Catecheses of St.

Theodore the Studite to his Monks
INTRODUCTION
There is some confusion as to when the post-paschal instructions were given. The Greek text of the Small Catecheses by Skrettas, based on Auvray’s edition, gives no indication of dates for numbers 1-6; the list in the introduction to the Migne edition gives this one as In Dominica Sancti Thomae, sive prima post Pascha, but the Latin heading of the sermon itself has simply Post Pascha, and for number 5 In Octavam Paschae, though the Greek list gives this as for the Wednesday of Mid-Pentecost. It should be remembered that St Theodore and his monks were in exile in the Propontis at this time. This perhaps explains a number of allusions to shipping and metaphors taken from it in these Instructions. He appears to have some difficulty in keeping the community together. He refers to the problem again in no. 103, where he says he has to keeping mentioning it.

CATECHESIS 2
That we must always die the chosen death, and on good order. Brethren and Fathers, Pascha is gone by and the feast has been completed; but rejoicing and feasting, should we wish, have by no means gone by, for we are always allowed to rejoice and feast spiritually, in accordance with the saying of Scripture, Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I will say: Rejoice! [Phil. 4:4.] But how shall this be? If we always keep fresh the memory of the sufferings of our Saviour Christ; that the Lord of glory was crucified for our sake, that he was buried and that he was raised on the third day, raising us with himself and giving us life with himself, so that being alive we may no longer live for ourselves, but for him who died and was raised for our sake, [2 Cor. 5:15.] so that we can confidently say with the Apostle, I

live, but no longer I; Christ lives in me. What I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and who handed himself over for me.[ Gal. 2:20.] This is the sum of the mystery: to be corpses to the world but alive to God. And so after Pascha we must be watchful and awake, pray and be stirred to compunction, weep and be illumined, always bearing in our bodies the death of the Lord Jesus, [2 Cor. 4:10.] dying each day by choice, always journeying from the body and dwelling with the Lord through leaving the thoughts of the flesh. Do not say, ‘It is not Lent now ‘. It is always Lent for the watchful. Do not say, ‘I have spent hours in ascetic activity and it is necessary to rest’. There is no rest here. Do not say, ‘I have grown old in virtue and I am not afraid’. There is always fear of reversal; and Satan in one instant has cast into the deep of sin many who had grown old in virtue. So let the one who thinks they stand beware lest they fall, [1 Cor. 10:12.] and the one who thinks they have been guarded see to it that they are not off their guard. So let there be guard and attention and moderation with regard to sleep, to food, to drink and to whatever else, so that the body may be kept under control and brought into servitude, [Cf. 1 Cor. 9:27.] lest, like a colt in fine condition which takes the bit between its teeth [St Theodore is thinking of the myth of the Charioteer in the Phaedrus, where this precise phrase occurs [254D], it push us down the precipice of sin. I ordered you in a previous instruction not to go off on your own and live by yourselves in more inaccessible places [St Theodore refers to this problem again in number 103, where he says he has to keep referring to it.]. Yet again some of you are doing just that. What do you want? That I should come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?[ 1 Cor. 4:21.] In short, I spoke and I was not listened to; in short, you clearly saw your brother disciplined for this very thing and you were not restrained. Take care that none of you falls into a similar sort of disobedience. These instructions are not given to no purpose or vainly. Because God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the churches of the Saints.[ 1 Cor. 14:33.] And so let everything be done fittingly and in order, [1 Cor. 14:40.] so that in all things the Lord may be glorified in you. Those of you, brethren, who come alongside [The metaphor is of a ship coming to harbour.] here and there take care for yourselves where and how you settle and dwell. Do not be like dissolute people, but like ones bound by the spirit; not like ones

without supervision, but like ones under the supervision of the Lord, who oversees your every movement and action; not ones being driven randomly here and there, but remaining in stillness in your cells, attending to your manual work, your prayers and psalmody; not amassing treasure for yourselves from love of money, but content with what you have now. For he himself said, I will not abandon you, I will not desert you, so that we may say confidently, The Lord is my helper, and I shall not fear what man will do to me. Remember your brethren, and keeping before you the outcome of their lives imitate their faith. [Hebrews
13:5-7. St Theodore has freely adapted verse 7, which in the original refers to ‘leaders’ rather than ‘brothers’.]

Such was the blessed Dometianos, whom we have praised and whose memorial is with the Saints. How great the business he achieved, how great the life he accomplished by few toils and struggles, inheriting eternal glory, a man of no worth in human terms, but since he chose virtue and loved God, God exalted him, in accordance with what is written, Because I will glorify those who glorify me, and the one who despises me will be dishonoured [1 Kingd. 2:30.]. It is right to rejoice and be glad in such brothers; but it is of no use unless we also make our own contribution. If we contribute as best we can, we too will have a portion with the Saints in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be the glory and the might with the Father and the holy Spirit now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

CATECHESIS 4
On taking care for ourselves and fleeing sin’s destructive places and ways. [Given on the Sunday of the Paralysed Man]
Brethren and fathers, after the feast the season invites us once again to talk with you and to return to the usual instruction. And we have come with enthusiasm knowing that we are appointed for this, and woe to us if we do not talk with you as much as possible. So, what is there to say in the present circumstances? That each of you, like a merchant, having amassed spiritual wealth for himself during holy Lent, has reached holy Pascha like a harbour, laden with many excellent stocks of virtue, namely: fasting, vigil, prayer, hard work

says Scripture. drink and sleep. . Unless the person does not swiftly smooth out their tempestuous thoughts. having the Holy Spirit as the companion of their voyage.13. Jacob ate and was filled. Or don’t you know what sin produces? Didn’t it introduce death into the world? Didn’t it destroy the earth? Hasn’t it filled the inhabited world with graveyards and tombs from the beginning of time until now? For humanity was incorrupt before the fall and none of the things I have mentioned would have started if the first-formed had steadfastly observed the commandment that had been given. stirs up a most dreadful storm for themselves. the spirit of dejection. your food. smell. the spirit of pride. hearing. Sin is the cause of the everlasting punishments. Take care.21]. In the latter on the contrary. But one whose senses are unbridled and who lets in desires like streams. The fear is that we may be sunk in harbour. Flee the destructive places and ways of sin. they ease off and have no worries about the storms and dangers of the sea. the spirit of gluttony. the spirit of avarice. and let the better not be dragged down by the worse. This is worth remembering: someone who sails across the physical sea is subject to storms and tempests without their wanting it. as it is related of Saint Arsenios. will end by repeating those miserable words. and readers know what he suffered. Therefore let reason be in control. but let the spirit be master and act for the better. For a physical harbour is not like a harbour of the mind. the passions become more ferocious with the relaxation of the flesh.3]. they are filled with calm. When someone comes to anchor in the former. and the beloved kicked [Deut 32. that was in honour. the food of the undying worm. sin that has made humanity. Govern your sight. be compared to the unreasoning beasts [Cf. Psalm 48. and a tempest drowned me [Psalm 68. the fuel of the unquenchable fire of Gehenna. I entered the depths of the sea. Someone touched without meaning to and they were enflamed to lust and gave birth to iniquity. and the spirits of wickedness join in the assault like storms: the spirit of fornication. the spirit of despondency. For if they manfully shake off unseemly thoughts. taste and touch. that you may keep from being overwhelmed by the tempest of the passions. you who are listening to this. while someone who crosses the water of the mind is lord of tempest and of calm.15].and all the other exertions of holiness. David once looked unguardedly on Uria’s wife.

make ourselves bright by our life and give off sweet fragrance by the spirit. If inanimate and irrational creatures are made radiant and lovely by the resplendent resurrection. and finally betroths them to the kingdom of heaven. but their meaning is clear. resists the demons.And so. prefer the second. except for the second verb in the allusion to Acts 1.3-4. now and for ever. we see the earth wearing green. the plants flourishing. we must flee from it. with whom to the Father and the holy Spirit belong glory. putting away its winter gloom. In the text the feast is said to be ‘at the doors’. the sea tamed and everything being changed for the better. This Instruction contains a number of words that are not attested in the standard lexica. destructive and deadly. which makes humans angels. INTRODUCTION There is some confusion over the numbering of this instruction. might and honour. like a deadness puts out fresh shoots and as it were comes to life again. CATECHESIS 6 That one must give off a sweet fragrance through acquiring the virtues. And yes. For one who strives after . ‘gather’ and ‘eat’. where the commentators are divided between ‘meet with’. overcomes the rulers of this age. and the ages of ages. who have been honoured with reason and the image of God. brethren. with all our might. Brethren and fathers. But I must explain why I have said this. May we all reach it too by the grace and love for humankind of our Lord Jesus Christ. but in the text it is given as number 6 and described as Ante Mesopentecosten. because sin is like all this. Most English versions of the New Testament give the former. how much more ought we. but St John Chrysostom and St Jerome. who has ‘conuescens’. the animals skipping around [an unattested word]. Amen. raises them from death. The list in Migne gives it as number 5 and assigns it to the Wednesday of Mid-Pentecost. which would suggest that the sermon was given before the day itself. at Christ’s resurrection creation too. and choose virtue.

See. he appears to and eats [Cf. The patriarch Isaac also.9]. while now. let us give off a sweet spiritual fragrance. made bright by immortality and incorruption and engrossed in heavenly contemplation. Adam too was a sweet fragrance for God. like a fragrant meadow filled with flowers. For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ for God among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. who think like the Manicheans. as it is written. saying. that is to say the scent that has been received spiritually. This perfume is sweet to God. when he smelt a sweet aroma on his son Jacob. Before his transgression. So then. giving off the virtues. appropriately he dwelt in Paradise. so as to confirm his Resurrection. said. And it is possible to say this as well. and the Apostle bears witness to this when he says. because a spirit does not have flesh and bones. With this perfume too let us also run as we celebrate with sincerity the holy Mid-Pentecost. which is at the doors. 27. though his holy flesh had no need to. since it is written. does he not have the possibility of being portrayed in an image? So if the latter is impossible. 2. for each of them confirms the other. What do you say to that. after the Resurrection. This perfume attracts angels. Let us . without having learnt?’ [John 7. This perfume is blessed.3-4] with the holy Apostles. a perfume that each one produces [unattested] for themselves by a blending of the virtues. that it is I myself. for the latter a scent of death leading to death. 1. but repels demons.39]. Jesus went up to the Temple and taught.15-16]. But he himself silently bears witness also to his being portrayed. And to those who thought that he was a spirit he said. With this perfume women ran behind Jesus. as a truly master perfumer.27].4 LXX]. ‘How does this man know letters. he ate and drank and let his side be handled. initiating them into greater and more ineffable mysteries. my brothers. so was the former. as you see I have [Luke 24. enemy of Christ? If he has flesh and bones. And therefore.14-15] But this was before the Passion. Handle me and see. the scent of my son is like the scent of a fertile field that the Lord has blessed [Gen. will pay the penalty of everlasting destruction [2 Thess. But nevertheless. Acts 1. and the Jews marvelled.virtue is truly the sweet fragrance of Christ. and — O what inexpressible condescension! — after the Resurrection he touched food. But the iconoclasts. for the former an scent of life leading to life [2 Cor. See my hands and feet. as it says in the Song of Songs [1. When it was already the mid-point of the feast.

And he has put all things under his . the Assumption of our Saviour Jesus Christ. and this language has been preserved in the hymns of the Church. not ‘Ascension’. now and for ever. who believe with orthodox understanding that we both see and worship our Lord Jesus Christ in an image. INTRODUCTION The feast seems to have fallen in the second half of May in the year that St Theodore gave this instruction.though. Apart from the necessary change of person in the verb. as it written: By grace you have been saved. All the texts in the New Testament speak of Christ’s being ‘taken up’.34] far above every principality and authority and power and dominion. in Christ Jesus our Lord. which comes from the Latin name for the feast. and a great and supernatural mystery. but in that which to come. not only in this age. [Romans 8. guiltless. brethren. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the holy Spirit. Brethren and fathers. but well-pleasing on both we may attain the kingdom of heaven. The quotation from 1 Timothy 3. which St Theodore would have known. The Greek name of the feast means ‘Assumption’. display a way of life worthy of the faith. and every name that is named. and to the ages of ages. pure. Amen. a feast of feasts. whose feast falls on 15 May. CATECHESIS 7 On the Assumption of our Saviour Jesus Christ and on conducting ourselves in a manner pleasing to God. is at our doors.[Ephesians 2. blameless. for our nature is being taken up beyond heaven. the whole clause ‘he descended into the lowest parts of the earth’ is the opening of the Irmos of the 6th Ode of St John of Damascus’s Easter Canon. so as not to limp on either account. since he refers to the recent celebration of St Pachomius.16 is one of the key quotations in the liturgical texts for the feast.5-6] who is at the right hand of God. and he has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

let us not make the members of Christ members of a harlot. which is his body. and with this in mind the blest Apostle cried out: What is the hope of his calling. These then briefly are the events of the holy feast. And this is the blessed life: but pleasures and trifles. nailing to it the record against us. through our Lord Jesus Christ. but so as to go towards the fire that is ready. who see and do not see and hear and do not hear. let us yet refrain from carnal desires that war against the soul. according to the working of the might of his strength which he worked in Christ? {Ephesians 1. let us preserve the nobility.17-18] and their ears blocked up so as not to distinguish good from bad. and yet deep embedded they do not cease to follow their self-chosen demon and to be entitled to be . Such is the mighty work of the ineffable love for mankind of our good God. humble. life from death.[1 Peter 2. compliant. For the desire of the flesh is fire.15] and abolished the pains of death and raised humanity with himself. let us not betray the grace.22-23] Do you see then to what height of glory human nature has been raised? Is it not from earth to heaven? Is it not from corruption to incorruption? How hard would not someone toil in order to become the intimate friend of a corruptible king here below? But we.feet. and what the wealth of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. brethren. and because we are the body of Christ. he became a slave to the normal laws of nature.15] but let us sanctify ourselves in both thoughts and deeds. and now our nature is worshipped in the heavens by every creature seen and unseen. light from darkness. finally he was taken up in glory {1 Timothy 3. And as we contemplate them. reliable. and gave him to be head over all things to the Church. love of money is a pit. he ascended the cross. for their hearts are insensitive [Cf. [Ephesians 1. occasions of laughter and dissoluteness and all such inordinate behaviour should be left to the lovers of the flesh and to the lovers of life. and yet they rush towards it unbridled.18].18-20] For what came to pass? He who is supremely good came to us through a virgin birth. although we were alienated and hostile in our intent by evil deeds. [1 Corinthians 6. obedient. the fullness of him who fills all in all. have not only been reconciled to God the Father. but we have also soared aloft to sonship. and what the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who believe. manifesting himself for us to God the Father. he descended to the lowest parts of the earth [Psalm 138. Mark 8. let us reverence the gift.11] maintaining good conduct in ourselves. peaceable.

as indeed did the blessed Pachomius. The list in Migne is confused. Therefore this sacred fellowship is acknowledged to be one soul and one will for all. let us hold fast to the confession in which we stand. INTRODUCTION This Instruction is no. using all our members healthily. since two instructions are numbered ‘7’. since after God I have no one else. and the reference to spring suggests that it the one meant. the denial of parents and all fleshly connections1 have secured this union for us. brethren. LARGE CATECHESIS 14 On freedom from affections and on self-mastery. and let us boast in the hope of the glory of God. [Romans 5. and to the ages of ages. not have you any except me. while I am convinced that your reciprocal love and sight of me is the same also for you. [Cf. now and for ever. Flight from the world. not father. 1 Timothy 4. not friends. let us touch healthily. My brothers. an unprofitable sinner. as it . let us hear healthily. fathers and children. so that guided by the word and as servants of the word we may become inheritors of eternal life according to the promise. talking to you and seeing you is for me comfort and consolation.2] let us keep to the discipline in which the saints disciplined themselves. to whom be the glory and the might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Let us see healthily.called miserable rather than blessed. because despising what is truly good they embrace rather perishable corruption. Amen. So then I rejoice each time I speak to you and address you. not relatives. The title of the one for the Sunday of the Blind Man is the same as this one. not brothers. whom we recently celebrated. This affiliation is of the Holy Spirit. 14 of the Large Catechesis. not mother. apart from you my most dear members and children and brothers and fathers. and am filled with zeal and am on fire for your love according to God and your salvation that your work as it progresses may progress. alienation. But we.8] in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Eph.] show yourselves to be above the passions as you trample down the pleasures and desires of the flesh and guard from every side your virginity and purity of soul and body. We have in ourselves the tempest of the physical pleasures. One who abstains from wine is filled with the Holy Spirit. You realize that it is springtime when every animate nature is moved to reproduction.increases. for through wine the passions are enflamed.2 It is good. 6:11. I beg you then. not as a regulation. [Cf. particularly for the younger ones. not to eat meat or to drink wine. for I have not issued an order. act thus to preserve your bodily health or in proportion to your toil. so as to master and not be mastered by the flesh. This is the best formula for soul and body: for the better not be dominated by the worse. as I said to you before Easter. 14:21. now too stand steadfast and immovable from hope in God and by tearing apart the tangled wiles of the devil [ Cf. And with regard to foods.3 But you are to act with regard to eating and drinking and everything else so as to rule and not be ruled by pleasures. may increase. so that God may be glorified by it. And this is the best. Be careful regarding journeys outside and worldly contacts not to bring disturbances to the brotherhood. but let your sailing4 be seemly. And those of you who are assigned to the boats for going in and out and bringing in what is needed. as you are able. may shine to my inexpressible joy. not to the sick but to those who are in good health. do not associate with secular people. 33:8. awake to the love of God and aroused for those things that are better and abound in salvation. one who drinks water has drunk the streams of compunction. my brothers. or do anything that makes your brother stumble. Ps. Let your sleep be in moderation. as it shines. I have the same advice. neither talk nor shout like them. . says the Apostle.[Rom. freed from fever of the soul. let your food be regulated as prescribed.] For you will see yourself by abstinence from wine rising above thoughts. to flee irrational surfeiting and wanton indulgence.] And I too. but I am giving you advice in the matter. say by way of advice. my children. it is good not to drink wine. for the sake of your precious souls. why then do we add the waves of wine to it? Taste therefore and see that self-mastery in this regard is good. from which come dissolute behaviour and the seeds of Sodom. my children. However.

because of the rule. not neuter. thus he is near to those that call on him. Here it is linked with asotia. since those of you who behave thus will be subjected to punishments. sodomitikos. [Cf Ps. 32:11. they do not get any. [Ps.I learn that some people are going down to the gardens and asking the gardener for vegetables to eat and that when. 2 1 The word is not in the lexica. 144:18. they pick a fight with the gardener. and to the ages of ages. which echoes the parable of the Prodigal Son. unattested word. Is what is put before you not sufficient? How are you going to make war on passion if you are defeated by a cabbage? You will become weaker than a feather if you do not fortify yourself by thought through self-mastery. [Deut.] Thus then the Lord of glory will comfort your hearts and firmly establish your souls and tightly gird your loins. for to him belongs glory. healthy from weak. for his praise.] Thus he loves to save us. 67:35. for victory. for the battle line. 4 Another .] Spreading his wings he received them and took them on his back. The Lord gives strength and might. and to refer to ‘relatives’. is not attested in the lexica. for the routing of opponents. very great from small. now and for ever. for inheritance of the kingdom of heaven. and we too at least have become and let us continue to become and let us not be slothful. for war with the adversary. 3 The adjective. This is utterly satanic and is to occur no longer. This remark of St Theodore’s may explain why the normal fast days were prescribed from Thomas Sunday onwards. The elder brother in the parable asserts that his asotia includes squandering his money on harlots among other things. beloved children. In short people both do become and have become perfect from imperfect. with the Father and his all-holy and life-giving Spirit. but the meaning is clear. In view of St Theodore’s earlier remarks about spring this seems the most likely connotation of the word. Amen. for glory. NOTES I take the Greek here to be masculine. men from boys. This suggests that the adjective also has sexual connotations. let us not be sluggish.

that he was crucified. enjoying his ineffable manifestation as God and inexpressible joy. such as that he was born. while his garments became white as light’ [Matt. For since it has been made according to God’s image and likeness. On the one hand. but idols of beauty. lest. it has also shared in that beauty. that he was taken up in glory. while the mystery of the Transfiguration hints at the restoration in the age to come. and that we should give it back to God like a pledge on the last day. all the feasts of the Lord expound the mysteries of his sojourn in the flesh. from this then let us compose an instruction. that he was baptized. Since therefore it is agreed that our soul should be like this. And as Peter. in the same way he will come from heaven like lightning. 17. stinking and abhorrent. having turned away towards the ugly passions of sin and become disfigured. or rather the highest light. lovely and beautiful. and about repentance. with power and great glory to judge the universe. And knowing this the poet speaks thus. For in the same way that ‘his face blazed like the sun. And who is adequate for all this? Who is worthy to attain that joy? Who else but one whose way of life is pure and undefiled? For since our God is pure. that is to say as a figure1 of the divine beauty. and as he has placed a pure soul in us. Brethren and fathers.2]. they are rather corruption and change. James and John were with him on the holy mountain. he comes to the pure. it fall from God and his divine rewards.8]. since we have been counted worthy to celebrate the forefeast of the divine Transfiguration. he will also ask it from us pure. that he was raised on the third day. by your will you granted power to my beauty’ [Psalm 29.CATECHESIS 20 That we must preserve the beauty and untarnished loveliness of the soul. for one who today is outstandingly beautiful and fair of face2 is tomorrow cast into a tomb. discharging our duty in a few words. the day of resurrection. so the elect will be with him in the kingdom of heaven. which should be our . that is to say to the beauty of the soul. that he was buried. ‘Lord. And this we can learn from the end of things. They are not beauties. not turning back to the fair things of the present age or to the beauties of flesh and blood. I beg and urge that we love this beauty and carefully guard this loveliness. So there is nothing fair and loveable but exemplary virtue.

But we hear the words. David was a prophet and. So there is no excuse for claiming incapacity for someone who chooses to be saved. Mary of Egypt. And we are unwilling to get rid of the heavy load of our sins. to pass over the numberless others.21]. ‘Those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God’ [Galatians 5. when they listen to the One who said. in Christ our Lord. So then. Do you see God’s ineffable love for humankind? Not only has he promised to purify. . but will have the light of life’ [John 8. unless they are insensible or bent on death3. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet. But we turn to the opposite. The same Master cries. but once she had come to a remarkable repentance. and I will give you rest’ [Matthew 11. he did not give up. proclaiming by our actions. And Scripture says.28]. if you do all that I command you’ [John 15. she attained the highest degree of virtue. ‘Why would you die. when he fell into the crime of adultery and murder. my brothers.31]. but after he had swiftly had recourse to repentance. The prince of the Apostles. says the Lord. ‘I am the light of the world. let us do all that we have been commanded. One who follows me will not walk in darkness. stained as they are by many sins. All that remains is for us to hear. but to bring the one who repents to the pinnacle of loveliness.let it be quickly made clean again and brought back to its former condition. after his denial. he received the grace of prophecy once again. but when he repented.12]. But God forbid that such things should be said of us. ‘For you are may friends. Though they are like crimson. ‘We do not want to know your ways’ [Job 21. And let no one ever say that they cannot be made clean again. and why do we choose everlasting death rather than immortal life that is set before us? Our good Master cries out each day. And examples are manifest.18]. that we may be worthy to be called friends. I will make them white as snow. ‘Walk by the light of your fire and the flame you have kindled’ [Isaias 50.14].11]. by the medicine of tears took up again the burden of the apostolate. to inherit the kingdom of heaven. But if admittedly it frequently happens that the soul grows slack and is defiled by unseemly thoughts -. lest by delaying in evil it gives birth to death. he too found salvation.for who will boast that they have a pure heart? -. ‘Come to me all you that toil and are heavy laden.chief pursuit. had reached the uttermost limit of debauchery. I will make them white as wool’ [Isaias 1. Manasse perverted Israel for fifty two years. house of Israel?’ [Ezekiel 18.14].

And he was not only present in bodily form to those at that time.to whom be glory and might. on which the Good Tidings are read in these words. Who is captive? One led away by unseemly thoughts. The beginning of the second paragraph contains a quotation from the Anaphora of St John Chrysostom. to heal the broken hearted. he has sent me to bring good tidings to the poor. 3. invisibly. but he is also present now. Amen. and to the ages of ages. we captives be freed. NOTES 1. we oppressed be forgiven. for he is a physician of souls as well as bodies. of love for him and hatred of the devil. 58:6]. and of humility. which is the usual word for a ‘statue’. CATECHESIS 24 Of the surpassing gift of God. Since then the only-begotten Son of God has been sent from the Father as propitiation for the world. Isa. 61:1-2. to proclaim forgiveness to captives and sight to the blind. It was spoken at the beginning of the year. to send the oppressed away with forgiveness. The Lord heals them. Who is blind? One short-sighted through attachment to the passions. may we. to announce a year acceptable to the Lord [Luke 4:18-19. This word is unattested in the lexica. This word is unattested in the lexica. the beginning of the Indiction on 1 September. 2. INTRODUCTORY NOTE As the opening quotation from the Gospel of the day makes clear. because he has anointed me. now and for ever. this Instruction was intended for the first day of the new ecclesiastical year. It is however used occasionally by the Fathers to refer to the ‘image of God’ in human beings. the beginning of the year has already come. see again. with the same good . Who is oppressed? One broken by sins.The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. Brethren and fathers. the blind. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The Greek word is ‘agalma’.

In addition he who is supremely good nourishes us when we hunger. In the words of the Master. the very stones would condemn our utter insensibility. with regard to our bodies with the fruits that the earth bears year by year. Oh.93:17]. and how they have at once found the good God to be their helper in their afflictions. but he draws near and consoles us when we are afflicted. And each one knows the temptations into which they have fallen. so the wicked one should be hated and rejected for his ways in equal proportion. he does not therefore turn away. and this permanently. For a mother nourishes her child with milk for a time. he goes ahead and snatches us from dangers in his love for humankind. what an incomparable gift! How then can we fail to love him? How fail to cherish him? How fail to cling to him unceasingly? So that if we were not so disposed. wounding it with many darts of . he has granted us a third grace: monastic completeness. while he our true master and father gives his own body and blood as food and drink. Oh. and though we are still sinning. so that it would be appropriate for each of us to say. So that this may not happen. but let them draw near with faith and they will receive blessing from the Lord. He is the one who has divided our race into ten thousand opinions. hating and rightly turning away from the devil. Let no one then remain unenlightened and unhealed. And I was thrust down and overthrown so as to fall. he is a murderer from the beginning [John 8:44]. 23:5]. and healing every disease and every weakness [John 1:29. strengthens us when enfeebled and heals us when wounded. my soul had almost dwelt in Hell [Ps. earth would groan. For as our benefactor is loved and cherished in proportion to his benefactions. what ineffable love for humankind! He brought us from nonexistence into existence. taking away the sin of the world. as he longs for us more than a mother or a nurse and embraces us with affection. 117:13]. what unfathomable goodness! And oh. when we had fallen. and mercy from God their Saviour [Ps. 9:35]. he raised us up again. and when we are about to fall into pit of Hell itself. encourages us when we are sorrowing. and the Lord came to my assistance [Ps.tidings. For he is the destroyer of our life. heaven would instantly cry out against us. If the Lord had not helped me. with regard to the soul with the most pure Mysteries. massages us when we are running. let us hold fast to love of him. Matt.

For he is our peace. And the Apostle bears witness when he says. For this reason Angels are proclaiming the good tidings of the mystery and a star revealing that the heavenly has been brought to birth on earth. let us fly from him! Let us fly most certainly. for it is a great joy. that we may inherit the kingdom of heaven. knowing that every achievement that is not guarded by humility is worthless.sin and seeking to swallow down the inhabited world. there will be no escaping the punishment that will be meted out to us. my brothers. but by coming to live with us and manifesting himself in his own person through his birth from a Virgin. CATECHESIS 32 On the Nativity of the Saviour and the vigorous pursuit of our ascetic life. in his flesh. What is flight? The avoidance of wicked actions and thoughts. doing well. in Christ Jesus. our Lord. press forward. Amen. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. the assumption of good works. and also affinity with God. If we do not hate him. not through riddles and symbols. such as has not been since time began. who has made both one. the hostility between us. pursue. nothing more wonderful among all the wonders that God has done since time began. lest we run in vain. for this reason a new song is being sung for new events. because God. And so let us chose the good with all humility and meekness and modesty serving the Lord. for this reason Shepherds are running to see the salvation that has been proclaimed. He has abolished the law with its . already the Manifestation of God is near and the day of joy is at the doors. There has been nothing more blest than this in generations of generations. has appeared as peace on earth. breaking down the middle wall of partition. Brethren and Fathers. because we joined to our foe and murderer. as he appeared of old to the fathers. and Magi are bringing gifts fit for a king. that the Son of God has come to us. But. who is glorified in the highest. now and ever and to the ages of ages. So let those of us whose ideas are puffed up humble ourselves beneath the mighty hand of God [1 Peter 5:6]. to whom be glory and might. but let all of us. run on. that we may attain.

and this life has been revealed. But may it be given to us too. thus making peace. but the slave does not abide in the house for ever. not weakening in our resolve. I shall take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. to see him looking upon us with a kindly face and taking us into the kingdom of heaven. now and always and to the ages of ages. Everyone who sins is a slave of sin. honour and worship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. while we have both seen and our hands have touched. to meekness. And what is this return? The cross-bearing way of life that we have taken on. for they are slaves of the passions sold under sin. And so. Since then we too have been granted to have been called sons according to grace. brethren. concerning the Word of life. on which the judge of all will be revealed and will appear in the glory in which he appeared to the Apostles at his divine Transfiguration. The son abides for ever. if we hold firm the beginning of our undertaking to the end. empowered by the Holy Spirit. as it is written. . And this is confessedly a witness. but did not see except through faith. but throughout our life.commandments and ordinances. and the more so as we see the day drawing near. thus putting to death that hostility through it. and the confession in which we stand and we boast in our hope of the glory of God. even if they seem to feast. nor are they at liberty. But what shall we give in return for all that the Lord has given to us? Already holy David anticipated and cried out the answer. with all the saints. and let us be eager for everything which is of the best. because we have been granted to give the Lord a return for all that he has given us. that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of two. Amen. to whom are due glory. let us still hold to our monastic state. Meanwhile it is not for us to feast for just one day. to humility. as he brings and judges every creature and rewards each according to its work. by the grace and pity and love for mankind of our Lord Jesus Christ. to obedience. we remain in the house for ever. This is what the prophets and the just since time began desired to see. Indeed it is written. just as those who are governed by the flesh and in thrall to the passions are unable to feast. and we have received sonship. and let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds. but straining ever more and more. For the great and manifest day of the Lord is drawing near. So then let us rejoice. and might reconcile both to God in one body through the Cross.

he made us a kingdom (of heaven) and priests to his God and Father.CATECHESIS 40 That we should conduct ourselves in newness of life. this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son. we have died to sin. but fleeing our former notions like fire and standing fast on the rock of our faith. We were buried then with him through baptism to death. if we are eager. And what is 'oldness'? Indulgence. so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but have eternal life [2]. guilty and captive. with holiness and dispassion. He not only delivered us from death's possession. just as we promised through the holy Schema. says Scripture. death on a cross [3]. but also. by which Cain was inflamed and murdered his brother Abel because his gifts were preferred. which he has poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Saviour! [7] What may we. [8] So. we become even more eager. we were under the reign of death. [5] Have you seen the mighty love of his strength? Have you seen the measureless mercy of his love for humanity? How unsearchable are his mercies and inscrutable his acts of compassion [6]. poor wretches. as befits saints [9] with peace and harmony. says the Apostle. say to all this? What may we think? Shall we willingly return to sin? Shall we long for dishonour? Shall we choose corruption and condemnation? By no means. having washed us from our sins by his own blood. and from both the outcome is good. Let us conduct ourselves with righteousness and holiness. by which Adam our forefather was caught and became an outcast from Paradise and underwent a life of much grief. how shall we continue to live in it? Or are you ignorant that as many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death. How? We were enslaved to the devil through Adam's transgression. we put away sloth. Therefore the only Son of God came. just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father. sold under sin [4]. What then is the present word? For. For by listening we gain the greatest benefits. so that. [1] Brethren and Fathers. so we should be enthusiastic to listen to the word of God. From these . with reverence and piety. brothers. let us walk in newness of life. not being led away in ignorance by our former [10] deceits. but even to death. subject to corruption. just as we promised when we took the habit. giving himself as a ransom for all. Envy. This is newness. we too might walk in newness of life. If we are slothful. and as a result he passed his whole life in fear and groaning. just as the hungry long to eat and the thirsty to drink. Nor did he simply give him.

reckoning them all secondary for the sake Christ: dishonour as honour. The references to Adam and his banishment from Paradise. [7] Titus 3:6. death as life. we have gained freedom. [11] But nevertheless. now and ever . which is the accepted reading in modern critical editions. and to the ages of ages. we have run to be adopted as sons. Because of these Sodom and Gomorra were reduced to ashes by fire and brimstone as a warning to the impious. Because of these the Flood utterly wiped out all the high ground of the earth. The standard Byzantine text has 'kings'. [4] Cf. we have been called by God's mercy. It may be that St Theodore has the Anaphora in mind here. we shall appear here like beacons in the world. affliction as joy. and let us be guarded by the glory with which Christ has glorified us. [13] while in the age to come we shall inherit the kingdom of heaven in Christ Jesus our Lord. persecution as happiness. rather than 'kingdom'. who have been commemorated by us today' strongly suggest that it was given on the Saturday before Cheese Sunday. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. holding on to the word of life. chose to do. just as our holy fathers and brothers. [5] Apocalypse 1:5-6. as has been said before. It is also that underlying the Vulgate's 'regnum'. which is alluded to in the Anaphora of St Basil in a similar context in the first person plural. 2:8. [6] Cf. [2] John 3:16 [3] Phil. the theme of the next day's services. Romans 11:33. Do you see what sin has brought about and the desire of the eyes and pride in one's way of life. whose names are in the book of life. [1] The manuscripts give no particular date for this Instruction.two sins ten thousand evils surfaced in the world. blows as pleasures. rather than Romans. . between Theophany and Lent. but its place. For if we too live like this. [12] whom we have remembered today. Let us then stand with the freedom with which Christ has freed us. Romans 7:14. spitting on everything that belongs to empty vanity. The Latin in Migne does not include the word. St Theodore is probably quoting from memory The word 'heaven' is not in the text of the Apocalypse. support this. and the reference in the last paragraph to 'our holy fathers and brothers.

The Greek bios is not easy to translate here. But let us. CATECHESIS 49 On self-mastery and our present confession.3. So too the inhabitants of Sodom behaved wantonly ‘with food in abundance’. as long as he abstained from the forbidden food in Paradise. but when he acted intemperately and partook of the tree of disobedience. St Theodore replaces 'desires' by 'deceits'. [10] 1 Peter 1:14.[8] Romans 6:2-4. it is the business of Christians to exercise self-control ‘and not to satisfy the desires of the flesh’. [2] as the Apostle teaches. So intemperance is an evil. On Friday of Meat Week [1] Brethren and fathers. for we know that intemperance is the mother of sin. For our forefather Adam. for revels and inebriation. Nevertheless evil has progressed into law and leads the world as it wishes. [3] and drew down upon themselves the anger of God and were overwhelmed with fire and brimstone. he was at once exiled from the delight of Paradise and intemperance for him became the begetter of death. and arose to play’. That is proper to a pagan feast. [13] Philippians 2:15-16. entrapped by gluttonous eyes. So too Esau the hated. exchanged his birth right for a meal. brethren. [11] 1 John 2:16. Some translators go so far as to put 'riches'. shouting and demonic leapings require not only the day but most of the night as well. Perhaps 'style of life'. [5] These are the sort of things that are going on during these days. not indulgence in drunkenness and intoxication. and through it death . [12] Philippians 4. [4] ‘But the people of God sat down to eat and drink. because of they get drunk and debauched during them. rejoiced and was made glad by divine visions and filled with divine revelations. 'standard of living'. flee intemperance even in partaking of things that are permitted. not understanding that these days demand abstinence from meat. most people call the present days ‘feasts’. [9] Ephesians 5:3.

rivalled angels. not hubbub. and that we are leading a spiritual life. but thanksgiving. and to the ages of ages. holiness and temperance. our obedience. attained heavenly glory. in which there is not intemperance. only let us attend [11] without faltering. And so we too. and to rejoice with unlimited [7] joy. follow their way of life. for which we have also been persecuted. performed signs from God. should we so wish. and we have learnt how God magnified him in this world under heaven. not drunkenness. but peace. race. not abuse. who is against us?’ [10] And if he helped us in the past. our subjection. [9] But don’t be scared at what has been said. brethren loved by the Lord. let us rejoice and congratulate one another that we have been given these gifts of grace by God. so that the kings of the earth thought it important to write to him and to hear from him a written voice. humble wretches. but vigilance. friends and intimates. not wantonness. because he has rescued us from such empty behaviour and transferred us to this blessed life. [6] who with God trampled down the passions. But we should give thanks to God. now and for ever.entered the world. estrangement from fatherland. From this it was that our inspired fathers sprang up. Accordingly. to whom be the glory and the power with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Therefore I beg you. for a word has gone out that the Mighty [8] is keeping an eye on our affairs and doubtless a royal official will suddenly arrive. . expelled demons. this present confession. how would he not help in the future? Only let us stand nobly. and he himself will give power to all who lead to the end a life that is well-pleasing to him to gain the kingdom of heaven in Christ Jesus our Lord. were a cause of wonder in the world. [1] This Instruction is suggested for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son by the current Slavonic Triodion from Moscow. but purity. but moderation. Amen. our denial of the world. ‘If God is on our side. but tranquillity. in which it is always open to us to keep festival every day. not disturbance. whose life we have been reading. One of them was the blessed Antony. 13:14. and that we imitate it our monastic profession bears witness. which only gives Catecheses for the Sundays of these weeks. let us hold mightily to our ascetic practice and this confession. [2] Rom.

[3] Ezekiel 16.49. [4] Cf. Genesis 25:29-34 and Mal. 1: Esau I hate. [5] Exod. 32:6. [6] The verb anatello means to ‘rise up’, sometimes of the sun, at others of plants, and is used metaphorically of people with either image understood. In this passage the idea of plants is the one of which St Theodore is thinking. [7] This adjective, amuretos, is not in the lexica. The Greek editor suggests, ‘incorruptible’, ‘unending’, though he gives no reasons. [8] That is to say the Emperor. St Theodore plays on the words ‘mightily’, krataios, and ‘mighty’, kraton’. [9] This echoes the troparion from the Midnight Office, ‘The Judge will come suddenly and the deeds of each will be laid bare’. St Theodore implies that it is not only the just Judge who arrives suddenly. [10] Romans 8:31. [11] St Theodore in these two clauses deliberately echoes the deacon’s invitation at the beginning of the anaphora. Hence my somewhat unidiomatic translation of prosechomen. The present subjunctive of continuous action here contrasts neatly with the aorist of immediate action in the Liturgy.

CATECHESIS 50
On the great and manifest day of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was spoken on Meat Sunday. Brethren and fathers, it is a universal law on this day for those who live in the world to stop eating meat and one may see among them great competition in meat-eating and wine-bibbing, and even spectacles of outrageous pastimes which it is shameful to speak about. It is necessary to participate with moderation and to give thanks to the Lord for what we have and to make worthy preparation for the banquet before us; while they possessed by the wiles of the devil do the opposite, demonstrating that they have accepted one rather than the other. Why have I mentioned these things? So that we humble monks may not direct our thoughts in that direction, nor desire their desire, which is not worthy of desire, but rather of misery; let us rather turn to consider the Gospel we are

going to listen to, thinking, while the canon is being chanted, about the great and manifest day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the judge will stand the sheep on his right but the goats on his left. And to those on the right he will utter that blessed and most longed for invitation, Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; while to those on the left he will utter that most unwelcome and piteous sentence, Depart from me, accursed, into the everlasting fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. These words are full of dread, fear and alarm; they should make us, and them, as we reflect fall down and weep and make God merciful to us, before he has come to test those who listen. But although they are thus, let us, I beg, hear and heed the message of the Gospel, striving keenly to serve the Lord with fear and trembling, removing all wickedness from the soul, introducing instead all knowledge of good works, compassionate pity, goodness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, and whatever else is good and estimable, that when we have led lives worthy of the Gospel of Christ we may become heirs of the kingdom of heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom belong glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

CATECHESIS 51
On being confident and courageous in the present persecution. Given on Wednesday of Cheese Week. Brethren and fathers, the question for us to discuss to-day should be self-mastery, because the holy Lent is at our doors. However the common talk does not allow us to do this, as our thought and our talk is preoccupied with something else. For I have already told you in the previous instruction that the Emperor is commanding things against us, and now, so they say, is making threats against us through Nikomedes. If we were to meet them in a manner fitting God, he would not endure at all, but do what occurred to him. What more is to be said then? That to be persecuted again is to be crowned again; and that where sufferings are multiplied, there too the consolations of the Holy Spirit are multiplied; for the Apostle says, For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering, and our hope for you

is sure; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation and salvation, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation. See how by these words he showed that we are partakers with one another in sufferings and in consolations, as being one body and one spirit, as we have also been called in one hope of our calling. So then, brethren, let us not fall, let us not lose heart, but let us all stand together, as good soldiers of Christ, bearing our arms, not physical ones, but ones empowered by God, for the destruction of strongholds, that is to say: prudence, courage, temperance and justice; and with them fulfilling that which was said by God, When they persecute you in one city, flee to another. And as we depart there, let us not worry what we shall eat, or what we shall drink, or how we shall be clothed. For he himself has said, I shall not leave you, or desert you. So that there too he would be opening a door for us and helping us in all ways. Do we not rejoice then, having such promises? Are we not leaping for joy that we are the Lord's disciples. Thus they persecuted the holy apostles also, to whom the Lord said, Blessed are you, when they revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice and leap for joy on that day. So the present situation is one for joy and gladness; for it is for us the cause of inexpressible joy and eternal life and the kingdom which has no end. Do not go into the way of the nations, he says, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. This is to be understood of the heretics; then let us not enter their churches, nor their houses; but where the son of peace is, the seed of true religion, there let us stay, and there let us pass our time, as in times past. Let us guard ourselves from those who counterfeit the truth, from those who call themselves guides and are not guides, but deceivers who both deceive and are deceived, mislead and are misled, whose condemnation is deserved. Let us guard the faith unswerving and our way of life intact, not maltreating the one by the other, but being safe and perfect on either hand. The subject of the confession is about the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore one who does not confess that our Lord Jesus Christ is portrayed in picture is one who does not confess that he appeared in flesh; for it is the same to appear in flesh and to be portrayed in picture. One who does not worship his holy image, does not worship the Lord; for the prototype is revealed and worshipped in the image, and the image in the prototype of each person that is depicted. And if the Iconoclasts say that they worship, they lie; for they profess, he says, to know God, but by their deeds they deny him. We then worship Christ and his image, we worship the Mother of God and her image, the

reading reading. we keep close to one another. We serve one another. prayer prayer. But blessed is God. to say always with a contrite heart. Jesus was telling him. drinking bouts and drunkenness. Since too you know the sort of things that take place in the world. and this is the deposit which I entrust to you to guard unharmed and unperverted. Amen. or that he should give something to the poor. Government of thoughts in accord with the mind. and all the other things. But our manner of life is not like this. Who am I. timely stillness. to answer according to reason. do quickly. in Christ Jesus our Lord. not by way of flattery but truth. and if there is need for some bodily consolation at the feast. I often call your way of life blessed. as it is written. fitting speech. try to achieve. spoken on the Friday of Cheese Week. So then each one of us is a debtor. shouts and caperings. to whom be glory and might. everything is ordered with stability and measure. What you are doing. lowly as we are. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. and that we may not be ashamed of our expectation and that we may without condemnation accomplish with you the contest now proposed and that we may all reach the kingdom of heaven. as you see. my Lord. now and always and to the ages of ages. not because of any works of justice that we have done. And this is the apostolic teaching. which we have received from our holy fathers. in the heart meditation of divine words. For the rest pray for our humble selves. Not one of those at table knew why he said this to him. but I aim to make you more fervent. whose condemnation is deserved. nor do I wish to call those in the world unhappy. ‘Buy what we need for the feast’. O Lord. that is not discordant. that on opening our mouth the Lord may give us utterance. which are the results of the activity of the evil one. Psalmody succeeds psalmody. revels and intoxication. for hear what the Lord says to Judas.saints and their images. For some thought that. and what the house of my . for we have done nothing good upon earth. because Judas held the purse. But what is it? Night and day we praise the Lord according to the legislation which has been handed down to us by our holy fathers. but according to his mercy the call is freely given. Do you see that among them the consideration both of the feast and of the poor was a matter for concern? Which we also. Brethren and fathers. who has granted us to be admitted to such a way of life. CATECHESIS 52 On self-mastery and prayer.

Adultery and theft and cursing and lying have been poured out upon the earth. If you will forgive them their sin. Because day succeeds night with the care of this age. if want to walk in their footsteps. Hence the Prophet Jeremy lamented over Israel and left behind various lamentations in writing. wipe me out of your book of life. And indeed each of the saints had the same sympathy and made entreaty for the others. in brief all mankind. the deception of wealth. and all those other things which it is not easy to detail. they wrangle with one another. those in the darkness of paganism. having mercy and pity for those who are living in the distraction of life. Hence the great Moses cried to God. For are we not all one another’s brothers? Are we not of one blood? Are we not of the same dust? Is not someone who sees a beast of burden being carried over a precipice seized with pity? How much more then for brothers and fellow believers. to speak like the Prophet. now and always and to the ages of ages. praying with unremitting grief of heart. those who are in the grip of heresies. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Hence the blessed Apostle wept for the enemies of the Cross of Christ. The majority of the world is hardly to be saved. and delivered from which may we be granted to reach eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. to whom be glory and might. Brethren and Fathers.father. so that a person is unable to draw breath. With all this in mind the blessed Chrysostom has already said. People bring trouble on each other. forgive. our good God who gives us life and brings us from year to year. those who have been led away into error. that you have loved me? And such is ours. according to what we have been commanded by the Apostle to make supplications and prayers. but nevertheless it is true. CATECHESIS 53 On fasting. while rarely are such things found in the world. with the other concerns. but also pray on behalf of the world. and that the true fast of the obedient and the subject is the cutting off of one’s will. For this reason one must grieve and be sad for one who is truly conscious that he is under this sentence. not simply have in view what concerns ourselves. It is a fearful word. For thus we shall profit ourselves before the rest. Should not we then. Amen. has brought us also with love for mankind to this . if not. Given on Cheese Sunday. being filled with compunction and cleansed of passionate habits.

yet above all unsleepingly keeping watch over our thoughts. So that the enemy has power to suggest. rather peaceable towards each other. for they shall see God. as their choice directs. as we are taught. another to vigil. one devoting himself to self-mastery. What is the struggle? Not to walk according to one’s own will. Quite simply. whatever pure. in which each of the eager. This is better than the other works of zeal and is a crown of martyrdom. not evil. speaking suitable words. but let us advance with cheerfulness of heart. CATECHESIS 54 On fasting and dispassion. enters the contest. not making ourselves miserable. whatever noble. innocent. and the God of peace will be with you all. let us not open our door to the devil. but to let oneself be ruled by the disposition of the superior. and others in other ascetic actions. We are lords of ourselves. unwounded by the arrows of the thoughts. rather let us keep guard over our soul as a bride of Christ. it says. another spending even longer in prostrations. If the spirit of the powerful one. since hubbub is damaging in a community. But the true subject behaves with obedience not at any particular time. in Christ Jesus. not giving place to the devil. eating only every two or three days. breathing in seasonable stillness. Amen. our Lord. let us welcome gladly the gift of the fast. but in no way to enter. whatever just. Given on Wednesday of the First Week. not set about with tumult. . if there is anything virtuous. Quite simply during these holy days it is possible to see great zeal and attention. not envying. And so I ask. but keeps up the struggle always. and loving. not opening the door to the passions. not angry. do it. and to the ages of ages. since too unreasonable stillness is profitless. except that for you there is also change of diet. now and for ever. Blessed are the pure in heart. keeping vigil for so long or so long. multiplication of prostrations and increase of psalmody are in accord with the established tradition from of old. spoken at the beginning of the fast. full of mercy and good fruits. do not let it find your place. rise up against you. to speak like the Apostle. for thus we are able to become a dwelling of God in Spirit. Whatever is true. fair. compliant. whatever lovely. not slandering. Thus we may be made worthy to hear. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. whatever of good report. to whom be the glory and the might. if there is anything praiseworthy.present time of fasting.

And observe: he says beautiful to behold. if. Fasting is not defined by foods alone. for just as those who run in the stadium need the vocal support of their fellow contestants. since I have been placed at your head. Also because what is unusual. for when he touched the forbidden food. for the holy Apostle says. made beautiful in itself it is being drawn lovingly to the one who said. promising improvement for the future. while psalmody and hymns. will also talk to you briefly. Even though our outward man is perishing. If then such is the grace of fasting. with a sincere heart. as our godly fathers have explained. maliciousness. But I. I and the Father will come and make our dwelling with him. for every race and for every age. we will only fall down before him with fear and trembling and weep before him. idleness. may be likened to a storm-free harbour. And so. than a sharpened two-edged sword which devours the soul it has captured. self-reliance. but when it is plucked it is found more bitter than gall. we must welcome it. jealousy. yet the inward is being renewed day by day. brethren. But let the leaders of the churches speak of what is suitable to lay people. so fasters need the encouragement of their teachers. though he is able to nourish lavishly. not grieving at the plainness of the diet. for great and small. let us abstain from destructive desire which the many-shaped serpent lays before us when we are fasting. ‘The fruit which slew me was beautiful to behold and fair to eat’. honoured brethren. when compared to the whole year. prayers and entreaties take their place. I beg you. gladly. For the present season is one of salvation not for monks and nuns only. that it makes us into a dwelling place of God. strife. but also for lay people. for we know that the Lord. made a banquet for thousands in the wilderness from bread and water. self-indulgence. the season of Lent. sluggishness. or rather. Fasting then is a renewal of the soul. For cities and villages reduce their hubbub and bustle. by which our good God is propitiated and so guides our spirits to peace and pardons our offences. in which all who are sailing together enjoy a spiritual calm. . in the same way pleasure feigns untold sweetness. for emperors and priests.Brethren and fathers. And if it is being renewed. with enthusiasm becomes acceptable and painless. Let us listen to the one who says. let us abstain from despondency. For just as if someone taking a pomegranate decked out with a scarlet rind should find it rotten. clearly it is being made beautiful according to its original beauty. not beautiful by nature. for rulers and ruled. but by every abstinence from evil. This is what our forefather Adam suffered when he was tricked by the serpent.

but in the age to come at the resurrection of the dead to gain the kingdom of heaven in Christ Jesus our Lord. In everything be good to one another. This too is what all they have suffered who from then until now have been similarly deceived by the dragon. adorned with many different marbles with every other form of elegance. for one is weak and another strong. to whom be the glory and the might. brethren. In addition let us welcome the times of psalmody. be enthusiastic for hymnody. making use of food and drink and the other necessities with moderation. and so the all-evil one does not cease to lead the world astray at every opportunity. dark into light. bitter into sweet. Let us bear one another’s burdens. but zeal in goodness. transforms himself into an angel of light. and such is the longing that fills them that their mind is wholly occupied in this and in considering how the roof may be wellcovered. Amen. ugly into beautiful. because working is good and because one who does not work is not judged worthy of eating. who is darkness. not be led astray by his manifold deceptions. so he knows how to transform bad into good. making prostrations according to the given measure at each hour. But let us at least. nor suffer the fate of the birds who greedily approach what seems to be food and fall into the hunter’s trap. and the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and thoughts. Brethren and fathers. For just as he. labouring until they have achieved their object. Let us rather look on the outer coverings of evil as dung and when with the mind we have looked on evil in its nakedness we shall flee from it at once. compassionate. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. so that there is no provoking to jealousy among evil people. full of mercy and good fruits. people in the world when they erect a luxurious house give themselves no rest at night and at the end of the day they toil and plan. Given on Friday of the First Week.he found death instead of life. working with our own hands. CATECHESIS 55 On decorating our incorruptible house through the assumption of the virtues. how the floor. attentive to the readings. reasonable. and to the ages of ages. deadly into life-giving. now and for ever. And now. may you be found worthy without condemnation to reach the supreme day of the Resurrection. will offer lovers of fine sights the most . obedient.

when the only meal is eaten on fast days] but your spirits have been sweetened. But since one of the virtues is self-mastery. who dwelt in the desert before the godly Antony. But if someone were to wish to tear them away from that care. for since our body . Your faces have been changed from what they were before. courage. And these things are opposed to one another. and we are more closely concerned about this one. the fear of God. so that we may have the Holy Spirit for its inhabitant. brethren. and let us not fail to adorn it with the beauty of the virtues. Antony the Great preferred as almost necessary eating daily to a fast of above a day or for a week. and so with one attached firmly to the other and fitted together with the bond of love it will grow into a holy temple of the Lord. they would be most distressed. since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. as a foundation stone. Not at all! Otherwise our Lord would not have ordered us to ask each day for our daily bread. if you will. as though they were being seriously wronged. since we are a temple of the living God and the Spirit of God dwells in us. as the divine Apostle says. where Lampe translates ‘eating slowly’. and by mastering the one the other has become weak. let us give glory to God that we have arrived at the one stadium for it. but they shine with a fair change: the pallor that comes from selfmastery. The other knows that it welcomes the Holy Spirit. [The only reference in the lexica for this word is the Greek Ephrem. not one made out of stones and wood but one skilfully constructed from spiritual graces. filled with the bile of eating late. how can we be idle and come far below these others in zeal? How should this not be the greatest of wrongs? That other house harbours people who love the flesh and when it has passed through many masters it will be pulled down and deserted.pleasing appearance. Moreover with those who depart from things here it leaves too and abides in heaven intact and eternal. at every moment. Let us be building this temple. flying on wings of hope. But we. so that by the pleasantness of our life we may turn the attention of angels and men to ourselves. would have received bread from God every day. justice. sobriety. the prophet Elias would not have been nourished each day in the desert by a raven. Paul. when we are building not a corruptible house but an incorruptible. so that we may rejoice for we are sided with the stronger. What is the material of this building? The assumption of the virtues. Perhaps some one will say that to eat every day is a failure of perfection. that is after Vespers in the late afternoon. And this is how it seems to me. Take first. Next understanding. but the meaning here is surely ‘eating late’. your mouths have become embittered. as it is written.

in which may you shine out like the sun as heirs of the kingdom of heaven. but very much for the perfect by the traditional definition and canon. this is why it is written. And may you be granted again and again both health of body and strength of spirit to serve the living and true God and to await the last day. rather than attentively keeping in . knowing that enthusiasm strengthens both soul and body. unless something truly extraordinary happens. now and always and to the ages of ages. but with our spiritual father keep a watch over our bodily health also. No chastening seems to be joyful for the present. like a racing colt. become more enthusiastic for the future through experience. And so let us too. Amen. nevertheless. who have been allowed to traverse the first week of the fast. For what use is there in walking too hard from the start and falling down more quickly. not to join more lustily in psalmody. Brethren and fathers. CATECHESIS 56 On not being stretched beyond our power in our works of zeal for God and about nourishing the soul with spiritual speculations. However let us not strive beyond our power in our works of zeal. and needs its rest. making what is heavy light and what is difficult easy. which what they suffer who drag out their fast over two. the first fruits of the fast corresponding to the change of diet and of works of zeal produce a certain difficulty and roughness. which was not yet the Sunday of Orthodoxy. but not be exhausted and fading.is physically exhausted through its toil for the whole day. And so daily nourishment is not simply for the imperfect. so necessarily the creator of our nature has arranged for it to be strengthened by its daily nourishment so that it might run well for the future. And thank goodness these things have been laid down by the fathers. Nor would they be able to prostrate more frequently. The opposite is true: idleness makes what is light heavy and what is easy difficult. nor to accomplish their other services easily. Given on the First Sunday. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. but grievous. three and five days. in Christ Jesus our Lord. afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of justice to those who have been trained by it. but with persistence and practice it is soothed and softened. since every beginning is difficult. to whom be glory and might.

and since we have our home in heaven and our lives have nothing in common with those who live according to the world. These. how great and fearful and more dazzling than the rays of the sun will be the face of Christ. what his voice that we shall hear. Our mind then should be on God. to weep and to be enlightened. it says. Amen. on heavenly sights. what will be the final state of the just who are admitted into the kingdom of heaven and of the sinners who are sent away to eternal punishments. confusion. But since the day with exertion is accustomed to produce despondency. both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. I remembered God. to whom be glory and might. then how each soul is going to take again its yoke-fellow the body. Brethren and fathers. the inner is being renewed day by day. on the beauties of Paradise. with these it is possible to be moved to compunction. the heavens will pass away with a great noise. but in ones in which are sweetness and joy. on how the appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ will be. what a gathering that will be of every human from Adam to the final consummation. CATECHESIS 57 On guarding the soul from destructive passions. in which are emptiness. wretchedness and bitterness. on the regime there. as the Apostle says. But even if our outward nature is wasting away. leaner and paler. that beauty which the holy David longed for when he prayed.view the extent of the dwelling. so that by humbling the body we shall bring about the beauty of the soul. brethren. according to the sacred saying. in which. and last. this it is to understand what follows for the soul through self-mastery. and I was glad. Wednesday of the Second Week. with which we should be occupied. since we live out of the world. not with those of a worldly sort. now and always and to the ages of ages. For what it is to see a body healthy-looking and sleek through pleasure. Lord. and the elements melt with fervent heat. in Christ Jesus our Lord. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. on the everlasting dwellings. by your will . are the things that we should be caring about and thinking about. now that we have fasted for the first week we appear to each other somewhat different to what we were. both to lead a life of peace here and to have hope of attaining the eternal good things to come. let us sustain the soul with good pursuits and spiritual thoughts. where the souls of the just and of sinners are now.

from sordid thoughts. reining in the impulses of the flesh. in Christ Jesus our Lord. is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory. for the Bridegroom Christ to whom we are betrothed. that we have been granted to have Christ as Bridegroom? Does each of you see how afraid our groomsman is for our safety? So our soul is like a maiden who has been brought into the bridal chamber. and holding fast more fervently to the self-mastery which lies before us. but if she were ugly through wickedness. resplendent by good works. This is the reason for the punishing of the body. as the Lord said. she would give joy to the holy Angels. see The Philokalia. but throughout the whole of life. Do you each see the greatness of the gift. Vol. 365. when we have in purity passed over from things here. for by thinking desire is set alight like fire. which is pitiable both to speak and to think about. at which. because of this there is austerity. she will be an object of malignant delight for the demons. p. 1. exercising every care to preserve herself incorrupt. so that. brethren. until the moment comes for her marriage. with every care to keep herself pure from the corrupting passions of sin. For what is the ascetic life but mastery of the passions. For I have betrothed you to one husband. It means ‘the initial incitement to evil’]. like a bit. control of thoughts and unrelenting wrestling against invisible foes? And how should these things not afflict the flesh? But this slight momentary affliction of ours. so your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere commitment to Christ. so as not to unseat the charioteer — the mind. not thinking any wickedness at all. to whom be glory . that keep our own soul pure from evil deeds. things which Angels too hope to glimpse. the soul too requires the same behaviour. but taking our stand far from the passions and beating off the tempter from the moment of provocation [For this technical term. which defile us. So then for things which cannot be seen. as it is written. to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. keeping herself within the bridal chamber. an insult to Christ. if she were comely. indeed most fittingly. as though going from the body as from a bridal chamber. With this beauty moreover the blessed Paul confirms that we are betrothed to Christ. I ask and beseech you. Just as she deprives herself of the sight of males.you have granted power to my beauty. beyond all measure. both by good works making the soul resplendent. we may depart in unspeakable joy to heaven and delight in the joy of the heavenly bridal chamber. not only at the present moment. until her departure. because our aim is not what can be seen but what cannot be seen. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning.

because you are walking in harmony. so those who incite to virtue inherit blessing. CATECHESIS 58 On harmony and love and on nobly enduring the toils of virtue for gaining the kingdom of heaven. secondly they are set forth as an example of virtue to others. to enjoy the everlasting good things. is not overtaken by despondency [The translators of the Philokalia use ‘listlessness’ for this well known monastic scourge. if it were necessary to shed . already evils are kept far away: disorder and instability. now and ever and to the ages of ages. conducting yourselves peaceably and continuing the season of the fast with endurance. does not fall. You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole strength and your whole mind. Amen. so that they may take home what they need for their families. for peace and harmony are a considerable good in a community. rather he adds fire to fire. brethren. to reach the kingdom of heaven. and thence they gain the greatest benefits. contradiction and slander. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. One then who loves thus is not satiated. Do you not see how much those who toil according to the flesh toil for vain and perishable things? Do you not see how those who build ships here under your very eyes [St Theodore and his monks were in exile at this time at the monastery of Crescens on the narrow gulf of Nikomedia (the modern Izmit Kφrfezi) at the NE end of the Sea of Marmara. disposing ascents of virtues in his heart and going from power to spiritual power. to escape the everlasting punishments. shall we not endure all things with all enthusiasm and energy. to become rich with the things of God. not allowing themselves any relaxation whatsoever? For what? So that they may acquire a little gold. And never. and sets enthusiasm alight with enthusiasm. while we. akedia See Volume 1 pp. and this unremittingly. or Step 13 of The Ladder]. And this is for your salvation and for our hope. For as those who are causes of scandals inherit the Woe.] pass the whole day in toil . Friday of the Second Week. for it is written. Brethren and fathers.and might. let us fall away from the good state and the praiseworthy way of life. 88-91 for St John Cassian’s account. nor let us leave off loving God. in my lowliness I rejoice over you. disobedience and pride and any other wickedness that may exist! Such people in the first place find good for themselves..

puffed up. besides all these praying also for our brothers who have been scattered here and there. that a word may be given me when I open my mouth. And Our light affliction. whom I cannot see before my eyes. it says. Amen. if these qualities are lacking to you. But let us not be ignorant of his plans. let us stand nobly. patient in tribulation. angry. the recitation. to the psalmody. by so much the inner is being renewed day by day. since idleness is the mother of wickedness. it clears the soul and makes it flourish. which is but for a moment. knowing that this is what is acceptable to God. well-established. all the other things which bring about the salvation of our soul. good order. you would not be well-pleasing to him. There is no indication of date for this Instruction. sympathetic and all the other forms of virtue. humble. so that from either side both we and you may be saved. it is an anguish for me how each one is coming through safely. which are to be peaceable. that by such occupation we may keep a hold on the mind. attentive to our manual work. gently. Because while fasting batters and wastes the body. in Christ Jesus our Lord. but at any rate praying earnestly for my humble person. so as to produce hurt more than gain. Brethren and fathers. fasting is good if it possesses its own special characteristics. meekly and steadfastly bearing with one another in love. CATECHESIS 59 On our accomplishing the days of the fast gently and readily in the hope of life without end. but continue our path peaceably. while work is the guardian of the mind. my brothers. the repose of our neighbour. for though you bend your neck double like a hoop and smother yourself with sackcloth and ashes. now and always and to the ages of ages. dragging it away from being occupied with vanities. I ask you. and a life free from deformation. persevering in prayer. But the devil hurries to suggest the opposite to fasters and to make them insolent. is . but placing even greater emphasis on obedience. the readings. it is reasonable to allocate it to the 2nd Sunday. to whom be glory and might. Not however through these being turned from our state. but since it comes between the ones for Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent and Wednesday of the 3rd. obedient. bad-tempered.our blood. for concerning them too. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. to be entirely ready to do so for the Lord? Yes. rejoicing in hope. For as much as our outer nature is perishing. meek.

] What could be sweeter and more filled with enjoyment than this. from which we also eagerly wait for the Saviour. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love.working for us a far more exceeding weight of glory. despite certain earlier difficulties. The most likely person is St Nikephoros. Blessed is the one who endures temptation. All flesh is grass. for example. since those who partake with a pure conscience will obtain eternal life? Do we not converse each day with the godly David and the other holy fathers through taking in the readings? What could bring greater consolation to the soul? Have we not broken off contact with the world and with our relatives according to the flesh? Again is anything more blessed or higher than this? For our citizenship is in heaven. and all human glory like the flower of the grass. Who. So that looking at the recompense. my brothers. who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to his glorious body. INTRODUCTION Catechesis 60 contains a number of interesting details. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Is anyone sad? Let him sing psalms. the Patriarch. Do we not communicate each day of his immaculate body and blood? [This suggests that daily Communion was the norm for St Theodore’s monks. the Lord Jesus Christ. but the work of virtue endures for ever. it cannot be St Platon. And so. Amen. If you know these things. blessed are you if you do them. Is anyone tempted by evil passion? — since the tempter is always at work — let him endure patiently as he listens to the one who says. to whom be glory and might. he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love him. This would imply that during Lent the Liturgy of the Presanctified was celebrated every weekday. The latter. The grass withered and the flower faded. according to the working by which he is able even to subdue all things to himself. who had died in 812. said the Lord. Let him pray. now and for ever and to the ages of ages. let us bear the toils of virtue with long-suffering. let us rejoice and be glad as we repudiate every pleasure. Is anyone among you suffering? as the brother of God says. not just on Wednesdays and Fridays. giving thanks to the God and Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. had a great respect for St . if the ‘holy father and teacher’ referred to in the opening sentence? If the Short Catecheses were given during St Theodore’s exile to the Propontis in 820. for when he has been proved.

Day by day our life. 2 Cor 4. buying. Let us be on the watch then lest we find ourselves without realising it in the same state of which we accuse them. The reference to ‘the story of the Flood’ suggests that the readings at Vespers were the same in St Theodore’s day as they are today. when . not improbable.]. and St Theodore refers to himself as the Patriarch’s ‘child’ [ibid. selling and suddenly the flood came. whose father. Cf. they must be dated between 820 (the death of Metropolitan Michael. is passing and we are getting nearer to death. Brethren and fathers. marrying. in the presence of our holy father and teacher we have no need to discourse. If the Catecheses were all given at the same time. We hear the story of the Flood being read. and were not rather trembling and terrified. Given on Wednesday of the 3rd Week. and the Lord in the Gospels saying: As in the days of Noλ they were eating. but nevertheless because of our custom let us say just a little. and we must remove hence and be joined to our brothers and fathers. but every day the tomb is seen filled. The Patriarch called himself St Theodore’s ‘son’ [Letters II:79 — PG 99:1317C]. And perhaps we wonder in this case how insensibly they were disposed. Already each day death is at work [Cf. into which we are about to crawl. drinking.12. PG 99:1176A]. which was being filled up during one hundred years. as you see. the subject of Catechesis 21) and 826 (the death of St Theodore himself).26s.Theodore. St Theodore is quoting from memory]. CATECHESIS 60 On our sudden departure from here and teaching about keeping safe watch over our senses and our mind from unseemly desires. St Nikephoros had been deposed in 815 and was at this time also in exile in his own monastery on the Propontis. Kroumos (802-814) had carried off into captivity some 30.000 Christians some years before. so that there is need of much vigilance and attention and preparation of heart. so too it will be at the coming of the Son of Man [Cf Mt 24. That he should visit his friend St Theodore and his monks is. Already it is not the ark which is being got ready. II:18.37-39. in particular Life A chap. In number 63 the reference to ‘the ruler’ in Bulgaria is almost certainly to Omurgat (813-831). Lk 17. 120 [PG 99:221-224]. to say the least.

but in humility think of others as better than yourselves [Phil 2. and God is our helper. and they left not so much amazed as ashamed. who has also dispelled the trial and given you power to remain unmoved in the expectation of threats. sight. Do nothing from selfish ambition or vainglory. while to you may the Lord grant the perfect reward in return for your having chosen to be persecuted for his sake. on the contrary we are pained and crushed accomplishing nothing useful. but blessed is God. And let us not grow despondent [The verb from akedia. hearing. Brethren and fathers.31-32. or clothe ourselves. I implore. for the Lord is near those who wait for him. this is the way of authentic monks. let us do everything to the glory of God. not to step into the pitfall of unseemly things. Those who came said what they said. as the Apostle teaches. [1 Cor 10. and being rich in mercy . and so we should be on our guard. yesterday a tempest and to-day calm. smell. CATECHESIS 61 That we must not submit ourselves in temptations. or drink. but whether we eat. Let us secure our senses.] giving no offence to Jews or Greeks or to the Church of God. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. touch. yesterday a <disturbance> [1] and today quiet. not to picture to ourselves evil images nor to conceive sinful desires.]. I don’t say: we shouldn’t eat. having the same love. yes. drink. make my joy complete. be of the same mind.2-3. or whatever we do. I don’t say that. my brothers. And by living thus may we reach the kingdom of heaven in Christ Jesus our Lord. to cleanse the soul and to look towards dispassion. Things here are more fearful than those there. from which we gain no profit or pleasure. I exhort. being in full accord and of one mind. through them death enters.each one of our brothers departs. and about fasting. now and ever and to the ages of ages. This is the way of true Christians. There is one repose then and one pleasure. to hold themselves always in readiness in the face of dangers on behalf of virtue and to consider nothing more precious that the commandment of God. Amen.] when called to repose and the joy of dispassion. taste. Let us bridle our mind not to be carried off to things it should not. but let us hasten and press forward intently with diligence to right every defect. as the Apostle again says. Yes. Given on Friday of the 3rd Week.

But in fact the trial has not been dispelled. weeping is good.]. but justice and peace and joy. The time for talk? Let us talk suitably. zeal is good. Except that the coenobitic rule does not let each one act according to their own will. of course. but this is the common limit of self-mastery for those living in obedience: the cutting of their own will.4].7. with the . because it gives the mind wings and makes it a companion of God. The moment for stillness? Let us be still reasonably.]. 9. the task of pressing on eagerly again and again to what follows as each has chosen. And so let us hear the Apostle when he says. The moment for work? Let us work earnestly. let us be eager. has ‘giver’. and make us worthy of the kingdom of heaven. But that’s enough of these matters.[1 Cor. as it is written. St Paul. for God loves a cheerful faster [1 Cor. And to speak simply. but again and again it continues. Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders.8 = Hab 2. while watch is kept over the body’s health. 14.40. not reluctantly or under constraint. seasoned with salt. prayer is good. Therefore let us become cheerful. My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who draws back [Heb 10. in the Holy Spirit [Rom. Already the fast has advanced and lays on us.17. according to each one’s power. nor should we pass God’s word over in silence.] as we have been instructed. making the most of the opportunity. 14. Would that we might share in them richly. because it wipes clean and washes the heart of sins and sets it pure before the Lord. Fasting then is good. let us remain outside tumult and all idle chatter. where there is no food and drink. because it tames the passions and subjects the flesh to the spirit. The moment for psalmody? Let us advance keenly. to whom be glory and might. love is good.5-6. for he says. doing everything decently and in order. Let the measure of genuflexions be completed and the customary recitation be fulfilled. to the resurrection of Christ. as it makes the elder young again.]. because it disregards what concerns itself for the advantage of the neighbour. brethren. so that you may know how you should respond to each one [Col 4. And would that the God of peace might bring us to the queen of days.he knows how to crown from the intention alone the one who chooses the good. in Christ Jesus our Lord. and particularly because everywhere there are edicts of the rulers that no one is to lag behind from having a share in heretical fellowship. because it lightens toils and makes the spirit young. By this he teaches us that we should not submit just anyhow to trials. Let your speech be always gracious.

unless diatheke can be taken in the sense of something like an ‘ultimatum’. In the LXX and NT it is the regular word for ‘covenant’. St Theodore seems to be quoting from memory ] when. how good it has become for us the separation from the monastery here! For why should our liberty be subject to the judgement of another’s conscience? [1 Cor. It does not seem to make any sense in the context. to distress. but since it does not print the Greek. Come out from among them and be separated. to death. 10. to prison. [Isa. or is simply a guess to fit the sense is unclear. they will render an account to the Lord on the day of judgement. You see that the same distinction withdraws us from the world and drives us to trouble. because when the moment summoned they did not choose persecution on behalf of Christ. which means a ‘disposition’. but cannot alter. to persecution. [1] The Greek has diatheke. CATECHESIS 62 On our imitating the Lord’s sufferings. If others act otherwise over these matters. But it seems to have been given after the day itself.’ Migne has ‘tumultus’. whenever he sees a soul thirsting for him. for it seems to me that to be brought under their power is equivalent of being indifferent towards the heretics. [Migne adds: On the Forty Martyrs [March 9th]. bear witness with the others. 8.Father and the Holy Spirit.] Brethren and fathers. an ‘arrangement’ made by one party with plenary power.] And why do we maltreat ourselves still for what is of no use? We managed as far as it was possible and the moment allowed. whether this represents a different text. as certain others. which the other party may accept or reject.37.] says the Lord. but now. but in all these we must be supremely victorious through the God who loved us. now and always and to the ages of ages. [Rom. whose memorial we have just celebrated. it is necessary to listen to the Prophet when he says. in the sense of a ‘will’ or ‘testament’. 52. The text as it stands may be corrupt.11. though Moulton Milligan’s comment on the word is interesting: ‘diatheke is properly disposition. Amen. And to this the Forty Martyrs. for . gives it force to be able to endure sufferings on his behalf.29. to hunger.

he is not able to deny himself. the scourged. as we have been called in one hope of our calling. the imprisonments. 1 Pet. And blessed is one who has been granted to share in the sufferings of Christ.13. Amen. But since they loved God with a true heart. in Christ Jesus our Lord. they were empowered in their weakness to throw down the invisible enemy by the flesh. because he too was persecuted. 4. because he too was arrested. to gain the kingdom of heaven. The word of the godless was exceedingly strong and the people assembled and there was weeping and groans and much lamentation . those who obeyed would live. to become wellpleasing to God. on account of meat-eating.] even to some extent at least: the persecuted. Brethren and fathers. CATECHESIS 63 Historical. as those who were accurately informed have reported.11-13] Do you see the promises and the threats. the banishments.we cannot say that they possessed a different nature to the one we have. all the limbs suffer with it. 2. concerning the Christians who were massacred in Bulgaria during the holy Lent. On the 3rd Sunday.[ Cf. if one limb is glorified. we shall also live with him. brethren. and to accomplish a struggle of such a quality and greatness that all Christians praise it in song. the reviled. see too why it is written. of what sort and how great they are? For the rest then. let us struggle by the grace of Christ not to shame those things that have been previously mentioned.26] And would that we were even more one body and one spirit. [Eph. [1 Cor.] having Christ as the head. those who disobeyed would be killed. the scourgings. 4. but nevertheless the fellowship of life itself becomes a fellowship of sufferings. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. in the present instruction I want to urge you to consolation from a certain story. [2 Tim. the arrested. all the limbs rejoice with it. because he too was scourged. he remains faithful. now and always and to the ages of ages. because he too was reviled. the imprisoned. for if one limb suffers. If we have died with him. if we endure. he too will deny us. if we deny. The story is this: In Bulgaria. if we are faithless. nor all scourged. let us strive. We may not all have been imprisoned. because he too was imprisoned.4. 12. an evil decree went out from the ruler there that the Christians in captivity and our brothers were to eat meat during the period of the holy Forty Days. we shall also reign with him.

more than me is not worthy of me. because for the Maccabees partaking of pork was utterly forbidden. thought to subdue the rest by means of one. and our lot is that of our dead brother’. appeals and exhortations by the people: Let them yield to constraint. rather fear one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna [Matt. but they considered all things as secondary for the love of Christ. but they were fourteen. those who deny that heretical communion is a breach of faith? For if there there was a breach of faith by the people over eating meat. it says. the pitiable announcement — they were defeated and submitted to the godless order. they obeyed the authority of the Lord and were wreathed with the crown of martyrdom. but cannot kill the soul.]. and one who loves son or daughter or wife more than me is not worthy of me. and one who does not take up his cross and follow after me. is not worthy of me [Matt. so that the others weakened by this would be brought over. You see. Where too are those who say that there is no ground for martyrdom in the image of . Do not fear those who kill the body. Fourteen of them though broke away and stood apart saying it was not possible either to obey or to eat meat in violation of the Christian law. But nothing could persuade them or weaken them from keeping their gaze fixed on God and on the blessedness that was laid up in his promises. But they rather remained unbowed and shouted out. how much more here over the heretically sacrificed communion.28. But since the order from the Scythians was aimed at the rejection of the faith. the latter so as not to partake of any meat in violation of the Christian rule. 10. At this. therefore. that even now too the Gospel of the kingdom of God is active. they refused. and through repentance they can be restored again. One who loves father or mother. but for these men it was permissible to partake of any meat under necessity. on the one side of those clinging to the Christian law. Finally — ah. The Scythian then. They were obedient then to the commands of the Gospel. O blessed men! O blessed action! in a single instant to have received in exchange eternal rest! What will they say to this. At this confession they were crucified on planks and died in the Lord. imitating the holy Maccabees and doubling their number. And again.37-38].with women and children. brethren. ‘We are Christians. on the other of those quailing before the death of the flesh. the former so as not to taste swine’s meat in violation of the law. not die foolishly. and having slain him he at once distributed his children and his wife among the Scythians as slaves. when he saw the implacable determination of the men. as St Basil says. for the Maccabees were seven. this latter seems stricter. 10.

logismoi. But the heretics. who glorifies those who have glorified him.]. married and with children gave everything up for the love of Christ. which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord [1 Cor. the Annunciation is here and it is the first of the Feasts of the Lord. using the . But this is for a day when Christ calls us. who are unmarried and outside the world. that is as certain as the boast in you. 15:31. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. See the important treatment by Prof. pp. who reveals martyrs in this generation too. and we should not simply celebrate as most do. become as zealous as the saints. with the other batterings of the body. uneducated. CATECHESIS 64 On the incarnate dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Guillaumont in Ιvagre le Pontique. The expression is effectively synonymous with ‘the demons’. Let us not bow the knee to Baal. also speak things that are dark as they try to embroil others in their own falls. brethren. because they are dark themselves. we were reckoned as sheep for the slaughter [Ps. glorify our good God. What is the mystery? That the Son of God becomes son of man. when the moment calls. and with the holy David. But let us. and let us not give in when struck by the thoughts [‘The thoughts’. to whom be glory and might. let us stand firm for the uninterrupted martyrdom according to the conscience. Amen. so that we too may be able to say with the Apostle. Traitι Pratique ou le Moine.]. It was spoken on the day of the Annunciation. brethren. let us rather quench the fiery arrows of the evil one with tears. A. Because for you we die all the day. Brethren and fathers. as we reflect on the fact that if men who were apparently lowly. Every day I die. how much more here is the ground for martyrdom resplendent for those who have not denied. 1.Christ? For if there there was ground for martyrdom for those who did not eat meat. are a technical term in the monastic literature and I retain the slightly awkward definite article in English. in Christ Jesus our Lord. 43:23. with compunction. and that we should celebrate spiritually. how much more should we. but with understanding and with reverence for the mystery. With them may we be found worthy to become heirs of the kingdom of heaven. with supplications. 54-98 [SC 170]]. now and for ever and to the ages of ages. now though. tom.

]. with goodness. 2. Bridegroom.]. I speak the truth in Christ. those who have had his holy name invoked upon them reject him. Head. but to save the world [John 12. What then is there to say. with peace.8. for it is not subject to the law of God. the things of the spirit. with gentleness. dwelling in her and from her fashioning for himself a temple and becoming perfect man. I do not lie. think the things of the flesh. no longer walking according to the flesh.]. Why so? Because the Son of God came to save the world. but friends of God. with forbearance. and this is why we should celebrate spiritually and behave spiritually. Teacher. For. for the thought of the flesh is death. prayers. with love. some through abandoning the faith. 9. he humbled himself. with holiness and justice. for kings and for all in high positions [1 Tim. that I have a great grief and unceasing anguish in my heart. he allowed us to call him Father. 6.]. but free.]. In brief this is the power of the mystery. for I have prayed that I might be anathema to Christ for the sake of my brethren. becoming obedient unto death. with the Holy Spirit [2 Cor. but according to the spirit. Indeed it cannot be.47. And so the thought of the flesh is hostile to God. You see the power of love? You see . I have not come to judge the world. but free of passions. the death of the cross [Phil. 2. my conscience bears witness with me in the Holy Spirit. my kinsmen according to the flesh [Rom. no longer subject to the passions. he says. and still he bears it. that we may no longer be slaves. So too. Tribes and languages reject him. the barbarian nations reject him.1-3.]. This is why the great Apostle orders that we should offer supplications.holy Virgin as the means. and that we might receive sonship [Gal. entreaties. What should he have done and did not do? Being God he became man. others through their evil lives. genuine servants suffer in the same way from the desertions of their fellow-servants. 8. 4. but the thought of the spirit. thus showing love both for the teacher and for the disciples.]. Not only that. thanksgivings on behalf of all mankind. but we should both pray and grieve for the world. so that as far as we ourselves are concerned we do not render the dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christ empty and ineffectual. life and peace. and elsewhere he says this on the subject. Brother. no longer friends of the world.6. and the world rejects him.5. Fellow-heir and all the other titles which there is no time to mention now. brethren? That the genuine disciples are grieved by the rejections of their fellow-disciples.1-2. those who walk according to the spirit. Those who walk according to the flesh. as it is written. he gave us his body to eat and his blood to drink. And still he is rejected.5-8. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God [Rom. Why so? That he might ransom those under the law.

only a type of that Pascha to come. so that where I am you maybe also. where there is the blessed breakfast [3] of Christ and the new [4] drink of which Christ spoke. for by so doing what is pleasing to the Lord we shall become inheritors of eternal life. and the way you know. I am coming again and I will take you to myself. if I go. there everlasting joy. CATECHESIS 66 That this Pascha is a type of the future and eternal Pascha. there the sound of those who feast [2]. grief and sighing have fled away [1]. Lent is already galloping past and the soul rejoices at the imminence of Pascha. Brethren and fathers. while that Pascha has no successor. From it pain.the height of friendship? Moses shows it too when he says to God. For this Pascha is for one day and it passes. gladness and rejoicing. wipe me out of the book which you have written [Exodus 32. to whom be the glory and the might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. On that day you will know that I am in the . If you will forgive them their sin. Why did this thought sound for me in advance? Because it is as if our whole life directs its reason contemplating the eternal Pascha. I am going to prepare a place for you and. So we too. even though it is great and revered. Amen. [6]And a little further on. I shall not drink of the fruit of this vine. until I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father [5] Of this he spoke to his disciples when he was about to ascend to heaven. and to the ages of ages. now and for ever.32]. as our fathers explain. For this present Pascha. in Christ Jesus our Lord. if not. forgive. as genuine and not counterfeit disciples. because by it it finds rest and is relieved of many toils. should not only look to what concerns ourselves. And where I am going you know. but we should grieve and pray for our brothers and for the whole world. is nevertheless. INTRODUCTORY NOTE The place of these two catecheses in the numbering suggests that they may have been given during the 4th week of Lent. I will prepare a place for you. a choir of those who keep festival and contemplation of eternal light. and about endurance and courage.

[2] Cf. and I am in you. are in me and I am in you. Amen. let the eye of soul or body be directed there. nor. where the Greek has a singular. constraints as freedoms [10]. If we avoid experiencing them. my brothers. harsh training as relaxation. but also for those who through their word believe in me. in the prayers after Communion. not falling. otherwise we are being caught in the snare. show dark as light. [7] And elsewhere. I beseech you. which you gave me. not leave the paradise of God’s commandments. . deaths as lives. not succumbing to despondency. struggles as delights. Father. since we have the same aim and seek the same Pascha. The phrase is familiar from the prayer for the departed. with all the Saints in Christ Jesus our Lord. considering afflictions as joys. as you. so that they may see my glory. my brother. [8] But because this concerns not only the Apostles. The same phrase is found. he also said. who have learned by experience what a deceiver he is. but also ourselves. Father. transforming himself into an angel of light. I wish that where I am they may be with me also. and you are in me. when he indicates to us that the fruit is beautiful. because you loved from before the foundation of the world. What the is the fruit which seems beautiful? The love of the flesh. bravely and courageously bear our present condition. even should someone say that the human heart is a nature of stone? With thoughts like these the saints bore all that they bore. Psa. now and for ever. should not we also. we shall be saved and easter [12] to age on age. that they may also be one in us. But let us flee by every means from looking. the evil lust of every one of the destructive passions. bitter as sweet. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. but with the plural. But let us. 42:4. [9] What could be more comforting than these words? What could be more appealing? What soul can they not soften? What heart not prick with compunction.Father. and as a result through food casting him out of Paradise. [11]and altering things from what they are. I do not ask this only for them. but rather roused with greater fervour watching for the wicked serpent who works to deceive us by the passions. bewitching his sight and depicting as beautiful what was not. This was how he ensnared our forefather. so that all may be one. and to the ages of ages. [1] Isaias 35:10.

[11] 2 Corinthians 11:14. a clean conscience. [12] St Theodore uses a very rare verb paschazein. who uses it of the Quartodecimans. [8] John 17:24. it very much to be desired. John 21:12. [9] John 17:20-21. [6] John 14:2-4. until it has driven us to the final boundary of life. ‘common’. All our days pass like a shadow. the day of Pascha is drawing near. and temptation to follow G. contrition of heart. but the word should be kainon. How could it not be? But we accomplish Pascha every day. evil desire. . And what is this? Cleansing from sins. Hopkins and use ‘easter’ as a verb is irresistible. [4] The Greek has koinon. [10] It is difficult to reproduce the play in Greek on stenochoria and evrychoria. M. [2] and any other evil that is at work. passion. we may say. Brethren and fathers. [1] and our life travels like a rapid rider. since with God’s help we have passed the mid-point of the fast. One who has been found worthy in all this does not easter and celebrate a much longed for feast to the Lord just once a year. but. let drink a new drink’ (poma kainon). ‘new’. who ‘easter’ with the Jews. but. for there is nothing lasting inthe present age. someone says. tears of compunction. But are we pressing forward to reach the Pascha that comes and goes? Have we not achieved this year after year? The present Pascha too will pass. impurity. [5] Matthew 26:29. CATECHESIS 67 That to feast each day and to easter to the Lord God consists in the death the passions and the resurrection of the virtues. ‘is Pascha not to be desired?’ Of course. ‘What’.[3] Cf. the death of the parts of us that are earthly: immorality. ‘Come. The only reference in Lampe is to St Theodore’s contemporary Theophanes. as the following citation makes clear. There is also an echo of the Paschal canon. [7] John 14:20.

not so we become judges of the others —for each has their own load to carry [6]—but so that. as far as we can. celebrate it every day. or for someone possessed by sins to celebrate. For our way of life is nothing other than preparation [4] for a feast. but also. glorify the benefactor. but is held fast by the passions. or that someone shipwrecked was making a good voyage. Look at the reality: psalmody succeeds psalmody. paraskevi. study. we may give thanks to the giver. and to the ages of ages. we are confident of better things. to those who genuinely serve him to the end. now and always. conscious of the grace that has been given us by God. [4] The ordinary Greek word for ‘preparation’. repay the master. and. to whom be glory and might. . It is impossible for someone who has become dark to be enlightened. who does not have all the foregoing. Amen. It simply isn’t possible. May we all attain it. that eternal and heavenly Pascha. But for you. The critical editions have the second person throughout. [2] Colossians 3:5. reading. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. [1] Psalm 143:4. who has not only granted our present blessings. let us make it our aim. in imitation of the Lord. [5] 1 Peter 2:21. because he too suffered for us. How truly excellent is this way of life. Someone.does so each day. through the death of the passions and the resurrection of the virtues. ones that promise salvation. in particular Good Friday. prayer. by the grace and love for humankind of our Lord Jesus Christ. study. since we have been shown the sought for Pascha. like a wheel drawing us and joining us to God. the ‘preparation’ for Pascha. he will also give those that are in his promises. leaving us an example that we should follow in his steps. brothers. my honoured brothers. in Christian Greek also means Friday. Philippians 3:19. [5] And I say this. how supremely excellent! How blessed this life and thrice-blessed! So then. For how can someone celebrate whose god is their stomach? [3] Or who is aflame with fleshly lust? Or melted by the heat of jealousy? Or drowned by the love of money? Or enslaved to vainglory? Or caught up by the other passions. on the other hand. cannot celebrate. reading. prayer. [3] Cf. No one could possibly say that someone with a high fever was at rest.

but that we may nourish and welcome Jesus as our guest. as it is written: Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly. every trouble. joy. it will not fruit. gentleness.] of our souls. [On the 5th Sunday. By these he is nourished. the plants are flowering. and it is reasonable to do so. let us also endure every affliction. patience. unless it is first snowed on by afflictions. ‘ripeness’. and blest the one who receives him as his guest.] So the list in Migne [PG 99:28]. by these he is entertained. goodness. the earth is growing green. self-mastery [Gal. Hence. For just as we enjoy the sight of creation. And blest the one who nourishes him. troubles and difficulties. It would not have reached its prime had it not first undergone snows and rains and winds. brethren. CATECHESIS 68 That we must be renewed for what is ahead through endurance of the trials that fall upon us. for example. 5:22]. it bears fruit and partakes in a blessing from God. And so it is with the soul. it will not flower. because he will be nourished by him with eternal good things. How? Because this renewal has winter as its cause. so he too enjoys the ripe beauty [The Greek has literally ‘the hour of our souls’. 1:20]. invisible though they are. the derivatives ‘beautiful’ and ‘ripe’. so that we may bear fruit and partake of God's blessing. but to advance further and to examine carefully for ourselves the logic of creation. 6:7]. have been understood and seen through the things he has made [Rom. but the word can also connote ‘beauty‘.[6] Galatians 6:5. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature. Brethren and fathers. and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated. because winter has passed and spring has arrived. It is our duty not just to stay where we are. partakes in a blessing from God [Heb. every trial which assails us both visibly and invisibly. and not only that. we see creation flourishing again. the fast we are drawing out as we hunger and thirst and are otherwise made wretched. ‘the bloom of youth’. ‘spring-time’. What are the fruits? Love. generosity. because he will be received by him as his guest in the . Therefore. and we take pleasure in all this and we glorify God the master craftsman who transforms and changes creation year by year. faithfulness. peace. both visible and invisible. but by enduring. the birds are singing and everything else is being renewed.

at the beginning has affliction and difficulty. Do you see then that in trials there is joy. either ancient or modern. but at the conclusion of the struggle joy and happiness. as we sing. those that are whispered about and those that are expected. both those that are present. In PG the title adds ‘In memory of the godly Platon’. shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. 1:24]. hoe much more then someone who receives the King of kings and Lord of lords as his house guest. And again Saint James who says: My brethren. because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.]. now and always and to the ages of ages. that is the Church [Col. whenever you face trials of any kind. whether it be word or action.] Brethren and Fathers. as we listen to the Apostle when he says: Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. 125:5].kingdom of heaven! Indeed! So if someone is to receive a king as his house guest [The word that I have translated ‘house guest’ does not appear in the lexica. consider it nothing but joy. and by living our life in their footsteps. let us not only bear. but let us endure with joy all things. but as he returns from war he is filled with joy. The soldier as he sets out to war is depressed. by doing violence to ourselves and yet greater violence. and I shall love him and manifest myself to him [John 14:21]. but reaps with gladness [Cf. since such are the promises. and let endurance have its full effect. so that you may be perfect and complete. to whom be glory and might. and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body. is the one who loves me. and this is how the saints led their lives. he rejoices and is extremely glad. in Christ Jesus our Lord. and in tribulations gladness? For these are the things that are exchanged where God is concerned. So we too now that we have come near the end . That he is received is clear from what he himself has said: I and my Father will come and make our abode with him [John 14:23]. CATECHESIS 69 That those who have passed through life in afflictions and miseries enjoy a pleasure which is without sorrow and ineffable. Therefore. though the meaning is clear. this too how we. lacking in nothing [James 1:2-4]. Ps. the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. [It was given on Wednesday of the 5th week of Lent. Amen. everyone who is starting something. And again: One who has my commandments and keeps them. So a farmer sows with tears.

He denounced the illicit marriages of Constantine VI. no longer remember the mortification of our former struggles. Both of them betrayed the Lord of glory. And since the disciples of a good teacher should themselves be. Would that you may excel in noble struggles for the time ahead. but will enjoy a pleasure without sorrow and ineffable. he has denied his obedience and his confession. And what caused him to suffer this but that fact that he had been on his own ? how do I blame those who are on their own [The Greek word used here. 3:4. the victorious Martyrs. St Platon’s feast is on the 4th April]. And thanks be to the powerful God who has empowered you to achieve this completion. whose imitator our venerable father Platon.]. without other brothers. This resulted in the banishment of the two saints in 809. that we too may follow in the same tracks that he and the rest of our fathers and brethren followed. I beg and implore you. For I testify to you that you have come through the time of the fast in the right spirit.] ? and had become a lover of money like Judas. as the tree is known by its fruit. For you have certainly all heard what the wretched Alexander has done. the one to the Jews. those like Abraham. brethren. but here it means a monk who is isolated. by the same rule. because then the saints will have no sensation of their sufferings and struggles for the sake of virtue. is common in the sense of ‘solitary’. 15:24]. and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and . and at the completion of life here. was counted worthy to become by denouncing the adulterous Emperor [St Platon was St Theodore’s spiritual father. without conflict. not abandoning our ascetic discipline nor the confession which lies before us. the other to those who think like the Jews. each one fulfilling his service properly. When he hands over the kingdom to God the Father. obediently. Rightly the Apostle cries out: The love of money is a root of all evils. in good order. as it is written. And who are they? The glorious fathers and prophets before the Law and under the Law. the blessed Apostles. those like Moses. when he has abolished every rule and every authority and power [1 Cor. whose memory we are celebrating today. whenever each of us rests from his works. the Iconoclasts. but we rejoice at our present ones and glorify the Master. without disturbance. the whole choir of the Saints. When Christ our life appears [Col.of our abstinence. Among them and before them the great Forerunner. in the time of grace. Let us then take this example. The community was scattered at this time in semi-exile and St Theodore clearly had problems with monks who wanted to live on their own with all the attendant dangers.

the poor fool. Given on the Friday of the 5th week of Lent. he has grieved us too lowly as we are. Moreover according to some MSS there was one for Thursday of this week.]. may he pardon you for your rashness and idle speech. Oh how the poor wretch has suffered! He has suffered shipwreck in the faith [Cf. and may he save us all for his heavenly kingdom. number 33 of the Large Catechesis. CATECHESIS 70 That we should endure every torment in imitation of Christ and the saints. who brings from the deep of destruction the soul that has been submerged. For if our Lord and God was arrested for our sins. you connived with him.pierced themselves with many pains [1 Tim. 1:19. 6:10]. with God's help. in which we find the greatest consolation. but if not. Why so? Because. and if what is being said passes into act. turned the game into reality. the previous instruction [Unless the renegade Alexander was more dangerous than St Theodore says this does not seem to have been Catechesis 69. now and for ever. says the Lord. with the Father and the holy Spirit.] no doubt pained you which indicated the trials that are being meditated against us. to whom be glory and might. by voting for him as priest. grief has filled your hearts. Already Lent draws to its end and the time introduces the fair crown. in Christ Jesus our Lord. with every spiritual safeguard. is it a great matter if we unprofitable servants should also be arrested for his sake? And if he was bound and led away and put in prison. is it . call him back finally from his fall when he has at last repented. maimed by the devil. it will not be without advantage for us as our good God accepts such preparation and without toils and blows crowns those who thus choose. then. The latter speaks of no such threats. he has caused as much scandal as he can to the Church of God. Brethren and Fathers. since he was a lover of power and a lover of rank. he has lost the merchandise of virtue. Amen. But because of what I have said to you. But may our good God. and to the ages of ages. And again the Apostle: It is not troublesome for me to speak. as a joke in fact. nobly. I want next to rebuke some of you not unreasonably. while for you it is a safeguard [Phil. 3:1]. that is the remembrance of the life-giving sufferings of the Saviour. and he. 1 Tim. One of those mentioned by St Paul was also called Alexander. we will meet it. May we be safeguarded. but I speak the truth to you [John 16:6-7].

let us bear that revered death. Let us too then imitate them. Let us embrace him and he will bring our enemies to naught [Ps. Let us await him and he will crown us for the day of resurrection of the dead. and if we must be beaten. and we have to be spat on. This is blessedness. Such was St Efstratios who cried out in the midst of torments and said. CATECHESIS 72 . Amen. with the Father and the holy Spirit. Do we not hear what the Apostle says? From now on. for which may we too be found worthy to attain without condemnation and to stand uncondemned at his judgement seat. he sets before all inexhaustible delight. for he says he is richly generous to all who call upon him [Rom. But if we must be scourged. this is immortality. 107:14] both seen and invisible. let us bear the beatings. he is passionate for the salvation of all. As though he were saying: Let no one despise me. ‘Now I know that Christ lives in me’. He loves all equally. 32:39 and Mal. let no one make trouble for me. let us mingle our blood with the holy blood. Such also was Saint Ignatios who called himself God-bearer by his bearing in himself the Lord's sufferings.so strange should we suffer the same treatment as the Master? Rather it would be exceedingly grievous not to encounter such things. to whom be glory and might. brethren. 10:12]. now and for ever. whose relics do we venerate? Is it not those of the Martyrs? Those of the Confessors? Those of the Ascetics? And if here they have been found worthy of so great glory. for I carry the marks of the Lord Jesus branded on my body [Gal. Dt. and finally if we must be put to death. and this to him is riches. 67:36] to our souls. how much and how great the splendour they would enjoy in the age to come? Ineffable and unimaginable the reckoning! This is the fair business. 6:17]. and to the ages of ages. And good it is if anyone were to be found worthy to become a partaker in Christ's sufferings. for its nature is not dissimilar nor has he changed who says: See. for this is possible. this the blessed exchange: by small struggles and toils to purchase goods that are eternal and without end. let us bear the scourges. see that I am and I have not changed [Cf. 3:6]. let us bear the spittings. giving a good defence. in Christ our Lord. for I bear the adornments of Christ the universal King in my flesh. for the day of his appearing. O blessed voices and thrice-blessed souls! Whose memorials then do we celebrate? Whose nativities do we feast? To whom do we erect sacred churches. Therefore let us call upon him in what befalls us and he will give power and might [Ps. he died on behalf of all.

Then he is given gall with vinegar to drink. because you have shared and are sharing in the Master's sufferings. spat at. The Lord of all things is led away prisoner. and when he answers—O fearful report!—he is struck by a slave and bears it with longsuffering. why do you strike me? [John 18:23] Then he is scoffed at. stand your ground unflinching and unmoving in the Lord striving side by side with one spirit and one soul for the faith of the Gospel. not giving offence in anything. so that he may have a part in the glory of his resurrection. crushed. and teaching on humility and patient endurance.On the saving Passion. or embittered.] Have you not previously experienced prison? Have you not shed your blood under tortures? Have not some of our brothers died a martyr's death? Such then is our boast in the Lord. The deceitful Judas denied him utterly and betrays the teacher with a deceitful kiss. the present day is holy and to be venerated. or filled with vainglory. But you too take courage. give testimony to the evil. in no way intimidated by your opponents [Phil. for they do not know what they do [Luke 23:33]. For you see where you are. and one who hears them with understanding is not angry. Rather he is humbled. for from this day the Lord begins to take on himself the sufferings of the Cross for our sake. but in everything recommending . or arrogant towards his brother. stands before the judgement seat. They assembled together to plot an evil plan against the Master. buffeted. is not envious. 1:27-6]. but if well. to is eager to be conformed to his death. But since until the end beatitude is not assured because of the ease of reversal and the impossibility of knowing what the morrow will bring to birth. forgive them their sin. jeered at. such our gift. and when he has ascended he prays for his murderers: Father. mocked. saying: If I have spoken evil. or enraged. Is it not for the sake of his word and his testimony that you are in exile and persecution? [These Catecheses were given when St Theodore and his monks were in exile from Constantinople in the reign of Michael II (820-829). the immortal is put to death. desires communion in Christ's sufferings. he is pierced by a lance. is interrogated and answers. These in brief are the Master's sufferings. in accordance with David’s words: Why did the nations rage and the peoples imagine vain things? The kings of the earth rose up and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against his Christ [Psalm 2:1-2]. ridiculed. Brethren and Fathers. scourged. or puffed up. considers himself to be earth and ashes. Given on the Wednesday of Holy Week. He ascends the Cross.

What then are they? The murderous council against him. For you need endurance in order to do God's will and obtain the promise. longsuffering. holding fast to what is good. as we contemplate and think on these things. crowning them and becoming their companion for ever and ever? What anguish will they have who have disobeyed the Gospel and transgressed his commandments? They will suffer the penalty. Given on Good Friday. persevering in prayer [Rom. cut off from his presence and from the glory of his strength. his arraignment before Pilate's tribunal. when he comes to be glorified in his saints and marvelled at among all who have believed [2 Thess. on which each of them reached its end. as it is written. he will also disown us. great endurance. the . loving one another with brotherly affection. he cannot disown himself [1 Tim. For in a little while he who is coming will come and not delay [Heb 10:36-37]. the blows. again and again let us purify ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit. they do so especially in these present days. 1:9-10]. we shall also reign with him. his being led away to death. And so. now and for ever. by obedience.ourselves as God's ministers [2 Cor. being ardent in spirit. hating what is evil. and be counted worthy to enjoy the eternal blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord. Brethren and Fathers. not lagging in zeal. if we are unfaithful. that by such sincerity we may worthily celebrate the imminent Pascha. of eternal destruction. 2:11-13]. 1:7]. the interrogation. 7:1]. patient in affliction. Amen. But if he will come and not delay. he remains faithful. if we disown him. the scourging. How great joy the saints will have when they see the Lord coming from heaven with the angels of his power [2 Thess. perfecting holiness in the fear of God [2 Cor. serving the Lord. if we endure. we shall also live with him. humility. 6:3-4]. while the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ when they are recalled are always able to pierce the soul. brethren. inviting them with inexpressible joy. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. meekness. striving for what is more perfect. outdoing one another in showing honour. zealous for what is better. and to the ages of ages. why do we hate being in afflictions and do not rather choose to die each day for the Master? For it is written: If we have died with him. CATECHESIS 73 On the saving passion of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. 12:9-12]. the Jewish arrest. rejoicing in hope.

] is the one who is struck by the hand of a servant. changing insults for insults and exchanging wounds for wounds. Fittingly then the blessed Apostle. Do we not see the burning incitements of divine love? Who ever dwelt in prison for a friend? Who accepted slaughter for their beloved? But our good God not only did the one and both of them.]is the one who is handed over to sinners. but the meaning is clear. more unfeeling than the stones? In no way. neither angels nor rules nor powers. all creation was turned back at the outrages done to the Master. the insults. and do we. 4:5] and knows every human desire is the one who is taken before a council of death. this great and ineffable mystery.] with them. said For I am persuaded that neither death nor life. the Lord who adorned the boundaries of the earth with flowers is the one who is dishonourably crowned with thorns. brethren. as if endowed with life and sensation from fear of the Lord and from the spectacle of what is seen. neither height nor depth. the nailing of his hands and feet. let us draw down tears. the piercing of his side and all the other things which blazed forth [This word is not in the lexica. For let us consider. The lifeless elements which have no senses. when he thought on these things and became powerfully aware of the love of God. the other through unflinching confession. in no way. but accepted ten thousand sufferings for the sake of us. the condemned. nor even all the tongues of angels together. The Lord who reveals the counsels of hearts [1 Cor. who have been honoured with reason. O great and more then natural sights! The sun saw them and faded.] and sows in the earth in due season and uniformly is the one who is led away prisoner. the Lord who binds the water in the clouds [Job 26:8. my brothers. the Lord who bears all things by the word of his power [Hebrews 1:3. the rocks perceived them and were rent. the mockeries. by being changed with a fair change. the earth perceived them was shaken. nor can anyone worthily proclaim. the Lord who planted the tree of life in Paradise is the one who is hanged upon an accursed tree. which the world cannot contain. neither present nor future. not human tongue.spittings. sacrifice the passions. remain untouched and unweeping in these days? How could we be less rational than things which have no reason. were amazed and altered. the tasting of gall. the ascent of the Cross. the one through obedience. for whose sake Christ died. Let us rather be amazed in a manner worthy of God. nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ . the moon saw them and was darkened. the Lord who measures the heavens with the span of his hand and the earth in a handful and weighed all the mountains in the balance [Isaias 40:12.

8:38-39]. brethren. As an exchange for this love. as we sing in David’s Psalms. ‘Rejoice in the Lord. And again. I no longer call you servants. Such a person considers everything here to be a passing shadow. considers everything to be rubbish. so that we may become heirs with the saints of the eternal blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord.5].9]. striving again and again for what is better. but to those who in addition have a ear which obeys and an eye for looking. For such was the love God had for us that he gave his only Son. and the world sees me no longer. eyes for not looking and ears for not hearing’ [Romans 11. let them hear’ [Matthew 13. so that we may not fall beneath the threat. ‘God gave them a spirit of compunction. ‘Those who have ears to hear. But I have called you friends. and to the ages of ages. And again. While of those who are hard of hearing the Prophet says. ‘You have remained with me in my trials.Jesus our Lord [Rom.1415].8]. A little while. ‘The Lord’s training opens my ears’ [Isaias 50. now and for ever.8]. CATECHESIS 78 On listening with understanding to the Holy Scriptures. I am coming to you. you just’ [Psalm 32. however it is not given to all to see and hear. offered their own bodies and blood by asceticism and struggle. that all who believe in him might not perish. if you do whatever I command you. all we human beings have eyes and ears.] Let us also. not simple-mindedly or anyhow. because I live and you will live’ [John 14. Brethren and fathers. because everything that I have heard from my Father.5]. The one who hears like this is attentive and moved by compunction. We should surely then listen with understanding to the things that are read to us. Philippians 3. cry out these words each day. Just as he hears him saying to his Disciples. But you see me. as it is written. to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit. I have made known to you’ [John 15. and I make . but have eternal life [John 3:16.]. as it is written. the saints. ‘I am the vine and you are the branches’ [John 15.18-19]. but rather that we may able to say. so that he may gain Christ [Cf. as we serve him with an unceasing attitude of love. That is why the Lord says in the Gospels. singing with blessed David the song: What return may we make to the Lord for all that he has given to us? [Psalm 115:3. ‘You are my friends. when they had nothing to offer. And again.1]. ‘I will not leave you orphans. because the servant does not know what his lord does.

as Scripture says. but handed him over for us all.11]. Jeremias says. by villainy to the cunning of error’ [Ephesians 4. David says. that he gave us the grace to worship him with orthodox faith and not be carried astray. another and another from here and from there sweetens by his utterances. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. CATECHESIS 103 . for to him belong glory and might. ‘If God is for. It is opportune then to say with the Apostle. Amen. like a full table.28-30]. now and for ever. yet rather he was raised from the dead. the teaching of the Saints. as it is written! To us has been given. but also to suffer for him’ [Philippians 1. and who will also bestow on us his eternal kingdom. after they had been flogged.29]. whence one works the divine words like a goldsmith. Who then condemns? It was Christ who died. Similarly the Apostles. nor did I desire any human day’ [Jeremias 17. ‘What shall I give the Lord in return for all that he has given me? I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord’ [Psalm 115. brethren. ‘It has been given us by God not only to believe in Christ. Lord. When someone who loves God hears such words. For how many have gone astray. how will he not with him also grant us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen one? It is God who justifies. who is against us? For the One who did not spare his own Son. utterly deceived ‘by human trickery.14]! How many are famished ‘not with a famine of bread or thirst for water. ‘I did not grow weary following you. they not only rejoice but also choose to die for Christ every day. ‘because they had been found worthy to be dishonoured for the name of Christ’ [Acts 5. to God the Father that is. rejoiced. while the Apostle again says.a covenant with you — an eternal covenant — that you may eat and drink for ever at my table in my kingdom’ [Luke 22.31-34]. This then was how all the Saints lived their lives. always giving thanks for all the good things that he has done for us. with statements such as these they gloried triumphantly of their longing for God. let us too hear obediently what is said and love our beloved God with love. but a famine of hearing the word of God’ [Amos 8.3-4]. who is also at the right hand of God and who also makes intercession for us’ [Romans 8.16]. In short each of the Saints with words like these reveals their love for Christ.41]. and to the ages of ages. And therefore. that he chose us from the beginning for salvation by the sanctification of our profession here.

everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart’. with paganism. whoever commits murder will be liable to judgement. For this reason too. bless those who curse you. disobey. who fashioned us and brought us out of non-existence into being. ‘Go and make disciples of all the nations. you shall not commit adultery. baptizing them in the name of the Father. so that sin may not put down roots from there. ‘You shall not murder’. ‘it was said. But I say to you. But I say to you. [9] Do you see how great the difference is between the two covenants? The one forbids the acts themselves. For Scripture says. [8] Again. but rather. as one might say. God. ‘it was said to those of old. the Son and the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless there are some of you who. your poor Abbot. you shall not steal. ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate you enemy’.On keeping God’s commandments and the just threat against those who neglect them. ‘You shall not commit perjury’. ‘it was said to those of old. And I. [4] According to the new. [3] But what are the things he commanded? According to the old covenant. [2] has placed us in this life as in a schoolroom to learn to gospel of his kingdom. do good to those who hate you’. [5] Again. Scripture says. ‘it was said. being disobedient. let no one live on their own. teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you’. things that are higher and more precise. quarrel with the truth. [14] ‘am not responsible for the blood . everyone who is angry with their brother without good cause will be liable to judgement’. But I say to you. to summarise. [6] ‘You shall not commit adultery’. you shall not bear false witness’. and being quarrelsome. as I have often declared by way of putting you on your guard and do so now. [1] Brethren and fathers. ‘neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor Sodomites nor thieves nor extortioners nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God’. Love your enemies. But I say to you. you are not to swear at all’. behave without discretion. when he sent out his disciples to preach. acquire a slave. ‘You shall not murder. while the other the impulses from which the acts come. [13] From these come greater and more serious sins. what shall we suffer on that day? [10] ‘Do not be led astray’. amass money. If then we are found to be living in accordance with neither law nor Gospel. let no one be a horse breeder or cattle herdsman or engage in any activity [12] beyond the rule under persecution. he gave them this command. [11] And for this reason. [7] Again.

let us rouse ourselves and let us compete. may depart with joy for the everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord. prayers. [15] ‘Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?’ [16] ‘The axe is already being laid to the root of the trees. The series for the Triodion begins with number 13 in Greek. [22] But. for the Wednesday before Meat Sunday. with the Father and the Holy Spirit. for I have not shrunk from declaring to you’ God’s ordinance. nor by. tears. keeping silent. fasts. so that. as genuine disciples of the Gospel. in a Russian translation. let us worship and let us weep to our good God. who are ready learners. as they come to take us from the body? How are we to journey on that long and unending road. the prodigal and the thief. though there is nothing to suggest this either in the text itself or in the numbering of the Greek MSS. Yes. so that this does not happen. when we have been dismissed from the life here. I beg you. [2] A quotation from the Anaphora of St John Chrysostom. to whom belong glory and might. but he lets them approach like the harlot. which we shall all face [19] in a little while? How are we to look on the fearsome angels. [23] supplication. when they are dismissed. [1] The current Moscow edition of the Lenten Triodion gives this catechesis. ‘He is expiation for our sins’. [20] if we have a bad conscience? Will we not inevitably be sent away from there to the place ‘where the fire is not quenched and the worm does not die’. let us stand up. purity and every form of good conduct. like school children. Amen.of any of you. have I failed to reveal the sword that is coming ‘upon those who disobey’. now and for ever and to the ages of ages. for the Sunday of the Tax Collector and the Pharisee.. to whom ‘every knee shall bow and every tongue confess’. brethren. we too. if we have not obtained the necessities for the journey? How are we to take our stand at the judgement seat of Christ. [17] Are you frightened by this example? [18] Do you not tremble at the threat? Are you not afraid of death. compunction. [21] where there is ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’. . go home rejoicing. brethren. ‘Come. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown onto the fire’. where it is numbered 116. Let us come into his presence with confession’. [24] and he has not shut the doors against us. he has not turned away from someone who turns back.

[16] 1 Cor. Neither St John Chrysostom nor Theodoret comment on the individual categories.[3] Mat. The Greek has ‘sons of disobedience’. [5] Mat. 6:9-10. [8] Mat. [13] One of a number of references by St Theodore to the problems of keeping community life and discipline when the brotherhood is in exile and dispersed. Mat. [4] Exodus 20:13-15.’ but this is most unnatural in English and I have taken the liberty of trying to convey a tone of voice rather than the ‘literal’ sense of the words. 5:27-28. also Ephesians 2:2 and 5:6. [11] 1 Cor. [18] Cf. which is a Semitism for ‘the disobedient’. 5:33-34. [12] This meaning is not attested in the lexica. [15] Colossians 3:6. [6] Most modern editors omit ‘to those of old’ in this verse. as a glance at the many contemporary commentaries and versions of the New Testament will show. . Cf. The phrase in the New Testament refers to those who oppose God. [7] Mat. 3:10. nor in some of the versions and are generally rejected by contemporary scholars. The phrase. The latest edition of Liddell and Scott adds this meaning to the article in question. [10] The day of judgement. but are part of the Church’s text. Cf. without further explanation. 2 Timothy 1:18 and 4:8. [14] Literally. 5:43-44. ‘And I. 10:22. 7:22. [17] Mat. The words ‘without good cause’ (one word in Greek) are not in many ancient MSS. the humble. Hebrews 4:11. [9] Mat. citing a number of passages from Demosthenes for it. 5:21-22. is found already in the New Testament. The exact meaning of some of these terms is much disputed. but the word ‘sons’ is particularly apposite in the context of a monastic brotherhood. 18:19-20.

‘of sins’). [21] Isa. [20] Isaias 45:23. 8:12. St Theodore reverses the two clauses. and this is why he has put verse 2 after verse 6. [22] Mat. The Greek word exomologesis means both ‘thanksgiving’ and ‘confession’ (sc. except predicatively in Psalm 72:1. 14:11 and cf. The phrase occurs six times in Matthew and once in Luke. Mark 9:48. to make the beginning of his list [24] 1 John 2:2. [23] This is a free citation of Psalm 94 vv.[19] The use of this verb suggests that St Theodore may be thinking of Malachy 3:2. Phil 2:10-11. 6 and 2. The latter is clearly the meaning St Theodore intends here. The actual expression ‘good God’ does not occur in Scripture. Rom. 66:24. .

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