Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
The preaching of the Apostles
Tertullian (ca.155-240 A.D.) was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Like St Augustine of Hippo some two centuries later, he was of Berber origin. His is the first substantial body of Christian writing in Latin, the language of the western Roman Empire. He played an important part in the shaping of Christian doctrine, which is to say, taking what happened in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, and working on understanding it, making sense of it, even inventing the words with which to make sense of it – such as “Trinity”. He was a noted apologist, or explainer of the faith to non-Christians, and in a predominantly pagan world he was insistent against diluting Christianity by compromise with paganism. He eventually found the Catholic Church too lax in its ways and too ready (for example) to forgive those who had apostasized in time of persecution, and he joined the puritan Montanist sect. Nevertheless, his work was an important step in the hammering out of doctrine and St Cyprian referred to him simply as “the Master”. Credit: Universalis.
From the treatise On the Prescription against Heretics by Tertullian, priest
Our Lord Jesus Christ himself declared what he was, what he had been, how he was carrying out his Father’s will, what obligations he demanded of men. This he did during his earthly life, either publicly to the crowds or privately to his disciples. Twelve of these he picked out to be his special companions, appointed to teach the nations.
One of them fell from his place. The remaining eleven were commanded by Christ, as he was leaving the earth to return to the Father after his resurrection, to go and teach the nations and to baptize them into the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The apostles cast lots and added Matthias to their number, in place of Judas, as the twelfth apostle. The authority for this action is to be found in a prophetic psalm of David. After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit which had been promised to them, so that they could work miracles and proclaim the truth, they first bore witness to their faith in Jesus Christ and established churches throughout Judaea. They then went out into the whole world and proclaimed to the nations the same doctrinal faith.
They set up churches in every city. Other churches received from them a living transplant of faith and the seed of doctrine, and through this daily process of transplanting they became churches. They therefore qualify as apostolic churches by being the offspring of churches that are apostolic.
Every family has to be traced back to its origins. That is why we can say that all these great churches constitute that one original Church of the apostles; for it is from them that they all come. They are all primitive, all apostolic, because they are all one. They bear witness to this unity by the peace in which they all live, the brotherhood which is their name, the fellowship to which they are pledged. The principle on which these associations are based is common tradition by which they share the same sacramental bond.
The only way in which we can prove what the apostles taught – that is to say, what Christ revealed to them – is through those same churches. They were founded by the apostles themselves, who first preached to them by what is called the living voice and later by means of letters.
The Lord had said clearly in former times: I have many more things to tell you, but you cannot endure them now. But he went on to say: When the Spirit of truth comes, he will lead you into the whole truth. Thus Christ shows us that the apostles had full knowledge of the truth, for he had promised that they would receive the whole truththrough the Spirit of truth. His promise was certainly fulfilled, since the Acts of the Apostles prove that the Holy Spirit came down on them.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; May 3, 2021; https://divineoffice.org/welcome/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Your cruelty (against us) does not profit you, however exquisite. Instead, it tempts people to our sect. As often as you mow us down, the more we grow in number. The blood of the Christians is the seed (of the church) . . . The very obstinacy you criticize teaches for us. For who on seeing it is not excited to enquire what lies behind it? Who, having enquired, does not embrace our faith?”
Tertullian, Apology 50
The first reaction to truth is hatred.”
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” — Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually. The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.” The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Credit: https://divineoffice.org/liturgy-of-the-hours/
Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
Saint Francis de Sales
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thess 5:16-18
Holy Spirit, Light and Life of my Soul, enliven my prayer life.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.