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Fathers of the Church

Letter CXXVIII. to Candidus, Presbyter and Archimandrite

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 brief letter Theodoret encourages and aged priest to take up the battle against heresy despite his age, especially through prayer.

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

I am afraid that the vigour of your godly soul has been overcome by old age, and that you do not keep your hands stretched out as usual. So Amalek is trying to win. May there be some to succour your weakness, as once of old Ur and Aaron supported the hands of the law-giver, that you may overthrow Amalek and save Israel. These are days when we specially need more earnest prayers, when Gentiles and Jews and every heresy are at peace, and the Church alone is beaten by the storm and surrounded by the boisterous billows.

We indeed specially need the aid of your prayers, for those whom we reckoned to be fighting on our side are fighting on that of our foes.

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.