Iranaeus of Lyon: Passing on the Good News
By:Deacon Keith A Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
Born in Asia Minor in 130 A.D., Irenaeus was educated in Smyrna where he learned the Christian faith from Polycarp. Polycarp was a friend of John, the beloved disciple, the author of the Gospel that bears his name.
He learned it from the One who proclaimed, lived, and--Himself--was the Good News--Jesus Christ. Polycarp sent his young disciple on a missionary journey to Lyons, France, to spread the same message of Love Incarnate.
He was later ordained to the priesthood under the Bishop of Lyons, St. Pothinus, and became one of the founders of the Church in that country. He succeeded Pothinus as Bishop in 178.
Filled with fervor for the full faith handed down from the Apostles, Irenaeus vigorously defended it against the early aberrations of the Gnostics (who warped the message into a hidden secret for only a few); and the Montanists (who disdained the body and totally misunderstood the implications of the Word becoming flesh).
His most famous work, preserved to this day, is his Treatise Against Heresies. The arguments contained in this masterpiece are still being made by the Church he served as She faces efforts to undermine and obscure the full promise of the Christian faith--the total transformation of humanity in Jesus Christ.
This great defender of the faith insisted on the central claim of Christianity: God can be known and loved--indeed, that is why He came into our midst in the person of His Son; that through that relationship, man participates in the very life of God and is literally transformed.
He would write: "The glory of God gives life; those who see God receive life. For this reason, God--who cannot be grasped, comprehended, or seen--allows Himself to be seen, comprehended, and grasped by men, that He may give life to those who see and receive Him. It is impossible to live without life, and the actualization of life comes from participation in God, while participation in God is to see God and enjoy His goodness."
This marvelous truth is the heart of the Incarnation, the central doctrine of the Christian faith. Jesus Christ both fully reveals who God is to man, and who man is to become in God. The words of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council, the latest ecumenical council of the Church Irenaeus served, underscore the profundity of this great truth in the most oft-quoted passage of the pontificate of John Paul II:
"In reality, it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. For Adam, the first man, was a type of Him who was to come, Christ the Lord, Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of His love, reveals man to himself and brings to light His most high calling" (Church in the Modern World, n. 22; emphasis mine).
The men and women of Irenaeus' time had a difficult time grasping this profound truth. Yet--against extraordinary opposition--he defended, embodied, and witnessed this truth; bearing as his final witness the shedding of His blood in the year 200 A.D.
Not only can all men and women know God, but all men and women were created to be transformed in Him through His Son. That message shook the world of the Apostolic age, and literally transformed it from within.
There are many who believe that this very same message will transform the world that Christians face in the Third Christian Millennium. I am one of them.
The heart of the message has not changed, and it alone can melt and refashion the hardened hearts of the post modernist. This transformation will lead to the only true and authentic "humanism," Christianity.
To an age still seeking good news, we are now called, as was Irenaeus, to "pass it on". That way the Incarnation continues through the words we speak and the way we live.
Rev. Mr. Keith A Fournier is the founder and president of "Common Good", a way, work, and movement dedicated to the conversion of culture. (http://www.commongoodonline.com) A constitutional lawyer, he founded "Lentz, Stepanovich and Fournier, P.L.C.", a law firm in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Long active in social, cultural and political participation, Fournier has served as a pro-life and pro-family lobbyist, the first Executive Director of the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice), an advisor to the presidential campaign of Steve Forbes and has recently launched "Common Good Legal Defense Fund", an outreach of "Common Good". Fournier holds a Bachelors degree (B.A.) from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Philosophy and Theology, a Masters Degree (M.T.S.) in Sacred Theology from the John Paul II Institute of the Lateran University, a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Pittsburgh and an Honorary Doctor of Laws (L.L.D.) from St. Thomas University. Fournier is the author of seven books on issues concerning life, faith, evangelization, ecumenism, family, political participation, public policy and cultural issues. Along with Michael and Sandy Galloway, he is a founder of "Your Catholic Voice" and serves as a features editor for Catholic Online.
http://www.commongoodonline.com VA, US
Deacon Keith Fournier - President/founder, 757 546-9580
Saints and Heroes
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 20th, 2017 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Saturday, November 18, 2017
- The FBI may investigate Planned Parenthood
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 21st, 2017 HD Video
- Has Pope Francis violated the 8th Commandment, speaking out against ...
- St. Rose Philippine Duchesne: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November ...
- Pope Francis calls for end of life care to acknowledge mortality
- The Catholic Miracle. Become part of our incredible mission HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, November 19th, 2017 HD
- Did Pope Francis blast 'perverse attitude' of climate change deniers? HD
- Scientists warn: The end of life as we know it is near HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way