Fathers of the Church

Letter L. to the Archimandrite Gerontius

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 briefly praises the recipient’s piety and asks for his prayers.

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

The characters of souls are often depicted in words and their unseen forms revealed; so now your reverence's letter exhibits the piety of your holy soul. Your waiting for that sentence, your anxiety, your search for advocates and preparation for a defence, clearly indicate your soul's zeal about divine things. We on the contrary are in a manner inactive and sleepy; we are nurtured in idleness, and stand in need of much assistance from prayers. Give them to us, O man beloved of God, that now at all events we may wake up and give some care to the soul.

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.