Thursday, August 25, 2011

Historical Church Writings #3: Gregory of Nazianzus

Today is Historical Church Writing Thursday. Each Thursday will feature the writings of the church fathers, reformation fathers or other church writings. Today's Historical Church Writing is from Gregory of Nazianzus:    
[C]onsider by [St. Paul's] example how important a matter is the care of souls... The manifold character of his ministry? Consider his loving-kindness and, on the other hand, his strictness and the combination and blending of the two in such way that his gentleness should not weaken nor his severity exasperate.... On behalf of some he gives thanks; others he upbraids. Some he names his joy and crown; others he charges with folly. Some who hold a straight course he accompanies, sharing in their zeal; others who are going wrong he checks. At one time he excommunicates; at another he confirms his love. At one time he grieves; at another rejoices. At one time he feeds with milk; at another he handles mysteries. At one time he condescends; at another he raises to his own level. At one time he threatens a rod; at another he offers the spirit of meekness. At one time he is haughty toward the lofty; at another lowly toward lowly. Now he is least of the apostles, now he offers a proof of Christ speaking in him; now he longs for departure and is being poured forth as a libation, now he thinks it more necessary for their sakes to abide in the flesh. For he seeks not his own interests, but those of his children whom he has begotten in Christ by the Gospel. This is the aim of all his spiritual authority, in everything to neglect his own in comparison with the advantage of others.
     -- Gregory of Nazianzus
Jesu Juva,
Soli Deo Gloria

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