The Shepherd, August 2004

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FROM THE FATHERS

“LET pure religion, therefore, have this confidence, and doubt not that amid the persecutions at the hand of man and the dangers to the soul, it still has God for its helper.”
--St Hilary of Poitiers, + 367 A.D.

“PARTICIPATION [in the Mysteries] is spoken of; for through it we partake of the divinity of Jesus. Communion, too, is spoken of, and it is an actual communion, because through it we have communion with Christ and share in His flesh and His divinity: further, we that have communion are united with one another through it. For since we partake of one bread, we all become one body of Christ and one blood, and members one of another, being of one body with Christ. With all our strength, therefore, let us beware lest we receive communion from or grant it to heretics. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, saith the Lord, neither cast ye your pearls before swine (Matt 7:6), lest we become partakers in their dishonour and condemnation. For if union is in truth with Christ and with one another, we are assuredly voluntarily united also with all those who partake with us. For this union is effected voluntarily and not against our inclination. For we are all one body because we partake of the one bread (1 Cor. 10:17), as the divine Apostle says.”
--Ven. John of Damascus, + 754 A.D.

“TODAY’S great enemy of truth, drawing men to perdition, is delusion. As a result of this delusion, tenebrous ignorance rules the souls of all those sunk in lethargy and alienates them from God. Such people are as if unaware that there exists a God Who gives us rebirth and illumination, or they assume that we can believe in Him and know Him only in a theoretical way and not through our actions, or else they imagine that he has revealed Himself only to people of former times and not to us also; and they pretend that the Scriptural texts about God are applicable only to the original authors, or to others, but not to themselves. Thus they blaspheme the teaching about God, since they repudiate true knowledge inspired by devotion to God, and read the Scriptures only in a literal, not to say Judaic, manner; denying the possibility that man even in this life can be resurrected through the resurrection of his soul, they choose to remain in the grave of ignorance.”
--Ven. Gregory of Sinai, + 1346

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