Communion with Irenaeus

When I was studying Christology earlier this year, I had the opportunity to read some of the writings of the 2nd Century theologian St. Irenaeus of Lyons. Even though he was Bishop of Lyons, France, he was in actual fact a Father of the Eastern Church, having been born and raised in Smyrna in Asia Minor. The other interesting to me fact about Irenaeus was that he claimed an early connection to the Christian story: he was a pupil of Polycarp, who himself had known John and others who were "eyewitnesses of the Life of the World" as he wrote in a letter. In other words, he received his knowledge of Jesus and the Christian life from the very first Christian generation.

I bring this up because early in my retreat, it was his feast day. I spent some time with him that day, re-reading my paper on Irenaeus which included some quotes from his writings in particular this one: "communion with God is life and light and enjoyment of the good things."


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