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Ascetical Works (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 9)

Saint Basil

Publication Year: 2010

Published by: The Catholic University of America Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-xii

St. Basil's journey in search of a guide in the way of the monastic life took him to Egypt as an obvious main objective. Here the Christian Church was eminent both for orthodoxy and asceticism and here also was to be found the cradle of Christian eremetical or semi-eremetical life in its two lines of...

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An Introduction to the Ascetical Life

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pp. 9-13

Come, then, soldier of Christ, with the aid of these ordinary parallels drawn from human considerations conceive the desire of everlasting goods. Set before yourself a life without house, homeland, or possessions. Be free and at liberty from all worldly cares, lest desire of a wife or anxiety for a...

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An Ascetical Discourse and Exhortation on the Renunciation of the World and Spiritual Perfection

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pp. 15-31

Does it not seem to you, then, that the Gospel applies to married persons also? Surely, it has been made clear that obedience to the Gospel is required of all of us, both married and celibate. The man who enters the married state may well be satisfied in obtaining pardon for his incontinency and...

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A Discourse on Ascetical Discipline

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pp. 33-36

Before all else, also, the monk must abstain from the society of women and from wine-bibbing because wine and women will cause even the wise to fall away. He must not grow weary in observing the precepts of the Lord to the best of his ability, but he should await reward and praise from...

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Preface on the Judgment of God

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pp. 37-55

Herein, therefore, the Scripture has represented the manifest evil as a sign of the evil lurking hidden in the soul. But the blessed Apostle Paul, employing a more vigorous method of converting the reprobate in heart to a fear of the judgments of God, lays down the following penalty to be inflicted...

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Concerning Faith

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pp. 57-69

Now, while I was compelled to fight the heresies that arose from time to time, I thought it appropriate to the specific nature of the impiety sown by the Devil that I should check or confute if I could the blasphemies which were brought forward [by the opposing side]—and in this I was imitating...

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Herewith Begins the Morals

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pp. 71-205

Matthew [14.25-31]: 'And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them walking upon the sea. And the disciples seeing him walking upon the sea, were troubled, saying: It is an apparition. And they cried out for fear. And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good heart: it is...

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An Ascetical Discourse

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pp. 207-215

If, therefore, we desire, by the quelling of our passions to adorn the nature of our soul with the imprint of the beauty of God's likeness, that everlasting life may also be ours thereby, let us attend to ourselves that we may do nothing unworthy of our promise and thus incur the judgment pronounced upon...

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An Ascetical Discourse

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pp. 217-222

Furthermore, since the ways of men are varied and all are not in agreement as to what is useful, so, to avoid confusion resulting from each person's conducting himself according to his private whim, there should be someone placed in authority over the others who has been declared in the judgment of all...

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The Long Rules

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pp. 223-337

Well, then, someone will say, will the large number of Christians who do not keep all the commandments practice the observance of some of them in vain? In this connection, it is well to recall blessed Peter, who, after he had performed so many good actions and had been the recipient of such...

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Concerning Baptism

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pp. 339-430

More than this, his words in still another place clearly set forth the greatness of the benefit we have received through the loving-kindness of God in the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ: 'For as by the obedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also, by the obedience...

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Homily on the Words: 'Give Heed to Thyself'

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pp. 431-446

We men are easily prone to sins of thought. Therefore, He who has formed each heart individually, knowing that the impulse received from the intention constitutes the major element in sin, has ordained that purity in the ruling part of our soul be our primary concern. That...

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Homily 10: Against Those Who are Prone to Anger

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pp. 447-461

Who could adequately describe the evil-how vehement natures, fired with indignation for some trivial cause, shout and rage and leap upon their prey more ruthlessly than a venomous beast? Nor do they leave off until the flame has spent itself and the wrath within them has burst...

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Homily 11: Concerning Envy

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pp. 463-474

As a consequence, he does not call in a doctor for his malady and he is unable to discover a healing remedy, although the Scriptures are filled with such medicines. The sick man awaits only one alleviation of his distress—that, perchance, he may see one of the persons whom he envies...

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Homily 20: Of Humility

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pp. 475-486

But money is not by any means the only instigator of arrogance. Men do not take pride only in the costly food and clothing which money buys, nor in setting luxurious tables with unnecessary extravagance, wearing superfluous ornaments, building and furnishing immense piles for...

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Homily 21: On Detachment from Worldly Goods

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pp. 487-505

Therefore, brethren, it is necessary and beneficial for us all to gird ourselves up like wayfarers or runners and, by ensuring our souls complete ease and lightness for this journey, to push straight on to the road's end. Nor should anyone think that I am a coiner of words because I have...

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On Mercy and Justice

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pp. 507-512

Bless me, Father: Because the world is forgetting God, my brethren, injustice to neighbor and inhumanity to the weak prevail, confirming the words of the holy Apostle: 'As they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate...


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pp. 513-525

E-ISBN-13: 9780813211091
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813209661

Page Count: 537
Publication Year: 2010