CategoryChurch Fathers

Get What You Want!

One of the struggles we all face is knowing what the heck we should do with our lives. The myriad opportunities and choices we face can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the big questions: What career should I pursue? Whom should I marry? Should I take that job and move to a different state? I have always struggled with knowing what to do, and because I can never approach these...

To Be The Moon

As months wear their way across the years, our faithful ethereal friend keeps time. The shroud of night which lays heavily on us all is pierced through by its borrowed rays, a lunar helpmeet to its brighter cousin. The moon has always been a fascinating yet enigmatic feature of the cosmos, holding humanity in rapt attention. The cycles of day and night fall in step with its dance and we in turn...

The Blasphemy of the Cliché

I am always indignant with poor artists when I see our Lord himself painted with an ugly form, and I am afraid that I may find myself in the same position if I dare to set out such a beautiful theme in rude and contemptible language.[1. St. Anselm, Cur Deus Homo] With these words St. Anselm prefaces his work Cur Deus Homo– Why God Became Man. In what follows he will attempt to expound the...

Art and Theology

I do not worship matter, but the Creator of matter, who for my sake became material and deigned to dwell in matter, who through matter effected my salvation… —St. John of Damascus And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. – St. John Human societies, as diverse as...

Likewise

Words. They can aspire to the loftiest heights or wallow in the dingiest gutters. The loveliest sentiment may flow readily from the lips, followed in step by a vile and blackened curse. Gods are panegyricized, philosophical subtleties uncovered and utter nonsense made sacrosanct under their charge, as both the garrulous sage and the loquacious fool share in the spoils. Despite all their...

Anastasis

Something strange is happening- there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear. He has gone to search for our first...

Darkness So Far Above Light

I pray we could come to this darkness so far above light! If only we lacked sight and knowledge so as to see, so as to know, unseeing and unknowing, that which lies beyond all vision and knowledge. For this would truly be to see and to know: to praise the Transcendent One in a transcending way, namely through the denial of all things. It is always a difficult thing to talk about God, for a...

The Distance Shall Never Be Overcome

This edition of my church fathers paraphrases comes from someone who is not generally considered a church father. Rather, he was closely associated with many of the church fathers and one of the most important figures in Christian history. That man is Emperor Constantine the Great. There has been no lack of ink spilled over his life, his connection and role within the church, the veracity of his...

Essence Beyond Existence

This installment of my paraphrases of the early church fathers comes from St. John of Damascus, also known as St. John Damascene or The Damascene. John was born in Damascus around AD 676 to Mansur, a Christian who was the chief financial officer of the caliph in Damascus. John’s father wished for him to have an excellent education, and secured the release of a Christian captive named Cosmas...

Glory

This edition of my early church father’s paraphrases comes from St. Irenaeus of Lyons. Irenaeus was born sometime in the early 2nd century A.D. and was a disciple of St. Polycarp, who himself was a disciple of St. John. Irenaeus was sent to Rome during the persecutions under Marcus Aurelius to Pope Eleutherius with a letter from the congregation in Lyons concerning the Montanist heresy...

The Sight to Be Blind

This installment of my early church fathers paraphrases comes from St. Hilary of Poitiers. For more information on his life, please visit my previous paraphrase from him. This selection comes from the tenth book of his work “On the Trinity.”...

The Golden Bird

This installment of my church fathers paraphrases comes from St. John Chrysostom. St. John was born in Antioch around A.D 347. In his early life he was engaged in classical studies, but the influence of the bishop Meletius caused him to turn to the ascetic and religious life. He began as a lector in Antioch, later became a deacon and around 386 was ordained to the priesthood. In 397 John was...

The Remedy

This latest installment in my series of paraphrases by the early church fathers comes from St. Ambrose of Milan. Ambrose (Ambrosius) was born around A.D. 340 to an old Roman family which also had ancient ties to Christianity. His father (also named Ambrosius) held the prefecture of Gallia, and Ambrose was set to follow in his footsteps, studying law and rhetoric. After the death of his father...

Seeing is Loving

This installment of my church fathers paraphrase series comes from St. Peter Chrysologus. Not much is known of Peter’s early life or even his death. He was ordained a deacon by Cornelius the bishop of his hometown Imola. In A.D. 433 he was appointed to the bishopric of Ravenna by Pope Sixtus III. Peter had an enormous influence in his times, and took part in some the theological...

Lump

This is another is my continuing series of paraphrases of the Early Church Fathers. Today’s selection comes from St. Gregory of Nyssa, who lived in the 4th century, dying sometimes around A.D. 386. He was brother to another of the church fathers- St. Basil the Great, and is one of the three Cappadocian Fathers. Evidently at an early age Gregory’s parents desired to set him on a path...

Jason Watson

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