Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

On the Soul and the Resurrection is a philosophical and theological dialogue between St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Macrina, when she was on her deathbed, and he was freaking out. (Another brother, St. Basil the Great, had just died a few months back, and St. Gregory was still mourning him when he found out his eldest sister was about to kick the bucket, too.) It’s probably fictionalized for educational purposes, but also seems to try to preserve St. Macrina’s teaching as faithfully as possible. I think you’ll find it interesting, especially once it really gets rolling next week.

This dialogue comes chronologically right after Part 2 and before Part 3 of The Life of St. Macrina. I’ll finish up The Life next week or so (there’s about three parts to go); but On the Soul and the Resurrection will take a lot longer.

Part 1.



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The Life of St. Macrina continues, as she persuades her mother to turn the household into a religious community.

Part 2.


I have to say that I really love the 4th century habit of calling the religious life or the Christian life “philosophy”, and of calling religious and hermits “philosophers”. It’s beautiful and fitting, but also very very Greek. 🙂

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The Life of St. Macrina is a biography — or to be exact, a panegyric or praise — of a brilliant, well-educated, well-born, rich, and beautiful lady of the Roman Empire, (from what today is Turkey) who chose the religious life over any other form of happiness. (Also, there’s a lot about her mother, St. Emmelia. That lady’s not named in the book, but you probably wanted to know.)

It was written by one of her little brothers, St. Gregory of Nyssa. He was the comparative black sheep of the ten children in this extremely Christian family descended from confessors of the faith, and yet he turned out to become a bishop and famous theologian. Some black sheep. 🙂

Part 1.


Btw, Roger Pearse said I should record some more of his stuff soon. So now you know where I found the text of The Life of St. Macrina. 🙂

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The Sacrifice of the Mass continues, with an explanation of the “Last Gospel”, read at the end of an Extraordinary Form Latin Rite Mass.

Chapter 13C.


By the way, I also updated Ch. 13A. There was a lot of rattling noise on it from my old headset microphone, which I have now replaced.

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The Sacrifice of the Mass continues, as all the pre- and post-Communion prayers are explained, all the way to the dismissal. But wait, there’s more!

Chapter 13B.


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The “Oration and Panegyric” continues, as St. Gregory tells us how he managed to meet Origen in the first place.

Part 3


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The “Oration and Panegyric” continues, with thoughts on gratitude, God, and guardian angels. (if you listened to the Thanksgiving thing, you’ve heard most of this.)

Part 2


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The “Oration and Panegyric Addressed to Origen” begins! St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (soon to be shanghai’d into becoming bishop of his hometown) made a speech to his teacher, Origen, as a thank you for all his kindness to both Gregory and his brother and fellow pupil, Athenodorus, on the occasion of their leaving to go home for good.

Last week, you may remember that I used an excerpt from this speech of thanks and farewell as my offering for Thanksgiving. I find this speech such an incredibly charming slice of early Christian life that I intend to inflict it all upon you, even though I can’t get it all done this week!

Part 1


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On Prayer continues, as Origen discusses the various recipients of prayer, and the forms of prayer which are properly directed to each.

(For example, Origen points out that one can clearly ask ordinary living sinful people to forgive your sins against them specifically, in ordinary speech; and this technically counts as a prayer. To pray is to ask or beg.)

Chapter 10: The Recipients of Prayer in Its Four Moods.


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On Prayer continues, with a discussion of four different types of prayer.

The classical division (shared by Jews and Christians) is petition, praise/adoration, thanksgiving, and contrition. Origen goes with Paul’s list to Timothy: request, prayer, thanksgiving, and intercession. Interesting stuff!

Chapter 9: The Four Moods of Prayer


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On Prayer continues, as Origen discusses the place of prayer in human life, and scriptural examples of the power and importance of prayer.

Chapters 7-8


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