But for the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind toMessage 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2009View SourceBut for the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, so far as human nature can, the truth concerning God the Word. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the Saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life. Anyone who wants to look at sunlight naturally wipes his eye clear first, in order to make, at any rate, some approximation to the purity of that on which he looks; and a person wishing to see a city or country goes to the place in order to do so. Similarly, anyone who wishes to understand the mind of the sacred writers must first cleanse his own life, and approach the Saints by copying their deeds. Thus united to them in the fellowship of life, he will both understand the things revealed to them by God and, thenceforth escaping the peril that threatens sinners in the judgment, will receive thatwhich is laid up for the Saints in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word of God, § 57)
Looking to know more about the Fathers of the Church, understand their significance, and see what you can learn from them? Then, Beginning to Read the Fathers written by Boniface Ramsey, is an excellent book for you!
Beginning to Read the Fathers is an introduction to the Church's earliest writers, preachers and theologians. The book does not restrict itself to such topics as Christology and ecclesiology, but includes other areas, like martyrdom and prayer, which were highly important in shaping the mind and heart of the early Church.
The material in this book is arranged thematically and follows a natural progression. Each chapter attempts to give a real taste of the subject in question by providing numerous selections from the writings of the Fathers; some of them classic statements and some relatively obscure. Fathers from nearly all periods and traditions are cited. The work was written in a non-technical style to be read both by beginners and by people with some expertise in the field. It concludes with suggestions for a patristic reading program for those who wish to pursue a study of the Fathers in more depth.
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