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ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA
Who will give me wings like a dove? Or how can my old age be so renewed that I can travel to your affection, satisfy my deep longing to see you, tell you all the troubles of my soul, and get from you some comfort in my affliction? For when the blessed bishop Eusebius fell asleep, we were under no small alarm lest plotters against the Church of our Metropolis, wishful to fill it with their heretical tares, should seize the present opportunity, root out by their wicked teaching the true faith sown by much labour in men's souls, and destroy its unity. This has been the result of their action in many churches. When however I received the letters of the clergy exhorting me not to let their needs be overlooked at such a crisis, as I ranged my eyes in all directions I bethought me of your loving spirit, your right faith, and your unceasing zeal on behalf of the churches of God. I have therefore sent the well beloved Eustathius, the deacon, to invite your reverence, and implore you to add this one more to all your labours on behalf of the Church. I entreat you also to refresh my old age by a sight of you; and to maintain for the true Church its famous orthodoxy, by uniting with me, if I may be deemed worthy of uniting with you, in the good work, to give it a shepherd in accordance with the will of the Lord, able to guide His people aright. I have before my eyes a man not unknown even to yourself. If only we be found worthy to secure him, I am sure that we shall acquire a confident access to God and confer a very great benefit on the people who have invoked our aid. Now once again, aye, many times I call on you, all hesitation put aside, to come to meet me, and to set out before the difficulties of winter intervene.
Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202047.htm>.
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