19 June 2008

Fatherly Wisdom-Living with Christ

Make yourselves gentle, and be born again in the faith which is the body of the Lord and in the love which is the blood of Jesus Christ. No one must bear a grudge against a neighbor. Never give the pagans the slightest pretext, so that the great majority who serve god will not be mocked because of the folly of a few. "Woe to the one on account of whose folly my name is blasphemed."

So turn a deaf ear to the talk of anyone whose language has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. Descended from David, he was truly born of Mary, he really ate and drank, He was really persecuted under Pontius Pilate, and truly died by crucifixion, while heavenly and earthly beings and those under the earth looked on. He truly rose from the dead, being raised by His Father. Those who believe in him ill be raise like him by the Father. We shall rise again in Christ without whom we do not have true life.

Avoid, then, those poisonous growths that bear deadly fruit; the mere taste of them is sudden death. Such growths are not of the Father's planting; if they were they would be recognized as branches of the cross, their fruit would be imperishable. The cross of Christ's passion is his invitation to you who are the members of his body. The head cannot come to life without the members, since God, the very ground of unity, has foretold such a union. (from Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Trallians, chap. 8-9; as cited in Wright, Readings for the Daily Office from the Early Church, p. 277)

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