Archive for January 10th, 2020

Collect of the Day:

Almighty God, You revealed to Your Church Your eternal being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in a Trinity of Persons. May Your Church, with bishops like Basil of Caesarea,Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa, receive grace to continue steadfast in the confession of the true faith and constant in our worship of You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Reflection:  I have not read much by the Gregorys, but I have read St. Basil’s On the Holy Spirit.  Basil was responding to a heresy that denied the equality of the three persons of the Holy Trinity.  The heterodox were claiming the subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son, instead of the Trinity being co-equal.  These heretics taught that the conjunctions (of, and, etc) used in the Bible, referring to the Holy Spirit,  demonstrated this inequality and so Basil went through the New Testament to logically show this is not the case by a word by word  study of the use of the conjunctions in the Bible referring to the Holy Spirit!  St. Basil made this observation based upon his study of the Biblical conjunctions:

“Instruction begins with the proper use of speech, and syllables and words are the elements of speech. Therefore to scrutinize syllables is not a superfluous task…If a man spurns fundamental elements as insignificant trifles, he will never embrace the fullness of wisdom. ‘Yes’ and “No’ are only two syllables, yet truth, the best of all good things, as well as falsehood, the worst possible evil, are most often expressed by these two small words.”

I find the St. Basil’s book is faith-strengthening.  It is faith strengthening, not because of Basil’s ‘personal testimony’ but he taught the orthodox Word of God. How is heresy refuted?  By personal testimony or by the Scripture?  By appeals to the self or appeals to the work of the Holy Spirit, that is, Christ and the Bible? When we testify to our thoughts, then we can be led astray by the devil and lose Christ. We do not testify to our faith but to the Author of our Faith, and to God the Holy Spirit who has written the Word into our hearts by the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, who is God the Son in the glory of God the Father: one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism.

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