Fathers of the Church

Letter CXX. to Lupicius

Description

Theodoret’s letters are a mine of information for the history of the fifth century, of the author’s life and of the history of dogma in general. This large correspondence is distinguished for its unpretentious learning, felicitous diction and perfect grace of style. (Quasten) In this letter Theodoret encourages his correspondence to view the present crisis in the Church as an opportunity to serve God by defending the truth.

Provenance

Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393-466), the wise and zealous bishop of Cyrus, a small town near Antioch, was the last great theologian of the school of Antioch. Although he first considered Alexandrian Christology dangerous, and refused to condemn Nestorius until the Council of Chalcedon, his commitment to the correct doctrine of the Incarnation should not be questioned. As late as the 14th century more than 500 of his letters were extant, of which we still have 232. Letters CXIV-CXXXII were written during his exile from Cyrus after the “Robber-Council” of Ephesus.

by Theodoret in 449-450 | translated by Blomfield Jackson

Even the enemies of the truth must, I think, be indignant at the injustice and illegality of the violence done us. It is only reasonable that the nurslings of the truth, at whose head stands your excellency, should be still more distressed at this new and surprising tragedy. It is only right that those who are the more grieved should show the more earnestness and zeal to counteract the deeds impiously and illegally done; and restore to its previous concord the Church's body now in peril of being torn asunder. Wherefore I beseech your excellency to reckon the present crisis an opportunity for spiritual reciprocity; to give on your side earnestness on behalf of the truth, and to receive from our generous Master alike His kindly care in this present life and in the life to come the kingdom of heaven.

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. (NPNF II/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.