Aug 16, 2010

The Unexpected Response

Pray continually for the rest of humankind as well, that they may find God, for there is in them hope for repentance. Therefore allow them to be instructed by you, at least by your deeds.

In response to their anger, be gentle;
in response to their boasts, be humble;
in response to their slander, offer prayers;
in response to their errors, be steadfast in the faith;
in response to their cruelty, be civilized;
do not be eager to imitate them.

Let us show by our forbearance that we are their brothers and sisters, and let us be eager to be imitators of the Lord, to see who can be the more wronged, who the more cheated, who the more rejected, in order that no weed of the devil may be found among you, but that with complete purity and self-control you may abide in Christ Jesus physically and spiritually.

- St. Ignatius, Letter to the Ephesians, 10.1-3

Aug 9, 2010

Discipline and Correction

I am reading through The Apostolic Fathers by Michael W. Holmes. In the 56th chapter Clement comments on the issue of spiritual discipline and correction from the Father and then quotes a portion from Job:
Let us accept correction, which no one ought to resent, dear friends. The reproof that we give one to another is good and exceedingly useful, for it unites us with the will of God...
"...Blessed is the person whom the Lord has reproved; do not reject the correction of the Almighty. For he causes pain, and he makes well again; he has wounded, and his hands have healed. Six times will he rescue you from distress, and the seventh time evil will not touch you. In famine he will rescue you from death, and in war he will release you from the power of the sword. From the scourge of the tongue he will hide you, and you will not be afraid when evils approach. You will laugh at the unrighteous and wicked, and of the wild beasts you will not be afraid, for wild beasts will be at peace with you. Then you will know that your house will be at peace, and the tent in which you dwell will not fail. And you will know that your seed will be many, and your children will be like the grass of the fields. And you will come to the grave like ripe wheat harvested at the proper time, or like a heap on the threshing floor gathered together at the right time..."(Job 5:17-26)
You see, dear friends, what great protection there is for those who are disciplined by the Master, because he is a kind Father, he disciplines us in order that we may obtain mercy through his holy discipline.