Action Alert!

Fathers of the Church

Letter LX: to Gregory His Uncle

Description

Basil expresses his happiness upon receiving a letter from his uncle, and states that where and when they will meet is for Gregory to decide. See also Letters LVIII and LIX.

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

FORMERLY I was glad to see my brother. Why not, since he is my brother and such a brother? Now I have received him on his coming to visit me with the same feelings, and have lost none of my affection. God forbid that I should ever so feel as to forget the ties of nature and be at war with those who are near and dear to me. I have found his presence a comfort in my bodily sickness and the other troubles of my soul, and I have been especially delighted at the letter which he has brought me from your excellency. For a long time I have been hoping that it would come, for this only reason, that I need not add to my life any doleful episode of quarrel between kith and kin, sure to give pleasure to foes and sorrow to friends, and to be displeasing to God, Who has laid down perfect love as the distinctive characteristic of His disciples. So I reply, as I am indeed bound, with an earnest request for your prayers for me, and your care for me in all things, as your relative. Since I, from want of information, cannot clearly understand the meaning of what is going on, I have judged it right to accept the truth of the account which you are so good as to give me. It is for you of your wisdom to settle the rest, our meeting with one another, the fitting time and a convenient place. If your reverence really does not disdain to come down to my lowliness and to have speech with me, whether you wish the interview to take place in the presence of others or in private, I shall make no objection, for I have once for all made up my mind to submit to you in love, and to carry out, without exception, what your reverence enjoins on me for the glory of God.

I have not laid my reverend brother under the necessity of reporting anything to you by word of mouth, because on the former occasion what he said was not borne out by facts.

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.