Fathers of the Church

Letter XLIX. to Damianus, Bishop of Sidon

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) Here he deflects the praise of a fellow bishop back upon the sender.

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.

by Theodoret in Unknown | translated by Blomfield Jackson

It is the nature of mirrors to reflect the faces of them that gaze into them, and so whoever looks at them sees his own form. This is the same too with the pupils of the eyes, for they shew in them the likeness of other people's features. Of this your holiness furnishes an instance, for you have not seen my ugliness, but have beheld with admiration your own beauty. I really have none of the qualities which you have mentioned. It is nevertheless my prayer that your words may be vindicated by actual fact, and I beseech your piety by your prayers to cause it to come to pass that your praises may not fall to the ground through having no reality to correspond with them.

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.