Continuing the series on “the Saints and prayer,” I spoke yesterday on prayer and the Eastern Church Fathers. I wanted them as a change of pace for two reasons:
- I find that Catholics in the West are much more familiar with Western Church Fathers like Augustine, Ambrose, Gregory, and Leo, than they are with Eastern Church Fathers like Basil, the Gregories, or John Chrysostom.
- To the extent that people do know the Eastern Church Fathers, it’s principally for their theology or their liturgical contributions. I wanted to look at a different aspect: what do these amazing theologians and saintly men have to say about praying?
To mix things up, I also spoke on St. Ephrem the Syrian, who is quite different from the others, both because he’s a Syriac Christian (rather than a Greek Christian), and because he’s principally known for his theologically-rich poems. He’s been compared to the “Syriac Dante,” and I think once you hear some of his theologically-rich poetry, you’ll understand why.