Why Do We Need the Fathers of the Early Church Today?

In 01 Essential Background on 2011/11/08 at 2:21 AM

In our times, we are in desperate need of positive models.  We are constantly being bombarded by the media with false models who do not exemplify Christian virtues.  Many are, as Psalm 12 says, “idolizing those who are not worth it.”

To paraphrase and combine Thackarey and Shakespeare, one can say that the world madly pursues what is not worth having: money, pleasure, power, status, sex, all amounting to much sound and fury, but signifying nothing in the light of eternity.  Meanwhile, if you’re reading this blog, you’re likely striving for Him who is worth everything and died that we might live eternally.

St. Paul admonished his hearers not to adulterate the Truth of the Gospel of Christ. Today, within all religions and denominations, there are those, who like those in earlier days, followed what they called an inner voice of personal inspiration and so lapsed easily into erroneous conclusions.

In our times, we have a great attraction to “design-it-yourself” religion.  Not many persons respond to reason, for we often lack the capacity for logical thinking.  Design-it-yourself religious beliefs tear at the seamless garment of Christ’s Truth with their picking and choosing only those pieces of Truth they hold important.

Often the do-it-yourself religious have such a blurred and inconsistent position that refutation can be difficult if one applies the thought process applied to reach those conclusions; their arguments are often contradictory and almost never definitive. This movement is why religion today is less a doctrine, dogma or intellectual philosophy, but a set of useful character traits, like honesty, hard work, and sobriety.  This belief system of social morality has replaced sacramental religion, sacramental Faith.  Simply, this is a result of disavowing any final Christian authority outside the autonomous individual, of replacing God with man.

Religion tailored to customer satisfaction suits the American people in particular.   Christian morality has been overthrown by liberal society using the lever of “freedom.” In the United States many people believe what they want and call it “Christianity.”

The Catholic Church continues to be the only institution in to world that is universal. It remains the most ancient institution of the Western World.

As the historian Paul Johnson states: “The popes stand for continuity, and they stand for certitude.  What they teach is in all essentials what they taught in the first century A.D., when they were hunted men living in the catacombs.  That, to most believer, is the essential attraction of the Catholic Church, and the chief virtues of the papacy which rules it.”

St. Paul, as recorded in Acts 20: 29-30 warns the believers to be on guard against “fierce wolves who will invade” and “even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them.”  Each age has had its set of problems.  However, through Divine Providence and Protection, the Church has always taught what Christ taught.

Jesus Christ set up His Church to last to the end of time.  He promised to be with it to the end of time.  He promised that the gates of hell would not prevail. However, He did not say it would be free of problems as we’ve seen and, unfortunately, will continue to see.  The Church is, after all, filled with humans and sinners.

These Early Church Fathers will show you that the Church has, indeed, been preserved throughout the ages.  My hope is that you learn more about the Faith through the writings of the Early Church Fathers, that you learn more about Christ’s Church.  You may be surprised where these writings take you and where the Holy Spirit leads you through your reading.

The Apostolic Fathers died for the Truth of Christ, the Doctors defended the Truth of Christ.


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