Confession – Ambrose

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Let us not be ashamed to confess our sins to the Lord.  It’s true, we do feel shame when each one of us makes his sin known. But that shame ploughs his land, so to speak: it takes out the brambles that keep sprouting up, prunes the thorns, and gives life to the fruits we thought were dead. Follow the … Read More

Epiphany & Baptism – Hippolytus

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That Jesus should come and be baptised 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 gives life to all men being immersed in the shallow waters of this transient world! He who fills all creation, … Read More

How To Pray – St Isaac the Syrian

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• Pray with attention – so that we can have a true encounter with God • Pray with humility – because this sort of prayer goes straight to God’s ear • Pray with affection and tears – with joy and thanksgiving, but also with true repentance and purity. • Pray with patience and ardor – ‘to deny oneself’ is courageously to … Read More

God’s Mercy Appeared – Bernard

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The goodness and humanity of God our Saviour have appeared in our midst. Before the Son of God became man his goodness was hidden, for God’s mercy is eternal, but how could such goodness be recognized? It was promised, but it was not experienced, and as a result few believed in it.  Often and in many ways the Lord used … Read More

God On Earth, Man In Heaven; And All Became Mingled Together – Chrysostom

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Yea, for it was removal of punishment, and remission of sins, and “righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” and adoption, and an inheritance of Heaven, and a relationship unto the Son of God, which he came declaring unto all; to enemies, to the perverse, to them that were sitting in darkness. What then could ever be equal to these good tidings? … Read More

Man, The Vessel of God’s Action – Irenaeus of Lyons

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Here’s the quote of the century (really!) from Irenaeus of Lyons: “God is man’s glory. Man is the vessel which receives God’s action and all his wisdom and power. If man… has a right belief regarding created things and their divine Creator, who, having given them being, holds them all in his power, and if man perseveres in God’s love, … Read More

Rich & Poor, Vine & Elm – Hermas

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“Do you see the elm and the grapevine?” he said. “I see them, sir,” I replied. “This grapevine,” he continued, “produces fruit, and the elm is a fruitless tree. But unless the vine is trained on the elm, it can’t bear much fruit trailing along the ground. And what fruit it does bear is rotten, because the plant is not … Read More

The Marvel of the Incarnation – Gregory Nazianzus

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The very Son of God, older than the ages, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the incorporeal, the beginning of beginning, the light of light, the fountain of life and immortality, the image of the archetype, the immovable seal, the perfect likeness, the definition and word of the Father: he it is who comes to his own image and takes our nature … Read More

The Light of Lights – St. Augustine

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When our Lord Jesus Christ shall come and “bring to light things hidden in darkness and make plain the secrets of the heart, so that everyone may receive his commendation from God”, then lamps will no longer be needed. [When we] behold the true and dear light without such aids, what shall we see? With what shall our minds be … Read More