Category Archives: Apostles and Saints



APOSTOLIC INSIGHT What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here are some of their thoughts—

“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”   Ephesians 6:12

No one can escape the haunting impact of diabolical assaults that are constant from politics to personal encounters. The tendency in today’s world is to consider these attacks as human error or mistakes. Time, education, and social improvement will bring the aggression to an end.

Really? Look at Chicago where murder is now on a rampage. Look at the corruption in government. Consider that in America the leading country in the world, the record is set for abortions and deaths caused by people who believe they have a right to carry guns. No improvement there?

The Church Fathers have important insight into evil.

St. Gregory of NyssaNow the origin of the tendency to evil (in Satan) and the foundation, as it were, the mother of all other wickedness was the love of power, which was a disease in him.

The Shepherd of HermasThe devil comes and tempts all the servants of God. Those who are strong in the faith resist him, and he goes away from them, because he cannot find entrance. So he goes then to the empty and, finding an entrance, he goes to them. Thus he accomplishes in them whatever he pleases, and makes them his slave.

St. AmbroseThere is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience.

St. AugustineEvery sin is more injury to him who does, than to him who suffers it.

St. Cyril of JerusalemIf that Lead us not into temptation implied that we should not be tempted at all, He would not have said, But deliver us from the evil. And the evil is the devil, our adversary, from whom we pray to be delivered. Then after the completion of the prayer, you say, Amen, setting your seal by this Amen which signifies, So be it, to be petitions of the divinely-taught prayer.

A Desert FatherMalice will never drive our malice. But if someone does an evil act to you, you should do good to him, so that by your good work you may destroy his malice.


APOSTOLIC INSIGHT ~ What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here What can the Apostles and Church Fathers are some of their thoughts–


One of the pressing issues of our time is how the opposite sexes should relate to each other. What is proper? What is immoral? Here’s what some of the Church Fathers wrote:

St. John Chrysostom

Sex is not evil; it is a gift from God. But it can become a hindrance to someone who desires to devote all his (or her) strength to a life of prayer … Concerning sex, we must strive for self-control. St. Paul tells us to seek peace and sanctification, without which it is impossible to see the Lord. Let us pursue holiness.


Only the lifeless are exempt from the battles of lust. We know, then, that the struggle of flesh and spirit is extremely useful to us… to gain self-control and mastery over our desires.

Theophilus of Antioch

Christians practice self-control and exercise continence, observe monogamy, guard chastity, and wipe out all injustice, destroying sin with its root.

The Apostle Peter

I beseech you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh that wage war against your soul. Maintain good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in case they speak against you as wrongdoers they may see your good deed and glorify God…

Contributed by: Rev. Dr. Robert Wise


APOSTOLIC INSIGHT What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here are some of their thoughts…


What did the first Christians think about money and how we should handle our accumulation of wealth? Interestingly enough, the New Testament did not condemn wealth or private possessions. The concern of scripture was having the wrong priorities. Putting our ultimate trust in what we can accumulate was a dead end street. The Parable of the Rich Farmer expressed this mistake (Luke 12:16-21) This parable was telling the listeners that it was more important to be rich in the things of God than only to accumulate wealth. Those that have resources should be concerned about the poor.

Much of the concern of the Church Fathers was because they suspected that great wealth was probably obtained through questionable ways. The bottom line is not riches, but the misuse of money is condemned. The Didache said, “Do not turn away the poor and the needy, but share everything you own with your brothers and do not say that what you have belongs only to you.”

St. Ambrose

The earth was made in common for all. Why do you arrogate to yourselves, your rich, exclusive right to the soil? Nature, which begets all poor, does not know the rich.  For we are neither born with raiment nor are we begotten with gold and silver. … Nature, therefore, knows not how to discriminate when we are born, it knows not how when we die.

Clement of Alexandria

As a further motivation to give, remember that Jesus gave his all to save us. For each of us he gave his life. Because he gave up his life for us, he demands we give our lives for each other.  If we owe our very lives to our brothers, shall we hoard our wealth, and keep it away from them? …. If we do not love our brothers, we are children of the devil and heading for the flames ourselves.  But the true Christian loves his brother!

He who holds possessions as the gifts of God … and knows that what he possesses is for the sake of others is blessed by God and poor in spirit.

St. Basil the Great

Is God unjust to distribute the necessities of life to us unequally? Why are you rich, why is that  one poor? Is it not that you may receive the reward of beneficence and faithful distribution…?


What can the Apostles and Church Fathers tell us about our times? What advice do they have for our problems? Here are some of their thoughts— ANGER, GOSSIP, AND SLANDER

We live in a time of upheaval in American society. Politicians lie so constantly they have become unbelievable. Gossip diminishes personalities when what they are spreading is untrue. Often slander is repeated in the name of transparency. Across the nation there is an outcry for help.

Throughout the length of scripture, slander is condemned. The first Fathers of the Church were unanimous in condemning evil spread by the tongue. A vicious tongue can break all restraints. Anger and slanderous intent has cut down many a good person.

Do we mess up? Sure we do. Our moral failures dull our minds, hearts, and consciences. Often what  we see on television what might be entertaining to watch, but leaves us wrecked if we lived out such behaviors. While we are all guilty of such experiences, the conclusion to be drawn is that we all need forgiveness and a change of behavior.

Here’s what the first Christians taught:

St. John Chrysotom ~ What is the use of sparing fowl and fishes if we eat our own brothers?

St. Anthony ~ What is slander? It is every sort of wicked word we dare not speak in front of the person about whom we are complaining.

St. Jerome ~ Where there are no listeners, there are no slanderers; the combat will close for want of combatants.

The Shepherd of Hermas ~ Love truth and avoid anger or slander. Let your mouth speak nothing but the truth and uplifting words to each other. In the Lord there is no falsehood. Liars and slanders wound the Lord.

A Desert Father ~ If you stand by a brother who is being slandered and do not defend him against those who sinfully attack him, you too are a slanderer and guilty of sin.



By:Archbishop Robert L. Wise… Scripture does not tell us what happened with most of the 11 surviving Apostles. We know about more about St. Paul than almost anyone else. Here’s where you can catch up on their final history.

    So little is known about Simon or the scope of his life that he remains an enigma for today’s world. Depending on the list of the Apostles, he is called Kananaios or Kanaites to distinguish him from Simon Peter. Some versions of the Bible call him the Cananean while other translations refer to him as Simeon the Zealot.

Making the matter even more confusing, some interpret his name to mean that he was a person of great zeal in keeping the Law of Moses and a political activist. Others believe the name means he was part of the radical Zealot party. The Zealots were tax-hating, violent enemies of the Romans. In such case Jesus would have called two men at the opposite end of the political spectrum. Matthew had been a tax collector who the Zealots vowed to kill. If so, there would have been considerable tension between the two men. Unfortunately, no consensus exists on this issue.

While viewpoints differ, some see Simon as possibly a cousin of Jesus or a son of Joseph from a previous marriage. Interestingly enough, Simon was also believed to have been the second Bishop of Jerusalem, after James the brother of Jesus. The Abyssinians maintain Simon suffered crucifixion while the Bishop of Jerusalem. If this is the case, Simon would have probably assumed that position around 68 AD when the first Bishop James (the brother of Jesus) was martyred. Simon would have been in that role as Jerusalem was being destroyed by the Romans.

Again, reports differ, but Simon was reported to have preached in most of the countries of the ancient world, including Britain. In the history of the Parthian Empire, Simon preached in Persia and was martyred at Suamir.  Supposedly, his relics are under the Altar of the Crucifixion in the Vatican. With his relics is a saw because one account has him being sawed into pieces. Sorry, no certainty there either.

Simon remains a figure of legend far more than fact. What we can say of him for certain is that he left everything to follow Jesus. No more accolade there!

« Older Entries Recent Entries »