St Basil the Great – 15 June


St. Basil the Great is a Doctor of the Church. He was born in Cappadocia in the East in 330. He stood against the heresies of the time and supported the Nicene creed. He became a monk, founded monasteries and wrote a monastic rule. He was ordained bishop of Caesaria in 370. We encourage you to read his works which are deeply profound and spiritual. Here is just a small glimpse…

  • On the Trinity

In this season of Pentecost we remember that St Basil a great defender of the heresies against the Trinity and an excellent apologetic:

“The Godhead is common; the fatherhood particular. We must therefore combine the two and say, ‘I believe in God the Father.’
The like course must be pursued in the confession of the Son; we must combine the particular with the common and say ‘I believe in God the Son,’ so in the case of the Holy Ghost we must make our utterance conform to the appellation and say ‘in God the Holy Ghost.’
Hence it results that there is a satisfactory preservation of the unity by the confession of the one Godhead, while in the distinction of the individual properties regarded in each there is the confession of the peculiar properties of the Persons.”
Saint Basil, Epistle to Amphilochius (Epistle 236:6)

  • The War on Waste

St Basil was waging the war on waste long before others! It was his belief that it was part of Christian teaching.

“The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”

Read this excellent article on this aspect of St Basil’s teaching here…/the-word-of-god-in-…/

  • On Giving Thanks

“When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.”

  • On Judging Others

“If you see your neighbor in sin, don’t look only at this, but also think about what he has done or does that is good, and infrequently trying this in general, while not partially judging, you will find that he is better than you.”

  • On Repentance

“There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside. For when you turn away and weep, then you will be saved.”

  • Links to the Syriac

Finally even though St Basil belonged to the Greek Tradition, Orthodox sources indicate that there was an dual admiration of Ephrem and Basil for each other’s work – on this interesting topic – see here…/relationship-of-st-ephrai…

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