St. Basil the Great, Doctor, on Stewardship of the Conscience

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St. Basil the Great.2

St. Basil the Great, who lived from 330 AD – 379 AD is one of the four original Doctors declared by the Eastern Church.  In addition to exegetical and doctrinal works dozens of his homilies are preserved.  Today’s daily prescription of St. Basil, Doctor, is a short edited excerpt from his homily on Deuteronomy 15: 9.  He prescribes the following:

     “We are to be diligent guardians of the resources given to us by God, ever shunning sin as brutes shun poisons, and ever hunting after righteousness, as they seek for the herbage that is good for food. Take heed to yourself, that you may be able to discern between the noxious and the      wholesome.

This taking heed is to be understood in a twofold sense.  Gaze with the eyes of the body at visible objects.   ‘Take heed to yourself.’Look at yourself from every point of view.  Keep your soul’s eye sleepless.  Hidden nets are set for you in all directions by the enemy.

Look well around you, that you may be delivered ‘as a gazelle from the net and a bird from the snare.  It is because of her keen sight that the gazelle cannot be caught in the net.  And the bird, if only she take heed, mounts on her light wing far above the wiles of the hunter.”

And so:

  • Have you thought of your conscience as a resource, that which you are to be a “guardian”?
  • Have you thought of your conscience in terms of “stewardship”?
  • Do you exercise the resource each day in an examination of conscience?

St. Basil, pray for us.

St. Basil the Great, pray for us.

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.

St. Basil the Great, Doctor, on Virtue

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St. Basil the Great, who’s feast we’ll celebrate on January 2, is the son of a saint (St. Basil, the Elder), the brother of two saints (St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Peter of Sebaste) and one of his best friends is a saint and also Doctor of the ChurchSt. Gregory Nazianzen.) St. Basil the Great defended the faith against the Arian Heresy (which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.)  He also preached on the Psalms.

Today’s prescription is a snippet of a homily by St.Basil the Great on Psalm 1

“…the exercise of piety is rather like a ladder, that ladder which once was seen by Blessed Jacob, of which one end was near the earth and reached to the ground, while the other end extended above and reached to heaven itself.

What is necessary is that those who are being introduced to the virtuous life should put their feet on the first steps and from there mount ever to the next, until at last they have ascended by degrees to such heights as are attainable by human nature.”

  • Is taking that first, or next step in virtue a difficulty?  If so, what is it that makes growth in virtue difficult?
  • Change toward virtue is often very difficult and may mean changing friends. for the head of a family, however, much humility and patience may be the virtues prayed for the most so as to allow for growth in overall holiness.
  • Moving a whole family toward holiness might seem, for quite some time, like turning a great ship 180 degrees

St. Basil the Great, pray for us.

Peace,

Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

http://tomgotschall.wordpress.com/

https://doctorsofthechurch.wordpress.com/

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.