Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXXXII: to Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium

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)

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

EVERY day that brings me a letter from you is a feast day, the very greatest of feast days. And when symbols of the feast are brought, what can I call it but a feast of feasts, as the old law used to speak of Sabbath of Sabbaths? I thank the Lord that you are quite well, and that you have celebrated the commemoration of the economy of salvation in a Church at peace. I have been disturbed by some troubles; and have not been without distress from the fact of my God-beloved brother being in exile. Pray for him that God may one day grant him to see his Church healed from the wounds of heretical bites. Do come to see me while I am yet upon this earth. Act in accordance with your own wishes and with my most earnest prayers. I may be allowed to be astonished at the meaning of your blessings, inasmuch as you have mysteriously wished me a vigorous old age. By your lamps you rouse me to nightly toil; and by your sweet meats you seem to pledge yourself securely that all my body is in good case. But there is no munching for me at my time of life, for my teeth have long ago been worn away by time and bad health. As to what you have asked me there are some replies in the document I send you, written to the best of my ability, and as opportunity has allowed.

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.