Praying with Irenaeus
During my theology studies I have become friendly with a 2nd Century theologian named Irenaeus of Lyons. St. Irenaeus actually--today is his feast day. I read some of his writings in Christology and History of Ancient Christianity.
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. Initially I was intrigued by an earlier connection he claimed 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.
Last year on retreat I spent some quality time with Irenaeus. This picture with a quote from him captures the experience so well. Nice to return to that moment, even if only in photographic form.
Here's to experiences that illustrate this truth: "communion with God is life and light and enjoyment of the good things." God loves us SO much. There are signs all around us, but sometimes we need to take a moment, stop, breathe in the fresh air, and bask in the sunlight. Or rain as the case may be.