Fathers of the Church

Letter XIX: to Gregory My Friend

Description

Basil had a great longing for friendship and loyalty. Thus the letters addressed to friends for the exchange of ideas, for consolation, encouragement and advice are especially numerous. He is always anxious to hear from his friends and often asks them to write. (Quasten) The following is one of many letters to St. Gregory of Nazianzus, with whom he had a lifelong friendship.

Provenance

St. Basil's correspondence is a copious and invaluable store of information for the history of the Eastern Church in the fourth century, particularly in Cappadocia. Since he never found a real biographer, his letters represent the best source for his life and times, for his many activities and far-reaching influence, especially for his personality and his character. (Quasten)

by Basil the Great in 357-370 | translated by Blomfield Jackson, M.A

I RECEIVED a letter from You the day before yesterday. It is shewn to be yours not so much by the handwriting as by the peculiar style. Much meaning is expressed in few words. I did not reply on the spot, because I was away from home, and the letter- carrier, after he had delivered the packet to one of my friends, went away. Now, however, I am able to address you through Peter, and at the same time both to return your greeting, and give you an opportunity for another letter. There is certainly no trouble in writing a laconic dispatch like those which reach me from you.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (PNPF II/VIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.