If you’ve been putting up with me long enough, you will recall that last November on this blog I was gung-ho about an exciting new initiative called ‘Read the Fathers‘. This initiative is still ongoing (follow the link!), and hopefully will continue for another six years. And last year, starting with Advent 1, I was into this. Sometimes ‘Read the Fathers’ passages would be discussed on this blog. Sometimes I would turn up there as a blogger as well.
And then, suddenly.
I wasn’t doing it anymore.
Somewhere during Clement of Alexandria (whose feast is tomorrow; saint of the week here) I started having trouble getting through the readings. And then I went to Germany, where my access to English books that I could take home with me was curtailed for a while as I awaited my student card — as well as books not on open shelving at the University of Tübingen. And I dislike extensive online reading.
And since I’m always reading something ancient or mediaeval anyway, I stopped.
Since April, I have read the Fathers. I’ve read much of St Augustine’s City of God. I’ve read the poems and letters of Sidonius Apollinaris, the History of the Vandal Persecution by Victor of Vita, the Creedal Homilies of Quodvultdeus, the Chronicle of Hydatius, the Chronicle of Victor of Tonnena, and On Repentance by Victor of Cartenna. Besides these fifth-century works (all from North Africa save Sidonius [Gaul] and Hydatius [Spain]), I read One Hundred Latin Hymns from Ambrose to Aquinas, ed. and trans. by P G Walsh and Christopher J Husch. I also read the early mediaeval letters of St Boniface (saint of the week here) and the late mediaeval Imitation of Christ by St Thomas a Kempis — not mentioning the various secular and pagan works from the ancient and mediaeval worlds that I also read.
But today I rejoin the ‘Read the Fathers’ bandwagon! I don’t know how long it will take me to fall off the bandwagon, but I’m trying. Today is a good day to join — we read Pontius’ Life and Passion of Cyprian. If today doesn’t work for you, try tomorrow when we begin Cyprian’s letters. And the great thing about letters is how easily you could jump in any day from here until we finish Cyprian’s letters on Christmas Adam (23 Dec).