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Age of Persecution

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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...

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True Repentance of Sin – Second Century Homily

This excerpt from a homily written in the second century by an anonymous Early Church Father speaks of true and sincere repentance of sin. His insistence that we must "keep the seal of our baptism undefiled" shows that the "once saved, always saved" doctrine...

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Pedagogy of the Law – Irenaeus

Paul's concept of "pedagogy," further developed here by Irenaeus, holds that the whole period of the Old Testament with all its characters, events, and institutions, was a preparation for and foreshadowing of the fullness of revelation that was to come in Jesus Christ and his...

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Old and New Covenant – Irenaeus

With the coming of the New Covenant, much in the Old Law of Moses is rendered obsolete. But the Ten Commandments, otherwise known as the Decalogue, has eternal value, says St. Irenaeus, because it enshrines justice to God & neighbor....

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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....

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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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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...