Blogging on the writings of the Fathers offers some unique things to the prospective blogger!
First, the writings of the Fathers are a treasury of theology, truth, wisdom, instruction, and just plain old fashioned good advice. They offer to the reader a chance to see a reflection of the Gospel teachings as expressed in different ages, in different struggles. Readers will see that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The condition of man hasn’t changed. The condition of the Church hasn’t changed. The condition of Christians in, but not of, the world is still the same.
Second, the writings of the Fathers are good sources for supplementing Scriptural instruction. The Fathers knew the Bible very well in its proper context, and used it to teach important truths about our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Holy Church, to compare and contrast with false, fashionable or novel ideas about faith, life and salvation were rampant – just as they are today.
Third, the Fathers are loaded with great one-liners.Consider blogging on the layers of meaning and the powerful truths contained in these little gems;
“We must be super-conservative in preserving the orthodox faith, and super-modern in propagating it.” ~St. Nikolai Velimerovich
“From this day forth, from this hour, from this minute, let us love God above all, and strive to do His holy will.” – St. Herman of Alaska
“We have been given this life for repentance. Do not waste it in vain pursuits.” – St. Isaac the Syrian
“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ, and knowledge of it is knowledge of Him.” – St. Jerome
“Do not approach the mysterious words in the Scriptures without prayer and without asking help from God, saying: Lord, grant me to perceive the power that is in them. Deem prayer as the key to the insight of truth in Scripture.” – St. Isaac the Syrian
“The stomach is a greedy kitchen dog, addicted to barking.” – St. John Climacus
“I was born to love people. It doesn’t concern me if he is a Turk, black, or white. I see in the face of each person the image of God. And for this image of God I am willing to sacrifice everything.” – Elder Amphilochios Makris of Patmos
The quote from St. Nikolai Velimerovich is a favorite here at the Preachers Institute (for obvious reasons). The quote from St. John Climacus is especially memorable during the holiday season.
The Fathers are a storehouse of great proverbs, sayings and truths. Pick one, reflect on it, share it and inspire your readers with it.
Fourth, there is a great deal of ignorance regarding the Fathers – what they taught, what they knew or didn’t know, whether or not they were trying to be creative, etc. While it may take a little more reading, we all remember patristics class in seminary, and all the things we wanted to read, and why! Share those nuggets of gold with your readers. They don’t have time to look it all up, but if you do the work, and offer them the fruits of it, you will have readers return to you for more again and again.
Finally, the writings of the Fathers are the patrimony of all Christians. The Fathers are the inheritance they never heard of. Much of what your readers are struggling with is given help an healing by their words. These Spirit-inspired testimonies need to be heard.
Sure, there are probably too many Patristics scholars in Orthodoxy in America, but that is no reason not to share the riches of this magnificent feast with everyone you can!
And be sure to blog about your own experiences with your favorite patristic teachers.