St. Basil the Great, Doctor, on Virtue


St. Basil the Great.2

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.


Deacon Tom Gotschall, The Deacon Dad at:

Deacon Tom Gotschall on YouTube.