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A Word from the Holy Fathers

A Word from the Holy Fathers Archived podcasts are no longer updated. Reflections on Orthodoxy in its Patristic and Monastic Heritage

Start date: December 2008 98 episodes

Ancient Faith Radio, together with Monachos.net and the Sts. Cyril & Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies, presents “A Word From the Holy Fathers” with Archimandrite Irenei. This podcast provides a weekly reflection on the writings of the Church Fathers, their significance, and their insights for the life Orthodox Christians in every age.

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Episodes

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Date Title & Description Duration        
Jan 10, 2014

Glory to God Who Has Shown Himself to Us: St. Ephrem and St. John on the Nativity

In a broadcast for the Feast of the Nativity According to the Flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ, we reflect on two hymns of St. Ephrem the Syrian and a portion of a homily by St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco on the glory of the night of Christ’s full revelation.

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14:12
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Nov 22, 2013

Remembering the Mother of God: St. Cyril on the Theotokos and the Incarnation

In this season of Christ’s incarnate coming in the flesh, we take a moment to reflect, through the words of St. Cyril of Alexandria, on the role of the Virgin Theotokos in the nativity of the true God, Jesus Christ.

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12:17
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Nov 15, 2013

The Coming of the Lord - St. Leo the Great

Archimandrite Irenei examines a sermon by St. Leo of Rome, normally read in the season of Pascha, yet which sheds great light on the coming of the Lord, and the pastoral message to be gleaned from the intense theological disputes about Christ’s natures that raged in the early Church.

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13:03
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Nov 08, 2013

St. Nicholas Cabasilas on the Assurance of the True Body and Blood

In every age, there is the temptation to doubt the Mysteries of the Church—to question how it is that the faithful should remain secure in believing that Christ makes Himself truly present in Body and Blood at the Holy Table. In this week’s episode, Archimandrite Irenei examines an extended text by Nicholas Cabasilas on the substance of our faith in the Mystical Supper.

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12:18
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Oct 25, 2013

Abba Poemen the Great: On Softening the Hardest of Hearts

In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei examines three sayings by Abba Poemen ("The Shepherd") of Egypt on the means by which the hardest heart can be softened by the Lord.

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14:21 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-10-25.mp3
Oct 18, 2013

St. John the Dwarf: A Life of All the Virtues

What has a man whose obedience once caused a barren stick to blossom forth a tree in the desert to tell us today about the life of virtue? Is it possible for man today to partake of all the virtues? In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei examines two sayings of Fr. John the Short of Egypt on the accessibility of all the virtues through the foundation of the love of neighbor.

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11:40
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Oct 11, 2013

St. John Chrysostom on the Charity of Fasting

In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei offers a reflection on a selection of sayings of St John Chrysostom on the pastoral nature of fasting as an act of charity. In what sense does our fast minister to our neighbor?

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12:54 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-10-11.mp3
Oct 04, 2013

St John of the Ladder on Seeking a Suitable Way of Life

St. John of the Ladder, whom we normally read during Great Lent, is a Father who offers practical guidance to Christian life of every moment. In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei explores a series of passages from Step 1 of St John’s Ladder to Paradise, on the specific issue of the universal calling of the Christian life, coupled with the need for each person to seek out a suitable way of life for the spiritual struggle to be exercised.

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12:21
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Sep 27, 2013

St. Cyprian on Cain, Abel, and True Self-Sacrifice

What are we to make of the Genesis account of Cain and Abel? In this broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei examines a portion of St Cyprian of Carthage’s treatise on the Lord’s prayer that shows forth Abel as the first martyr, the example of true self-sacrifice. And it is a lesson with a practical aim: the quenching of anger and hatred, and the discovery of a life offered more wholly to God.

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15:42 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-09-27.mp3
Sep 20, 2013

Defeating the Slavery of “Bad Habits”

Among the greatest struggles in the Christian life are the "little things"—the day-to-day "bad habits" by which we continually fall, and which seem to trap us in our sin. Is there a way out? In this week’s episode, Archimandrite Irenei examines the Fathers on sin as habits, how these habits enslave us—and most importantly, how we can overcome our shackles and progress toward the Kingdom.

13:51 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-09-19.mp3
Sep 13, 2013

The Contours of Christian Love

Can one call oneself a Christian without love? And what is the nature of the love we are called to show our neighbors? In this week’s episode, Archimandrite Irenei examines four patristic passages on love, and asks the question: What is it about Christian love that makes it unique in the world?

15:25 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-09-13.mp3
Sep 06, 2013

From the Bone of Adam: St. Irenaeus on the Creation of Eve

The Genesis account of Eve being created from the rib of Adam has, throughout history, often been interpreted in negative ways. In this week’s broadcast, through a brief text by St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Archimandrite Irenei examines a patristic vision of this creation grounding the true intimacy and mutual responsibility of the human community, male and female as ‘helpers’ of one another in the work of salvation.

15:19 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-09-06.mp3
Aug 30, 2013

Back to Forgiveness

We look again at the theme of forgiveness in the writings of the Fathers - with an eye particularly toward practical injunctions on forgiveness and the relationship of repentance, forgiveness, and redemption in quotations from a variety of patristic sources. Archimandrite Irenei also introduces the Patristic Quotations Topical Index.

19:39
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Jul 19, 2013

“God Is There, Where the Understanding Does Not Reach”

In this episode, Archimandrite Irenei returns to the Life of Moses by St Gregory of Nyssa, and examines a key passage in which the Saint compares the ascent of spiritual life to Moses’s ascent of Mt. Sinai. What does it mean to ascend into "darkness," to converse with God "where the understanding does not reach"? And how does Moses’s example reveal the way in which all the Fathers and Saints draw the whole Christian family into deeper communion with God?

15:49 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-07-19.mp3
Jul 12, 2013

St. John Chrysostom: Practical Guidance on Dealing with Others

St. John Chrysostom’s preaching is filled with practical advice on living a Christian life in the world, and in this broadcast we look at four sayings in which he addresses commonplace issues in the Christian’s dealings with others: combating envy, overcoming offence, learning to conquer anger with love, and living in unity to the glory of God.

16:36
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Jul 05, 2013

St. Nicholas Cabasilas on the Trisagion Hymn

In this episode, Archimandrite Irenei explores the commentary on the "Holy God..." by the 14th-century Byzantine lay theologian, St Nicholas Cabasilas. What is the significance of this ancient hymn of glorification of the Trinity? This episode features portions of recordings of the hymn by St Anthony’s Monastery, the Monastery of St John the Wonderworker, the Stretennia Men’s Chorus, and St Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary.

13:26
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Jun 28, 2013

St. Gregory of Nyssa on Emulating the Fortuitous Birth of Moses

In the first sections of the second book of his Life of Moses, St. Gregory of Nyssa instructs that Christians are to "emulate the fortuitous birth of Moses"—but how can this be done? Is not birth outside the realm of a person’s control? In examining the manner in which St. Gregory exposes "birth" as the constant making of choices by the free human creature, we discover the rich manner in which the saint finds spiritual significance in the historical moments of Scripture.

18:49
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Jun 20, 2013

The Heritage of St. Paul in Orthodox Spirituality - Part 2

This week we broadcast the second half of our lecture on the heritage of St Paul in Orthodoxy, given recently in Manchester, UK, to a largely non-Orthodox audience. In this portion, Archimandrite Irenei focuses on St. Paul’s injunction to "pray without ceasing," and explores the manner in which this is lived out in the Prayer of the Heart and experiential life of Orthodox Christianity throughout history.

27:26
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Jun 14, 2013

The Heritage of St. Paul in Orthodox Spirituality - Part 1

In this first half of a lecture recorded live in commemoration of the "Pauline Year," celebrating 2,000 years since the birth of the Apostle, Archimandrite Irenei explores the heritage of the great missionary saint in Orthodoxy. Drawing connections to Elder Joseph the Hesychast of Mount Athos, St Symeon the New Theologian, and other great figures of the Orthodox tradition, this first portion of the lecture addresses questions of conversion and relationship, and how St Paul’s example is at the heart of living Orthodox Tradition.

37:20
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May 31, 2013

The “Wonderful and Confessedly Striking” Christian Manner of Life

Examining a passage from the anonymous second-century Epistle to Diognetus, Archimandrite Irenei explores the witness borne by the early Christian community and asks: does it reflect our Christian testimony today?

13:56 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-05-31.mp3
May 24, 2013

St. Anthony of Egypt on Sobriety of the Heart

Turning once again to the testimony of St Anthony the Great, this week’s broadcast examines an incident in the great Father’s life in which the true heights of sobriety of heart are witnessed. Might this feed us in our own moments of struggle in the spiritual life?

12:54
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May 17, 2013

St. Clement of Rome on Living a God-Pleasing Life

Are there practical measures at hand to help the Christian turn from the passions and live a God-pleasing life? In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei examines a brief passage by St Clement on practical steps toward living in holiness.

13:07
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May 10, 2013

Singing Hymns at the Open Tomb

In this broadcast, Fr Matthew looks at the "Evlogitaria" and Psalm 118, and considers the Church's moving reflection on the Myrrh-bearing women discovering the empty tomb. If you enjoy the music that is part of this episode, please consider supporting the choir by purchasing a copy of their newest CD, Chrysostom, by clicking here.

23:18
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May 06, 2013

The Fathers on Holy Pascha

Celebrating the Holy Resurrection of Christ, our broadcast this Bright Monday looks at the writings of various Holy Fathers on the bright feast of Pascha and its meaning to Christian life.

12:32
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Apr 26, 2013

Abba Dorotheos on the Sunday of Palms

In this broadcast—recorded "on the road"—we examine a brief word by Abba Dorotheos of Gaza on the spiritual symbolism of Christ's entry into Jerusalem.

11:47
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Apr 19, 2013

St. Mary of Egypt and the Grace of the Holy Mysteries

During this week of Great Lent, wherein the Church reads the Life of St. Mary of Egypt, we explore a section of that text which reveals the relationship between "mystical theology" in ascetical life, to the grace of the Holy Mysteries in the Church. We are prompted to ask ourselves: Do I lose sight of the chalice in my desire to find Christ?

21:53
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Apr 12, 2013

St. John of Sinai on Sorrow that Produces Joy

In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei examines several sections from St John’s Ladder to Paradise, read throughout Great Lent and particularly remembered in this Fifth Week, dealing especially with the paradoxes of spiritual life and the mystery of a "joy-creating sorrow."

13:01 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-04-12.mp3
Apr 05, 2013

St. Symeon the New Theologian on the “Impossible Beauty” of the Life in Christ

In this fourth week of the Great Fast, when the Church commemorates the universal adoration of the precious Cross, our broadcast looks at an important passage by St Symeon the New Theologian, on being joined to the suffering Christ and so attaining the "impossible beauty" of His glory. We ask with the saint: how shall we approach such glory?

28:31
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Mar 16, 2013

Rising in Repentance

This week, Archimandrite Irenei explores two passages - one by St. John of Karpathos and the other by St. Ambrose of Milan - on the nature of the continual falling down and rising up of repentance, examining the question: How is the Christian person to respond to continual failings in his attempts to live a holy life?

17:32 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-03-16.mp3
Mar 09, 2013

Shall We Forgive? The Fathers on Forgiveness as the Gateway to Salvation

This week, in anticipation of Forgiveness Sunday, Archimandrite Irenei explores a series of patristic texts that deal with the imperative of forgiveness, and the need to forgive as the gateway into the life offered by Christ in the Church.

14:43 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2013-03-08.mp3
Mar 01, 2013

All to No Purpose Have I Left My True Home

The second of the pre-Lenten Sundays draws our attention to the Prodigal Son and his departure—and return—to his father’s house. In this week’s episode, Archimandrite Irenei examines the Fathers’ testimony to this event, found in the Church’s hymns, and examines the nature of sin as exile in every Christian’s life.

15:23
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Feb 23, 2013

Not Like Other Men . . .

As the pre-Lenten weeks of the Triodion begin, this week’s broadcast explores the themes of the Fathers’ liturgical heritage, taking from the Church’s hymnography the vivid imagery of the Publican and the Pharisee. How do we, ourselves, speak when we stand before God in prayer—and how ought this Sunday cause us to change?

14:34
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Feb 15, 2013

St. Irenaeus: The Church Which Has Been Handed Down to Us

Father Irenei examines two passages from St. Irenaeus of Lyons, which speak of receiving the truth of "the Church that has been handed down to us" from the Holy Apostles, and in which right belief is found without adulteration or error.

11:14
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Feb 08, 2013

The Father who Seeth in Secret Shall Reward Thee Openly

St. John Chrysostom’s 19th homily on St. Matthew’s Gospel account addresses Christ’s promise of open rewards for secret acts—but what does this mean? In this broadcast, we explore the words of St. John on secret acts of virtue being shown forth "in the presence of the whole universe."

11:01
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Feb 01, 2013

Repentance: The Daughter of Hope

In this week’s episode, Archimandrite Irenei explores St. John of the Ladder’s beautiful testimony of repentance as "the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair." What is the nature of such repentance, and how does it raise up the Christian to "a sure resurrection"?

13:43
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Jan 11, 2013

In the Clash of Destructive Errors, the Truth of the Church Stands Revealed

Focusing on a text by St. Hilary of Poitiers, Fr. Irenei explores the Saint’s conviction that the multitude of heresies and errors surrounding us in the world are not to be feared or to become a cause for despair, for through their very error the Truth of Christ is revealed all the more in the Church.

14:28
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Jan 04, 2013

St. John Chrysostom on the Wonder of the Nativity, Part 2

In the second part of his reflection on St. John Chrysostom’s famed Nativity Homily, Fr. Irenei examines the concluding segments of the sermon, in which the Saint draws our hearts into the experience of the One who brought joy into the midst of the earth.

10:28
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Dec 28, 2012

St. John Chrysostom on the Wonder of the Nativity, Part 1

Beginning a two-part reflection on the famous Nativity Homily of St. John Chrysostom, this week Archimandrite Irenei examines sections of this most-exalted sermon that deal with the unexpected wonder of our salvation, wrought of the spotless offering of the Virgin.

13:51
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Dec 21, 2012

St Mark the Ascetic: Taking Up the Cross With Joy

This week, Archimandrite Irenei examines a text by St. Mark the Ascetic in which the Christian is enjoined to "give himself entirely to the Cross," undergoing "with joy" the abasement that it brings. Do we live our lives in this way? Can we claim to be what St. Mark terms "true Christians"?

12:39 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2012-12-21.mp3
Nov 23, 2012

The Sacrifice of Human Freedom

Taking up a passage from the writings of St. Theophan the Recluse, Archimandrite Irenei examines the nature of human freedom, not as a thing good in itself, but which is to be sacrificed as a perfect offering to God.

13:11
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Nov 15, 2012

Do You Truly Believe in the Resurrection of Christ?

In this week’s broadcast, Fr. Irenei examines a text by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, which prompts the Christian to ask the question, "Do I truly believe in Christ’s resurrection?" If so, how does this belief shape the actual decisions and determinations of our lives?

11:35
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Nov 08, 2012

St John of Sinai: “Let Us Charge Into the Fight With Joy and Love”

Drawn from a remarkable passage from St. John of the Ladder, Archimandrite Irenei examines the crippling effect of spiritual fear on the life of the Christian, and draws from the saint’s guidance the help towards overcoming it with a trustful love in the power of God.

11:08
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Nov 01, 2012

From the Angel to St. Anthony: “Do This, and You Will Be Saved”

This week’s broadcast focuses on an episode from the Life of St. Anthony the Great, in which the saint, seeking solace in his spiritual struggles, receives an angelic testimony to the way of salvation. Has this message something to teach the Christian struggling in the world today?

13:14 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2012-11-02.mp3
Oct 26, 2012

What We Receive is Not our Own: A Testimony of St Macarius the Great

In a remarkable text by St. Macarius, the Christian is told that if he sees an arrogant man perform miracles, "even raise the dead," he should not follow. This week, Fr. Irenei explores what this message means for the Orthodox Christian, and how the good works of God are to be stored up secretly in the loving Christian heart.

12:22
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Oct 12, 2012

St John Chrysostom on the Many Blessings of Calling God Father

In this week’s broadcast, Archimandrite Irenei considers Homily 19 on St. Matthew’s Gospel by St. John Chrysostom, exploring the richness of what calling God "our Father" means for our relationship both to Him and to one another as brethren.

13:48
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Oct 05, 2012

Did You Not Know That You Stood, Speaking to Him?

Drawn from one of the sayings of the Desert Fathers relating to the life of Abba Ammon, this week’s episode focuses on the question of our attentiveness to God, in the Divine Services as well as in our whole life. Where is our mind—where our heart? Do we not know that we stand in His presence, speaking to Him?

15:00
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Sep 28, 2012

The River of Jordan Streaming from my Eyes

This week, Fr. Irenei reflects on one of the "Steps" from St John Klimakos’s Ladder to Paradise, in which the saint considers the life of the Christian and the judgement of others. Have we begun to live the life of repentance? Or does our judgement of our neighbor reveal that we have yet to grasp the true nature of our sin, and make a true beginning of abandoning it in Christ?

15:57 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2012-09-28.mp3
Sep 21, 2012

A Friend of God, a Brother and Son of Christ

Beginning the second series of "A Word From the Holy Fathers," Archimandrite Irenei calls upon the spiritual homilies of St. Makarios the Great, reflecting on the saint’s profound question, "Do you wish to be a friend of God, and a brother and son of Christ?" What does it mean to be God’s "friend," and how should this affect how we see ourselves—and what God requires of us—as Orthodox Christians?

17:43 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2012-09-21.mp3
Jan 11, 2010

The Wonder of the Incarnation - St. Gregory the Theologian

We conclude the first series of A Word From the Holy Fathers with this fiftieth episode, in which Fr. Matthew examines a poignant reflection on "the wonder of the Incarnation" by St. Gregory of Nazianzus. The broadcast concludes with a small announcement about the conclusion of this series, and advance notice of its return with a new series in a month's time.

9:24 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2010-01-11.mp3
Jan 04, 2010

Glory to God Who Has Shown Himself to Us: St. Ephrem and St. John on the Nativity

In a broadcast for the Feast of the Nativity According to the Flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ, we reflect on two hymns of St. Ephrem the Syrian and a portion of a homily by St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco on the glory of the night of Christ's full revelation.

13:46
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Dec 28, 2009

Remembering the Mother of God: St. Cyril on the Theotokos and the Incarnation

In this season of Christ's incarnate coming in the flesh, we take a moment to reflect, through the words of St. Cyril of Alexandria, on the role of the Virgin Theotokos in the nativity of the true God, Jesus Christ.

11:52
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Dec 21, 2009

The Coming of the Lord - St. Leo the Great

Fr. Matthew examines a sermon by St. Leo of Rome, normally read in the season of Pascha, yet which sheds great light on the coming of the Lord, and the pastoral message to be gleaned from the intense theological disputes about Christ's natures that raged in the early Church.

12:39
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Dec 14, 2009

St. Nicholas Cabasilas on the Assurance of the True Body and Blood

In every age, there is the temptation to doubt the Mysteries of the Church—to question how it is that the faithful should remain secure in believing that Christ makes Himself truly present in Body and Blood at the Holy Table. In this week' episode, Fr. Matthew examines an extended text by Nicholas Cabasilas on the substance of our faith in the Mystical Supper.

11:42
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Dec 07, 2009

Abba Poemen the Great: On Softening the Hardest of Hearts

In this week's broadcast, Fr. Dcn. Matthew examines three sayings by Abba Poemen ("The Shepherd") of Egypt on the means by which the hardest heart can be softened by the Lord.

13:42 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-12-7.mp3
Dec 02, 2009

St. John the Dwarf: A Life of All the Virtues

What has a man whose obedience once caused a barren stick to blossom forth a tree in the desert to tell us today about the life of virtue? Is it possible for man today to partake of all the virtues? In this week’s broadcast, Fr. Matthew examines two sayings of Fr. John the Short of Egypt on the accessibility of all the virtues through the foundation of the love of neighbor.

11:04
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Nov 23, 2009

St. John Chrysostom on the Charity of Fasting

In this week's broadcast, Fr. Dcn. Matthew offers a reflection on a selection of sayings of St John Chrysostom on the pastoral nature of fasting as an act of charity. In what sense does our fast minister to our neighbor?

12:19 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download WHF_2009-11-23.mp3
Nov 09, 2009

St John of the Ladder on Seeking a Suitable Way of Life

St John of the Ladder, whom we normally read during Great Lent, is a Father who offers practical guidance to Christian life of every moment. In this week's broadcast, Fr Dcn Matthew explores a series of passages from Step 1 of St John's Ladder to Paradise, on the specific issue of the universal calling of the Christian life, coupled with the need for each person to seek out a suitable way of life for the spiritual struggle to be exercised.

11:57
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Nov 02, 2009

St. Cyprian on Cain, Abel, and True Self-Sacrifice

What are we to make of the Genesis account of Cain and Abel? In this broadcast, Fr. Matthew examines a portion of St Cyprian of Carthage's Treatise on the Lord's Prayer that shows forth Abel as the first martyr, the example of true self-sacrifice. And it is a lesson with a practical aim: the quenching of anger and hatred, and the discovery of a life offered more wholly to God.

15:04
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Oct 26, 2009

Defeating the Slavery of “Bad Habits”

Among the greatest struggles in the Christian life are the "little things"—the day-to-day "bad habits" by which we continually fall, and which seem to trap us in our sin. Is there a way out? In this week's episode, Fr. Dcn. Matthew examines the Fathers on sin as habits, how these habits enslave us—and most importantly, how we can overcome our shackles and progress toward the Kingdom.

13:18
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Oct 19, 2009

The Contours of Christian Love

Can one call oneself a Christian without love? And what is the nature of the love we are called to show our neighbors? In this week's episode, Fr Matthew examines four patristic passages on love, and asks the question: What is it about Christian love that makes it unique in the world?

15:26 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-10-19.mp3
Oct 12, 2009

From the Bone of Adam: St. Irenaeus on the Creation of Eve

The Genesis account of Eve being created from the rib of Adam has, throughout history, often been interpreted in negative ways. In this week's broadcast, through a brief text by St Irenaeus of Lyons, Fr. Dcn. Matthew examines a patristic vision of this creation grounding the true intimacy and mutual responsibility of the human community, male and female as "helpers" of one another in the work of salvation.

14:54 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-10-12.mp3
Oct 05, 2009

Back to Forgiveness

As A Word From the Holy Fathers resumes after a summer hiatus, we look again at the theme of forgiveness in the writings of the Fathers - with an eye particularly toward practical injunctions on forgiveness and the relationship of repentance, forgiveness, and redemption in quotations from a variety of patristic sources. Fr Matthew also introduces the Patristic Quotations Topical Index.

19:32
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Aug 09, 2009

“God Is There, Where the Understanding Does Not Reach”

In this episode, Fr. Matthew returns to the Life of Moses by St Gregory of Nyssa, and examines a key passage in which the Saint compares the ascent of spiritual life to Moses's ascent of Mt. Sinai. What does it mean to ascend into "darkness," to converse with God "where the understanding does not reach"? And how does Moses's example reveal the way in which all the Fathers and Saints draw the whole Christian family into deeper communion with God?

15:22 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-08-10.mp3
Aug 02, 2009

St. John Chrysostom: Practical Guidance on Dealing with Others

St. John Chrysostom's preaching is filled with practical advice on living a Christian life in the world, and in this broadcast we look at four sayings in which he addresses commonplace issues in the Christian's dealings with others: combating envy, overcoming offence, learning to conquer anger with love, and living in unity to the glory of God.

16:10
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Jul 26, 2009

St. Nicholas Cabasilas on the Trisagion Hymn

In this episode, Fr. Dcn. Matthew explores the commentary on the "Holy God..." by the 14th-century Byzantine lay theologian, St Nicholas Cabasilas. What is the significance of this ancient hymn of glorification of the Trinity? This episode features portions of recordings of the hymn by St Anthony's Monastery, the Monastery of St John the Wonderworker, the Stretennia Men's Chorus, and St Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary.

13:03
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Jul 19, 2009

St. Gregory of Nyssa on Emulating the Fortuitous Birth of Moses

In the first sections of the second book of his Life of Moses, St. Gregory of Nyssa instructs that Christians are to "emulate the fortuitous birth of Moses"—but how can this be done? Is not birth outside the realm of a person's control? In examining the manner in which St. Gregory exposes "birth" as the constant making of choices by the free human creature, we discover the rich manner in which the saint finds spiritual significance in the historical moments of Scripture.

18:20
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Jul 12, 2009

St. Cyprian on the Community of the Lord’s Prayer

What is implied in the "our" of the "Our Father"? In this week's episode, Fr. Matthew examines two passages from St Cyprian's treatise on the Lord's Prayer, which focus on questions of unity and community in the Son of God. Do we live this communion in our own life of prayer?

12:12
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Jul 05, 2009

The Heritage of St. Paul in Orthodox Spirituality - Part 2

Special extended-length broadcast (26 min.): part 2 of 2.

This week we broadcast the second half of our lecture on the heritage of St Paul in Orthodoxy, given recently in Manchester, UK, to a largely non-Orthodox audience. In this portion, Fr Matthew focuses on St. Paul's injunction to "pray without ceasing," and explores the manner in which this is lived out in the Prayer of the Heart and experiential life of Orthodox Christianity throughout history.

27:00
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Jun 28, 2009

The Heritage of St. Paul in Orthodox Spirituality - Part 1

Special extended-length broadcast; part 1 of 2.

In this first half of a lecture recorded live in commemoration of the "Pauline Year," celebrating 2,000 years since the birth of the Apostle, Fr. Dcn. Matthew explores the heritage of the great missionary saint in Orthodoxy. Drawing connections to Elder Joseph the Hesychast of Mount Athos, St Symeon the New Theologian, and other great figures of the Orthodox tradition, this first portion of the lecture addresses questions of conversion and relationship, and how St Paul's example is at the heart of living Orthodox Tradition.

37:42
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Jun 14, 2009

St. Basil the Great on Moses’s Words: “Be Attentive to Yourself” - Part 3

In the final of our three-part series on St Basil's reflection on Moses's words, Fr Matthew explores the saint's culmination on the theme: Can we come to know not only ourselves, but also God and the whole of His creation, through adhering to Moses's command?

14:26
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Jun 07, 2009

St. Basil the Great on Moses’s Words: Be Attentive to Yourself - Part 2

Has our attentiveness to the things around us, rather than to our true selves, caused us to debase the body and forget the soul? In the second of our three-part series on St Basil's great homily, Fr Dcn Matthew examines the saint's insistence on the Christian's need to know himself truly and fully.

9:57
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May 31, 2009

St. Basil the Great on Moses’s Words: Be Attentive to Yourself - Part 1

In the first of a three-part series on St Basil's Homily on the words "Be attentive to yourself," Fr. Matthew examines the way in which this great Cappadocian Father reveals the depth of meaning behind the short command from Deuteronomy. What has attentiveness to one's self to teach us about the different types of sin we are prone to commit, and the ways they can be prevented?

13:36
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May 24, 2009

St. Niketas on the Practice of Orthodox Music

What might Orthodox singers in the 21st century learn from a Father of the 4th? In this broadcast, which includes portions taken from a recent retreat, Professor Dmitri Conomos reads a passage from the little-known St Niketas of Remissiana, which speaks with a startling "modern" voice on the question of how to sing in an Orthodox manner in the divine services.

13:21
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May 19, 2009

The “Wonderful and Confessedly Striking” Christian Manner of Life

Examining a passage from the anonymous second-century Epistle to Diognetus, Fr Matthew explores the witness borne by the early Christian community and asks: does it reflect our Christian testimony today?

13:29 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-05-19.mp3
May 10, 2009

St. Anthony of Egypt on Sobriety of the Heart

Turning once again to the testimony of St Anthony the Great, this week's broadcast examines an incident in the great Father's life in which the true heights of sobriety of heart are witnessed. Might this feed us in our own moments of struggle in the spiritual life?

12:05
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May 03, 2009

St. Clement of Rome on Living a God-Pleasing Life

Are there practical measures at hand to help the Christian turn from the passions and live a God-pleasing life? In this week's broadcast, Fr. Dcn. Matthew examines a brief passage by St Clement on practical steps toward living in holiness.

12:40
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Apr 26, 2009

Singing Hymns at the Open Tomb

In this broadcast, Fr Matthew looks at the "Evlogitaria" and Psalm 118, and considers the Church's moving reflection on the Myrrh-bearing women discovering the empty tomb. If you enjoy the music that is part of this episode, please consider supporting the choir by purchasing a copy of their newest CD, Chrysostom, by clicking here.

22:39
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Apr 19, 2009

The Fathers on Holy Pascha

Celebrating the holy Resurrection of Christ, our broadcast this Bright Monday looks at the writings of various Holy Fathers on the bright feast of Pascha, and its meaning to Christian life.

12:06
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Apr 12, 2009

Abba Dorotheos on the Sunday of Palms

In this broadcast—recorded "on the road"—we examine a brief word by Abba Dorotheos of Gaza on the spiritual symbolism of Christ's entry into Jerusalem.

11:18
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Apr 05, 2009

St. Mary of Egypt and the Grace of the Holy Mysteries

During this week of Great Lent, wherein the Church reads the Life of St. Mary of Egypt, we explore a section of that text which reveals the relationship between "mystical theology" in ascetical life, to the grace of the Holy Mysteries in the Church. We are prompted to ask ourselves: Do I lose sight of the chalice in my desire to find Christ?

21:24
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Mar 29, 2009

St. John of Sinai on Sorrow that Produces Joy

In this week's broadcast, Fr Matthew examines several sections from St John's Ladder to Paradise, read throughout Great Lent and particularly remembered in this Fifth Week, dealing especially with the paradoxes of spiritual life and the mystery of a "joy-creating sorrow."

12:30 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-03-27.mp3
Mar 22, 2009

St. Symeon the New Theologian on the “Impossible Beauty” of the Life in Christ

In this fourth week of the Great Fast, when the Church commemorates the universal adoration of the precious Cross, our broadcast looks at an important passage by St Symeon the New Theologian, on being joined to the suffering Christ and so attaining the"impossible beauty" of His glory. We ask with the saint: how shall we approach such glory?

28:04
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Mar 15, 2009

St. Gregory Palamas on Icons as Tools for the Heart

The New Testament Decalogue of St Gregory Palamas - who is commemorated during this third week in Great Lent - contains precious testimony to the use of icons in prayer, and the manner in which they bring the heart into a new relationship of love. In our broadcast this week, Fr. Dcn. Matthew explores St Gregory's words, and the pastoral dimension of the Church's iconic tradition.

16:01
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Mar 08, 2009

St. Anthony the Great: Humility as the Gateway to Theology

"To understand doctrine, one must live a holy life." In our broadcast this week, we look at two passages by St Anthony of Egypt on the relationship of Christian living, to the right understanding of Christian teaching.

11:06
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Mar 01, 2009

Rising in Repentance

This week, Fr Matthew explores two passages - one by St John of Karpathos, and the other by St Ambrose of Milan - on the nature of the continual falling down and rising up of repentance, examining the question: how is the Christian person to respond to continual failings in his attempts to live a holy life?

17:04 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-02-27.mp3
Feb 22, 2009

Shall We Forgive? The Fathers on Forgiveness as the Gateway to Salvation

This week, in anticipation of Forgiveness Sunday, Fr. Dcn. Matthew explores a series of patristic texts that deal with the imperative of forgiveness, and the need to forgive as the gateway into the life offered by Christ in the Church.

14:17 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-02-19.mp3
Feb 11, 2009

St. Hesychius on Illumination

According to St. Hesychius, Christ responds to our own, individualized state of growth or development, though we are all given the same strength that was granted to the saints.

14:40
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Feb 08, 2009

St. Macarius the Great on Dying to the World

St. Macarius the Great, a founding figure of monasticism, teaches us that one of the surest paths to salvation is the development of a mindset similar to those of the already deceased. Are you prepared to completely die to the world?

13:04
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Feb 02, 2009

St Mark the Monk on Living the Life of the Cross

This week, Fr Matthew reflects on a writing by St Mark the Monk which shows the true Christian life as one united to the Cross, living in self-abasement and humility to the world, finding in this humiliation the glory of the resurrection.

11:22
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Jan 25, 2009

If You Would, You Could Become All Flame

Three "Sayings from the Desert Fathers," two by Abba Elias and one by Abba Joseph, reveal the way of freedom in the spiritual life, and the truly transfiguring nature of authentic prayer.

14:34 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-01-26.mp3
Jan 18, 2009

St Isaac of Syria on the Approach to Spiritual Wisdom

How does one attain spiritual wisdom? This week offers reflections grounded in the sayings of St Isaac of Syria, on wisdom approached through humility, prayer in the scriptures, and love of neighbor.

12:09
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Jan 11, 2009

A Forest Climb for St Athanasius and the Three Monks

Recorded during a forest walk, this week's broadcast considers a traditional saying regarding St. Athanasius' encounter with three monks on an island, and the relationship between doctrine and transfiguration.

16:31 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2009-01-12.mp3
Jan 04, 2009

The Feast of the Incarnation: The Fathers on the Nativity of Christ

In our broadcast for the Feast of the Nativity, we hear the words of the Fathers and the liturgical hymns of the Church on the mystery that brings the Son humanly into the world for the life and redemption of His creature.

15:01
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Dec 28, 2008

The Theological Poetry of St. Gregory the Theologian

Reflections on the poems of St Gregory of Nazianzus, including his poems for morning and evening, of sin and of redemption; with a comparison to the hopeful proclamation of the funeral songs of the Church.

14:18
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Dec 21, 2008

St Athanasius: “What was God to do?”

Why did God become man? This week's reflection explores St Athanasius's consideration of the Son's incarnation as a response to his probing refrain, in the face of man's sin: "What was God to do?"

13:22 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2008-12-22.mp3
Dec 14, 2008

Creation and Sacrifice in St Symeon the New Theologian

Fr Dcn Matthew explores the homilies of St Symeon on man and creation, and in particular the way in which the Christian response to ecological concerns resides in the theology of sacrifice and the participation in divine Communion - including brief remarks from a recent talk by Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia.

20:50
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Dec 07, 2008

St Jacob of Serug: The Theotokos and the Archangel

This week, we consider the testimony of St Jacob on the dialogue between the Mother of God and the Archangel Gabriel, as he draws a parallel and contrast to the dialogue between Eve and the serpent in Eden.

18:44
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Dec 01, 2008

St Irenaeus on a Christ “of every age”

Beginning a new series of broadcasts reflecting on the writings of the Church Fathers, this opening segment explores St Irenaeus of Lyons' famous consideration of Christ "passing through every age" of human life.

13:31 Transcript Available Direct link (play in browser) Play in Popup Download whf_2008-12-01.mp3