Monday, April 29, 2013

The Victory of Christ in Us

"Let us award the victory to Christ in his struggles. Let us erect our own trophies for Christ's warfare. Let us not soil the tunic of faith which grace has woven. Do not dishonor the gift which you have received from Christ. Recognize the Giver and protect the gift. If you were guarding a pearl or royal purple, would you not exercise custody until death? But now you are not merely entrusted with custody of pearls, or royal purple, or property; the Lord's body itself has been entrusted to you. More than that, I say you have become the body of the Lord, you are a member of Christ. Put on Christ, in Paul's words: You have been baptized in Christ, you have put on Christ (Gal 3:27). Do not betray Christ's members. You have become the dwelling place of the Spirit and a member of the King of the heavens. Let us, then, honor the gift with virtues! Let us practice temperance; let us exercise generosity. Let us practice almsgiving. Let us shake off the poison of lack of faith; let us avoid guile, the devil's friend; let us hate lies, the weapon of our enemy. Let us imitate the blessed Paul who after his baptism preached Christ whom he had persecuted beforehand. Let us imitate the Ethiopian eunuch who was baptized along the road and himself became a road to baptism for the Ethiopians. Let us multiply the talent of grace, so that we may hear the longed for voice of our Lord, saying: Well done, good and faithful servant, you were faithful over a few things, I will place you over many. Enter into the joy of your Lord. To him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen."
--Basil of Seleucia, "The Christian Combat," §8

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