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Age of Persecution

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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....

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...

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Baptism in Waters of Immortality – Hippolytus

[dropcaps type='normal' font_size='100' color='' background_color='' border_color='']T[/dropcaps]hat Jesus should come and be baptized by John is surely cause for amazement. To think of the infinite river that gladdens the city of God being bathed in a poor little stream of the eternal, the unfathomable fountainhead that...

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Our Father, not My Father – Cyprian

Cyprian begin's his commentary on the Lord's Prayer by analyzing the first line: Our Father. We do not pray as individuals, but in common, as a family, since we are all children of the same Father....

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Pray with a Humble Heart – Cyprian

Cyprian prepares to analyze the Our Father by reflecting upon the basic attitude of humility necessary if prayer is to please God, reflecting upon the example of Hannah, mother of Samuel, and the story of the Publican and the Pharisee told by the Lord Jesus....

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Contest of Faith – Cyprian

Cyprian, a north African bishop of the third century, himself eventually died a martyr.  Here he exhorts fellow Christians to courage as they face the contest of faith in a hostile pagan society.  Following Ephesians 6, he urges Christians to put on the whole armor...

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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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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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Power of Christian Prayer – Tertullian

Tertullian, in the late second century, writes of the power of Christian prayer, which replaces the sacrifices of old and makes us priests who are worshipers in spirit and in truth. Prayer is one of the three traditional tools for spiritual growth in Lent...