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Church Fathers
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Keep Watch -- No One Knows the Hour St. Ephrem

Keep Watch: 

No One Knows the Hour 

by Saint Ephrem - Doctor of the Church

 

Saint Ephrem

St. Ephrem (also rendered Ephraem), a deacon, wrote in the early 4th century in the Syriac-Aramaic language, a dialect of the same language spoken by the Lord Jesus.  This excerpt from his commentary on the Diatessaron (Cap. 18, 15-17: SC 121, 325-328) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for Thursday in the first week of Advent.  For more information on the Early Church Fathers, Click Here, or to visit the Early Church Fathers library of readings, click here.

 

To prevent his disciples from asking the time of his coming, Christ said: About that hour no one knows, neither the angels nor the Son. It is not for you to know times or moments. He has kept those things hidden so that we may keep watch, each of us thinking that he will come in our own day. If he had revealed the time of his coming, his coming would have lost its savour: it would no longer be an object of yearning for the nations and the age in which it will be revealed. He promised that he would come but did not say when he would come, and so all generations and ages await him eagerly.


Though the Lord has established the signs of his coming, the time of their fulfilment has not been plainly revealed. These signs have come and gone with a multiplicity of change; more than that, they are still present. His final coming is like his first. As holy men and prophets waited for him, thinking that he would reveal himself in their own day, so today each of the faithful longs to welcome him in his own day, because Christ has not made plain the day of his coming.


He has not made it plain for this reason especially, that no one may think that he whose power and dominion rule all numbers and times is ruled by fate and time. He described the signs of his coming; how could what he has himself decided be hidden from him? Therefore, he used these words to increase respect for the signs of his coming, so that from that day forward all generations and ages might think that he would come again in their own day.

Second Coming
Keep watch; when the body is asleep nature takes control of us, and what is done is not done by our will but by force, by the impulse of nature. When deep listlessness takes possession of the soul, for example, faint-heartedness or melancholy, the enemy overpowers it and makes it do what it does not will. The force of nature, the enemy of the soul, is in control.


When the Lord commanded us to be vigilant, he meant vigilance in both parts of man: in the body, against the tendency to sleep; in the soul, against lethargy and timidity. As Scripture says: Wake up, you just, and I have risen, and am still with you; and again, Do not lose heart. Therefore, having this ministry, we do not lose heart.

 


The Early Church Fathers, Catholic Church, Fathers of the Church, Marcellino D'AmbrosioThe Early Church Fathers

 

A society characterized by the loss of respect for life, violence, exotic religious cults, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, and even pedophilia. Sound familiar?

 

The Early Church Fathers succeeded in bringing a Pagan society to Christ. If we pay attention to what they taught, we will succeed in doing the same for our own de-Christianized society!

 

Album 1: The Apostolic Fathers and Irenaeus

Album 2: The Apologists, Ambrose, and Augustine

Early Church Fathers 2 VHS Setó$44.00  

Early Church Fathers 2 DVD Setó$44.00

Early Church Fathers 2 CD Setó$18.00  

Early Church Fathers 2 Audio Setó$16.00

 


The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They MatterFathers of the Church Early Church Fathers CD by Marcellino D'Ambrosio

In a single, upbeat talk, full of examples and fascinating stories about St. Augustine, St. Ambrose and other intriguing personalities, Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers.  Though the ranks of the fathers represent a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and temperaments, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most pressing questions of our day.  In this dynamic talk, available on CD or audiocassette, Marcellino makes clear just how much these figures have to teach us.

 

 



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