Author Topic: Early Church Fathers  (Read 130629 times)

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Offline Antonis

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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #585 on: April 20, 2018, 04:30:50 PM »
And when those who are conducted by the angels appointed unto the souls have passed through this gate, they do not proceed on one and the same way; but the righteous, being conducted in the light toward the right, and being hymned by the angels stationed at the place, are brought to a locality full of light. And there the righteous from the beginning dwell, not ruled by necessity, but enjoying always the contemplation of the blessings which are in their view, and delighting themselves with the expectation of others ever new, and deeming those ever better than these. And that place brings no toils to them. There, there is neither fierce heat, nor cold, nor thorn; but the face of the fathers and the righteous is seen to be always smiling, as they wait for the rest and eternal revival in heaven which succeed this location. And we call it by the name Abraham’s bosom.

But the unrighteous are dragged toward the left by angels who are ministers of punishment, and they go of their own accord no longer, but are dragged by force as prisoners. And the angels appointed over them send them along, reproaching them and threatening them with an eye of terror, forcing them down into the lower parts. And when they are brought there, those appointed to that service drag them on to the confines or hell. And those who are so near hear incessantly the agitation, and feel the hot smoke. And when that vision is so near, as they see the terrible and excessively glowing spectacle of the fire, they shudder in horror at the expectation of the future judgment, (as if they were) already feeling the power of their punishment. And again, where they see the place of the fathers and the righteous, they are also punished there. For a deep and vast abyss is set there in the midst, so that neither can any of the righteous in sympathy think to pass it, nor any of the unrighteous dare to cross it.

--St. Hippolytus of Rome (d. 235), Against Plato, On the Cause of the Universe
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #586 on: April 20, 2018, 10:55:54 PM »
We acknowledge that when he created human nature, which is composed of immaterial soul and earthly body, he created it without sin--but it was not immutable--as Adam was in Paradise before transgressing the divine commandment; ...but having made it (endowed) with the authority of (free) will, he made it having the ability to perfect virtue through care and labor, with his help and grace; but it was not capable of sin--this (occurring) not as a result of nature forcing it, but whenever the will was negligent.

-- St. John II of Jerusalem (d. 417), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #587 on: April 21, 2018, 12:17:11 PM »
"And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:2-4)

They partook not of burning but of saving fire, which consumes the thorns of sins but renders the soul radiant. This fire will come to you too, to strip away and destroy your thorn-like sins, and to make the precious possession of your souls shine yet more brightly; and He will give you grace, for He gave it then to the Apostles. He sat upon them in the form of fiery tongues, to crown them with new and spiritual diadems (by the fiery tongues on their heads). A flaming sword of old barred the gates of paradise; a fiery tongue, bringing salvation, restored the grace.

-- St. Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #588 on: April 22, 2018, 03:49:29 PM »
So in this house of the world, when you look upon the heaven and the earth, its providence, its ordering, its law, believe that there is a Lord and Parent of the universe far more glorious than the stars themselves, and the parts of the whole world... He orders everything, whatever it is, by a word; arranges it by His wisdom; perfects it by His power. He can neither be seen--He is brighter than light; nor can be grasped--He is purer than touch; nor estimated; He is greater than all perceptions; infinite, immense, and how great is known to Himself alone. But our heart is too limited to understand Him, and therefore we are then worthily estimating Him when we say that He is beyond estimation. I will speak out in what manner I feel. He who thinks that he knows the magnitude of God, is diminishing it; he who desires not to lessen it, knows it not.

-- Marcus Minucius Felix (3rd century), Octavius 18
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #589 on: April 24, 2018, 05:36:11 PM »
I know that, just as the sheep come gladly when their own shepherd calls them, so in matters of religion men attend most gladly to the admonitions of a teacher who speaks their own language: and therefore, my very dear Apronianus, when that pious lady who is my daughter but now your sister in Christ, had laid her commands on me to compose for her a treatise of such a nature that its understanding should not require any great effort, I translated into Latin in a very open and plain style the work of Xystus, who is said to be the same man who at Rome is called Sixtus, and who gained the glory of being both bishop and martyr. I think that, when she reads this, she will find it expressed with such brevity that a vast meaning is unfolded in each several line, with such power that a sentence only a line long would suffice for a whole life's training, and yet with such simplicity that one who looked over the shoulder of a girl as she read it might question whether I were not quite weak in intellect. And the whole work is so concise that it would be possible for her never to let go of it. The entire book would hardly be bigger than the finger ring of one of our ancestors. And indeed it seems but right that one who has learnt through the word of God to count as dross the ornaments of the world should now receive at my hands by way of ornament a necklace of the word and of wisdom. For the present let this little book serve for a ring and be kept constantly in the hands: but it will not be long before it will penetrate into the treasure house and be wholly laid up in the heart, and bring forth from its innermost chamber the germs of instruction and of a participation in all good works.

-- Rufinus of Aquileia (d. 411), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #590 on: April 26, 2018, 03:20:18 AM »
O how happy shall be that departure of ours, when Christ shall receive us into his own abode after we have been purged from the stains of sin through the experience of a better life! Martyrs and prophets will meet with us, apostles will join themselves to us, angels will be glad, archangels will rejoice, and Satan, being conquered, will look pale, though still retaining his cruel countenance, inasmuch as he will lose all advantage from our sins which he had secured for himself in us. He will see glory granted us through mercy, and merits honored by means of glory. We shall triumph over our conquered foe.

-- (Pseudo?)Sulpicius Severus (5th century), Letter 1.3
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #591 on: April 26, 2018, 03:32:54 PM »
Wherefore our Lord Jesus Christ permitted the first of the apostles, whose confession He had fixed as a kind of groundwork and foundation of the Church, to waver to and fro, and to deny Him, and then raised Him up again. And thus He gave us two lessons: not to be confident in our own strength, and to strengthen the unstable. Reach out, therefore, I beseech you, a hand to them that are fallen, "draw them out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set their feet upon a rock," and "put a new song into their mouth, even praise unto our God," that their example of life may become an example of salvation, that "many shall see it and fear and shall trust in the Lord" (Ps. 40:2-3). Let them be prevented from participating in the holy mysteries, but let them not be kept from the prayer of the catechumens, nor from hearing the divine Scriptures and the exhortation of teachers, and let them be prohibited from partaking of the sacred mysteries, not till death, but during a given time, till they recognise their ailment, covet health, and are properly contrite for having abandoned their true Prince and deserted to a tyrant, and for having left their benefactor and gone over to their foe.

-- Theodoret of Cyrus (d. 458), Letter 77
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #592 on: April 27, 2018, 05:43:58 PM »
Who seeing that the human race was plunged in the depth of misery, that You might rescue man, Yourself also became man: nor were You willing only to be born with a body, but You became flesh, which endured to be born and to die. You undergo funeral obsequies, Yourself the author of life and framer of the world, You enter the path of death, in giving the aid of salvation. The gloomy chains of the infernal law yielded, and chaos feared to be pressed by the presence of the light. Darkness perishes, put to flight by the brightness of Christ; the thick pall of eternal night falls. But restore the promised pledge, I pray You, O power benign! The third day has returned; arise, my buried One; it is not becoming that Your limbs should lie in the lowly sepulchre, nor that worthless stones should press that which is the ransom of the world. It is unworthy that a stone should shut in with a confining rock, and cover Him in whose fist all things are enclosed. Take away the linen clothes, I pray; leave the napkins in the tomb: You are sufficient for us, and without You there is nothing. Release the chained shades of the infernal prison, and recall to the upper regions whatever sinks to the lowest depths. Give back Your face, that the world may see the light; give back the day which flees from us at Your death.

But returning, O holy conqueror! You altogether filled the heaven! Tartarus lies depressed, nor retains its rights. The ruler of the lower regions, insatiably opening his hollow jaws, who has always been a spoiler, becomes a prey to You. You rescue an innumerable people from the prison of death, and they follow in freedom to the place whither their leader approaches. The fierce monster in alarm vomits forth the multitude whom he had swallowed up, and the Lamb withdraws the sheep from the jaw of the wolf. Hence re-seeking the tomb from the lower regions, having resumed Your flesh, as a warrior You carry back ample trophies to the heavens. Those whom chaos held in punishment he has now restored; and those whom death might seek, a new life holds. Oh, sacred King, behold a great part of Your triumph shines forth, when the sacred laver blesses pure souls! A host, clad in white, come forth from the bright waves, and cleanse their old fault in a new stream. The white garment also designates bright souls, and the shepherd has enjoyments from the snow-white flock.

-- St. Venantius Fortunatus (d. 609), Source
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Re: Early Church Fathers
« Reply #593 on: May 07, 2018, 03:39:25 PM »
When the Lord invites the blest to their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, He does not include a pilgrimage to Jerusalem among their good deeds; when He announces the Beatitudes, He does not name among them that sort of devotion... Therefore, my beloved friend, counsel the brethren to be absent from the body to go to our Lord, rather than to be absent from Cappadocia to go to Palestine

-- St. Gregory of Nyssa, On Pilgrimages
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