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Early Fathers

Leo the Great incarnation human dignity
Recognize the Dignity of your Nature

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....

Tertullian letter to his wife on christian marriage ad uxorem
Christian Marriage -Tertullian

From a letter by Tertullian, an Early Church Father, to his wife, ca. 202 AD, illustrating the great esteem for the sacrament of holy marriage in the days of the early Catholic Church....

Ephrem diatesseron God's Word treasure spring Scripture inexhaustible treasure spring spiritual drink
God’s Word is Inexhaustible – Ephrem

St. Ephrem testifies to the rich, inexhaustible treasure that is the Sacred Scriptures. The Bible is like a Spring which never runs dry, which always has the ability to satisfy our thirst for God and his truth...

diadochus of photice peace recollection serenity discernment soul holy spirit
Discernment and Peace of Soul – Diadochus

Diadochus of Photice, a bishop of the early church, explains the role of recollection and discernment in Christian life. To discern thoughts originating in God from those planted by the enemy, we must cultivate peace of soul and mind and dispose ourselves for the...

Athanasius on the call of St. Anthony Antony or Antony of the desert january 17 facebook
Call of St. Anthony of the Desert – Athanasius

Excerpt from Athanasius' famous Life of Antony, recounting the story of the call of St. Anthony of the Desert, father of monks and great supporter of Christian Orthodox belief in the divinity of Christ against the Alexandrian heretic Arius....

feast of the baptism of the Lord Jesus baptized by John in the Jordan Trinity manifested Spirit as a dove voice of the Father facebook
Baptism of the Lord – Gregory Nazianzen

Here Gregory Nazianzen points out that Christ was baptized not for his sake but for ours. Sanctifying the waters of baptism for all generations to come, he manifested the the Trinity through the Spirit who comes to rest on him in the form of...

Feast of St. Stephen protomartyr December 26 Fulgentius of Ruspe love facebook
Feast of St Stephen, Protomartyr – Fulgentius of Ruspe

December 26, The Second Day of Christmas, has been observed as the Feast Day of Saint Stephen, Protomartyr, since at least the fifth century.  Fulgentius of Ruspe, a North African bishop, here notes how fitting it is that the birthday of love should be followed...

letter to diognetus God's Secret Plan December 18 Advent mystery birth incarnation
God’s Secret Plan in Christ – Letter to Diognetus

In this excerpt from a letter written AD 125, so appropriate for Advent, the anonymous author discusses the marvelous and secret plan of salvation culmination in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. St. Paul calls this plan "the Mystery." The...