The Shepherd, July 2006
FROM THE FATHERS
“WHETHER YOU SPEAK of the roof, or of the walls, or of any part whatsoever, He [Christ] it is Who supports the whole. Thus elsewhere he [St Paul] calls Him a foundation. ‘For other foundations,’ saith
Saint John Chrysostom, + 407 A.D.
“EVERYONE who cometh to Me, and heareth My words, and doeth them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep and laid a foundation on the rock. And after a flood arose, the river beat against that house; and yet it did not have strength enough to shake if, for it had been founded upon the rock” (Luke 7:47-48). …. “The explanation is obvious: The Church is often struck by distressful situations, but it is not overthrown. If any believers are overcome by evils and yield, they surely did not belong to this house. If they had taken a stand upon the Rock of faith instead of the sand of faithlessness and inconstancy, they would have been absolutely incapable of ever being shaken… We should note that this flood of temptations assails the Church in three ways: One is tempted, drawn on and lured by one’s own concupiscence (James 1:14), or is worn down by the depravity of false brethren, or is assaulted by the more snares of those outside the Church. In another place, the Lord calls these temptations ‘the gates of Hades’ (Matt. 16:18), and rightly so, for if victorious, they drag us down to everlasting destruction. Although the gates of Hades strike her, they shall never prevail against her. For she is able to say truthfully to her Helper: ‘On a Rock hast Thou lifted me on high’ (Ps. 60:2). She is not corrupted by false brethren because she refutes the dogmas of heretics by believing properly, and she avoids the vicious example of some by living soberly and piously.”
Saint Bede the Venerable of Jarrow, + 735 A.D