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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XII:
The Book of Pastoral Rule, and Selected Epistles, of Gregory the Great.: Epistle XXXVI

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Epistle XXXVI.

To the Abbot Eusebius.

Gregory to Eusebius, &c.

Let thy Charity believe me that I have been greatly saddened for thy sadness, as though I had myself suffered wrong in thee.  But, when I afterwards learnt that, even after the most reverend Maximianus, our brother and fellow-bishop, had restored thee to his favour and communion, thy Love would not accept communion from him, I then knew that what had been done before was just.  The humility of God’s servants ought to appear in a time of affliction:  but those who lift themselves up against their superiors shew that they scorn to be God’s servants.  And, indeed, what he once did ought not to have been done; but still it ought to have been taken by thee with all humility:  and again, when he restored to thee his favour, he ought to have been met with thanks.  And because it was not so done by thee, I feel that to us in every way there is cause for tears.  For it is no great thing for us to be humble to those by whom we are honoured; for even any worldly man would do this:  but we ought especially to be humble to those at whose hands we suffer.  For the Psalmist says, See my humility before mine enemies (Psal. ix. 14).  What life are we leading, if we will not be humble even to our fathers?  Wherefore, most beloved son, I beseech thee that all bitterness pass away from thy heart, lest perchance the end should be near, and the ancient foe should, through the iniquity of discord, bar against us the way to the eternal kingdom.  Further, we have caused a hundred solidi to be given to thy Love through Peter the subdeacon, which I beg thee to accept without offence.


Next: To John, Bishop of Squillacium (Squillace, in Calabria).

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