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Sacraments

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Eat your Bread with Joy – Gregory of Agrigentum

This excerpt from St. Gregory of Agrigentum is an example of the Early Church Father's spiritual interpretation of Scripture whereby realities of the Old Covenant are seen as pointing beyond themselves to Jesus Christ and the realities of the new dispensation. In this case, the...

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Baptism as Circumcision of the Heart – Aphraates

The spiritual circumcision of the heart through repentance and the sacrament of baptism -- Lenten meditation by Aphraates, a Syriac Father of the early Church.. All the biblical covenants are covered: the pact with Adam, Noah, and Moses. Just as Joshua led the people of...

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Pure Oblation of the Church – Irenaeus

Irenaeus here shows that the Church of the 2nd century regarded the Eucharist as a sacrifice which fulfilled the prophecy of Malachi 1:11 of a new, pure oblation and offering that would be offered by the gentiles all over the world. ...

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Thanksgiving and the Eucharist

Before thanksgiving was an American holiday, it was a way of life for Jews and Christians alike, indeed a hallmark of the Judeo-Christian tradition. All ancient peoples gave thanks for creation; only Jews and Christians believe that God acted decisively in history to secure...

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Buried With Christ in Baptism – Basil

This Holy week reading on imitating Christ's death by being buried with him through baptism amplifies St. Paul's words in Romans 6:11 that in the sacrament of baptism we are baptized into Christ's death, being buried as it were with him under the saving waters...

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Baptism, Born Again in Water & Spirit – Basil

This excerpt on the sacrament of baptism from St. Basil the Great’s book On the Holy Spirit (ca. AD 360) describes how baptism fulfills what Jesus says to Nicodemus in John 3 about being born again in water and the Spirit. He also here outlines...

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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...