Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Be Submissive To Your Bishop

"It is fitting that you walk with the thought of your bishop, as you are doing. Your justly known presbyterium, worthy of God, is fitted to the bishop as strings to a harp; thus, in your harmonious love, Jesus Christ is being sung. May each of you also become a member of the choir, so that in harmonious unity, taking the pitch from God in unison, you may sing through Jesus Christ with a single voice to the Father so that he may hear you and recognize you through your good works as members of his Son. It is useful for you to live in perfect unity so that you may continue to participate in God.

If I in so short a time have become so close to your bishop in an intimacy that is entirely spiritual and not merely human, how much more blessed is it for you to be closely united to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and Jesus to the Father, so that all things agree in harmonious unity. Let no one wander off; if anyone is not within the sanctuary he is depriving himself of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two people together has so much power, how much greater the united prayer of bishop and congregation. Anyone who spurns the liturgical assembly shows himself arrogant and judges himself, as it is written, 'God resists the proud.' (Prv. 3.34) Let us then take care not to stand against the bishop so that we will be submissive to God....So it is clear that we must look upon the bishop as the Lord himself."

-Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Ephesians.

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