37 episodes

A podcast about the Fathers of the Church—the foundational figures in Christian history. Hosted by popular Patristics author Mike Aquilina.

Way of the Fathers with Mike Aquilin‪a‬ CatholicCulture.org

    • Christianity
    • 4.3 • 3 Ratings

A podcast about the Fathers of the Church—the foundational figures in Christian history. Hosted by popular Patristics author Mike Aquilina.

    34—Cyril of Jerusalem: Mystery and Mayhem

    34—Cyril of Jerusalem: Mystery and Mayhem

    Cyril served as bishop during ugly times. The Church was divided, and suspicion was universal. He suffered false accusation, conspiracy, and exile. Yet he was able to see supernatural beauty shining through natural signs in the Church’s liturgy: bread and wine, oil and water, breath and gesture. He is history’s great practitioner of the art of mystagogy—guidance in the sacramental mysteries. His lectures, in fact, cover all the basics of Christian life: creed, commandments, prayer, and sacraments. Eyewitnesses tell us that his hearers applauded when he taught. His lectures still edify and entertain more than a millennium and a half after their first delivery.
    Links
    Cyril of Jerusalem, Procatechesis https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2408
    Cyril of Jerusalem, On Baptism https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2428
    Cyril of Jerusalem, On the Body and Blood of Christ https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2430
    Cyril of Jerusalem, On the Sacred Liturgy and Communion https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2431
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina’s books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio
     

    • 17 min
    33—Ambrose of Milan: How the Church Regards the State

    33—Ambrose of Milan: How the Church Regards the State

    Ambrose of Milan, more than any other figure, is invoked in the West as the model for church-state relations. He’s the one who said: “The emperor is within the Church, not above the Church.” And he said it with deeds as well as words. He said it in private letters and public demonstrations. He said it through direct confrontation and civil disobedience. A former politician himself, he had a keen understanding of the game—and in the late fourth century the stakes were very high.
    Links
    Ambrose, Sermon against Auxentius on the Giving Up of the Basilicas https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2075
    Ambrose, Letter XXI to Valentinian I https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2074
    Ambrose, Letter XX to his sister Marcella https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2073
    Ambrose Letter LI to Theodosius https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2079
    Ambrose, On the Mysteries https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2090
    Augustine, Confessions, Book 8.7.15 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=3102
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina’s books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio
     

    • 20 min
    32—Julian, the Apostate Who Aped the Church

    32—Julian, the Apostate Who Aped the Church

    There’s no anti-Christian like an ex-Christian, and there was no figure in antiquity like the Emperor Julian. He promoted the return of paganism as the official religion of the Roman Empire. But it was a strange paganism, modeled on the Christian Church. Julian began by making it difficult for Christians to work in professions like education, law, and military. His methods were mostly bloodless. He knew that martyrs made Christianity strong. It was better he thought, to marginalize believers, neutralizing their influence, pushing them out of public life.
    Links
    Julian the Apostate, Against the Galileans http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/julian_apostate_galileans_0_intro.htm
    Julian the Apostate, Oration upon the Sovereign Sun http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/julian_apostate_1_sun.htm
    Gregory Nazianzen, “Oration 4: First Invective Against Julian” http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_nazianzen_2_oration4.htm
    Adrian Murdoch, The Last Pagan: Julian the Apostate and the Death of the Ancient World https://www.amazon.com/Last-Pagan-Julian-Apostate-Ancient/dp/1594772266/
    More works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina’s books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio
     
     

    • 25 min
    31—Gregory of Nyssa: Zero to Hero

    31—Gregory of Nyssa: Zero to Hero

    Gregory of Nyssa was born into a family of high achievers. His brother was Basil the Great; his sister was Macrina the Younger. In Gregory’s young life, however, he was something of a disappointment. It’s not that he was a sinner or unbeliever, but he seemed to lack the holy ambition and drive that were characteristic of his older siblings. Basil often reprimanded him as a bumbler. But at Basil’s death Gregory came into his own and suddenly emerged a major player on the world scene—a master of spiritual and systematic theology, a leader at councils, a healer of divisions in the Church.



    Links
    Gregory Nazianzen, Letter 1, on his disappointment with Gregory of Nyssa
    https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2472
    Basil the Great, Letter 58, a reproach to Gregory his brother
    https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2623
    Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, Book 1 https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2271
    Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2277
    More works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina's books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio
     
     

    • 18 min
    30—Gregory Nazianzen: Greatness in the Passive Voice

    30—Gregory Nazianzen: Greatness in the Passive Voice

    All Gregory wanted was a quiet place where he could relax with his books and a few close friends. From young adulthood he believed God was calling him to the contemplative life, and to old age he never lost that sense. But history kept dragging him into its current. First, his father (a bishop) coerced him into ordination to the priesthood. Then his closest friend, Basil the Great, pressured him to be ordained a bishop. Both times he put up little resistance, but later resented the actions as violence. Both times he eventually fled the demands of his office. Later he was persuaded to lead the Nicene faction in the capital city of the empire. Eventually he became bishop there and led the second ecumenical council in 380. Before the council was over he resigned and resumed his monastic retreat back home. Along the way he wrote the most compelling and complete Trinitarian theology of his time—and reams of great poetry.
    Links
    Gregory Nazianzen, Epistle 150 (on dogmatic questions) https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2459
    Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 2 (on his flight from priesthood) https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2433
    Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 27: The First Theological Oration (on the duties of the theologian) https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2440
    John Henry Newman, “Basil and Gregory” https://www.newmanreader.org/works/historical/volume2/fathers/chapter3.html
    More works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina's books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio
     
     

    • 17 min
    29—Basil and the Beginning of Christian Social Thought

    29—Basil and the Beginning of Christian Social Thought

    History calls him "Basil the Great," and his greatnesses were many. He was a brilliant theologian; and anyone today who writes about tradition or the Holy Spirit must engage his works, which are foundational in the field. He also produced some of the earliest sustained reflections on the social order implicit in the Gospel. But he didn't just think about these things. He did something about them. As bishop he was a model administrator, marshaling the resources of Christians in order to build a "new city" dedicated to worship and service of those in need; there he constructed one of the first hospitals, a poorhouse, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a hospice, and a trade school. He was an outstanding preacher, an organizer, an operator, and a saint recognized for greatness even in his own lifetime.
    Links
    Gregory Nazianzen, Funeral Oration on the Great St. Basil https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2453
    Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2544
    Basil the Great, Homily I: in the Beginning God Made the Heaven and the Earth https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=2545
    More works by the Fathers https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/
    Mike Aquilina’s website https://fathersofthechurch.com
    Mike Aquilina's books https://catholicbooksdirect.com/writer/mike-aquilina/
    Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed http://www.ccwatershed.org
    Donate today! https://www.catholicculture.org/users/donate/audio

    • 17 min

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