[quote="Michael57, post:17, topic:340667"]
I am delighted to write that I just finished my second reading of the Shepard (or Pastor) of Hermas.
Why twice, you might ask?
Well, the first time was long ago when I was not yet in communion with the Catholic Church (actually I thought the Catholic Church was lost in apostasy and other such nonsense, a la J Ch*ck tracts and other bad teachings), and was reading through the Early Church Fathers. It happened to be tucked away in one of the volumes I borrowed.
At the time, I did not get much from it, more questions/confusion than answers...it read very vague and obscure, and somewhat dry. I didn't care for it at all. At the time I was looking to prove that the Catholic Church had "fallen away from the true faith" and it offered no support. (Like I was any great scholar...:doh2:)
My second reading has been under different personal conditions, the main one is that I am reading it for the first time as a practicing Catholic. This time I savored every page, whereas before, I couldn't get through it fast enough (it's not very long anyway :shrug:). I can now see why some of the early churches read it as a part of the Mass (in the same esteem as the Epistles), and why a few advocated it's consideration as part of the canon.
I'm going to keep it on my reading list, and delve into it deeper.
What a book! A great Catholic message of grace, hope, faith, redemption, and the trials of this earthly life. A great picture of Christ's Church as seen from God's point of view and as shown to Hermas in a vision by His Angel.
I have to let it percolate for a while before I read it again. I think it is one of the most profound early Christian works that I have read to date.
Thanks for sharing that! I must say that its been years ago since I last read it, and it was prior to my conversion to the Church. I may follow your steps and start reading it again!