The Shepherd, July 2004

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FROM THE FATHERS

“WE SAY: Hallowed be Thy Name (Matt. 6:9), not that we want God to be made holy by our prayers, but because we seek from the Lord that His name may be made holy in us.  Indeed, by whom could God be made holy, when it is He that sanctifies?  But because He Himself said, Be ye holy, as I too am holy  (1 Ptr 1:16, see Lev. 20:7), we ask and seek that very thing, so that we who have been made holy in Baptism may persevere in what we have begun to be.  For this do we pray daily.  We have a daily need of being made holy, so that we who sin daily may be cleansed again of our sins by continual sanctification.…  The Apostle says that we have been made holy in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (see 1 Cor. 6:11).  We pray that this sanctification may abide in us, …  and we make this petition in our constant prayers, we ask it day and night, so that the sanctification and vivification which is received from the grace of God may, by His protection, be preserved.”
--Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian of Carthage + 251 A.D.

“CHRIST is among His chosen servants, and while in His holy wisdom He permits that they suffer persecution, He seems to sleep.  But when the storm is at at its fiercest, and those in the Barque can endure no more, then ought we to cry out: Rise up, why sleepest Thou, O Lord?  (Ps. 43:24).  Without delay He will awaken, and take away all thy fear.  He will reprove them that afflict us, and change our mourning into joy, unfolding to us a shining and untroubled sky.  For He averts not His face from those that trust in Him.”
--Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, 318 - 386 A.D.


“GOD AWAITS occasions to show us His great liberality.  Let us not by laziness, then, defraud ourselves of His gifts, but hasten and be eager to begin to take the path that leads back to virtue, so that, enjoying help from above, we may be strengthened to persevere to the end; for unless we are assisted from above it is not possible for us to do right at any time.”
--Saint John Chrysostom,  + 407 A.D.

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