Friday, October 19, 2007

St. Basil Is Great!

This dialogue took place in 371 AD after St. Basil refused Modestus' insistence that he adhere to the Arian Creed of Rimini:

What, do you not fear my power?

Basil: What could happen to me? What might I suffer?

Modestus: Any one of the numerous torments which are in my power.

Basil: What are these? Tell me about them.

Modestus: Confiscation, exile, torture, death.

Basil: If you have any other, you can threaten me with it, for there is nothing so far which affects me.

Modestus: Why, what do you mean?

Basil: Well, in truth confiscation means nothing to a man who has nothing, unless you covet these wretched rags, and a few books: that is all I possess. As to exile, that means nothing to me, for I am attached to no particular place. That wherein I live is not mine, and I shall feel at home in any place to which I am sent, Or rather, I regard the whole earth as belonging to God, and I consider myself as a stranger or sojourner wherever I may be. As for torture, how will you apply this? I have not a body capable of bearing it, unless you are thinking of the first blow that you give me, for it will take me sooner to the God for Whom I live, for Whom I act, and for Whom I am more than half dead, and Whom I have desired long since.

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