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
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.
2. THE ROAD TO PASCHA: SELECTIONS FROM
From the magnificent reservoir
of the writings of St. Athanasius we have chosen
choice passages dealing with our annual progress
through Lent to Pascha.
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.
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.
5. FOR CHRIST AND THE CHURCH: ST. IGNATIUS
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.
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."
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.
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.
9. USING A PRAYER BOOK: PRAYING TOGETHER,
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.
10. CHRIST IS OUR HOLINESS: BE STRONG IN THE
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
21. PENTECOST: A HOMILY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM,
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.
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.
Dont forget that the Eucharist is (in a
true and heavenly mystery) the body and blood
of Christ Himself in which He is Himself present
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
29. ORTHODOX RESPONSE: ANSWERS TO A DESTRUCTIVE
TREND BEGUN IN THE ACADEMIC WORLD
Description yet to come.