Church Fathers

Pope Francis reminds me of the Church Fathers

Pope Francis’ homilies remind me of the Church Fathers, such as St Basil, St Gregory the Great, and St John Chrysostom. Firstly, I think they all keep the good news as Jesus gave it to us, in its gratuitousness and its total demands. In today’s homily, the Pope called God a “loving and demanding Father”, and I think that captures a great deal. With all of the theological controversies of the past two millenia, sometimes it seems like orthodoxy is a balancing act (a Liberal Democrats sort of religion), when actually it’s more of a wild dance of extremities. And secondly, they are all happy to take creative liberties with interpreting Scripture. The stories in the scriptures are not taken as dead objects, but as part of a conversation with God, and so they continuously open up in new and unexpected ways. They allow God Himself to elaborate. A small example is last week, Francis said the lamps of the ten virgins is faith, and the oil is charity.

I especially recommend reading the Pope’s homily for today, which is what prompted me to think this. It’s powerful stuff.

If only more would preach this way.

God bless you

St. Ignatius of Antioch

Here’s a link to the letters of St Ignatius of Antioch. Today (just about) is his feast day. St Ignatius is my confirmation saint, and was bishop of Antioch until he was martyred in 107AD. Some say he was one of the little children Jesus blessed. He wrote his seven letters on his way to martyrdom in Rome, and I strongly recommend them.

St. Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us!
God bless you