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Early Fathers

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Holy Saturday: He Descended into Hell

The Creed proclaims "He descended into Hell". This homily for Holy Saturday from the 4th Century treats of the "harrowing of hell" and the rescue of Adam and Eve. This was a popular theme in early and medieval Christian poetry, liturgy and song....

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Lamb that was Slain – Melito

Melito of Sardis, a 2nd century Father of the Church, shows how the Passover Lamb and many Old Testament realities, prefigure Christ and his suffering. This marvelous Holy Week reading is a great example of the spiritual sense of Scripture....

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Observing Holy Week – Gregory of Nazianzen

Gregory of Nazianzen here provides us a wonderful guide to meditating on the Passion of Christ in a way that will make Holy Week and the Triduum a life-changing experience. We are enter into the paschal sacrifice by finding ourselves in the various actors...

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Good Friday, True Day of Atonement – Origen

Origen here shows how the Lord Jesus Christ is the true High Priest and sacrifice whose death occurs on Good Friday, the eternal Day of Atonement foreshadowed by the Yom Kippur of the Old Covenant. In this selection we also learn why the early...

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God Took Our Nature From Mary – Athanasius

[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]he Word took to himself the sons of Abraham, says the Apostle, and so had to be like his brothers in all things. He had then to take a body like ours. This explains the fact of Mary’s presence: she...

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Feast of the Annunciation, God Becomes Man – Leo

The Solemnity or Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord is celebrated on March 25. Here, in his typically lyrical language and powerful imagery, Leo the Great ponders the unfathomable mystery of God becoming man in the womb of a Virgin who had the...

True Simplicity – Gregory the Great

Gregory the Great explains the nature of true simplicity making use of the example of Job as well as the Gospel saying of Jesus "Be cunning as serpents and yet as harmless as doves." For him simplicity must be accompanied by the fire...

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Mystery of Mercy – Gregory the Great

The mystery of mercy revealed in the sufferings of Christ and our obligation to make that extraordinary mercy known to everyone. Our response must be not only prayer, but evangelization. The connection between the Eucharist in which which receive the blood of Christ...