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Basil and Gregory – Wisdom From The East

“Much time had I spent in vanity, and had wasted nearly all my youth acquiring the sort of wisdom made foolish by God. Then once, like a man roused from deep sleep, I turned my eyes to the marvelous light of the truth of the Gospel, and I perceived the uselessness of the ‘wisdom of the princes of this world, that come to naught’. I wept many tears over my miserable life, and I prayed that I might receive guidance to admit me to the doctrines of true religion.” (St. Basil the Great)

“Are you still in the flower of youth? If so, you should fight courageously against all sinful movements of the soul and then reap the harvest which comes from not having given in to those inclinations to such an age is exposed. Are you entering old age? If so, do not allow your spirit to grow old, and look forward to death as a time of your certain liberty; you will go forth from this life fully content with that situation which comes afterwards, where none are children nor are there any old people, but all are perfect adults in the state of perfection. Do you have beauty of body? Then see to it that the beauty of your soul can stand comparison with it. Have you good health? Then make use of that strength of body. Are you suffering some illness? You must fight and should this not avail, you will really gain the victory – that of never having to fight again.” (St. Gregory Nazianzen)

Today, the Church remembers two great 4th century Fathers of the Eastern Church, St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen. The two childhood friends studied together at Athens and went on to do much to advance the teaching of the Catholic Faith. Their works serve as a reminder that we are all called to holiness, no matter what our state in life. The road to sanctity may be different for each person, but it’s important to remember that it can be found in the course of our ordinary daily lives. As we celebrate their memorial, let’s ask for their intercession in finding our own personal road to holiness.

St Basil and St. Gregory, pray for us.

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