Author Topic: Modern Church Fathers  (Read 92206 times)

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #315 on: March 12, 2017, 06:46:12 PM »
Additionally, it seems St. John Chrysostom made a very extensive commentary on the Psalms! Unfortunately, and for some unknown reason (given his relevance), it was only translated to English recently and the internet only has it in Greek.

I don't know of a complete contemporary commentary in English, but regarding the early Church, besides the three you mention there are also a few others that I'm aware of--though none are fully online. There is a volume of homilies by St. Jerome, published by the Catholic University of America Press, which does not cover anywhere near all the Psalms, but it does add up to over 400 pages worth of material. Another is by (St.?) Theodoret of Cyrus, which seems to be a complete commentary in two volumes, and is also published by the CUA Press. There's also the Ancient Christian Commentary On Scripture series, which gives blurbs of the Fathers for each passage. Preview versions of all these are available on Google Books.
I bought St. John's commentary and ACCS's first volume. Worth it, summed to St. Augustine's extensive commentary.
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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #316 on: March 13, 2017, 01:05:07 AM »
"It is better for me to die in Christ Jesus than to be king over the ends of the earth. I seek him who died for our sake. I desire him who rose for us. Birth-pangs are upon me. suffer me, my brethren; hinder me not from living, do not wish me to die... Suffer me to receive the pure light; when I shall have arrived there, I shall become a human being. Suffer me to follow the example of the passion of my God." (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Romans 6)

Life and death are reversed for Ignatius, compared to our usual patterns of speech. "Hinder me not from living," by seeking to stop my martyrdom; "do not wish me to die: by trying to keep me "alive"! He is in the process of being born, in a birth through which he will become a "human being"--a human being in the stature of Christ, the "perfect human being" (Smyrnaeans 4) or the "new human being" (Ephesians 20), as the martyr refers to "the faithful Martyr, the Firstborn of the dead" (Rev. 1:5), :the Pioneer of our salvation" (Heb. 2:10).

Death, here, is a defining moment: not the end, but the beginning; not disappearance, but revelation. As Ignatius also pointed out to the Romans: "Now that Christ is with the Father, he is more visible than he was before" (Romans 3). That is, when Christ walked amongst us in the flesh his disciples never really understood who he was; now that he has passed through his passion, the "exodus" that he accomplishes in Jerusalem (Luke 9:31), and is with the Father in the kingdom, now they can finally "see" who he is.

-- Fr. John Behr (b. 1966), The Role of Death in Life, p. 80

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #317 on: March 14, 2017, 02:52:14 PM »
Can you believe that Christ the Saviour portrayed Himself in the guise of a woman in two of His parables? One is that of the woman who took three measures of flour and made dough. But first let us speak of the other one where the Lord tells us about the woman who had ten drachmas and lost one. These are the most mysterious of all the Saviour's parables. As the parable of the lost drachma is short, we quote it in full. "Or what woman, having ten drachmas, if she lose one, does not light a candle and sweep the house and look diligently till she finds it? And after she has found it, she calls in her friends and neighbors and says, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma that I lost." (Luke 15:8-9).

At first glance this parable seems so simple, or even naive, that it does not impress the reader of the Gospel. In fact, however, the mystery of the universe is revealed in this simple parable. If we take it literally, it evokes bewilderment. The woman lost only one drachma. Even ten drachmas do not represent a great sum; in fact, a woman who has only ten drachmas must be very poor indeed. Let us assume, first of all, that the finding of the lost drachma meant a great gain for her. Yet it still presents a paradox, for how is it that if she is such a poor woman she lights lamps, sweeps the house and calls in all her friends and neighbors to share her joy. And all because of one drachma! Such a waste of time-lighting a candle and setting the house in order first of all! Furthermore, if she invites her neighbors she is obliged, according to Eastern custom, to offer them something to eat and drink, no small expense for a poor woman. To fail to do so would be to ignore an unalterable custom.

Another important point to note is that she did not invite only one woman to whom she might have offered sweets, which would not have involved great expense. But she invited many friends and neighbors, and even if she entertained them modestly the expense would far exceed the value of the drachma she had found. Why then should she seek the drachma so diligently and rejoice at finding it, only to lose it again in another way? If we try to understand this parable in its literal sense, it does not fit into the frame of everyday life, but leaves the impression of something exaggerated and incomprehensible. So let us try to discover its mystical or hidden meaning. Who is the woman? And why is it a woman and not a man, when a man is more likely to lose money in the ordinary routine of life? Whose house is it that she sweeps and fills with light? Who are her friends and neighbors? If we look for the spiritual instead of the literal meaning of the parable we shall find the answers to those questions. The Lord said, Seek and ye shall find.

The woman represents Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God. The ten drachmas are His. It is He Who has lost one of them and sets out to look for it. The drachmas are not coins of gold or silver. According to Orthodox theologians, the number ten represents fulness. The nine unlost drachmas are the nine orders of angels. The number of angels is beyond the grasp of mortals, for it exceeds our power of calculation. The lost drachma represents mankind in its entirety. Therefore Christ the Saviour came down from heaven to earth, to His house, and lit a candle, the light of the knowledge of Himself. He cleaned out the house-that is, He purified the world of diabolic impurity-and found the lost drachma, erring and lost humanity. Then He called his friends and neighbors (after His glorious Resurrection and Ascension), that is to say, all the countless hosts of the cherubim and seraphim, angels and archangels, and revealed to them His great joy. Rejoice with Me. I have found the lost drachma! That means: I have found men to fill the void in the Kingdom of Heaven, caused by the fall of the proud angels who apostasized from God. At the end of time the number of these found and saved souls will have grown to billions, or, in the language of Scripture, will be as countless as the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.

-- St. Nicholas Velimirovic (d. 1956), Source
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 02:53:11 PM by Asteriktos »

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #318 on: March 16, 2017, 02:44:57 AM »
It is the consensus of voice that matters: reading the Fathers within the Scripture; the Scripture within the horizon of the church; the liturgy within the context of prayer: all together forming a 'seamless robe.' The seamless harmony of the whole tradition shores up all the different parts, self-correcting and self-regulating in its wholeness. It ever converges to what it essentially is: not a systematician's 'reduction' of Christian faith in millions of propositions, but rather the record of a whole people’s long pilgrimage towards God across the desert horizons of a long history, as well as a compass for keeping the right course for the future.

-- Fr. John McGuckin (b. 1952), The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture, p. 102

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #319 on: March 18, 2017, 01:07:44 AM »
The holy fathers in fact are continuously apostolizing, whether as distinct godlike personalities, or as bishops of the local churches, or as members of the holy ecumenical and holy local councils. For all of them there is but one Truth, one Transcendent Truth: the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.

-- St. Justin Popovich (d. 1979), Source

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #320 on: March 19, 2017, 09:09:28 PM »
Where shall we seek criteria of truth? All too often men seek these criteria in what is lower than truth, in the objective world with its compulsions, seek criteria for spirit in the material world. And they fall into a vicious circle. Discursive truth can provide no criteria for final truth: it is only at the half-way mark, and knows neither the beginning nor the end. Every proof rests upon the unproven, the postulate, the created. There is risk, and no guarantee. The very search for guarantee is wrong and really means subjecting the higher to the lower. Freedom of the spirit knows no guarantees. The sole criterion of truth is truth itself, the light which streams out of it. All other criteria exist only for the every-day, objective world, for social communication.

-- Nicholas Berdyaev (d. 1948), Source

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #321 on: March 24, 2017, 08:42:51 PM »
It is impossible for God not to show mercy on one who is genuinely striving to be saved.

-- St. Pachomius of Chios (d. 1905), Source

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #322 on: March 26, 2017, 02:19:23 AM »
One desiring salvation must always have a heart inclined towards penitence and contrition: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Ps. 51:19). With such a contrite spirit a person can avoid without trouble all the artful tricks of the devil, whose efforts are all directed towards disturbing the spirit of a person. By this disturbance he sows tares (i.e., weeds), according to the words of the Gospel: "Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this’" (Mt. 13:27-28). But when a person struggles to have a meek heart and to keep peace in his thoughts, then are all the wiles of the enemy powerless; for, where there is peace of thought, God Himself resides: "In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion" (Ps. 76:2).

-- St. Seraphim of Sarov (d. 1833), Source

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #323 on: March 27, 2017, 12:57:40 AM »
The motion of spiritual beings is movement of ascension, which will last eternally. St. Gregory Palamas said: "The proof for this hiddenness beyond all knowledge is Moses' desire, request, and ascent towards a more and more acute seeing, but also the continuous advance of the angels and of the saints in the endless age toward ever clearer visions..." The created subject never comes to an end in the act of understanding the absolute subject. But this movement is at the same time given the name of stability because the motion is maintained permanently in its path.

-- Fr. Dumitru Staniloae (d. 1993), Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, p. 145

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #324 on: Yesterday at 01:19:14 PM »
The fundamental difference between orthodoxy and heterodoxy depends on the relationship by which an historical body is established as the Church. For Karl Barth, for example, the relationship is with God alone, who continually 'appears,' his presence having the character of an 'event' (ereignishaft) as opposed to an 'institution.' The emphasis is vertical; the divine act, like a tangent, touches the circle but does not penetrate it.

For the Orthodox, the link is cross-shaped, the Church being at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical. the connection here is theandric. Theandrism constitutes the Church, places it at the centre of the world, transforms its human content into theandric substance by filling it with its reality, and thus supplies horizontal continuity: the Apostolic succession, the sacraments (the extension of the visible Christ), the incorporation of the faithful in the historical body.

According to the Reformers the Church is on Earth, visible but undiscernible; it is, so t speak, the Church 'itinerant.' It is certainly somewhere, but we cannot say exactly where: the sacraments may be correctly administered and the Word correctly preached, but the elect, marked with an invisible sign, are scattered everywhere and unidentifiable.

For the Orthodox, the Church is objectively present where the Apostolic ministry of incorporation is exercised; where the Bishop, by his apostolic power, celebrates the Eucharist, demonstrates his authority and unites in himself the people gathered for the Liturgy, the Body of Christ.

-- Paul Evdokimov (d. 1970), Orthodoxy

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Re: Modern Church Fathers
« Reply #325 on: Today at 03:23:36 AM »
We must pity every evil man, and not be angered with him, and not thus gratify Satan; we must look upon even every enemy, simply as upon God's creation, as upon one created after the image of God, and as upon our own member, and not breathe malice against him, that is, not become a devil, for every one who breathes malice becomes a devil himself, while he is angered. We must always be meek, gentle, kind-hearted, patient, as though we did not notice the malice of others, we must "overcome evil," or wicked people "with good," (Rom. 12:21) by kindness, benefits. May God deliver us from evil suspiciousness, through which everything in our neighbour has the worst construction put upon it; his movements, gestures, look, voice, step, and every word.

-- St. John of Kronstadt (d. 1908), My Life in Christ