to the lowest depths. Give back Your face, that the world may see the light; give back the day which flees from us at Your death.

But returning, O holy conqueror! You altogether filled the heaven! Tartarus lies depressed, nor retains its rights. The ruler of the lower regions, insatiably opening his hollow jaws, who has always been a spoiler, becomes a prey to You. You rescue an innumerable people from the prison of death, and they follow in freedom to the place whither their leader approaches. The fierce monster in alarm vomits forth the multitude whom he had swallowed up, and the Lamb withdraws the sheep from the jaw of the wolf. Hence re-seeking the tomb from the lower regions, having resumed Your flesh, as a warrior You carry back ample trophies to the heavens. Those whom chaos held in punishment he has now restored; and those whom death might seek, a new life holds. Oh, sacred King, behold a great part of Your triumph shines forth, when the sacred laver blesses pure souls! A host, clad in white, come forth from the bright waves, and cleanse their old fault in a new stream. The white garment also designates bright souls, and the shepherd has enjoyments from the snow-white flock.

-- St. Venantius Fortunatus (d. 609), Source (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0709.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on May 07, 2018, 03:39:25 PM
When the Lord invites the blest to their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, He does not include a pilgrimage to Jerusalem among their good deeds; when He announces the Beatitudes, He does not name among them that sort of devotion... Therefore, my beloved friend, counsel the brethren to be absent from the body to go to our Lord, rather than to be absent from Cappadocia to go to Palestine

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On Pilgrimages (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2913.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Alpha60 on June 24, 2018, 11:45:36 AM
Disabling this sect in its turn with the mighty hand of the truth— like a stinging insect deprived of teeth—let us go on to the rest, calling on the God of all, as we always do, to be our guide and our defender against horrors, and to be the help of our judgment as he is the giver of our wisdom. May I thus learn the truth from him and be able to expose the nonsense of the others and, by the speech of the truth, make the medicinal antidote for them from many fragrant herbs. May it be given ungrudgingly: for healing, to those who have already contracted the disease; as a treatment, to whose who are coming down with it; as a preven- tative, to those who are about to learn something they did not know; and to myself, for God’s salvation and reward.

- St. Epiphanius of Salamis, on the Encratites, from Volume II of the Panarion (literally, the Medicine Chest).

 Here we see St. Epiphanius as a loving saint and not as the vindictive person some people think of him as.  The Encratites btw were a growing heresy in the fourth century apparently derived from the Tatianists; they celebrated the mysteries with water instead of wine and demanded complete celibacy, and they made use of the apocryphal Acts of Andrew, of Thomas and of John, which have come down to us more or less intact, and which exude the unpleasant aroma of Gnosticism.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Orthodox_Slav on June 24, 2018, 12:21:37 PM
 ???
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 06, 2018, 03:06:43 PM
Let us be assured that to do no wrong is really superhuman, and belongs to God alone.  I say nothing about the Angels, that we may give no room for wrong feelings, nor opportunity for harmful altercations.  Our unhealed condition arises from our evil and unsubdued nature, and from the exercise of its powers.  Our repentance when we sin, is a human action, but an action which bespeaks a good man, belonging to that portion which is in the way of salvation.  For if even our dust contracts somewhat of wickedness, and the earthly tabernacle presseth down the upward flight of the soul, (Wisd. 9:15) which at least was created to fly upward, yet let the image be cleansed from filth, and raise aloft the flesh, its yoke-fellow, lifting it on the wings of reason; and, what is better, let us neither need this cleansing, nor have to be cleansed, by preserving our original dignity, to which we are hastening through our training here, and let us not by the bitter taste of sin be banished from the tree of life:  though it is better to turn again when we err, than to be free from correction when we stumble. For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, (Prov. 3:12) and a rebuke is a fatherly action; while every soul which is unchastised, is unhealed.  Is not then freedom from chastisement a hard thing?  But to fail to be corrected by the chastisement is still harder.  One of the prophets, speaking of Israel, whose heart was hard and uncircumcised, says, "Lord, Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved, Thou hast consumed them but they have refused to receive correction;" (Jer. 5:3) and again, "The people turned not to Him that smiteth them;" (Isa. 9:13) and "Why is my people slidden back by a perpetual backsliding," (Jer. 8:5) because of which it will be utterly crushed and destroyed?

It is a fearful thing, my brethren, to fall into the hands of a living God, (Heb. 10:31) and fearful is the face of the Lord against them that do evil, (Ps. 34:16) and abolishing wickedness with utter destruction. Fearful is the ear of God, listening even to the voice of Abel speaking through his silent blood.  Fearful His feet, which overtake evildoing. Fearful also His filling of the universe, so that it is impossible anywhere to escape the action of God, (Jer. 23:24) not even by flying up to heaven, or entering Hades, or by escaping to the far East, or concealing ourselves in the depths and ends of the sea. (Ps. 139:7-8) Nahum the Elkoshite was afraid before me, when he proclaimed the burden of Nineveh, God is jealous, and the Lord takes vengeance in wrath upon His adversaries, (Nah. 1:1-2) and uses such abundance of severity that no room is left for further vengeance upon the wicked.  For whenever I hear Isaiah threaten the people of Sodom and rulers of Gomorrah, (Is. 1:10) and say "Why will ye be smitten any more, adding sin to sin?" (Is. 1:5 LXX) I am almost filled with horror, and melted to tears.  It is impossible, he says, to find any blow to add to those which are past, because of your newly added sins; so completely have you run through the whole, and exhausted every form of chastisement, ever calling upon yourselves some new one by your wickedness.  There is not a wound, nor bruise, nor putrefying sore; (Is. 1:6) the plague affects the whole body and is incurable:  for it is impossible to apply a plaster, or ointment or bandages.  I pass over the rest of the threatenings, that I may not press upon you more heavily than your present plague.

Only let us recognise the purpose of the evil.  Why have the crops withered, our storehouses been emptied, the pastures of our flocks failed, the fruits of the earth been withheld, and the plains been filled with shame instead of with fatness:  why have valleys lamented and not abounded in corn, the mountains not dropped sweetness, as they shall do hereafter to the righteous, but been stript and dishonoured, and received on the contrary the curse of Gilboa? (2 Sam. 1:21) The whole earth has become as it was in the beginning, before it was adorned with its beauties.  Thou visitedst the earth, and madest it to drink (Ps. 65:9)--but the visitation has been for evil, and the draught destructive. Alas! what a spectacle!  Our prolific crops reduced to stubble, the seed we sowed is recognised by scanty remains, and our harvest, the approach of which we reckon from the number of the months, instead of from the ripening corn, scarcely bears the firstfruits for the Lord. Such is the wealth of the ungodly, such the harvest of the careless sower; as the ancient curse runs, to look for much, and bring in little, (Hag. 1:9) to sow and not reap, to plant and not press, (Deut. 28:39) ten acres of vineyard to yield one bath: (Isa. 5:10) and to hear of fertile harvests in other lands, and be ourselves pressed by famine.  Why is this, and what is the cause of the breach?  Let us not wait to be convicted by others, let us be our own examiners.  An important medicine for evil is confession, and care to avoid stumbling. I will be first to do so, as I have made my report to my people from on high, and performed the duty of a watcher. (Is. 21:6) For I did not conceal the coming of the sword that I might save my own soul (Eze. 33:3) and those of my hearers.  So will I now announce the disobedience of my people, making what is theirs my own, if I may perchance thus obtain some tenderness and relief.

One of us has oppressed the poor, and wrested from him his portion of land, and wrongly encroached upon his landmark by fraud or violence, and joined house to house, and field to field, to rob his neighbour of something, and been eager to have no neighbour, so as to dwell alone on the earth. (Isa. 5:8) Another has defiled the land with usury and interest, both gathering where he had not sowed and reaping where he had not strawed, (Matt. 25:26) farming, not the land, but the necessity of the needy.  Another has robbed God, (Mal. 3:8) the giver of all, of the firstfruits of the barnfloor and winepress, showing himself at once thankless and senseless, in neither giving thanks for what he has had, nor prudently providing, at least, for the future.  Another has had no pity on the widow and orphan, and not imparted his bread and meagre nourishment to the needy, or rather to Christ, Who is nourished in the persons of those who are nourished even in a slight degree; a man perhaps of much property unexpectedly gained, for this is the most unjust of all, who finds his many barns too narrow for him, filling some and emptying others, to build greater (Luke 12:18) ones for future crops, not knowing that he is being snatched away with hopes unrealised, to give an account of his riches and fancies, and proved to have been a bad steward of another's goods.  Another has turned aside the way of the meek, (Amos 2:7) and turned aside the just among the unjust; another has hated him that reproveth in the gates, (Isa. 29:21) and abhorred him that speaketh uprightly; (Amos 5:10) another has sacrificed to his net which catches much, (Hab. 1:16) and keeping the spoil of the poor in his house, (Isa. 3:14) has either remembered not God, or remembered Him ill--by saying "Blessed be the Lord, for we are rich," (Zech. 11:5) and wickedly supposed that he received these things from Him by Whom he will be punished.  For because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. (Eph. 5:6) Because of these things the heaven is shut, or opened for our punishment; and much more, if we do not repent, even when smitten, and draw near to Him, Who approaches us through the powers of nature.

-- St. Gregory the Theologian (d. 190), Oration 16.15-18 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310216.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 08, 2018, 05:59:51 PM
You see what God requires of you, that you remember that grace which you have received, and boast not as though you had not received it. You see by how complete a promise of remission He draws you to confession. Take heed, lest by resisting the commandments of God you fall into the offense of the Jews, to whom the Lord Jesus said: We piped to you and you danced not; we wailed and you wept not. (Luke 7:32) The words are ordinary words, but the mystery is not ordinary. And so one must be on one's guard, lest, deceived by any common interpretation of this saying, one should suppose that the movements of wanton dances and the madness of the stage were commended; for these are full of evil in youthful age. But the dancing is commended which David practised before the ark of God. For everything is seemly which is done for religion, so that we need be ashamed of no service which tends to the worship and honouring of Christ.

Dancing, then, which is an accompaniment of pleasures and luxury, is not spoken of, but spiritually such as that wherewith one raises the eager body, and suffers not the limbs to lie slothfully on the ground, nor to grow stiff in their accustomed tracks. Paul danced spiritually, when for us he stretched forward, and forgetting the things which were behind, and aiming at those which were before, he pressed on to the prize of Christ. (Phil. 2:13-14) And you, too, when you come to baptism, are warned to raise the hands, and to cause your feet wherewith you ascend to things eternal to be swifter. This dancing accompanies faith, and is the companion of grace.

This, then, is the mystery. We piped to you, singing in truth the song of the New Testament, and you danced not. That is, did not raise your souls to the spiritual grace. We wailed, and you wept not. That is, you did not repent. And therefore was the Jewish people forsaken, because it did not repent, and rejected grace. Repentance came by John, grace by Christ. He, as the Lord, gives the one; the other is proclaimed, as it were, by the servant. The Church, then, keeps both that it may both attain to grace and not cast away repentance, for grace is the gift of One Who confers it; repentance is the remedy of the sinner.

-- St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397), Concerning Repentance 2.41-44 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/34062.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 09, 2018, 02:41:20 PM
"For God is love." (1 Jn. 4:8) What more could be said, brethren? If nothing were said in praise of love throughout the pages of this epistle, if nothing whatever throughout the other pages of the Scriptures, and this one only thing were all we were told by the voice of the Spirit of God, "For Love is God"; nothing more ought we to require. Now see that to act against love is to act against God. Let no man say, "I sin against man when I do not love my brother, (mark it!) and sin against man is a thing to be taken easily; only let me not sin against God." How do you not sin against God, when you sin against love? "Love is God." Do we say this? If we said, Love is God, haply some one of you might be offended and say, What has he said? What meant he to say, that Love is God? God gave love, as a gift God bestowed love. Love is of God: Love IS God. Look, here have ye, brethren, the Scriptures of God: this epistle is canonical; throughout all nations it is recited, it is held by the authority of the whole earth, it has edified the whole earth. You are here told by the Spirit of God, Love is God. Now if you dare, go against God, and refuse to love your brother!

-- St. Augustine of Hippo (d. 430), Homilies on the First Epistle of John 7.4 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/170207.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 10, 2018, 10:05:41 PM
"And your labor of love." (1 Thes. 1:3) Why? What labor is it to love? Merely to love is no labor at all. But to love genuinely is great labor. For tell me, when a thousand things are stirred up that would draw us from love, and we hold out against them all, is it not labor? For what did not these men suffer, that they might not revolt from their love? Did not they that warred against the Preaching go to Paul's host, and not having found him, drag Jason before the rulers of the city? (Acts 17:5-6) Tell me, is this a slight labor, when the seed had not yet taken root, to endure so great a storm, so many trials? And they demanded security of him. And having given security, he says, Jason sent away Paul. Is this a small thing, tell me? Did not Jason expose himself to danger for him? And this he calls a labor of love, because they were thus bound to him.

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homily 1 on First Thessalonians (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230401.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: WPM on August 11, 2018, 09:38:46 AM
I think we're purified by the fire
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2018, 05:47:29 PM
David in prophecy hid the spirit under the letter; children, opening their treasures, brought forth riches upon their tongues, and, in language full of grace, invited clearly all men to enjoy them. Therefore let us with them draw forth the unfading riches. In our bosoms insatiate, and in treasure-houses which cannot be filled, let us lay up the divine gifts. Let us exclaim without ceasing, "Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!"

-- St. Methodius of Olympus (d. 311), Oration on the Psalms (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0628.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 11, 2018, 05:48:39 PM
I think we're purified by the fire

Indeed, sometimes you just want a break from the furnace though, ya know? :)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2018, 02:47:08 PM
But though He is Word, He is not, as we said, after the likeness of human words, composed of syllables; but He is the unchanging Image of His own Father. For men, composed of parts and made out of nothing, have their discourse composite and divisible. But God possesses true existence and is not composite, wherefore His Word also has true Existence and is not composite, but is the one and only-begotten God , Who proceeds in His goodness from the Father as from a good Fountain, and orders all things and holds them together. But the reason why the Word, the Word of God, has united Himself with created things is truly wonderful, and teaches us that the present order of things is none otherwise than is fitting. For the nature of created things, inasmuch as it is brought into being out of nothing, is of a fleeting sort, and weak and mortal, if composed of itself only. But the God of all is good and exceeding noble by nature, — and therefore is kind. For one that is good can grudge nothing : for which reason he does not grudge even existence, but desires all to exist, as objects for His loving-kindness.

-- St. Athanasius (d. 373), Against the Heathen 41.1-2 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2801.htm)
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 14, 2018, 06:48:25 PM
Ye have applauded what I have spoken. But still shew me your applause too by deeds. Else what is the advantage of our meeting here? Suppose a child were to go to school every day, yet if he learnt nothing the more for it, would the excuse satisfy us that he every day went there? Should we not esteem it the greatest fault, that going there daily, he did it to no purpose. Let us consider this with ourselves, and let us say to ourselves, For so long a time have we met together at church, having the benefit of a most solemn Communion, which has in it much profit; and should we return back again just as we came, with none of our defects corrected, of what advantage is our coming here?

-- St. John Chrysostom (d. 407), Homilies on the Statues 5.21
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: WPM on August 14, 2018, 11:32:27 PM
Yes the Church Fathers.
Title: Re: Early Church Fathers
Post by: Asteriktos on August 15, 2018, 12:28:58 PM
Ambrose who supplied Origen, true man of adamant and of brass, with money, materials and amanuenses to bring out his countless books — Ambrose, in a letter to his friend from Athens, states that they never took a meal together without something being read, and never went to bed till some portion of Scripture had been brought home to them by a brother's voice. Night and day, in fact, were so ordered that prayer only gave place to reading and reading to prayer. Have we, brute beasts that we are, ever done the like? Why, we yawn if we read for over an hour; we rub our foreheads and vainly try to suppress our languor. And then, after this great feat, we plunge for relief into worldly business once more.

-- St. Jerome (d. 420), Letter 43 (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001043.htm)