Author Topic: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)  (Read 37558 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 34,675
  • Faith: God
Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #180 on: May 14, 2017, 07:48:36 PM »
The pattern for those who have received the sacerdotal dignity is found in the testimonies and instructions laid down in the canonical constitutions, which we receiving with a glad mind, sing unto the Lord God in the words of the God-inspired David, saying: "I have had as great delight in the way of your testimonies as in all manner of riches." "You have commanded righteousness as your testimonies for ever." "Grant me understanding and I shall live." Now if the word of prophesy bids us keep the testimonies of God forever and to live by them, it is evident that they must abide unshaken and without change. Therefore Moses, the prophet of God, speaks after this manner: "To them nothing is to be added, and from them nothing is to be taken away." And the divine Apostle glorying in them cries out, "which things the angels desire to look into," and, "if an angel preach to you anything besides that which you have received, let him be anathema."

Seeing these things are so, being thus well-testified unto us, we rejoice over them as he that has found great spoil, and press to our bosom with gladness the divine canons, holding fast all the precepts of the same, complete and without change, whether they have been set forth by the holy trumpets of the Spirit, the renowned Apostles, or by the Six Ecumenical Councils, or by Councils locally assembled for promulgating the decrees of the said Ecumenical Councils, or by our holy Fathers. For all these, being illumined by the same Spirit, defined such things as were expedient. Accordingly those whom they placed under anathema, we likewise anathematize; those whom they deposed, we also depose; those whom they excommunicated, we also excommunicate; and those whom they delivered over to punishment, we subject to the same penalty. And now "let your conversation be without covetousness," cries out Paul the divine Apostle, who was caught up into the third heaven and heard unspeakable words.

-- Seventh Ecumenical Council (787), Canon 1
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 34,675
  • Faith: God
Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #181 on: May 16, 2017, 06:43:12 PM »
Though hitherto some bishops having descended to the habit of monks, have been forced nevertheless to remain in height of the prelacy, they have been overlooked when they did so. But, with this in mind, this holy and ecumenical Council, with a view to regulating this oversight, and readjusting this irregular practice to the ecclesiastical statutes, has decreed that if any bishop or anyone else with a prelatical office is desirous of descending to monastic life and of replenishing the region of penitence and of penance, let him no longer cherish any claim to prelatical dignity. For the monks’ conditions of subordination represent the relationship of pupilship, and not of teachership or of presidency; nor do they undertake to pastor others, but are to be content with being pastored. Wherefore, in accordance with what was said previously, we decree that none of those who are on the prelatical list and are enrolled pastors shall lower themselves to the level of the pastored and repentant. If anyone should dare to do so, after the delivery and discrimination of the decision hereby being pronounced, he having deprived himself of his prelatical rank, shall no longer have the right to return to his former status, which by actual deeds he has vitiated.

-- (Ecumenical?) Council of Constantinople (879), Canon 2
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 34,675
  • Faith: God
Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #182 on: May 17, 2017, 10:01:17 PM »
I rejoice, beloved brother and fellow priest, that you are deserving of the highest prize of virtue. You have approached the hitherto stony and barren hearts of the pagans, trusting in the plenitude of your faith, and have labored untiringly with the plowshare of Gospel preaching, striving by your daily toil to change them into fertile fields. To you may well be applied the Gospel saying: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness," etc. Yet a part of the second prize shall be given, not unfittingly, to those who support so pious and useful a work with what help they can give and supplement the poverty of those laborers with means sufficient to carry on zealously the work of preaching which has already been begun and to raise up new sons to Christ. And so I have with affectionate good will taken pains to suggest to Your Prudence a few things that may show you how, according to my ideas, you may most readily overcome the resistance of those uncivilized people.

Do not begin by arguing with them about the origin of their gods, false as they are, but let them affirm that some of them were begotten by others through the intercourse of male and female, so that you may at least prove that gods and goddesses born after the manner of men are men and not gods and, since they did not exist before, must have had a beginning. Then, when they have been compelled to learn that their gods had a beginning since some were begotten by others, they must be asked in the same way whether they believe that the world had a beginning or was always in existence without beginning. If it had a beginning, who created it? Certainly they can find no place where begotten gods could dwell before the universe was made. I mean by "universe" not merely this visible earth and sky, but the whole vast extent of space, and this the heathen too can imagine in their thoughts.  But if they argue that the world always existed without beginning, you should strive to refute this and to convince them by many documents and arguments. Ask your opponents who governed the world before the gods were born, who was the ruler? How could they bring under their dominion or subject to their law a universe that had always existed before them? And whence, or from whom or when, was the first god or goddess set up or begotten?...

These and many similar things which it would take long to enumerate you ought to put before them, not offensively or so as to anger them, but calmly and with great moderation. At intervals you should compare their superstitions with our Christian doctrines, touching upon them from the flank, as it were, so that the pagans, thrown into confusion rather than angered, may be ashamed of their absurd ideas and may undertand that their infamous ceremonies and fables are well known to us... If they boast that the rule of the gods over those people has been, as it were, lawful from the beginning, show them that the whole world was once given over to idol-worship, until by the grace of Christ and through the knowledge of one God, its Almighty Founder and Ruler, it was enlightened, brought to life, and reconciled to God. For what is the daily baptism of the children of believing Christians but a purification of each one from the uncleanness and giult in which the whole world was once involved?

-- Bp. Daniel of Winchester (d. 745), Letter to Saint Boniface
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 34,675
  • Faith: God
Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #183 on: May 18, 2017, 10:27:44 PM »
For what would be worse than separation from You, O Savior?
And what is more grievous than to be cut off from life,
and from thence to live as a corpse deprived of life,
at once to have all goods taken away?
For one who is separated from You is deprived of every good.
For then it will not be as it is now on earth.
For now, those who are ignorant of You live in bodily self-indulgence,
and here they exult like leaping, irrational beasts.
They have all things that You have given for the enjoyments of life,
and seeing only these things, they suppose it will be
the same after the departure of their soul and of their life.
But they speculate badly, and badly do they believe
when they say that they are not with You, but still they
prepare a certain place of repose--oh the folly--
They do not receive light, yet they have no share in darkness,
they are outside the Kingdom, but also outside of hell,
both outside the bridal chamber, and away from the fire of punishment,
the wretched pray to arrive in such a place.
And they say there is no need for your eternal glory
or the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is enough to be in repose.
Alas for their darkness! Alas for their ignorance!
Alas their wretchedness and vain hopes!

-- St. Symeon the New Theologian (d. 1022), Divine Eros: Hymns of Saint Symeon the New Theologian, Hymn 1
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 34,675
  • Faith: God
Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #184 on: May 19, 2017, 09:10:02 PM »
As the son of a priest, Ephraim yearned for a spiritual and ascetical life from an early age. He fled to Mt. Athos when his parents wanted him to marry. He later returned and lived a life of asceticism in the Ibar gorge and in the Monastery of Dečani [Kosovo]. When rivalry and war broke out concerning precedence in the state and, unfortunately, even in the Church, the Synod [Sabor] chose Ephraim to succeed the deceased Sava as patriarch in 1375 A.D. When he was informed of his election, he wept bitterly but was unable to refuse. He crowned Prince Lazar as Tsar in 1382 A.D., then renounced his throne and turned it over to Spyridon and again withdrew to the wilderness. Following the death of Spyridon in 1388 A.D., Tsar Lazar begged him to accept the throne again. He governed the Serbian Church in the difficult time of the defeat at Kosovo [1389 A.D.] until 1400 A.D. when he died in the eighty-eighth year of his earthly life and took up his habitation with the Lord, Whom he loved. His relics repose in the Monastery of Peć [Kosovo].

-- Said of St. Ephraim of Serbia (d. 1400) in the Prologue of Ohrid
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 34,675
  • Faith: God
Re: Pre-Modern Church Fathers (8th to 18th Centuries)
« Reply #185 on: May 21, 2017, 03:12:30 PM »
It was with the instinct of a mother that the future saint taught her spiritual children. And in the same spirit she gave thanks for the immense fruit that it bore in their lives. These and other experiences instilled such assurance of the Lord’s presence in their work that Irene asked Him (our Lord God) for the most responsible charisma of all, that of foresight, so that she might be able to have knowledge of the sisters’ impending trials, not for the purpose of gaining fame but to be better able to advise them. In answer to this prayer, there appeared to her a guardian angle who greeted her, saying, “Hail, fruitful servant of God, the Lord has sent me that more might be saved through your guidance. I am to remain at your side and disclose the events of the future. He then disappeared, yet remained with her, continually revealing the hidden problems not only of the nuns but of all who sought her advice. Irene in no way used this knowledge to reprimand or humiliate people but corrected their confessions in such a way that they understood she had certain supernatural powers. Her fame spread to such an extent that rich and poor alike gathered to seek her advice and yet, continually offering thanks to God, she increased in humility.

Soon after, her sister, the wife of Prince Varda, sent her eunuch to see Irene who was thus able to inform him of a recent revelation that the Prince would soon die at the wish of the Emperor Michael, who would himself immediately lose his life and kingdom. Despite the obvious confidential nature of the information, the sister told her husband everything. Nevertheless, with characteristic pride and lack of faith, he dismissed the idea. The events took their course and as the saint predicted, the following week he was killed in battle, closely followed by the unworthy Emperor. Irene continued her very remarkable ministry in the reign of his successor, Basil the Macedonian.

-- The Life Of Saint Irene of Cappadocia (d. 9th century), Source
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt." - Dostoevsky