A hit with the first pitch!

St, Gregory is lamenting his brother, St. Basil the Great’s death. And more lamenting awaits when he goes to his sister. St. Macrina for commiseration and finds that she too is afflicted with a life threatening ailment of somesort. But St. Macrina rebukes his faithlessness ala 1 Thess 4:13.

St. Gregory tries to defend his aversion toward death:

“…all human exertion is directed toward this one purpose, that we remain in life. This is why we have invented houses for habitation, so that our bodies may not be overcome by their environment through cold or heat. What elese is agriculture but a provision for living? Our concern for life undoubtedly arises from the fear of death. What about the practice of medicine? Why is it honored among men? Isn’t it because it seems somehow by its arts to fight against death? Breastplates, shields, greaves, helmets, defensive weapons, circuit walls, iron gates, fortification ditches, and all this kind of thing – why else are they made, except because of fear of death? So if death is naturally so fearsome, how can we easily obey when we are told the survivor should refrain from grief for the dying?”

“What aspect of death seems to you most grievous in itself?” asked my teacher [St. Macrina]. “The habits of ignorant people are not sufficient reason for your aversion.”

What intrigues me the most is that we see a sort of sweeping not-quite condemnation of two very popular and often perceived as contradicting things in our fearful culture today as mentioned by St. Gregory: humanitarian aid (shelter, food, and medical aid), and military defense.

Habits of ignorant people? Think about it.


Munkee said…
Keep these coming.

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