“To search the sacred Scripture is very good and most profitable for the soul. For, ‘like a tree which is planted near the running waters,’ so does the soul watered by sacred Scripture also grow hearty and bear fruit in due season,” writes John of Damascus in Orthodox Faith (4.17). By helping us to read holy writings with ancient eyes, the church fathers help us drink deeply from the only water that can give us true life. This guide to prayer and reflection combines excerpts from the writings of the church fathers as found in the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture with a simple structure for daily or weekly reading and prayer. There are 52 weeks of readings following the weekly lectionary cycle A. You can read through them in order or by thematic interest. Each day you will also find a simple opening and closing prayer drawn from the prayers and hymns of the ancient church.
There are few books that appeal equally to the imagination and the professional interest of the scholar. [This] is one such book. Scholars can benefit professionally from using such a devotional: it is profitable to see those historical figures that are the objects of our study as being erring, yet worshipping, humans like ourselves
—John Reeve, Seminary Studies, Andrews University, Autumn 2008
My own rediscovery of liturgy, and my more recent appetite for the church fathers, find perfect combination in this new IVP book. At the end of the book is a helpful biographical section. I have found this devotional useful, and I turn to it now and then for more variety in my liturgical diet. Plus, because its liturgical programme is not too demanding it is nonthreatening and adaptable.
—Chris Tilling, Chrisendom, March 12, 2008
Cindy Crosby is the author, contributor to, or compiler of more than twenty books, including By Willoway Brook: Exploring the Landscape of Prayer. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including Publishers Weekly, Books & Culture, Christian Century, and Christianity Today. She speaks and teaches in the Chicago region.