Wisdom of the Church

From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop

He who perseveres to the end will be saved

Whenever we suffer some affliction, we should regard it both as a punishment and as a correction. Our holy Scriptures themselves do not promise us peace, security and rest. On the contrary, the Gospel makes no secret of the troubles and temptations that await us, but it also says that he who perseveres to the end will be saved. What good has there ever been in this life since the time when the first man received the just sentence of death and the curse from which Christ our Lord has delivered us?

So we must not grumble, my brothers, for as the Apostle says: Some of them murmured and were destroyed by serpents. Is there any affliction now endured by mankind that was not endured by our fathers before us? What sufferings of ours even bear comparison with what we know of their sufferings? And yet you hear people complaining about this present day and age because things were so much better in former times. I wonder what would happen if they could be taken back to the days of their ancestors–would we not still hear them complaining? You may think past ages were good, but it is only because you are not living in them.

It amazes me that you who have now been freed from the curse, who have believed in the son of God, who have been instructed in the holy Scriptures–that you can think the days of Adam were good. And your ancestors bore the curse of Adam, of that Adam to whom the words were addressed: With sweat on your brow you shall eat your bread; you shall till the earth from which you were taken, and it will yield you thorns and thistles. This is what he deserved and what he had to suffer; this is the punishment meted out to him by the just judgment of God. How then can you think that past ages were better than your own? From the time of that first Adam to the time of his descendants today, man’s lot has been labor and sweat, thorns and thistles. Have we forgotten the flood and the calamitous times of famine and war whose history has been recorded precisely in order to keep us from complaining to God on account of our own times? Just think what those past ages were like! Is there one of us who does not shudder to hear or read of them? Far from justifying complaints about our own time, they teach us how much we have to be thankful for.

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 5- Mar 2

crucificionicon12Day5  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 3/2/09

St Ignatius of Antoch: Letter to the Ephesians: complete

Day 5 Lite Version

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter to the Ephesians:15-21

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Lenten Reading Plan – Day 4 – Feb 28

crucificionicon12Day4  Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan 2/28/09

Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians: complete

Day 3 Lite Version

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter to the Ephesians: 8-14

Compilation of Lenten readings

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF

Notes from the Fathers

From Epistle to Diognetus – chapter 6

To sum up all in one word–what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible.

Lent Links

Lent is more than reading but reading can set the stage.

My own recommendation is Left To Tell, Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza.

Linking for Lent:

Fr.Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmacp:

The Word of God in the Life of Christ

The Spiritual Reading of the Bible

Happy Catholic: Julie’s Lenten Reading

The Anchoress:  Lenten Reading Suggestions

The Deacon’s Bench: Ash Wednesday Homily

Lenten Plan – Day 1 – Ash Wednesday

iconpieta4

Day 1 Lenten Reading Plan here.

The Lite version of the Plan

Compiled by Church Year. Net

2009 Date Day in Lenten Fast Lite Reading
2/25 1 Epistle to Diognetus: 1-6
2/26 2 Epistle to Diognetus: 7-12
2/27 3 St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter To the Ephesians: 1-7
2/28 4 St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter to the Ephesians: 8-14
3/2 5 St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter To the Ephesians: 15-21
3/3 6 St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter To the Magnesians: 1-5
3/4 7 St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter To the Magnesians: 6-10
3/5 8 St. Ignatius of Antioch: Letter To the Magnesians: 11-15
3/6 9 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 1-7
3/7 10 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 8-14
3/9 11 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 15-21
3/10 12 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 22-29
3/11 13 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 30-37
3/12 14 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 38-45
3/13 15 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 46-53
3/14 16 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 54-60
3/16 17 St. Justin Martyr: First Apology: 61-68
3/17 18 St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 1-9
3/18 19 St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 10-18
3/19 20 St. Cyprian: On the Unity of the Church (Treatise I): 19-21
3/20 21 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 1-9
3/21 22 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 10-16
3/23 23 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 17-25
3/24 24 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 26-33
3/25 25 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 34-41
3/26 26 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 42-49
3/27 27 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 50-58
3/28 28 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 59-66
3/30 29 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 67-73
3/31 30 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 74-81
4/1 31 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 82-89
4/2 32 St. Athanasius: Life of Anthony: 90-94
4/3 33 St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XX
4/4 34 St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXII
4/6 35 St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (1-11)
4/7 36 St. Cyril of Jerusalem: Catechetical Lectures: Lecture XXIII (12-23)
4/8 37 St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 1-4
4/9 38 St. Ambrose of Milan: Concerning the Mysteries: 5-9
4/10 39 St. Leo the Great: Sermon XLIX (On Lent XI): complete
4/11 40 St. Leo the Great: Sermon LXXII (On the Lord’s Resurrection): complete

Compilation of Lenten readings.

Printer-Friendly Version of Outline: Church Fathers Lenten Reading Plan PDF