Monday, April 27, 2015

St. Francis Bulletin Covers: How to get lay folk to read the Fathers

I would say that St. Francisfolk are more exposed to the writings of the Fathers than any other parish I know. In our Adult Christian Education we have recently studied St. Augustine's Confessions, the ascetical theology of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Teresa of Avila on the Our Father, St. Thomas Aquinas on the Three Theological Virtues. But not everyone is able or inclined to attend the Adult Class. So I try every Sunday to put a quotation from the Fathers related to the readings on the bulletin cover. Here are a few recent examples:

 am not, more learned or more holy than that eunuch who traveled to the temple from Ethiopia, that is, from the end of the earth: he left the royal palace and such was his desire for divine knowledge that he was even reading the sacred words in his chariot. And yet he did not realize whom he was venerating in that book without knowing it. Philip comes along, he reveals to him Jesus hidden and as it were imprisoned in the text, and in that very moment he believes, is baptized, is faithful and holy.  I tell you this to show you that, unless you have a guide who goes ahead of you show you the way, you cannot enter the holy Scriptures” – St. Jerome

t may be granted that the doctrine of the Cross is not on the surface of the world. The surface of things is bright only, and the Cross is sorrowful; it is a hidden doctrine; it lies under a veil; it at first sight startles us, and we are tempted to revolt from it. Like St. Peter, we cry out, 'Be it far from Thee, Lord; this shall not be unto Thee.'!  And yet it is a true doctrine; for truth is not on the surface of things, but in the depths. – Blessed John Henry Newman


 am the good shepherd. I know my own - by which I mean, I love them - and my own know me. In plain words: those who love me are willing to follow me, for anyone who does not love the truth has not yet come to know it. Ask yourselves whether you belong to his flock, whether you know him, whether the light of his truth shines in your minds. I assure you that it is not by faith that you will come to know him, but by love; not by mere conviction, but by action. John the evangelist is my authority for this statement. He tells us that anyone who claims to know God without keeping his commandments is a liar. –St. Gregory the Great


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