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Timely Topics Booklet Series
Our friends and our students asked questions, and issues came up which we knew the fathers had dealt with long ago. So, out of words of wisdom from the fathers on subjects such as prayer and worship, death and resurrection, Scripture and Tradition, marriage and family, came booklets on many topics.

1. THOUGHTS FROM THE FATHERS ON SCRIPTURE

A selection of clear, succinct and memorable comments on the nature, meaning and use of the Holy Scriptures.
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2. THE ROAD TO PASCHA: SELECTIONS FROM ST. ATHANASIUS

From the magnificent reservoir of the writings of St. Athanasius we have chosen choice passages dealing with our annual progress through Lent to Pascha.
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3. PRAYERS IN PREPARATION FOR AND THANKSGIVING AFTER HOLY COMMUNION

In addition to expressing the needs and desires of our heart, these prayers can change us — bringing spiritual growth within so that their content becomes part of our inner being and remembrance.
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4. APOSTLES OF MEDIEVAL EUROPE: HEROIC MISSIONARIES IN AN AGE OF TURMOIL (400-100 A.D.)

Beginning with Patrick, missionary to Ireland, the interrelated stories related here tell of the intrepid missionaries who spread the Gospel across the British Isles and northern Europe after pagan tribes had overrun the works of those who had gone before.
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5. FOR CHRIST AND THE CHURCH: ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH

In the city of Antioch, during the reign of Emperor Trajan (98-116), government authorities carried out a crackdown on the illegal sect called "Christians." Among those arrested was the venerable bishop Ignatius.
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6. RECALLING THE FAITH: FROM THE COMMONITORIES OF ST. VINCENT OF LERINS (C. 450 A.D.)

St. Vincent is famous especially for just one line -- which in itself alone makes this selection worth reading, for it summarizes in a very few memorable words the basis for knowing what to believe: "What has been believed everywhere, always and by all."
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7. THE FATHERS SPEAK: DEATH, FEAR OF DEATH, HOPE OF RESURRECTION

Death is that enigma we all must face and cannot avoid -- a passage fraught with fear and mystery. The fathers teach us how to face it, deal with fear, and go forward with hope, for Christ has granted us Resurrection with and in Him.
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8. NOTES ON THE NATURE AND TASK OF THE CHURCH

It is only within the Church that we can truly know what and who she is. The Church truly has being, truly exists as the Body of Christ. But the Mystery of her existence can only be discerned and comprehended by faith.
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9. USING A PRAYER BOOK: PRAYING TOGETHER, PRAYING ALONE

Yes, there are Orthodox Christian prayer books. But how do we use them? And how is our prayer alone at home to be integrated with the prayer we make together in the services of the Church? Here is how -- and why.
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10. CHRIST IS OUR HOLINESS: BE STRONG IN THE FAITH

Once more we turn to St. Athanasius. This time, to two of the letters from among those he sent to his flock each year to announce the date of Pascha and to help prepare for it.
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11. WHERE IS MY CROSS, THAT I MAY FOLLOW HIM?

This one is different -- a short story. We tell of three people born on the same day in the same city in the same neighborhood -- and of their lifelong struggle to take up their cross and follow the Lord.
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12. TRADITION IN THE EARLY CHURCH

Because of the "sola scriptura" concept so widely propagated today, there is a nagging question in the back of the mind of each Christian: How do Scripture and Tradition relate?
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13. O SAVIOR, TRUE ETERNAL LIGHT, SAVE YOUR SINFUL SERVANT'S LIFE

Selections from the heartfelt verse of St. Symeon the New Theologian. Renowned in his own day and even to now, St. Symeon's verse touches the heart of each reader.
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14. PAUL THE APOSTLE AND JOHN THE GOLDEN MOUTH ON LOVE, SEX AND MARRIAGE

Their words on these close-to-home subjects. St. Paul interpreted by St. John Chrysostom, supplemented by his teachings on these vital subjects.
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15. WHAT SHALL WE OFFER YOU, O CHRIST

Christmas meditations in prose and verse. An assortment of favorite well-known poems, original verse by Fr. Jack and The Sage Sayeth.
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16. FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION: READING AND CHRISTIAN FORMATION IN CHILDREN

What, when and how we read to children and help make readers of them. Selecting books -- to read to children and for them to read. Help in guiding the reading of our children.
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17. THE SPIRIT OF ANTIOCH — by the V. Rev. Fr. Richard Ballew

A genuine and heart-felt presentation of the evangelical and unifying spirit which pervades the patriarchate from which St. Paul took the Christian faith around the coasts of the Mediterranean and which is represented in our country today by the Antiochian Archdiocese.
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18. THE LETTERS OF ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH: EPHESIANS, MAGNESIANS, TRALLIANS, ROMANS, PHILADELPHIANS, SMYRNAEANS, POLYCARP — by the V. Rev. Jack N. Sparks

A completely new English language edition (completed by Fr. Jack in early 1999) of St. Ignatius' famous early second century letters. To read them is to enter into the work of the Holy Spirit in the generation immediately succeeding the Apostles!
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19. EPIPHANY: THE REVELATION OF SALVATION — by the V. Jack N. Sparks

Combining biblical text and comment with the hymnody of the Church, this booklet shows how the Baptism of Christ is not only His manifestation, but also the revelation of salvation in Him.
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20. FAITH AND GODLINESS — by Jack N. Sparks

Built upon the first two Easter Letters of St. Athanasius, written right after he became Patriarch of Alexandria at just barely thirty years of age. These remarkable letters by a remarkable man are sure to lift your heart as you journey through the Season. Your copy of this booklet is free this month.
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21. PENTECOST: A HOMILY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, ACTS 2

In a certain important sense, St. John Chrysostom needs no introduction. Nor indeed does Pentecost. Nevertheless it is impossible to avoid a few words. What is the meaning of this holy day we celebrate on the 50th day of Easter every year? We know some very important things about it — especially its history — but we need to periodically take a look at it in depth — which St. John does in this homily.
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22. KINDLING THE FIRE WITHIN: THE HOLY SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST

The Eucharist is the highest of all sacraments and, unsurprisingly, the most powerful and effective of all spiritual weapons. Don’t forget that the Eucharist is (in a true and heavenly mystery) the body and blood of Christ Himself — in which He is Himself present as God.
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23. THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH

Ezekiel was shown a valley full of dry bones. None were connected as proper skeletons. He was asked by the Lord if these bones shall live, "Prophesy upon these bones," said the Lord, "and you shall say to them, 'You dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord to these bones: "Behold, I will bring upon you the breath of life, and I will form sinews on you and flesh to grow, and skin to cover all, and I will put my Spirit within you."'" Let us not miss our day of visitation as did Israel.
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24. THE ANNUNCIATION

Gabriel, the great Archangel appears to a young Israeli virgin, and announces to her that she is to bear a child who will be the Savior. This is more than she can take in, for she replies, "How can this be, since I know no man?" We see Gabriel's reply to this and the memory of the Church for this great event.
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25. THE BRIDE OF CHRIST

Interpreting the Proverbs 31 to be a parable of the Church and her people, this first of three booklets uses Proverbs 31:1-12. A powerful statement of the life, work and duties of the Bride of Christ.
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26. BOUNDLESS BEAUTY

Working with the work done by the Bride, her faithful stewardship of resources, and her constant labors on behalf of her Husband, this booklet tells us "she comes to give up her own liberty, her own ease and rest, her own comfort, her own will, and to a certain extent, her own safety. A heavy price, the world says. Yes, world, it is. And all for what? For one Cross, one set up long ago." Herein is shown her boundless beauty.
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27. WORKING THROUGH THE NIGHT

The work of the Bride never ceases. The years go by. She, the spotless Bride, perceives that all the blood of all her Martyrs, all the sufferings of all her Confessors, all the work of her Theologians, all the purity of all her Virgins, all the tireless labors of her bishops and priests, all the faithfulness, service, righteousness and worship of her Faithful in all the churches, all the partaking of the Necessary Bread, all this has not been in vain. In the very early ages she knew that those agonies worked out the exceeding and eternal weight of glory; she knew that the Conquerors went to the eternal Feast of Tabernacles – Tabernacles of light and rest, where there was no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither any more pain, for the former things were passed away.
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28. BARNABAS

He had never expected the direction of his life to change a great deal. But one day he met Jesus Christ and everything changed. One day he met a man named Saul and other changes resulted. And such things happen every day. If nothing remarkable has happened to you yet, it will. And you may not even know it for a considerable period of time. You may think you are in charge of your life, but God is. Barnabas did a remarkable work, more than you'll ever know, in a life God redirected time after time.
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29. ORTHODOX RESPONSE: ANSWERS TO A DESTRUCTIVE TREND BEGUN IN THE ACADEMIC WORLD

Description yet to come.
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