ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA
Basil to Libanius.
Your annoyance is over. Let this be the beginning of my letter. Go on mocking and abusing me and mine, whether laughing or in earnest. Why say anything about frost or snow, when you might be luxuriating in mockery? For my part, Libanius, that I may rouse you to a hearty laugh, I have written my letter enveloped in a snow-white veil. When you take the letter in your hand, you will feel how cold it is, and how it symbolizes the condition of the sender— kept at home and not able to put head out of doors. For my house is a grave till spring comes and brings us back from death to life, and once more gives to us, as to plants, the boon of existence.
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/3202350.htm>.
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