Stained glass window in the Cenacle (Upper Room)
When [the apostles] entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying.[…]
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
Fr. Smith’s Commentary on the Church Fathers
Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 21, 2023
The weekly commentaries after Easter have examined the Eucharistic writings of some of the greatest theologians of the early church whom we now call the Fathers. The Chuch Fathers are always worth reading but especially during the “Year of the Eucharist”. As we have seen, the Fathers have offered wonderful insights and I must admit regret that very few of the copious materials prepared for the “Year of the Eucharist” have included their wisdom. A notable exception is Cardinal Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark. The central section of His Pastoral letter on the Eucharist “Returning to Grace” is on St. Augustine, the most brilliant of the all the Fathers and the one to whom we now turn:
St Augustine (354-430 AD) is so complex a figure that providing even a superficial biography would be impossible for our present purposes. Most simply, he was a man of his time and place and wished to address contemporary questions. As we have seen, one of them was the consequences of being bodily creatures. Christians held the Jewish view that we did not have a body, we were our bodies. They are good, that the fullness of the Kingdom would be bodily, and we were not just ghosts in a machine.