We should now all have finished the Epistle of St. Clement to the Corinthians. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts on "old" threads; not everybody can read at the same pace, given the competing demands on our attention.
For those who have recently joined in this reading group, both members of Holy Family Homeschoolers and other friends, our guide text is Quasten's Patrology, Vol. 1 (you don't have to buy it to follow along, but it's worth the investment). We've read the Didache and St. Clement's Epistle to the Corinthians, and are now moving on to the letters of St. Ignatius of Antioch. All readings are linked on-line; just click on the name of the writing.
Linked texts are in the public domain, usually because they're quite old, and may therefore be less easily readable than a modern translation. There are several excellent translations about, available from bookstore or library.
Now this is a discussion group, and if the number of people who have told me, privately, that they're reading along were reflected in the number of comments, the discussion would be quite lively. Remember, there are no stupid comments; there are only empty comments boxes.
Now, on with Ignatius....
Epistle to the Ephesians
As Quasten treats the Ignatian letters all at once, I will post Quasten's observations on the letters generally as well as various comments on the particular letters.
Quasten on St. Ignatius: "Ignatius, second bishop of Antioch, an inimitable personality, was sentenced during Trajan's reign (98-117) to be devoured by wild beasts. He was ordered from Syria to Rome to suffer his martyrdom. On the way to the Eternal City he composed seven epistles.... These letters are a welcome enlightenment as to internal conditions of early Christian communities. They give us a glimpse, too, into the very heart of the great bishop-martyr and breathe forth a profound religious enthusiasm that catches us up and fires us."
On the Eucharist: "The Church is called 'the place of sacrifice' (Eph. 5,2).... Ignatius calls the Eucharist, 'the medicine of immortality, the antidote against death, and everlasting life in Jesus Christ' (Eph. 20,2).
On the bishops: "[T]he bishop constantly admonishes his flock to peace and unity, which can only be attained through solidarity with the hierarchy" (see Eph. 4).
On the inhabitation of Christ: "The Pauline idea of God's immanence in the human soul is a favorite theme of St. Ignatius. The divinity of Christ dwells in the souls of Christians as in a temple (Eph. 15, 3).... Ignatius is so thoroughly permeated and inspired by the consciousness of this immanence that he coins new words in the cultural vein of his time. He calls Christians Theophoroi, Xristophoroi, naophoroi. 'And thus you all are fellow travellers, God-bearers and temple-bearers, Christ-bearers' (Eph. 9,2)."
Next (for those who like to read ahead): Epistle to the Magnesians
Update: Friend-of-this-blog Amy reminds us that there are two "versions" of the Ignatian letters: the originals ("short recension"), and interpolated versions from the fourth century ("long recension"). I'm linking us to the short recension, but if you like a bit of compare-and-contrast, you can see the long recension here.