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A Word from the Holy Fathers

A Word from the Holy Fathers
St. John Chrysostom on the Charity of Fasting

Episode date: October 11, 2013
Transcript published: May 13, 2014

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Brothers and sisters, today a few brief words on fasting from our holy father among the saints, John Chrysostom. These are timely topics to be addressing today: fasting and asceticism. As in the new week, or in fact, later this week, those who follow the old calendar of the Orthodox Church will begin the fast leading to the Nativity of Christ. And for those who follow the new calendar, this fast is already underway. So, whichever calendar one follows by the blessing of one’s bishop, the fast is upon or nearly upon us.

But what is fasting? In the Orthodox Church, we fast regularly. Every week of the year, with few exceptions, have…

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A Word from the Holy Fathers

A Word from the Holy Fathers
“God Is There, Where the Understanding Does Not Reach”

Episode date: July 19, 2013
Transcript published: May 13, 2014

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Not so many weeks ago, we focused in these broadcasts on a passage from The Life of Moses by our Father among the Saints, Gregory of Nyssa.

For those who were listening, you may remember we looked at his text from the second part of that tract on emulating the fortuitous birth of Moses, himself, and how St. Gregory was able to describe Moses’ birth as a thing we are to echo through our choices—the giving birth that happens to our new selves with every choice we make in our life.

Well this week, I would like to return for a few moments to that important text, The Life of Moses. And I would like to…

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A Word from the Holy Fathers

A Word from the Holy Fathers
St. John of Sinai on Sorrow that Produces Joy

Episode date: April 12, 2013
Transcript published: May 13, 2014

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What is this mystery in me? What is the meaning of this blending of body and soul? How am I constituted a friend and a foe to myself? Tell me, tell me, my yoke-fellow, my nature, for I shall not ask anyone else in order to learn about you. How am I to remain unwounded by you? How can I avoid the danger of my nature for I have already made a vow to Christ to wage war against you? How am I to overcome your tyranny for I am resolved to be your master?

This, from the 15th step of St. John’s Ladder. On the fourth Sunday of Great Lent, the Church commemorates our Holy Father John of Sinai, most often know as…

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A Word from the Holy Fathers

A Word from the Holy Fathers
The “Wonderful and Confessedly Striking” Christian Manner of Life

Episode date: May 31, 2013
Transcript published: May 13, 2014

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For our reflection this week I would like to offer up for your consideration a passage from an anonymous letter dating to the early second century or just possibly, the late first. It is a passage that has become well known in its own right on account of its singular beauty and the power of its testimony. The author of the text is unknown though often he is given the name Mathetes this, in fact, simply means “disciple” or “student,” and we know the text simply as The Letter to Diognetus. It is found in the collections of the Apostolic Fathers, from whom we have been recently reading here.

The…

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A Word from the Holy Fathers

A Word from the Holy Fathers
Rising in Repentance

Episode date: March 01, 2009
Transcript published: May 13, 2014

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In this season of the Great Fast, it is good for us to seek out those Fathers whose writings stir the heart to true and genuine repentance, which is the very focus of our work and mission during this preparation for Holy Pascha. In this light, I would like to offer in this broadcast two passages on genuine repentance: one of St. John of Karpathos, writing in perhaps the seventh century, and the other from St. Ambrose of Milan, writing from Christian Africa in the fourth. Each Father, I think, offers us a useful insight into the nature of real repentance as well as practical guidance on how we can work to bring it about in our own lives.


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