Thought for the Day – 2 January – The Memorial of St Basil the Great and St Gregory of Nazianzen
“It often happens, that men of very dissimilar talents, tastes, are attracted together by their very dissimilitude …. Gregory the affectionate, the tender-hearted, the man of quick feelings, the accomplished, the eloquent preacher – and Basil, the man of firm resolve and hard deeds, the high-minded ruler of Christ’s flock, the diligent labourer in the field of ecclesiastical politics.
Thus they differed, yet not as if they had not much in common still – both had the blessing and the discomfort of a sensitive mind; both were devoted to an ascetic life; both were men of classical tastes’ both were special champions of the Catholic creed; both were skilled in argument and successful in their use of it; both were in highest place in the Church, the one Exarch of Caesarea, the other Patriarch of Constantinople.”…Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Historial Sketches
“Different men have different names, which they owe to their parents or to themselves, that is, to their own pursuits and achievements. But our great pursuit, the great name we wanted, was to be Christians, to be called Christians.”…St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) (from his writings on his friendship with St Basil).
It may be small comfort, but post-Vatican II turmoil in the Church is a mild storm compared to the devastation caused by the Arian heresy, a trauma the Church has never forgotten. Christ did not promise the kind of peace we would love to have—no problems, no opposition, no pain.
In one way or another, holiness is always the way of the cross.