St John of Damascus: Do You Remember the Just with Praise?

Feast of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God

Dormition_Square_2.jpegTHE JUST are remembered with praise,” says the wise Solomon (Prov. 10:7). “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints,” proclaims God’s ancestor David (Ps. 115:6 LXX). If, then, all the just are remembered with praise, who will not give praise to the source of justice, the treasury of holiness – not in order to... Continue Reading

St Anselm: Are You Restraining the Ambition to Explain?

Feast of the Holy Father Niphonus, Patriarch of Constantinople

Anselm_Square_3.jpegOF ALL THE things that can be said of something, could any be appropriate to the substance of so wonderful a nature as this? This is the question to ask as carefully as possible at this point. I would be surprised if we could find anything from among the nouns and verbs which we apply to things created from nothing that... Continue Reading

St Anselm: Do You Love the Lord's Commandments and Carry Them Out Readily?

Feast of St Emelian the Confessor

Anselm_Square.jpgALMIGHTY GOD, merciful Father, and my good Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner. Grant me forgiveness of my sins. Make me guard against and overcome all snares, temptations, and harmful pleasures.

May I shun utterly in word and deed, whatever You command. Let me believe and hope, love and live, according to Your purpose and Your will.

Give me heart-piercing goodness and humility;... Continue Reading

Anonymous: Do You Describe the Savior as One Who Compels or Persuades?

Feast of St Salome the Holy Myrhbearer

Saints_Square_3.jpegIT IS NO earthly discovery that was committed to the Christians, nor some mortal idea that they consider to be worth guarding so carefully, nor have they been entrusted with the administration of merely human mysteries. On the contrary, the omnipotent Creator of all, the invisible God Himself, established among humans the truth and the holy, incomprehensible word from heaven and fixed it... Continue Reading

Anonymous: Do You Live on Earth as if Your Citizenship Is in Heaven?

Feast of Joseph the Righteous of Arimathea

Saints_Square_2.jpegCHRISTIANS ARE not distinguished from the rest of humanity by country, language, or custom. For nowhere do they live in cities of their own, nor do they speak some unusual dialect, nor do they practice an eccentric way of life. This teaching of theirs has not been discovered by the thought and reflection of ingenious people, nor do they promote any human doctrine,... Continue Reading

Fr Georges Florovsky: Do You Realize You Are a Historical Being Who Can Either Create or Destroy?

Feast of St Panteleimon the Great Martyr & Healer and St Nicholas of Novgorod the Fool-for-Christ

Florovsky_Square_6.jpgTHE ULTIMATE purpose of a historical inquiry is not in the establishment of certain objective facts, such as dates, places, numbers, names, and the like, as much as all this is an indispensable preliminary, but in the encounter with living beings. No doubt, objective facts must be first carefully established, verified and confirmed, but... Continue Reading

Fr Georges Florovsky: Did You Realize You Have an Intrinsic Duty to Study History?

Feast of St Christina the Great Martyr of Tyre and of St Athenagoras the Apologist

Florovsky_Square_10.jpegCHRISTIANITY is a religion of historians” (cf. Mark Bloch, The Historian’s Craft). It is a strong phrase, but the statement is correct. Christianity is basically a vigorous appeal to history, a witness of faith to certain particular events in the past, to certain particular data of history. These events are acknowledged by faith as truly... Continue Reading

Christopher Dawson: Do You Know Why We Date History B.C. and A.D.?

Feast of Sts John and Symeon the Holy Fool for Christ

Dawson_Square_3.jpegIT IS VERY difficult, perhaps even impossible, to explain the Christian view of history to a non-Christian, since it is necessary to accept the Christian faith in order to understand the Christian view of history, and those who reject the idea of a divine revelation are necessarily obliged to reject the Christian view of history as well. And even... Continue Reading

Christopher Dawson: Is Your Theology of History Based on Historic Christianity?

Feast of St Macrina the Righteous, Sister of St Basil the Great

Dawson_Square_2.jpegTHE PROBLEM of the relations of Christianity to History has been very much complicated and, I think, obscured by the influence of nineteenth-century philosophy. Almost all the great idealist philosophers of that century, like Fichte and Schelling and Hegel, constructed elaborate philosophies of history which had a very considerable influence on the historians, especially in Germany, and on... Continue Reading

Fr Romano Guardini: Do You See the Words of the Old Testament Shimmering with Jesus the Messiah?

Feast of the Holy Great Martyr Marina (Margaret)

Guardini_Square_2.jpegON PENTECOST faith was born, and with it Christian existence. Consciousness of a life grounded in Christ, its beginning and end, opened people’s eyes. The Christians looked about them, reviewing the past, not only that of individuals but in the collective form of human history; they recognized themselves as part of that history and claimed it for their own.

The history of... Continue Reading

Fr Jean Daniélou: Did You Know You Are Still Living in Sacred History?

Feast of St. Aquila the Apostle Among the 70

Danielou_Square_3.jpegST AUGUSTINE says that sacred history continues usque ad praesentia tempora [up to the present time]. This is a point of importance. Sacred history is not restricted to the contents of the Bible, but is still going on: we are living in sacred history. God still accomplishes His mighty works, in the conversion and sanctification of souls. The particular significance of... Continue Reading

Fr Jean Daniélou: Did You Know the Goal of Progress is Christianity?

Feast of St. Paisios the Athonite

Danielou_Square_2.jpgCHRISTIANITY is not only progress, but itself the goal of progress. The Christian outlook on history is eschatological; the idea of an end, escaton, is of capital importance in the system, from three distinct points of view. First, history is not conceived as an indefinite progress, but as finite in scope; it is a determinate, circumscribed design, called by the Fathers of the Church... Continue Reading

Fr Jean Danielou: Did You Know Mankind Is Saved with No Possibility of Relapse?

Feast of the 45 Holy Martyrs of Nikopolis

Danielou_Square_1.jpgTHE BIBLE is a record of the evidence for certain events, certain historical works of God: as, the covenant with Abraham, the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Pentecost. Consequently the Christian outlook is primarily determined by a series of divine operations, tracing a distinct line of development: each of these events marks a new stage in the actualization of God’s... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Dialogist: Do You Trust in the Bountiful Goodness of God?

Feast of St Willibald, Bishop of Eichstatt

Gregory_Great_Square.jpgDURING a time of famine the severe shortage of food was causing a great deal of suffering in Campania. At Benedict’s monastery the entire grain supply had been used up and nearly all the bread was gone as well. In fact, when mealtime came, only five loaves could be found to set before the community. Noticing how downcast they were, the saint gently... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Dialogist: Have You Destroyed Your Idols?

Feast of St Athanasius of Mt Athos

St_Gregory_the_Great_Square_4.jpegTHE FORTIFIED town of Cassino lies at the foot of a towering mountain that shelters it within its slope and stretches upward over a distance of nearly three miles. On its summit stood a very old temple, in which the ignorant country people still worshiped Apollo as their pagan ancestors had done, and went on offering superstitious and idolatrous sacrifices in groves dedicated... Continue Reading

St Gregory the Dialogist: Are You Too Busy to Look into Your Own Soul?

Feast of St Hyacinth the Martyr of Caesarea

Gregory_the_Great_Square_5.jpegGREGORY: At length, proving once again that the very life of the just is a burden to the wicked, they [the monks] tried to find a means of doing away with him [St. Benedict of Nursia] and decided to poison his wine. A glass pitcher containing the poisoned drink was presented to the man of God during his meal for the customary... Continue Reading

St Ignatius Brianchaninov: Do You Know Christ's Voice?

Synaxis of the Twelve Holy Apostles

Brianchaninov_Square_1.jpegIF ANYONE serves Me, let him follow Me,” said the Lord. Every Christian, through the oaths given at holy baptism, takes upon himself the responsibility of being a slave and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every Christian absolutely must follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Having called Himself the shepherd of the sheep, the Lord said that “the sheep hear his voice, and the... Continue Reading

Fr Georges Florovsky: What Is the Authority of the Church Fathers?

Feast of the Righteous Fathers Sergius and Herman, Founders of Valaam Monastery

Florovsky_Square_3.jpgDEAR FATHER [Dobbie Bateman], [...] My remark on the preference for “settled problems”, in the article on Old Russia, was not just a casual remark. This preference is still the major predicament of modern man. It is so conspicuous in the theological field. Just yesterday the question was put to me, in my Patristic seminar, by one of... Continue Reading

Fr Georges Florovsky: Have You Acquired the Gifts of the Spirit in the Name of Christ?

Feast of David the Righteous of Thessalonika

Florovsky_Square.jpgDEAR FATHER [Dobbie Bateman], Thank you so much for your letter and for the paper enclosed. The paper is excellent. Its first merit is in that it proceeds inductively, from the concrete cases or episodes. Then the conclusion imposes. I think you are right about Motovilov. In any case, the Conversation should not be regarded as a closed unit. It does not say... Continue Reading

Tertullian: Do You Listen Diligently to Our Lord?

Feast of St Agrippina the Martyr of Rome

Tertullian_Square_4.jpegIF WE SEE all servants of probity and right feeling shaping their conduct suitably to the disposition of their lord; if, that is, the art of deserving favor is obedience, while the rule of obedience is a compliant subjection: how much more does it behoove us to be found with a character in accordance with our Lord, – servants as we... Continue Reading