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Early Fathers

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I Am God’s Wheat – Ignatius of Antioch

An excerpt from the Letter of Ignatius of Antioch to the Romans, written while on his way to Rome to be martyred in the arena where he expects to become God's wheat, food for the wild beasts, a willing sacrifice with and for Jesus Christ....

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Advice on Prayer – Ambrose

This excerpt on prayer from Ambrose's treatise on Cain and Abel highlights the value of thanksgiving, forgiveness of others, and praying with and for the whole body of Christ, the Church, rather than simply praying by oneself for oneself....

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Apostles -Timid Men who Won the World – John Chrysostom

John Chrysostom shows how the transformation of twelve weak and fearful disciples into world-conquering apostles is the surest proof that they indeed saw the risen Christ. Customarily read on the feast of St. Bartholomew, apostle, on August 24, this excerpt shows us how the...

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Letter to Pope Cornelius – Cyprian

An excerpt written to Cornelius, bishop of Rome condemned to exile and death for his faith, from his brother bishop Cyprian of Carthage, who was to be martyred a few years later. Read on the feasts of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian on September 16....

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Triumph & Exaltation of the Holy Cross – Andrew of Crete

St. Andrew of Crete (8th Century) proclaims the victory, glory, and triumph of Christ crucified forr the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14, the day that the stolen relics of the true cross were returned to Jerusalem in the early...

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Whom Shall I Fear? – John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom proclaimed the Gospel fearlessly despite the jealousy and hatred directed at him by the supposedly Christian Empress and Imperial Court of Constantinople around AD 400. In the face of government threats he proclaims "If Christ is with me, whom shall I...

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Birthday of Mary, Mother of God – Andrew of Crete

Saint Andrew of Crete on the nativity of Mary as a turning point between old and new covenant, the frontier where types and symbols give way to reality. This reading shows that September 8th was celebrated as the birthday of Mary, daughter of Joachim and...

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Beatitudes, Law of the New Covenant – Leo the Great

Leo's exegesis of these important verses of St. Matthew's Gospel is one of the most important patristic commentaries on the Beatitudes. Christ, the New Moses chooses to give his Sermon on a Mount to show that he is the new Moses, teaching the newRegarding...

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Bishop as Watchman – Gregory the Great

Gregory the Great comments on the famous passage in Ezekiel 33 in which God calls the prophet to be a watchman for the house of Israel. Saint Gregory reflects on how this applies to himself as bishop of Rome and protests his inadequacy for the...