John Henry Newman: What Is a University?

Feast of the Consecration of the Church of the Holy Resurrection

Newman_Square_4.jpegA UNIVERSITY is a place of concourse, whither students come from every quarter for every kind of knowledge. You cannot have the best of every kind everywhere; you must go to some great city or emporium for it. There you have all the choicest productions of nature and art all together, which you find each in its own separate... Continue Reading

John Henry Newman: Have You Been Catechized by a Living Voice?

Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos

Newman_square_2.jpegRELIGIOUS teaching itself affords us an illustration of our subject to a certain point. It does not indeed seat itself merely in centers of the world; this is impossible from the nature of the case. It is intended for the many not the few; its subject matter is truth necessary for us, not truth recondite and rare; but it concurs in the principle... Continue Reading

John Henry Newman: How Valuable Are Books without a Living Teacher?

Feast of the Holy Martyr Calodote

Newman_Square.jpegMUTUAL EDUCATION, in a large sense of the word, is one of the great and incessant occupations of human society, carried on partly with set purpose, and partly not. One generation forms another; and the existing generation is ever acting and reacting upon itself in the persons of its individual members. Now, in this process, books, I need scarcely say, that is, the litera... Continue Reading

St Symeon: Do You Do Works Greater than Our Master?

Feast of St Symeon the Stylite

Symeon_Stylite_Square_2.jpegON ANOTHER occasion I saw a noteworthy miracle. Someone came in – he too was a tribal leader of the Arabs – and begged the divine person [St Symeon the Stylite] to help a man who on the road had become paralyzed in the limbs of his body. He said the man had suffered the disease at Callinicum, an important citadel. When he had... Continue Reading

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