An icon of the first Council of Nicaea

After an unexpected hiatus, due largely to me moving across Ontario and starting a new job, Read the Fathers is back! We are picking up where we should be in the round of readings. I will continue striving to keep the Daily Readings posts current, and another volunteer is working at getting the calendar out as well.

This is a good starting point for a few reasons:

First, the next several days are short readings from texts that take only one or two days to read. We’re not re-starting in the middle of Lactantius’ Divine Institutes or something like that.

Second, the texts we’re about to encounter are of major significance for the unfolding of ancient ecclesiastical history and the history of dogma to this day — on Thursday, February 25, we read the first of the letters of Alexander of Alexandria about Arius. We are on the way to Nicaea (the title of a book by Fr John Behr probably worth reading just now!).

Third, before we hit Alexander, we also encounter matters to do with the lapsi in the work of one of his predecessors, Peter. The lapsi were the lapsed, those who gave in during persecution, and how exactly to treat them was already tearing the church asunder in the third century; things would only get worse in the fourth.

Fourth, it’s the First Sunday of Lent today by the western liturgical calendar. It seems that Reading the Fathers is an appropriate Lenten discipline! Unfortunately, East and West are pretty far apart for Easter this year, so Orthodox Lent does not begin until March 15. Still, if you’re Orthodox, it’s always a good time to read the Fathers!

Let’s get this rolling again!