Note that neither Origen nor Augustine nor Jerome was writing for tenure or to impress an academic audience

Quote of the Day for Saturday, October 1st, 2011: Fr. Robert Barron, from the Introduction to his book, Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master (Crossroad, 1996), on the pastoral character of pre-Scholastic theology: [P]rior to 1300, that is, from the earliest centuries of the church up until the time of Thomas Aquinas, there was no significant split between theology (talk about God) and spirituality. many of the significant spiritual masters of the patristic period – Origen, Augustine, pseudo-Dionysius, Ambrose – were what we would call theologians. All of the...

We have the duty and joy of sharing in this prayer whenever possible

Quote of the Day for Sunday, May 29th, 2011: Taken from the website of an Anglican priest in New Zealand, Bosco Peters, on the proper place of the Liturgy of the Hours in the prayer life of the life of the Christian believer: Many who pray the Daily Office have a personal Rule of Life, or even an expectation or vows that require that regular discipline. These can often end up feeling guilty when a particular Hour has not been prayed by them. Some, in fact, will then try to "catch up" what they have missed – even gluing a number of Hours ...

Through obedience, we become who we really are

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, April 26th, 2011: David Mills, from an On the Square post over at First Things, from an interesting, if somewhat bizarrely sensationalist, reflection on the moral significance of being true to the self: No one objects to being told to live like Jesus. But to live the way St. Paul says to live, or the way the Catechism of the Catholic Church says to live, that we dislike. Being chaste, or giving alms, or stifling our desire for profit, or going to confession, or watching our language, or suffering a fool gladly, that rankles...

I’m going to kill you! HA HA HA!

I find the readings for the Mass of the 5th Sunday of Lent to be among the most exhilarating collections of readings for the Mass, with its recurring promises of resurrection culminating in the Gospel story of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the tomb. I reflected quite a bit on them over the weekend of the 5th Sunday, and during the following week, I came across what I guess is by now a well-traveled “sermon jam” drawn from recordings of Ravi Zacharias, which asks what, for Christians, should perhaps be considered the fundamental question that aris...

Christ reigns by unfolding Himself in men

Quote of the Day for Monday, January 31st, 2011: A. G. Sertillanges, from his venerable book The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods: Christianized humanity is made up of various personalities, no one of which can refuse to function without impoverishing the group and without depriving the eternal Christ of a part of his Kingdom. Christ reigns by unfolding Himself in men. Every life of one of His members is a characteristic moment of His duration; every individual man and Christian is an instance, incommunicable, unique, and therefore nec...

We have children because love overflows

Quote of the Day for Sunday, January 30th, 2011: Timothy Dalrymple, writing at Patheos.com, on Why We Have Children: At the thought of fathering a daughter, waves of joy rolled through me. I loved my little girl long before I met her. I read her stories in the womb, sang to her, prayed for her. It wouldn’t matter what she looked like or what her personality was. She was mine—mine to nurture and protect, mine to train and guide, and mine to love with all my might. We have children because love overflows. I believe as a Christian that I am created i...

God Did Not Make Us to Remain Within the Limits of Nature

Quote of the Day for January 2nd, 2011: Henri De Lubac, writing on the nature of the Church, in The Splendor of the Church, p. 237 in the 1999 Ignatius edition: God did not make us “to remain within the limits of nature” or for the fulfilling of a solitary destiny; on the contrary, he made us to be brought together into the heart of the life of the Trinity. Christ offered himself in sacrifice so that we might be one in that unity of the divine Persons (Jn 17:19-23). That is to be the “recapitulation”, “regeneration”, and “consummation” of all things, an...

O Emmanuel

“O Emmanuel, king and lawgiver, desire of the nations, Savior of all people, come and set us free, Lord our God.” (O Antiphon for Dec 23rd) The sequence of antiphons this week culminates today in what is one of the most outrageous claims ever made. I was reading someone not too long ago who was speaking of the dangers that have historically been encountered whenever believers try to shift the focus of Christianity from the Passion/Resurrection to the Incarnation. Though the details escape me at this point, I recall it being a compelling read. But the t...

O Rex Gentium

“O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.” (O Antiphon for Dec 22nd) Of all the titles of Christ given in these antiphons, I find the notion expressed in today’s antiphon the most difficult to see my way clear to. The others all seem to allow a kind of "religious" perspective to them – “light” and “wisdom” and other even more abstract ideas. I don’t mean by that to contrast the obvious political character of the idea ...

O Oriens

“O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” (O Antiphon for Dec 21st) Ironic, isn’t it?, that the antiphon for the Winter Solstice calls upon Christ as the Light of Dawn, or Rising Sun, or Dayspring from On High! Like all the antiphons of this octave, it recalls an Isaiahan Messianic prophecy: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shown.” (9:1 in NAB – 9:2 in most versions). All the bells and w...

O Clavis David

“O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of Heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead your captive people into freedom.” (O Antiphon for Dec. 20th) The antiphon today focuses on the authority of Christ: The Holy One, the True One, the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens Revelation 3:7 (HCSB) No small part of a genuine faith in Christ must be the hope that His authority is real and actual. ...

O Radix Jesse

“O Flower of Jesse’s stem, you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in your presence; the nations bow down in worship before you. Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.” (O Antiphon for Dec. 19th)   The idea of the "root of Jesse" in Scripture is an interesting one, with a meaning that seems a bit fluid. The natural meaning of "root" is, unsurprisingly, a source or foundation. But as imagery, it also beckons to new growth coming forth from a devastated stump – as if that which grow...