Manual A Year with the Church Fathers: Meditations for Each Day of the Church Year

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Book Trailer: "A Year With The Church Fathers" by Mike Aquilina

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But many of them were straight and true. But before a preemptive dismissal of the Church Fathers, we do well to ask ourselves: Why not listen and learn from the Fathers themselves? Concordia Publishing House has recently offered a more accessible and user-friendly way to do just that, with their recent volume A Year with the Church Fathers. This volume provides an able complement to TDP, or it can be used as a stand-alone resource. A collect is also provided, and of course a short section between one to five paragraphs from a writing by a particular Church Father. The selections come from fathers both famous and obscure — Chromatius and Apringius as well as Augustine, Ambrose, and Chrysostom.

The introductions themselves are worth reading and may provide useful preaching or teaching thoughts. They are of a higher caliber than one might expect, as befitting one who imbibes the wisdom of the Fathers regularly. Murray writes a devotion every weekday based on the Church Fathers. A Year with the Church Fathers follows the civil calendar straight through, with major liturgical divisions placed in the text about roughly where they would occur in the civil calendar.

Almost every single day is the anniversary of the day a saint has died, and we remember them by telling their stories. This is another way that we give meaning to time.


  • Christ Episcopal Church - Martinsville, Virginia.
  • The Wow O Rivven.
  • A Girl From Zanzibar.

All of this points to the truth that there is no such thing as truly ordinary time. Every day is significant, relevant to the gospel, and has its own powerful message to give us in our own day. These are all examples of how we mark time with the global Church. Most other denominations observe the liturgical year to one degree or another, and many other traditions remember the saints, and we join with our brothers and sisters in this practice. Since I began at Christ Church two years ago I have been learning about how our community uniquely marks time.

We do some things are typical of many Churches. The flowers for each Sunday are paid for by different members of the Church to remember someone that has died, or to in honor of a loved one that is still with us. These flowers that make our sanctuary that much more beautiful and they give us a way to add another layer of depth to the service that is tailored to our community. We are not the only Church that does our flowers in this way, but we certainly claim it as part of our culture. We do other things that are less typical, like the time capsules that we have been burying at the end of every school year.

Children get to see what they put into the capsule five years after they were buried, and this is a way of putting their time at Christ Church into perspective. On the same day we also send off our graduating seniors as they transition from being members of the youth group to going off and discovering the adults that they will become.

One or two of them receive the Beverly Parish award, which is in honor of a young member of the Church that died fighting in the second world war.

A technique from the Desert Fathers to control our negative thoughts

Suddenly this day is not just another day, but a day that recognizes the sacred moment of heading off to become an adult after High School. It is rare that Churches host parties that people genuinely want to attend, and can actually be one of the best parties in town. That year a beloved member of the Church died far too young, and the event transitioned to become The Dan Prince Memorial Oyster Roast. Initially this was merely a fundraiser for the Church.

It was a damn good fundraiser, but something mundane nonetheless. When people that love Dan decided to make this an expression of their love and a way of remembering him, it ceased to become just a party. It became a way of marking time, making it a sacred. There is no such thing as ordinary time within Christianity, or within our community. Every day brings a new reason to remember, rejoice, and celebrate.

Every day is an invitation to recognize the sacred all around us. Ever since I listened to the story of Derek Black I have been thinking a lot about how we are supposed to love our enemies.

Derek Black was taught to hate from the time he was born. Both of his parents had dedicated their lives to racist causes, and even went as far as to try to overthrow the government Dominica, a small Caribbean nation, to establish a white paradise.

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When he got older the mission of his family and their website was to make their racist views more mainstream. They no longer spoke of race wars, but ran for local government positions and tried to ease everyday Americans into more and more racist policies and rhetoric. By the time Derek went to college he had his own talk show in Florida to promote his views. When he first started attending college he knew it was only a matter of time until his peers realized who he was, and he would become an outcast, so he decided to out himself by leaving an article he wrote out for everyone to see.

He did get a lot of flak from his peers, but a group of Jewish students decided to take him under their wing. Their strategy was genius. This slowly led Derek to become disillusioned with the movement that he inherited, and he is now a vocal opponent to the views that he once championed. The love that those students showed Derek is an incredible model for the rest of the world on how we should love our enemies.

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In Conversation With God Daily Spiritual Meditations

They gave the love that he needed rather than the love that he deserved, and he was transformed by that subtle and persistent engagement and love from those Jewish students. The students that continually engaged Derek are true heroes, and Derek deserves a tremendous amount of respect for being willing to change his mind.

His entire community was based on the white nationalism, and he had to give much of that up when he denounced his beliefs. Timing is also an incredibly important detail in this story of redemption. Derek had a community of racists, but they were not with him at College. If Derek had a community of like-minded peers at his school he probably would not have chosen to attend these Shabbat dinners when invited, and he would not have seen the humanity of the people that he claimed to hate.