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Early Fathers

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Saint Nicholas & John 21 – Augustine

This excerpt from St. Augustine's Treatise on John's Gospel (Tract. 123, 5: CCL 36, 678-680) is read on the feast day of St. Nicholas, December 6. It focuses on the real meaning of the gift-giving for which St. Nicholas is famous--the self-giving love of a...

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Advice to Pastors – Ambrose

Ambrose of Milan, one of the greatest pastors of all time, gives this advice to pastors regarding what it means to be a shepherd and a bishop. It is read annually on the liturgical memorial (feast) of St. Ambrose on December 7....

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St. Andrew the Apostle – John Chrysostom

Andrew, born at Bethsaida, was a disciple of John the Baptist before he left John to follow Jesus. The Gospel of John tells us that it was actually Andrew who brought his brother Peter to Christ. With Philip he presented the Gentiles to Christ and...

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Two Kinds of Faith – Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril of Jerusalem on two dimensions of faith, as taught by the Bible. There is the faith necessary for salvation which is a gift offered to all. Then there is the extraordinary grace of mustard seed faith....

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Death and Dying as Gain – Ambrose

Ambrose reflects on Paul's statement in Philippians 1:21 "to live is Christ, to die is gain." He sees dying as a road to life since through the death of Christ, we are redeemed. This passage is read annually on All Souls Day, November...

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Our Father, the Lord’s Prayer – Augustine

Augustine here comments on the meaning of each of the petitions of the Our Father. If we do not use the exact words of the Lord's Prayer when we pray, all that we do say ought to be inspired by its spirit....

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Catholic Church – Cyril of Jerusalem

Cyril, speaking to new Christians in Jerusalem around AD 360, explains why the Church is called catholic. The word "catholic" comes from the Greek word meaning "whole," "entire," or "all." After explaining the meaning of catholic, Cyril goes on to explain the meaning...

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Sacrament of Unity – Fulgentius of Ruspe

Fulgentius of Ruspe here treats beautifully of the relationship between the unity and charity of the Church and the sacrament of the Eucharist, the sacrament of unity and charity (agape or caritas) leading to spiritual fellowship and communion (Greek koinonia and Latin communio).[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100'...