Spiritual Warfare, the Passions and the Commemoration of the Beheading of John the Baptist

In addition to Holy Scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers, the liturgical texts of the Church offer the faithful a feast of wise teachings about the need to watch over one’s thoughts and the consequences of failing to do so. For example, yesterday we commemorated the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.   In the odes of the canon in honor of the forerunner and chanted during Matins, the faithful discover precious truths about spiritual warfare, the passions, the virtues, and the constant need for spiritual vigilance. Before delving into the topic of this blog post, it may be … [Read more...]

Counsel for Daily Training in the Virtues at Home

As teachers of the Christian faith and way of life, the fathers were well aware of basic pedagogical principles such as the necessity to practice learned material consistently in order to apply it in real-life situations.  Christian virtue, like every other art, requires daily practice and the support of others. The faithful are encouraged to study throughout the day whatever they gather from the texts of the liturgical services, from sermons given by priests, or from the advice of spiritual fathers in confession. According to Saint John Chrysostom, it is fitting for the faithful to form study … [Read more...]