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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (St. Basil of Caesarea) > Letter 117

Letter 117

ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA

Without address.

For many reasons I know that I am a debtor to your reverence, and now the anxiety in which I find myself necessarily puts me in the way of services of this kind, although my advisers are mere chance comers, and not like yourself joined to me by many and different ties. There is no need to bring the past under review. I may say that I was the cause of my own difficulties, by determining to leave that good discipline which alone leads to salvation. The result was that in this trouble I soon fell into temptation. What happened has seemed worthy of mention, so that I may not again fall into similar distress. As to the future, I wish to give full assurance to your reverence, that, by God's grace, all will go well, since the proceeding is lawful, and there is no difficulty about it, as many of my friends about the court are ready to help me. I shall therefore have a petition drawn up, similar to the form presented to the Vicar; and, if no delay intervene, I shall promptly get my discharge, and shall be sure to give you relief by sending you the formal document. I feel sure that in this my own convictions have more force than the imperial orders. If I show this fixed and firm in the highest life, by God's aid the keeping of my chastity will be inviolable and sure. I have been pleased to see the brother entrusted to me by you, and hold him among my intimate friends. I trust he may prove worthy of God and of your good word.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202117.htm>.

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