ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA
To Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium
I am attacked by sickness after sickness, and all the work given me, not only by the affairs of the Church, but by those who are troubling the Church, has detained me during the whole winter, and up to the present time. It has been therefore quite impossible for me to send any one to you or to pay you a visit. I conjecture that you are similarly situated; not, indeed, as to sickness, God forbid; may the Lord grant you continued health for carrying out His commandments. But I know that the care of the Churches gives you the same distress as it does me. I was now about to send some one to get me accurate information about your condition. But when my well beloved son Meletius, who is moving the newly enlisted troops, reminded me of the opportunity of my saluting you by him, I gladly accepted the occasion to write and had recourse to the kind services of the conveyor of my letter. He is one who may himself serve instead of a letter, both because of his amiable disposition, and of his being well acquainted with all which concerns me. By him, then, I beseech your reverence especially to pray for me, that the Lord may grant to me a riddance from this troublesome body of mine; to His Churches, peace; and to you, rest; and, whenever you have settled the affairs of Lycaonia in apostolic fashion, as you have began, an opportunity to visit also this place. Whether I be sojourning in the flesh, or shall have been already bidden to take my departure to the Lord, I hope that you will interest yourself in our part of the world, as your own, as indeed it is, strengthening all that is weak, rousing all that is slothful and, by the help of the Spirit Which abides in you, transforming everything into a condition well pleasing to the Lord. My very honourable sons, Meletius and Melitius, whom you have known for some time, and know to be devoted to yourself, keep in your good care and pray for them. This is enough to keep them in safety. Salute in my name, I beg you, all who are with your holiness, both all the clergy, and all the laity under your pastoral care, and my very religious brothers and fellow ministers. Bear in mind the memory of the blessed martyr Eupsychius, and do not wait for me to mention him again. Do not take pains to come on the exact day, but anticipate it, and so give me joy, if I be yet living on this earth. Till then may you, by the grace of the Holy One, be preserved for me and for God's Churches, enjoying health and wealth in the Lord, and praying for me.
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/3202200.htm>.
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