A book of sermons by 7th and 8th century Fathers including St John of Damascus and St Andrew of Crete. This volume brings together the earliest attempts to interpret Mary's dormition, or "falling asleep" in the Lord, in the light of the whole Paschal Mystery.
It is a great help to have these early patristic texts available in Brian Daley's book. As with all good study books, you never finish reading it, returning to it frequently as it opens doors into the Christian appreciation of death and resurrection, and the Virgin Mary's participation in the Christ-Mystery. Father Daley's introduction to each of the early Fathers makes profound preparation for reading the actual texts of those Fathers, which he has translated and made available with devoted care. His emphasis on the location of doctrine within the context of liturgy and prayer is being re-discovered in the scholastic western world, where doctrine had taken a separate trajectory in the universities, not easily linked to the cult and regular prayer of the people in liturgy.
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Great preaching never ages25 Aug. 2008
Stratiotes Doxha Theon
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The writings of the early church fathers are always a source of profound yet practical teaching. These are some of the best of early homilies during the age of the great orators for the faith such as Theoteknos, John Chrysostom, and John of Damascus. They are at once poetic and didactic.
They draw out the early Church teachings that convey the long-standing assertion of such Marian doctrines as, the immaculate conception, perpetual virginity, and the dormition/assumption of Mary. But, in addition, they hold references to the primacy of Peter, apostolic succession, and sacred tradition. Contrary to popular belief, these homilies convey how fully formed these "Catholic" doctrines were very early on in the church.
But they are not only valuable in their historical significance but valuable in their example of solid catechesis in the context of passionate preaching. Solid catechesis need not be dry and dispassionate - on the contrary it should be vibrant and moving. Teachers and preachers would do well to hone their gifts by reading the great preachers and teachers that have gone before us. This would be a great place to start.
These are great homilies of the ancient faith that never ages. A must have for any early church library.
Spectacular!7 Aug. 2013
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This is a book you must read if you want to spend some time reflecting on Mary as preached by these wonderful early pastors and fathers of the one Church. This Jesuit (Daley) has given us a gem in translating these early patristic fathers. It highlights John of Thessalonica, Theoteknos of Livias, Modestus of Jerusalem, Andrew of Crete (my favorite), Germanus of Constantinople, John lowly monk and sinner, John of Damascus & Theodore the Studite. Anyone who loves Mary or wants to study Mary, the Mother of God will gain from these beautiful homilies. I highly recommend them.