Author: Father James Thornton
In this homiliary, Father James Thornton introduces fifty-two of the greatest Fathers of the Orthodox Church. And rightly are these men venerated as Church Fathers, for, as Father James demonstrates, they are the very embodiment of Orthodox Christianity as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church: they are one, in that together they preserved the unique truth of Christianity with a consensus indicative of “the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16); they are holy, in that they led exemplary lives of virtue, synergistically participating in the deifying Energies of God; they are catholic, in that each in his own time and place manifested the totality of Orthodoxy in its therapeutic wholeness; and they are Apostolic, in that they were the historical successors to and the spiritual continuators of the life of discipleship into which the Lord initiated His first followers. Eschewing the dry language of history and the recondite language of theology alike, Father James opts to present his subjects in the pious language of hagiography. He thus renders the Church Fathers immediately accessible to all, challenging us to ask ourselves about them, in our own spiritual lives: “Seest thou how faith wrought with...[their]...works, and by works was faith made perfect?” (St. James 2:22).
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