#2 Church Fathers: Clement of Rome, Didache & 1st Cent. Sum.

#1 Fathers of the Church–Intro and Theology of St. Paul

https://youtu.be/g-F-L46Yqrs

Marcus Grodi: The Early Church Fathers

Our Heart Longs for God

From the Tractates on the first letter of John by Saint Augustine, bishop
Our heart longs for God

We have been promised that we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. By these words, the tongue has done its best; now we must apply the meditation of the heart. Although they are the words of Saint John, what are they in comparison with the divine reality? And how can we, so greatly inferior to John in merit, add anything of our own? Yet we have received, as John has told us, an anointing by the Holy One which teaches us inwardly more than our tongue can speak. Let us turn to this source of knowledge, and because at present you cannot see, make it your business to desire the divine vision.

The entire life of a good Christian is in fact an exercise of holy desire. You do not yet see what you long for, but the very act of desiring prepares you, so that when he comes you may see and be utterly satisfied.

Suppose you are going to fill some holder or container, and you know you will be given a large amount. Then you set about stretching your sack or wineskin or whatever it is. Why? Because you know the quantity you will have to put in it and your eyes tell you there is not enough room. By stretching it, therefore, you increase the capacity of the sack, and this is how God deals with us. Simply by making us wait he increases our desire, which in turn enlarges the capacity of our soul, making it able to receive what is to be given to us.

So, my brethren, let us continue to desire, for we shall be filled. Take note of Saint Paul stretching as it were his ability to receive what is to come: Not that I have already obtained this, he said, or am made perfect. Brethren, I do not consider that I have already obtained it. We might ask him, “If you have not yet obtained it, what are you doing in this life? This one thing I do, answers Paul, forgetting what lies behind, and stretching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the prize to which I am called in the life above. Not only did Paul say he stretched forward, but he also declared that he pressed on toward a chosen goal. He realized in fact that he was still short of receiving what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived.

Such is our Christian life. By desiring heaven we exercise the powers of our soul. Now this exercise will be effective only to the extent that we free ourselves from desires leading to infatuation with this world. Let me return to the example I have already used, of filling an empty container. God means to fill each of you with what is good; so cast out what is bad! If he wishes to fill you with honey and you are full of sour wine, where is the honey to go? The vessel must be emptied of its contents and then be cleansed. Yes, it must be cleansed even if you have to work hard and scour it. It must be made fit for the new thing, whatever it may be.

We may go on speaking figuratively of honey, gold or wine—but whatever we say we cannot express the reality we are to receive. The name of that reality is God. But who will claim that in that one syllable we utter the full expanse of our heart’s desire? Therefore, whatever we say is necessarily less than the full truth. We must extend ourselves toward the measure of Christ so that when he comes he may fill us with his presence. Then we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

via divineoffice.org

From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council

From the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council

Man’s deeper questionings

The world of today reveals itself as at once powerful and weak, capable of achieving the best or the worst. There lies open before it the way to freedom or slavery, progress or regression, brotherhood or hatred. In addition, man is becoming aware that it is for himself to give the right direction to forces that he himself has awakened, forces that can be his master or his servant. He therefore puts questions to himself.

The tensions disturbing the world of today are in fact related to a more fundamental tension rooted in the human heart. In man himself many elements are in conflict with each other. On one side, he has experience of his many limitations as a creature. On the other, he knows that there is no limit to his aspirations, and that he is called to a higher kind of life.

Many things compete for his attention, but he is always compelled to make a choice among them. and to renounce some. What is more, in his weakness and sinfulness he often does what he does not want to do, and fails to do what he would like to do. In consequence, he suffers from a conflict within himself, and this in turn gives rise to so many great tensions in society.

Very many people, infected as they are with a materialistic way of life, cannot see this dramatic state of affairs in all its clarity, or at least are prevented from giving thought to it because of the unhappiness that they themselves experience.

Many think that they can find peace in the different philosophies that are proposed.

Some look for complete and genuine liberation for man from man’s efforts alone. They are convinced that the coming kingdom of man on earth will satisfy all the desires of his heart.

There are those who despair of finding any meaning in life: they commend the boldness of those who deny all significance to human existence in itself, and seek to impose a total meaning on it only from within themselves.

But in the face of the way the world is developing today, there is an ever increasing number of people who are asking the most fundamental questions or are seeing them with a keener awareness: What is man? What is the meaning of pain, of evil, of death, which still persist in spite of such great progress? What is the use of those successes, achieved at such a cost? What can man contribute to society, what can he expect from society? What will come after this life on earth?

The Church believes that Christ died and rose for all, and can give man light and strength through his Spirit to fulfill his highest calling; his is the only name under heaven in which men can be saved.

So too the Church believes that the center and goal of all human history is found in her Lord and Master.

The Church also affirms that underlying all changes there are many things that do not change; they have their ultimate foundation in Christ, who is the same yesterday, today and for ever.

Church Doctrine Development -Not Alteration

An instruction by St Vincent of Lerins

The Development of Doctrine
Is there to be no development of religion in the Church of Christ? Certainly, there is to be development and on the largest scale.
Who can be so grudging to men, so full of hate for God, as to try to prevent it? But it must truly be development of the faith, not alteration of the faith. Development means that each thing expands to be itself, while alteration means that a thing is changed from one thing into another.
The understanding, knowledge and wisdom of one and all, of individuals as well as of the whole Church, ought then to make great and vigorous progress with the passing of the ages and the centuries, but only along its own line of development, that is, with the same doctrine, the same meaning and the same import.
The religion of souls should follow the law of development of bodies. Though bodies develop and unfold their component parts with the passing of the years, they always remain what they were. There is a great difference between the flower of childhood and the maturity of age, but those who become old are the very same people who were once young. Though the condition and appearance of one and the same individual may change, it is one and the same nature, one and the same person.
The tiny members of unweaned children and the grown members of young men are still the same members. Men have the same number of limbs as children. Whatever develops at a later age was already present in seminal form; there is nothing new in old age that was not already latent in childhood.
There is no doubt, then, that the legitimate and correct rule of development, the established and wonderful order of growth, is this: in older people the fullness of years always brings to completion those members and forms that the wisdom of the Creator fashioned beforehand in their earlier years.
If, however, the human form were to turn into some shape that did not belong to its own nature, or even if something were added to the sum of its members or subtracted from it, the whole body would necessarily perish or become grotesque or at least be enfeebled. In the same way, the doctrine of the Christian religion should properly follow these laws of development, that is, by becoming firmer over the years, more ample in the course of time, more exalted as it advances in age.
In ancient times our ancestors sowed the good seed in the harvest field of the Church. It would be very wrong and unfitting if we, their descendants, were to reap, not the genuine wheat of truth but the intrusive growth of error.
On the contrary, what is right and fitting is this: there should be no inconsistency between first and last, but we should reap true doctrine from the growth of true teaching, so that when, in the course of time, those first sowings yield an increase it may flourish and be tended in our day also.
*Development of doctrine is a term used by John Henry Newman and other theologians influenced by him to describe the way Catholic teaching has become more detailed and explicit over the centuries, while later statements of doctrine remain consistent with earlier statements.
“relied on an extensive study of early Church Fathers in tracing the elaboration or development of doctrine which he argued was in some way implicitly present in the Divine Revelation in Sacred Scripture and Tradition which was present from the beginnings of the Church.” (Wikipedia)

Lent – Refresh Your Soul

From the Discourses against the Arians by Saint Athanasius, bishop (Oratio 2, 78. 81-82: PG 26, 311. 319)
We know the Father through creative and incarnate Wisdom

The only-begotten Son, the Wisdom of God, created the entire universe. Scripture says: You have made all things by your wisdom, and the earth is full of your creatures. Yet simply to be was not enough: God also wanted his creatures to be good. That is why he was pleased that his own wisdom should descend to their level and impress upon each of them singly and upon all of them together a certain resemblance to their Model. It would then be manifest that Gods creatures shared in his wisdom and that his works were worthy of him.

For as the word we speak is an image of the Word who is Gods Son, so also is the wisdom implanted in us an image of the Wisdom who is Gods Son. It gives us the ability to know and understand and so makes us capable of receiving him who is all-creative Wisdom, through whom we can come to know the Father. Whoever has the Son has the Father also, Scripture says, and Whoever receives me receives the One who sent me. And so, since this image of the Wisdom of God has been produced in us and in all creatures, the true and creative Wisdom rightly takes to himself what applies to his image and says: The Lord created me in his works.

But because the world was not wise enough to recognize God in his wisdom, as we have explained it, God determined to save those who believe by means of the foolish message that we preach. Not wishing to be known any longer, as in former times, through the mere image and shadow of his wisdom existing in creatures, he caused the true Wisdom himself to take flesh, to become man, and to suffer death on the cross so that all who believed in him might be saved by faith.

Yet this was the same Wisdom of God who had in the beginning revealed himself and his Father through himself by means of his image in creatures (which is why Wisdom to is said to be created). Later, as John declares, that Wisdom, who is also the Word, became flesh, and after destroying the power of death and saving our race, he revealed himself and his Father through himself with greater clarity. Grant, he prayed, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. So now the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of God, since it is one and the same thing to know the Father through the Son, and to know the Son who comes from the Father. The Father rejoices in his Son, and with the same joy the Son delights in the Father and says: I was his joy; every day I took delight in his presence.

Sent from my iPod

St. Athanasius – Bishop of Alexandria – Church Father

St. Athanasius is a favorite “all time tough guy” of Fr. Jeff Wharton.  Fr. Jeff comments that Athanasius lived in a time of errant teaching among priest and bishops and didn’t flinch in defending the Son as “homo-ousios” (meaning “of the same substance, or nature, or essence”) with the Father.  The term, itself, is one that grew out of the Council of Nicea to clarify the Church’s understanding of the Nature of Son as one with the Father. St Athanasius was to spend his life defending the full deity of Christ against emperors, magistrates, bishops, and theologians; James Kiefer explains that for this, he was regarded as a trouble-maker and banished from Alexandria a total of five times by various emperors. Hence the expression “Athanasius contra mundum,” or, “Athanasius against the world.”

James E. Kiefer writes of St. Athanasius:

Outside the pages of the New Testament itself, Athanasius is probably the man to whom we chiefly owe the preservation of the Christian faith. He was born around AD 298, and lived in Alexandria, Egypt, the chief center of learning of the Roman Empire.

In 313 the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which changed Christianity from a persecuted to an officially favored religion. About six years later, a presbyter (elder, priest) Arius of Alexandria began to teach concerning the Word of God (John 1:1) that “God begat him, and before he was begotten, he did not exist.” Athanasius was at that time a newly ordained deacon, secretary to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, and a member of his household. His reply to Arius was that the begetting, or uttering, of the Word by the Father is an eternal relation between Them, and not a temporal event. Arius was condemned by the bishops of Egypt (with the exceptions of Secundus of Ptolemais and Theonas of Marmorica), and went to Nicomedia, from which he wrote letters to bishops throughout the world, stating his position.

The Emperor Constantine undertook to resolve the dispute by calling a council of bishops from all over the Christian world. This council met in Nicea, just across the straits from what is now Istanbul, in the year 325, and consisted of 317 bishops. Athanasius accompanied his bishop to the council, and became recognized as a chief spokesman for the view that the Son was fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.

Those were tumultuous times, the bishops gathered by Constantine were men who lived through the persecutions of the time and bore the scars of living martyrdom in testimony to their faith. Can you imagine their meeting one another in one great hall after their years of torture, lonely exile and torment suffered for the defense of  the Faith?

Athanasius is the perfect model for our day.  As best I can remember, Fr. Wharton said, “So much is not right in this world.  Let it lead us to a zeal for the work and Word of God.”  We, too, can bring Truth to the fore with love, leaving off anger that distresses our balance and prayer, that the Holy Spirit may use us mightily, doing great things even in little ways.

Lenten Reading Plan – Apr 6

crucificionicon12Day35 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 4/6/09

St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 1-4

Day 35 Lite Version

St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (1-11)

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Timeless Treasures – Free

From Per Christum:

Summa Theologica (Aquinas)

Fathers, Historians, and Writers of the Church

Confessions of Saint Augustine

A History of the Catholic Church

History of the Roman Breviary

Apology of Socrates

Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of England

from Google Books

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 23 – Mar 23

crucificionicon12Day23 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/23/09

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 21-30

Day 23 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 17-25

Compilation of Lenten readings

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American Catholics Need to Get Real

Sorry, if this is too much Chaput for you, but the man/bishop has a message America and American Catholics need to hear.  I intend to follow his lead and spread the message.

“Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies.”

Offering a sober evaluation of the state of American Catholicism, he added:

“We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real. We can’t talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to God by claiming to ‘personally oppose’ some homicidal evil — but then allowing it to be legal at the same time.”

Commenting on society’s attitude towards Catholic beliefs, Archbishop Chaput said, “we have to make ourselves stupid to believe some of the things American Catholics are now expected to accept.”

“There’s nothing more empty-headed in a pluralist democracy than telling citizens to keep quiet about their beliefs. A healthy democracy requires exactly the opposite.”

America Historically Is Not A Secular State

More Archbishop Charles J. Chaput from his speech in Toronto.  He is speaking as an American, a Catholic and a bishop about “Rending Unto Casaer”

Excerpt from speech:

Here’s the second point, and it’s a place where the Canadian and American experiences may diverge. America is not a secular state. As historian Paul Johnson once said, America was “born Protestant.” It has uniquely and deeply religious roots. Obviously it has no established Church, and it has non-sectarian public institutions. It also has plenty of room for both believers and non-believers. But the United States was never intended to be a “secular” country in the radical modern sense. Nearly all the Founders were either Christian or at least religion-friendly. And all of our public institutions and all of our ideas about the human person are based in a religiously shaped vocabulary. So if we cut God out of our public life, we also cut the foundation out from under our national ideals.

Here’s the third point. We need to be very forceful in clarifying what the words in our political vocabulary really mean. Words are important because they shape our thinking, and our thinking drives our actions. When we subvert the meaning of words like “the common good” or “conscience” or “community” or “family,” we undermine the language that sustains our thinking about the law. Dishonest language leads to dishonest debate and bad laws.

Here’s an example. We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive. Real pluralism demands that people of strong beliefs will advance their convictions in the public square — peacefully, legally and respectfully, but energetically and without embarrassment. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the public conversation.

Here’s the fourth point. When Jesus tells the Pharisees and Herodians in the Gospel of Matthew (22:21) to “render unto the Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s,” he sets the framework for how we should think about religion and the state even today. Caesar does have rights. We owe civil authority our respect and appropriate obedience. But that obedience is limited by what belongs to God. Caesar is not God. Only God is God, and the state is subordinate and accountable to God for its treatment of human persons, all of whom were created by God. Our job as believers is to figure out what things belong to Caesar, and what things belong to God — and then put those things in right order in our own lives, and in our relations with others.

So having said all this, what does a book like “Render Unto Caesar” mean, in practice, for each of us as individual Catholics? It means that we each have a duty to study and grow in our faith, guided by the teaching of the Church. It also means that we have a duty to be politically engaged. Why? Because politics is the exercise of power, and the use of power always has moral content and human consequences.

Even more recent Chaput from the Anchoress



Lenten Reading Plan – Day 22 – Mar 21

crucificionicon12Day22 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/21/09

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 11-20

Day 22 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 10-16

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Day 21 – Mar 20

crucificionicon12Day21 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/20/09

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 1-10

Day 21 Lite Version

St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 1-9

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Day 20 – Mar 19

crucificionicon12Day20 Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/19/09

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 19-27

Day 20 Lite Version

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 19-21

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Day 19 – Mar 18

crucificionicon12Day19  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/18/09

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 10-18

Day 19 Lite Version

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 10-18

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Day 18 – Mar 17

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Day18  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/17/09

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): section 1-9

Day 18Lite Version

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): section 1-9

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Day 17 – Mar 16

son-of-justice1

"Sun Of Justice" ----- joann nelander

Day17  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/16/09

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: chapters 60-68

Day 17 Lite Version

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 61-68

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Lenten Reading Plan – Day 15 – Mar 13

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Crucifixion Icon ----- c 2009 Joann Nelander

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: chapters 36-47

Day 15 Lite Version

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology:46-53

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Fear of the Lord – St. Hilary

From the Office of the Day – St Hilary, Early Church Father & Doctor of the Church:


“Fear” is not to be taken in the sense that common usage gives it. Fear in this ordinary sense is the trepidation our weak humanity feels when it is afraid of suffering something it does not want to happen. We are afraid, or made afraid, because of a guilty conscience, the rights of someone more powerful, an attack from one who is stronger, sickness, encountering a wild beast, suffering evil in any form. This kind of fear is not taught: it happens because we are weak. We do not have to learn what we should fear: objects of fear bring their own terror with them.
From the Office of the Day – But of the fear of the Lord this is what is written: Come, my children, listen to me, I shall teach you the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord has then to be learned because it can be taught. It does not lie in terror, but in something that can be taught. It does not arise from the fearfulness of our nature; it has to be acquired by obedience to the commandments, by holiness of life and by knowledge of the truth.


For us the fear of God consists wholly in love, and perfect love of God brings our fear of him to its perfection. Our love for God is entrusted with its own responsibility: to observe his counsels, to obey his laws, to trust his promises.

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 14 – Mar 12

crucificionicon12Day 14  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/12/09

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: chapters 24-35

Day 14 Lite Version

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 38-45

Compilation of Lenten readings

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Bishops Speak Loudly for Christ -Clearly for the Church

Some thoughts apart from the daily news:

Bishops of the Church: focusing on their duty to lead the People of God.

A bishop is not just one voice among many, or even one important voice among others.  In his diocese, he is the unique leader of the Faithful.  For Christians, the bishop’s voice speaks with clarity for Christ. It is important to note that even a body of bishops serving the church such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) do not speak with the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese.

These are days of darkness and times of confusion. In our loud and intrusive culture, we listen to more voices than we can stand. Exhortations like “listen to your bishop” have long since faded in the background of our day to day struggle. For this reason,  we need the Church more than ever.  We need the Church to speak over and above the world. This is a time of vigilance and a time to choose sides.  Our fallen natures find it hard to submit to valid authority, but now is not the time for self-serving arrogance or pettiness.  We need our bishops and we need our bishops to speak and speak clearly.

The Fathers of the Church write:

St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians:

Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

It is reasonable for the future to be vigilant, and while we have yet time, to repent unto God. It is well to honor God and the bishop; he who honors the bishop, is honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, serves the devil.

These days are so troubling and leadership so wanting that I make so bold as to suggest that those of other Christian persuasions would do well in days yet to come to give Peter, the Bishop of Rome, an ear.  Beyond our failures, beyond our broken unity, beyond prejudice is Christ breathing His Spirit upon His Apostles, upon His Church, upon His Body.

Bishops, Unity, Church, and Vigilance

Who wants to separate us from our bishops?

Reading the Church Fathers for Lent has been eye opening in the light of present day attacks on the Church, such as the State of Connecticut attempt hitting the wires here and here.

The battle plan against the Church is evermore visible above the horizon, although it has been on the rise for a long time out of sight and mind of many.  Divide and conquer! No big surprise.  I think we feel all too safe having our Constitution to protect us.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
— The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Archbishop Chaput writes in response to the Connecticut attack:

“But prejudice against the Catholic Church has a long pedigree in the United States. And rarely has belligerence toward the Church been so perfectly and nakedly captured as in Connecticut’s pending Senate Bill 1098, which, in the words of Hartford’s Archbishop Henry Mansell, ‘directly attacks the Roman Catholic Church and our Faith.’”

“In effect, SB 1098 would give the state of Connecticut the power to forcibly reorganize the internal civil life of the Catholic community. This is bad public policy in every sense: imprudent; unjust; dismissive of First Amendment concerns, and contemptuous of the right of the Catholic Church to be who she is as a public entity,” the archbishop criticized.

I want to focus on the role of the bishop in the Church.  He is not just one voice among many.  For Christians, he is the voice speaking with clarity for Christ.  In our loud and intrusive culture, we listen to the voice speaking loudest in our heads, and exhortations like “listen to your bishop” have long since faded in the background of our day to day struggle.  Time to refocus!  Time to be vigilant!  Our fallen natures find it hard to submit to valid authority, but now is not the time for pettiness or self-serving arrogance.  We need our bishops and our bishops need to speak and speak clearly.

The Fathers say:

St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians:

Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.

As therefore the Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to Him, neither by Himself nor by the apostles, so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters. Neither endeavor that anything appear reasonable and proper to yourselves apart; but being come together into the same place, let there be one prayer, one supplication, one mind, one hope, in love and in joy undefiled. There is one Jesus Christ, than whom nothing is more excellent. Do ye therefore all run together as into one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ, who came forth from one Father, and is with and has gone to one.

Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans:

It is reasonable for the future to be vigilant, and while we have yet time, to repent unto God. It is well to honor God and the bishop; he who honors the bishop, is honored of God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, serves the devil.

Note for our Christian brothers and sisters outside the Roman Church:

Responding to the Connecticut Bill, Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut writes:

“We need as big a turnout as possible for the public hearing on Wednesday, especially from non-Catholics. As Ben Franklin told the Founders while they were signing the Declaration of Independence, “either we hang together or we will all hang separately.” Legislators need to understand that this bill is an attack on everyone’s religious liberty.”

If the legislature can replace a bishop with a board of laymen in the Catholic Church, they can just as easily replace the governing lay structure of Congregationalist or Baptist churches with someone set up as a bishop. In fact, it was resistance to such government interference in the internal life of the church that gave birth to several of our most historic denominations. Thanks to this awful bill, our generation must now rise up to defend those hard-fought victories for religious liberty that were won for us by our ancestors.

The Anchoress waiting on the Remnant writes:

The Remnant is much deeper than any movement, and it will surface on its own – full of surprising and surprised people – in due time, when it must, and that may be soon, but neither you nor I know the day or hour. The thing about remnants is that they identify themselves after a carpet has been laid or a robe has been cut, not before.

Remnants do not stop a construct from happening…they survive it.

Exhaustive list of Catholic bishops condemning voting for pro-aborts here.

From the Anchoress UPDATE: “Well, a reprieve of sorts. Seems
“The bill is dead for the rest of the legislative session. As soon as word spread about the bill, the Legislative Office Building was flooded with telephone calls and e-mails on Monday. The bill, virtually overnight, became the hottest issue at the state Capitol.”
. (H/T Ace) That’s good. But it’s still on the way – next year, year after that, because as Ed Morrissey writes: They’re embarrassed, but they still haven’t learned why.”

“This battle is going to happen. Bank on it.”

Marana, tha

Maran atha


Lenten Reading Plan – Day 13 – Mar 11

crucificionicon12Day 13  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/11/09

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: chapters 12-23

Day 13 Lite Version

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 30-37

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 12 – Mar 10

crucificionicon12Day 12  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/10/09

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology-Chapters 1-11

Day 12 Lite Version

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 22-29

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 11 – Mar 9

crucificionicon12Day 11  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/9/09

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter To the Polycarp: complete

Day 11 Lite Version

St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 15 – 21

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 4 – Feb 28

crucificionicon12Day4  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 2/28/09

Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians: complete

Day 3 Lite Version

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter to the Ephesians: 8-14

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Notes from the Fathers

From Epistle to Diognetus – chapter 6

To sum up all in one word–what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible.

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 18 – Mar 17

crucificionicon12Day18  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/17/09

St. Cyprian on the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): Secs. 1-9


Day 18 Lite Version

St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 1-9

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF