Inspiration from the Early Church

Before you start – remember that these pieces come from people who were writing between 100 and 1100 or so – the language is old and the grammar might be strange – but there is inspiration there.

From the letter to Diognetus – about 124 CE– this is an early letter talking about God and what God did – “With goodness and kindness, like a king who send his son who is also a king, God sent God, the Word, among us.  He sent him to save us through persuasion rather than violence, for there is no violence in God.  He sent him to call us rather than to accuse us; he sent him to love rather than to judge.”  – from the earliest days Christians have believed this – God sent Jesus to love – not to judge.

For a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by Cyprian of Carthage – about 258 CE[Jesus said,] “‘I am not praying for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their preaching, that they may be one; just as you, Father are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us.’ God loves us; for the sake of our salvation he is generous towards us.  He is not satisfied with redeeming us by his blood.  He also prays to the Father on our behalf.  Consider the love exemplified in that prayer.  That the Father and the Son are one; we too are to abide in that oneness.”

From a 6th-century Latin source for the sayings of the Desert Fathers:
Joseph asked Poemen, “Tell me how to become a monk.”  He said, “If you want to find rest in this life and the next, say at every moment, “Who am I?” and judge no one.”
Two hermits lived together for many years without a quarrel.  One said to the other, “Let’s have a quarrel with each other, as other men do.”  The other answered, “I don’t know how a quarrel happens.”  The first said, “Look here, I put a brick between us, and I say, ‘That’s mine.’  Then you say, ‘No, it’s mine.’  That is how you begin a quarrel.”  So they put a brick between them, and one of them said, ‘That’s mine.’  The other said, ‘No; it’s mine.’  He answered, ‘Yes, it’s yours.  Take it away.’  They were unable to argue with each other.

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