Sunday, June 20, 2004

Christian Heritage - June 19 - Let Us Put Up with Bites and Blows

I ask you, what greater madness, what fiercer rage, or even comparable delirium, than to strike the cheek of a holy person, inflict a blow on the face of a gentle brother or sister, vent grim spite against a winning, peaceful countenance, strip human beings of their only garment, and, out of vile greed, pay no heed to God, man, nature, or modesty; to commandeer the service of people going about their own work, and find one's solace in the sufferings of others? Therefore, since we know that those who do such things suffer from a very severe derangement, let us obey Christ and with all the strength afforded by religion let us put up with the bites and blows and burdens heaped on us by frenzied brothers or sisters; in this way we may deliver them from punishment and win an everlasting reward for our patience.

Peter Chrysologus (AD 400-450), Sermo 38: CCL 24, 217-219

Forgive me for any of my bites and blows, O Lord. Forgive me for any of my bites and blows, oh my brothers and sisters.

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