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Early Fathers

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Baptism as Circumcision of the Heart – Aphraates

The spiritual circumcision of the heart through repentance and the sacrament of baptism -- Lenten meditation by Aphraates, a Syriac Father of the early Church.. All the biblical covenants are covered: the pact with Adam, Noah, and Moses. Just as Joshua led the people of...

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Imitate God’s Generosity – Gregory Nazianzen

This excellent reflection on one of the three pillars of Lenten penance, almsgiving or generosity, is an excerpt from a sermon on the love of poverty by Saint Gregory of Nazianzen. It is also a very clear statement on stewardship -- that we are stewards,...

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Peter, the Keys, and the Chair – Leo the Great

Leo the Great on the famous passage from Matthew 16 in which Jesus gives Cephas the new name of Peter, meaning rock, along with the keys to the kingdom of heaven. It is read each year on the Feast of the Chair of...

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Overcoming Temptation in Christ – Augustine

Augustine, reflecting on how the Lord Jesus Christ was tempted in the wilderness for forty days, points out that it is only by means of overcoming trials and temptations that we progress in the spiritual life and grow in holiness....

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New creation, New Dignity – Leo the Great

Leo the Great here emphasizes that the Incarnation, the mystery of God becoming man, changes everything.  Human dignity is now vastly elevated, requiring us to live in a new way, with a new relationship to the visible things of this beautiful but passing world....

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Until Christ is formed in you – Augustine

Augustine, commenting on Galatians, hits many themes: grace, merit, freedom, and imitation of Christ. Paul, laboring with the Church which is a mother, experiences birth-pangs until Christ is formed in the children of God....

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Coheirs with Christ, Saved in Hope – Ambrose

Ambrose  comments on Paul's Letter to the Galatians and its statement that we are heirs of God, coheirs with Christ, co-heirs who are saved in hope.[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]he person who puts to death by the Spirit the deeds of our sinful nature...