Saturday, July 14, 2018

Ambrose: "Abide in the Lord"

“We must needs abide in the Lord and not depart from Him. For, if the Lord be our protector and helper, we are able firmly to endure every contest; but if we neglect and forsake the Lord, we make our adversary stronger.”

~St. Ambrose: In Ps. 43 Enarr. 94.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Cyril of Alexandria: Mary as Mediatrix

I salute you, O Mary, Theotókos: through you the prophets speak out and the shepherds sing God’s praises . . . , the angels dance and the archangels sing tremendous hymns . . . , the Magi prostrate themselves in adoration . . . , the dignity of the twelve apostles . . . , John exulted while still in his mother’s womb, and the lamp adored the everlasting light . . . , grace ineffable came forth . . . , the true light came into the world, our Lord Jesus Christ . . . , light shone on those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death . . . .

Because of you the Gospels proclaim, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Lk 19:38); through you, the churches of those who possess the orthodox faith have been founded in the cities, in the villages, in the isles . . . , the Conqueror of death and Destroyer of hell has come forth. . . . He has come, the Maker of the first creation, and he has repaired the first man’s falsehood, he who governs the heavenly kingdom. . . .

Through you, the beauty of the Resurrection flowered, and its brilliance shone out . . . , the tremendous baptism of holiness in the Jordan has shone out . . . , John and the river Jordan are made holy, and the devil is cast out. . . .

Through you, every faithful soul achieves salvation.

~St. Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444): Homily 11

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Augustine: "The authority of the Catholic Church”

“BUT SHOULD you meet with a person not yet believing the Gospel, how would you reply to him were he to say, I do not believe? For my part, I should not believe the Gospel except as moved by the authority of the Catholic Church.”

~St. Augustine: Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental, Chap. 5.

Vincent of Lérins: The Tradition of the Catholic Church

“I HAVE often then inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heretical pravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this effect: That whether I or any one else should wish to detect the frauds and avoid the snares of heretics as they rise, and to continue sound and complete in the Catholic faith, we must, the Lord helping, fortify our own belief in two ways: first, by the authority of the Divine Law, and then, by the Tradition of the Catholic Church.

“But here someone perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join it with the authority of the Church’s interpretation? For this reason—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another. . . . Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.

“Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense ‘Catholic’ which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all things universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, and consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in nowise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at least of almost all priests and doctors.”

~St. Vincent of Lérins: Commonitory, Chap. 2

“HE IS the true and genuine Catholic who loves the truth of God, who loves the Church, who loves the Body of Christ, who esteems divine religion and the Catholic Faith, above every thing, above the authority, above the regard, above the genius, above the eloquence, above the philosophy, of every man whatsoever; who sets light by all of these, and continuing steadfast and established in the faith, resolves that he will believe that, and that only, which he is sure the Catholic Church has held universally and from ancient time.”

~St. Vincent of Lérins: Commonitory, Chap. 20

Saturday, June 23, 2018

St. John of Damascus: God the Father

"(We believe) in one Father, the beginning, and cause of all: begotten of no one: without cause or generation, alone subsisting: creator of all: but Father of one only by nature, His Only-begotten Son and our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, and Producer of the most Holy Spirit. And in one Son of God, the Only-begotten, our Lord, Jesus Christ: begotten of the Father, before all the ages: Light of Light, true God of true God: begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father, through Whom all things are made: and when we say He was before all the ages we show that His birth is without time or beginning: for the Son of God was not brought into being out of nothing, He that is the effulgence of the glory, the impress of the Father's subsistence, the living wisdom and power (1 Cor 1:24), the Word possessing interior subsistence, the essential and perfect and living image (Heb 1:3) of the unseen God. But always He was with the Father and in Him, everlastingly and without beginning begotten of Him. For there never was a time when the Father was and the Son was not, but always the Father and always the Son, Who was begotten of Him, existed together. For He could not have received the name Father apart from the Son: for if He were without the Son, He could not be the Father: and if He thereafter had the Son, thereafter He became the Father, not having been the Father prior to this, and He was changed from that which was not the Father and became the Father. This is the worst form of blasphemy. For we may not speak of God as destitute of natural generative power: and generative power means, the power of producing from one's self, that is to say, from one's own proper essence, that which is like in nature to one's self."

~St. John of Damascus: Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Book 1, Ch. 8

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

St. John of Damascus: The Fall of Man

“THE ENVY of the devil then was the reason of man’s fall. For that same demon, so full of envy and with such hatred of good, would suffer us to enjoy the pleasures of heaven, when he himself was kept below on account of his arrogance, hence the false one tempts miserable man with hope of the Godhead, and leading him up to as great a height of arrogance as himself, he hurls him down into a pit of destruction just as deep.”

~St. John of Damascus: Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 2, 30.

God the Father

”THE Father is the principle of the whole Deity.”

~St. Augustine: De Trinitate, 4, 20.

“GOD is therefore truly the Father, inasmuch as He if Father of truth; He does not create the Son from outside Himself, but generates Him from His own substance. That is to say, being wise, He generates Wisdom, being just, Justice, be eternal, the Eternal, being immortal, the Immortal, being invisible, the Invisible. Because He is Light, He generates Brightness, and because He is Mind, the Word.”

~Rufinus: Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed, 4. (5th cent.)

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