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(c. 35 AD – 108 AD)

I was deeply impressed by [your bishop’s] self-effacing nature; reserve in him is more effectual than any volubility in others.  He is as utterly in tune with the Divine precepts as a harp with its own strings; and I call down blessings in my heart on a mind so turned towards God, for I can recognise its perfections, and the passionless serenity of a life that is lived in such heavenly mildness…. As for me, I did my part as one dedicated to the cause of unity; for where disunion and bad blood exist, God can never be dwelling. 

Certain people declared in my hearing, ‘Unless I can find a thing in our ancient records, I refuse to believe it in the Gospel.’  And when I assured them that it is indeed in the ancient scriptures, they retorted, ‘That has to be proved’.  But for my part, my records are Jesus Christ; for me, the sacrosanct records are his cross and death and resurrection, and faith that comes through him.   And it is by these, and by the help of your prayers, that I am hoping to be justified….

Suffer he did, truly and indeed; just as he truly and indeed rose from the dead.  His Passion was no unreal illusion, as some sceptics aver…. If everything he did was only illusion, then these chains of mine must be illusory too!


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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.