To Stephen, Abbot.
Gregory to Stephen, etc.
The account given us by Augustine, servant of God, the bearer of these presents, has made us joyful, in that he has told us that your Love is vigilant as you ought to be; and he further affirms that the presbyters and deacons and the whole congregation live in unanimity and concord. And, since the goodness of presidents is the salutary rule of their subjects, we implore Almighty God to enkindle you always in good works by the grace of His loving-kindness, and to keep those who are committed to you from all temptation of diabolical deceit, and grant to them to live with you in charity and in the manner of life that pleases Him.
But, since the enemy of the human race never rests from plotting against our doings, so as to deceive in some part souls that are serving God, therefore, most beloved son, we exhort you to exercise vigilantly your anxious care, and so to keep those who are committed to you by prayer and heedfulness that the prowling wolf may find no opportunity for tearing the flock: to the end that, when you shall have rendered to our God unharmed those of whom you have undertaken the charge, He may both of His grace repay you with rewards for your labour and multiply in you longings for eternal life.
We have received the spoons and plates which you have sent us, and we thank your Charity, because you have shown how you love the poor in having sent for their use such things as they need.
Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 12. 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/360206056.htm>.
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