(1st century)


 The Church of God which sojourns in Rome, to the Church of God which sojourns in Corinth…grace and peace from God almighty be multiplied to you through Jesus Christ….
            Once you were all humble-minded and in no way arrogant, yielding subjection rather than demanding it, “giving more gladly than receiving,” satisfied with the provision of Christ, and paying attention to his words you stored them up carefully in your hearts, and kept his sufferings before your eyes.  Thus a profound and rich peace was given to all, you had an insatiable desire to do good, and the Holy Spirit was poured out in abundance on you all.
            But why is there strife and passion and divisions and schisms and war among you?  Or have we not one God, and one Christ, and one Spirit of grace poured out upon us?  And is there not one calling in Christ?  Why do we divide and tear asunder the members of Christ, and raise up strife against our own body, and reach such a pitch of madness as to forget that we are members of one another…?  Your schism has turned aside many, has cast many into discouragement, many to doubt, all of us to grief; and your sedition continues….

The heavens moving at God's appointment are subject to him in peace; day and night follow the course allotted by him without hindering each other.  Sun and moon and the companies of the stars roll on, according to his direction, in harmony, in their appointed courses, and swerve other from them at all.  The earth teems according to his will at its proper seasons, and puts forth food in full abundance for human beings and for beasts and all the living things that are on it, with no dissension, and changing non of his decrees.  The unsearchable places of the abysses and the unfathomable realms of the lower world are controlled by the same ordinances.  The hollow of the boundless sea is gathered by his working, into ins allotted places, and does not pass the barriers placed around it, but does even as he enjoined on it; for he said., “Thus far shall you come and your waves shall be broken within you.”  The ocean, which we cannot pass, and the worlds beyond it, are ruled by the same injunctions of the Master.  The seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter give place to one another in peace.  The stations of the winds fulfil their service without hindrance at the proper time.  The ever-lasting springs, created for enjoyment and health, supply without fail sustenance for human life; and the smallest of animals meet together in concord and peace.  All these things did the great Creator and Master of the universe ordain to be in peace and concord, and to all things does he do good, and more especially to us who have fled for refuge to his mercies through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory and the majesty for ever and ever, Amen    



In their many different idioms the classical spiritual writers have attempted to throw light on the eternal question of union with God. 
Every month we give you a brief passage from a spiritual classic.