Introduction: Augustine’s Homilies on the First Epistle of John.

It is from the beginning of his prologue on the Homilies on the First Epistle of John that Augustine explains in his usual rhetorical grandeur that, “as in this same Epistle, which is very sweet to all who have a healthy taste of the heart to relish the Bread of God, and very meet to be had in remembrance in God’s Holy Church, charity is above all commended. He has spoken many words, and nearly all are about charity.”[1]Matthew Levering in his book, The Theology of Augustine, explains that from the beginning of St. Augustine’s discourse on the examination on … Continue reading Introduction: Augustine’s Homilies on the First Epistle of John.

St. Augustine: On Christian Doctrine Commentary–Full Text

In his book The Theology of Augustine, Matthew Levering focuses on the theme of love, what is love and how it functions in Christian teaching. As Levering examines, according to Augustine, Scripture teaches how to love. It must be vital for the interpreter of scripture to recognize how the words of scripture direct us to love of God. So what does it mean to love? Typically, society tends to agree that being a loving person is being a good person, so perhaps, we should start at the question—What does it mean to be good? If a person loves someone there … Continue reading St. Augustine: On Christian Doctrine Commentary–Full Text

On Beauty

When humanity recognizes the beautiful, they see a glimpse of God. Beauty is complex; it is a participation in the Divine, as truth and love also participate. These glimpses are all around us; we merely have to disconnect for a mere second from the chains of the noise of our techno-modern society and in the silence feel the cool spring breeze, see the vibrant red of a cardinal and listen to his dawn chorus. What most experience as the beautiful is rather their limited understanding of it. We come to experience the beautiful as it is measured in physical being, … Continue reading On Beauty

On the Influence of St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the most quoted Saint in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with 87 Citations followed by St. Thomas Aquinas at 61. Naturally, in many respects, as asserted by Bishop Robert Barron asserts in his Pivotal Players series, St. Augustine is “one of three or four most important players in the history of the Church…he is a pivotal figure in the development of Western Civilization. He is the most significant bridge of ancient Rome and the Christian culture that would come to full flower in the Middle Ages. As a master of the Latin language; he ranks with … Continue reading On the Influence of St. Augustine

On Meditation and Contemplative Prayer

 via dwightlockenecker.com Meditation and Contemplative prayer allows us to silence a great many distractions in our lives. In meditation, such as Lectio Divina, we can read the text and ask the Lord, “What am I to learn?” In this form, our minds are allowed to explore and be illuminated rather than be reactive as modernity has trained our minds. Finally, Contemplative prayer as CCC 2715 explains, “is a gaze of faith, fixed on Jesus. “I look at him and he looks at me.” The gift given allows us to order our will with the renunciation of our individualistic desires. One … Continue reading On Meditation and Contemplative Prayer

On Prayer and Form

via pinterest Debbie Cannon So how does prayer nourish our souls? The ancients of spoke of the soul as the heart and the ancient Church was no different in this respect. Fr. Casey in his book Toward God speaks of prayer being a compunction of our heart derived from the original meaning from its Latin origin meaning, “the word compunction points to an experience being pricked or punctured…Compunction in this sense is an arousal, an awakening.” (p.43) In regards to being the products of the philosophy of Individualism in our modern world, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains … Continue reading On Prayer and Form

On Prayer

 photo via Wikipedia Our prayer life must be one undertaken through the instruction of the Holy Spirit and also by ordering our will toward God. The Catechism reads, “Through living transmission (Sacred Tradition) within “the believing and praying Church,” the Holy Spirit teaches the children of God how to pray.”(CCC 2650) If we’re moved to learn how to pray through the traditions of the Church, the initiation is by the grace of God. However, the Catechism does not contradict the Spirit, that one must also have the will to pray and so we must initially cooperate with God’s grace. Nonetheless, the … Continue reading On Prayer

St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom was born around 349 A.D. in Antioch and like many of the other Church Fathers we’ve discussed like St. Justin Martyr and St. Athanasius was born into wealth. The affluence of his family allowed him to taught by one of antiquities greatest teachers, Libanius. The famous pagan professor said “It is a pity…that the boy is a Christian—otherwise he could be my successor.”[1]Chrysostom lost his father at an early age and being brought by his mother, Anthusa, as Pope Benedict XVI explains she “instilled in him exquisite human sensitivity and a deep Christian faith.”[2]D’Ambrosio explains that despite … Continue reading St. John Chrysostom

St. Athanasius

Welcome to the 4thweek of the Discussion group series on the Church Fathers. In our last session, we discussed St. Justin Martyr’s beautiful illumination on the Logos; being Christ, it relationship to Creation, and its philosophical connection to divine truth. St. Justin Martyr’s narrative brough forth some thoughts on the proofs of God, namely St. Thomas Aquinas’ 3rdway—“Why is there something rather than nothing.” It also caused us to engage pagan philosopher’s ideas about God and their understanding of God. When attending University of Illinois, I remember taking a class on Plato, and, of course, we had to read Plato’s … Continue reading St. Athanasius

St. Justin Martyr

Welcome to Our Saviour’s Parish. We’re in the third week of our discussion series. In our first week, we covered the oldest known catechism of the church—the  Didache, and followed it up last week with St. Clement of Rome. By examining these periods of our early Christian history, we’ve been able to uncover the early foundations of Christians living the philosophy of community rather than living as individuals, the concept of commandments, the early practices of baptism, Apostolic succession, Christian unity, the primacy of the Pope. As I was reviewing the text for our discussion series, I found it hard … Continue reading St. Justin Martyr