Church Fathers

The Church Fathers are important in the revelation of God the Father, not only because of their status in the Church, but also because of their proximinity to Apostolic time. St. Irenaeus, for example, who lived between 130 and 200, speaks much about the Almighty Father in his writings:

St. Irenaeus

“God is the source of all activity throughout creation. Through His Word (Jesus) the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being. As it is written in the Gospel: ‘No man has ever seen God (Father) except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; He has revealed him.’ From the beginning the Son is the one who teaches us about the Father; he is with the Father from the beginning. He was to reveal to the human race the glorification of the Father, all in due order and harmony, at the appointed time and for our instruction. Where there is order, there is harmony; where there is harmony, there is correct timing; where there is correct timing, there is also advantage.”

“The Word became the steward of the Father’s Grace for the advantage of men, for whose benefit he made such wonderful arrangements. He revealed God to men and presented men to God. He safeguarded the invisibility of the Father to prevent man from treating God with contempt and set before him a constant goal toward which to make progress. On the other hand, he revealed God to men and made him visible in many ways to prevent man from being totally separated from God. If the revelation of God through creation gives life to all who live upon the earth, much more does the manifestation of the Father through the Word give life to those who see  God” (Liturgy of the hours, Vol. III, Feast of St. Irenaeus).

St. Ignatius of Antioch

“For though I am alive as I write to you, still my real desire is to die.  My love for this life has been crucified, and there is no yearning in me for any earthly thing. Rather within me is the living water which says deep inside me: ‘Come to the Father.’ I no longer take pleasure in perishable food or in the delights of this world.  I want only God’s bread, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, formed of the seed of David, and for drink I crave his blood, which is love that cannot perish.”

Origen

“For Origen, the affirmation that God is Father lies at the heart of Christian faith. It is fundamental to his conception of the divine nature, to his perception of the relation between God and the Son and its difference from the relation between God and the created order, and to his understanding of the process of  redemption. The description of God as Father is a commonplace of his theological vocabulary. His writings are replete with biblical quotations in which God is referred to as Father, many of which are from the Gospel of John” (Widdicombe, P. Coptic Orthodox Church Network).

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“Our eyes frequently cannot look upon the nature of the light itself, that is, upon the substance of the sun: but when we behold his splendor or his rays pouring in, perhaps, through windows or samll openings to admit the light, we can reflect how great is the supply and source of the light of the body. So, in like manner, the works of Divine Providence and the plan of this whole world are sort of rays, as it were, of the nature of God, in comparison with His real substance and being. As therefore, our understanding is unable of itself to behold God Himself as He is, it knows the Father of the world from the beauty of His works and the comeliness of His creatures.”

St. Augustine

Seek the Father in all things

“For if man has been so created as to attain, through that which is most excellent in him, to that which excels all things – that is, to the one true and absolutely good God, without whom no nature exists, no doctrine instructs, no excercise profits – let Him be sought in whom all things are secure to us, let Him be discovered in whom all truth becomes certain to us, let Him be loved in whom all becomes right to us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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