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ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA
To Gregory his uncle.
Formerly I was glad to see my brother. Why not, since he is my brother and such a brother? Now I have received him on his coming to visit me with the same feelings, and have lost none of my affection. God forbid that I should ever so feel as to forget the ties of nature and be at war with those who are near and dear to me. I have found his presence a comfort in my bodily sickness and the other troubles of my soul, and I have been especially delighted at the letter which he has brought me from your excellency. For a long time I have been hoping that it would come, for this only reason, that I need not add to my life any doleful episode of quarrel between kith and kin, sure to give pleasure to foes and sorrow to friends, and to be displeasing to God, Who has laid down perfect love as the distinctive characteristic of His disciples. So I reply, as I am indeed bound, with an earnest request for your prayers for me, and your care for me in all things, as your relative. Since I, from want of information, cannot clearly understand the meaning of what is going on, I have judged it right to accept the truth of the account which you are so good as to give me. It is for you of your wisdom to settle the rest, our meeting with one another, the fitting time and a convenient place. If your reverence really does not disdain to come down to my lowliness and to have speech with me, whether you wish the interview to take place in the presence of others or in private, I shall make no objection, for I have once for all made up my mind to submit to you in love, and to carry out, without exception, what your reverence enjoins on me for the glory of God.
I have not laid my reverend brother under the necessity of reporting anything to you by word of mouth, because on the former occasion what he said was not borne out by facts.
Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202060.htm>.
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