Author Topic: Early Church Fathers  (Read 94890 times)

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Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #360 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #361 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #362 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #363 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
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 03:10:19 PM by Asteriktos »
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #364 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 (5th century)
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #365 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #366 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #367 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #368 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #369 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #370 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #371 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #372 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #373 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #374 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #375 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #376 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #377 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)
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #378 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #379 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
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 05:02:59 PM by Asteriktos »
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #380 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #381 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #382 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #383 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.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 12:58:52 AM by rakovsky »
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #384 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #385 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?
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #386 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.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 10:59:02 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #387 on: April 21, 2017, 11:03:14 PM »
Something's sketchy alright...

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #388 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.
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #389 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
« Last Edit: April 24, 2017, 01:04:50 PM by rakovsky »
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #390 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #391 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #392 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?
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #393 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #394 on: April 27, 2017, 11:07:36 AM »
^Love that man...

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #395 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #396 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #397 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #398 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
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 01:26:45 AM by Asteriktos »
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #399 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #400 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #401 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)
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

Offline Asteriktos

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #402 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #403 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #404 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
"The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny--it is the light that guides your way." - Heraclitus