“But if any one say, How does it seem right for men to be separated from their parents? I will tell you how. Because, if they remained with them in error, they would do no good to them, and they would themselves perish with them. It is therefore right, and very right, that he who will be saved be separated from him who will not. But observe this also, that this separap. 154 tion does not come from those who understand aright; for they wish to be with their relatives, and to do them good, and to teach them better things. But it is the vice peculiar to ignorance, that it will not bear to have near it the light of truth, which confutes it; and therefore that separation originates with them. For those who receive the knowledge of the truth, because it is full of goodness, desire, if it be possible, to share it with all, as given by the good God; yea, even with those who hate and persecute them: for they know that ignorance is the cause of their sin. Wherefore, in short, the Master Himself, when He was being led to the cross by those who knew Him not, prayed the Father for His murderers, and said, Father, forgive their sin, for they know not what they do! 780 The disciples also, in imitation of the Master, even when themselves were suffering, in like manner prayed for their murderers. 781 But if we are taught to pray even for our murderers and persecutors, how ought we not to bear the persecutions of parents and relations, and to pray for their conversion?
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