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

Tertullian: Did You Know Patience Is God's Nature?

Feast of the Holy Martyr Julian

Tertullian_square_3.jpegTHIS SPECIES of the divine patience indeed being, as it were, at a distance, may perhaps be esteemed as among “things too high for us;” but what is that which, in a certain way, has been grasped by hand among men openly on the earth? God suffers Himself to be conceived in a mother’s womb, and awaits the time for birth; and, when born,... Continue Reading

Tertullian: Do You Persistently Plead for the Health of Patience?

Feast of the Holy Martyr Zosima

Tertullian_square_2.jpegI FULLY confess unto the Lord God that it has been rash enough, if not even impudent, in me to have dared compose a treatise on Patience, for practicing which I am all unfit, being a man of no goodness; whereas it were becoming that such as have addressed themselves to the demonstration and commendation of some particular thing, should themselves first be conspicuous... Continue Reading

Vladimir Lossky: Is the Mystery of Pentecost as Important to You as the Mystery of Redemption?

Feast of the 40 Martyrs of Rome

Lossky_Square_2.jpegTHE MYSTERY of our redemption leads up to what the Fathers call the recapitulation of our nature by Christ and in Christ. This is the Christological foundation of the Church, which expresses itself above all in the sacramental life, with its quality of absolute objectivity. But if we wish to safeguard another aspect of the Church, which has a quality of subjectivity no... Continue Reading

St Basil: What Do You Mean by the Name Heresy?

Feast of the Holy Prophet Elisha

EVEN A fool, it is said, when he asks questions, is counted wise. But when a wise man asks questions, he makes even a fool wise. And this, thank God, is my case, as often as I receive a letter from your industrious self. For we become more learned and wiser than we were before, merely by asking questions, because we are taught many things which we did not know; and our... Continue Reading

St Anselm: Do You Glory in the Cross?

Feast of St Onuphrius of Egypt

Anselm_Square_2.jpegHOLY CROSS, which calls to mind the cross whereon our Lord Jesus Christ died, to bring us back form that eternal death to which our misery was leading us, to the eternal life we had lost by sinning.

I adore, I venerate, and I glory in that cross which you represent to us, and by that cross I adore our merciful Lord and what... Continue Reading

St Vincent of Lerins: Are You Fortifying Your Faith by Both the Divine Law and the Church's Tradition?

Feast of the Removal of the Relics of St Theodore the Commander

Vincent_of_Lerins_Square_2.jpegI HAVE often inquired earnestly and attentively of very many men eminent for sanctity and learning, how and by what sure and so to speak universal rule I may be able to distinguish the truth of Christian faith from the falsehood of heretical depravity; and I have always, and in almost every instance, received an answer to this... Continue Reading

St Justin Martyr: Are You Reading the Prophets with the Proper Faith?

Feast of Pentecost

Justin_Martyr_Square_4.jpeg“IF PLATO and Pythagoras,” I asked, “do not know the truth, what teacher or method shall one follow?”

“A long time ago,” the venerable old man replied, “long before the time of those so-called philosophers, there lived blessed men who were just and loved by God, men who spoke through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and predicted events that would take place in the future, which... Continue Reading

St Justin Martyr: Are You a Lover of Words or of Deeds and of Truth?

Feast of St Justin the Martyr and Philosopher

Justin_Martyr_Square_3.jpegAS I WAS in this frame of mind and desired absolute solitude devoid of human distractions, I used to take myself to a certain spot not far from the sea. One day, as I approached that place with the intention of being alone, a respectable old man, of meek and venerable appearance, followed me at a short distance. I stopped, turned quickly,... Continue Reading