Ears to Hear – Advent 7

Epistle to Diognetus (127)

The Letter to Diognetus is one of the most interesting documents we have from the early Church. It was probably written in the second century, and is an example of early Christian apologetics, that is, explaining the Christian faith to pagans. We don’t know who wrote this text, the author refers to himself only as ‘a disciple’. In the segment we will hear today, the writer reflects on how the coming into the world of the Son of God is a revelation of God’s love for us.

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Ears to Hear – Advent 6

Augustine on the Psalms(98)

We continue our series of Advent readings today with another excerpt from St Augustine’s writings – I warned you that he wrote a lot! Today he’s talking about one of his favourite topics: desire! For Augustine, having desire in our hearts is a good thing, but it must be desire for the right things. Ultimately, he thinks, desire will lead us to God, who alone can satisfy us completely. In the meantime, we should be like lovers yearning for the presence of the Beloved. And so, as the days get darker, our yearning for the light of Bethlehem grows stronger and stronger.

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Ears to Hear – Advent 5

Sermon by Augustine (98)

We hear again this week from St Augustine, the great teacher of the Christian West. In today’s reading, he’s comparing the figures of John the Baptist and Christ. John the Baptist is a great Advent figure. He reminds us that preparing for Christmas involves not only buying presents, but also a spiritual preparation: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord’ he says! He teaches us also the great virtue of humility too – he wished only to stand aside when Christ arrived on the scene. This is the humility with which we should be approaching the Christ-child in the cradle…

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Ears to Hear – Advent 4

Augustine on the Psalms

St Augustine was a Roman African who lived in the dying days of the Roman Empire, he was a bishop, a theologian, and one of the greatest minds of the early Church. He wrote and preached an enormous amount of material, and we hear today a selection from his teaching on the book of Psalms.

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Ears to Hear – Advent 3

Lumen Gentium (81)

In 1962, Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council, a gathering of several thousand bishops whose task was to rearticulate the teaching of the Church in the context of the modern world. Today, we hear from one of the documents they produced, Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church. We hear that the Church doesn’t just look backwards to Jesus, but also looks forward to the end of time, when He will come again, and inaugurate a new heaven and a new earth. In Advent, we remind ourselves that we are a people of hope, yearning for the second coming of Christ.

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Ears to Hear – Advent 2

Our second reading is from St Charles Borromeo

Our second Advent reading is from another well-loved bishop: St Charles Borromeo. He was born into a powerful Italian family, and was lined up for a career in the Church. The Church in Italy at this time was notoriously corrupt, though – when Charles’ uncle was elected Pope in 1559, he made Charles a cardinal, despite the fact that he was only 22 years old, and hadn’t even been ordained a priest! Despite all this, Charles became a wonderful bishop, with a great love for his people and a desire for holiness in his priests. At a time when many bishops neglected their flocks, St Charles paid great attention to their education in the faith. This reading is taken from a pastoral letter written to the faithful in his diocese of Milan, explaining to them the meaning of the liturgical season of Advent.

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Ears to Hear – Advent 1

Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem

The writer of today’s reading was a Christian from the Middle East, who became bishop of Jerusalem in 335. Cyril was his name. As bishop, he had great care for the poor, and he was also very involved in political life, but it is as a teacher that he is best known. The passage that we will hear today is from his Catechesis, that is, his teaching to newly baptized adults. It’s part of the Advent liturgy because it lays out two major Advent themes: the coming of the Son of God as a man, which we celebrate at Christmas, and the second coming of Christ at the end of time, to which we look forward in expectation and hope.

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Ears to Hear – Introduction

Ears to Hear

Welcome to the new audio series, ‘Ears to Hear’, produced by the Dominican students of the Irish Province for our website dominicansinteractive.com. We took the name for this series from a line in the book of Revelation: ‘You that have ears to hear, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Rev 3:22). We know that the Spirit has never let the Church down, but has continued to speak through the teaching of the Church, and the wonderful witness of the saints. This series seeks to make some spiritual classics of the Christian tradition accessible to the Internet age. We have some real gems to share with you, from the Rhineland mystics, to St Augustine, from St Gregory Nazianzen to the many anonymous poets and preachers who have witnessed to the Truth.

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Ears to Hear – Easter Sunday

A Reading from a Paschal Homily of an Ancient Author

Alleluia! Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! The unknown author of this ancient homily describes this day as ‘the source of life, the beginning of brightness’. Have a listen, and bask in the joy of the Risen Lord!

Ears to Hear – Holy Saturday

A Reading from an Ancient Homily for Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is an eerily silent day. There is no morning Mass, no bells ringing, no choirs singing. Instead, all  the Christian world is in silent mourning – the Beloved is dead, and they have laid him in the tomb. Something is going on within the silence though, imperceptibly. Christ descends and says to all the dead:  ‘Awake’!