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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book IX, Letter 33

Book IX, Letter 33

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To Andrew .

Gregory to Andrew.

On hearing that your Glory had been severely afflicted with grief and sickness, I condoled with you exceedingly. But learning presently that the malady had entirely left you, I soon turned my sorrow into joy, and returned great thanks to Almighty God for that He smote that He might heal, afflicted that He might lead to true joys. For hence it is written, Whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives Hebrews 12:6. Hence the Truth in person says, My Father is the husbandman, and every branch in me that bears not fruit, he will take away; but every branch that bears fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit John 15:1-2. For the unfruitful branch is taken away, because a sinner is utterly rooted up. But the fruitful branch is said to be purged, because it is cut down by discipline that it may be brought to more abundant grace. For so the grain of the ears of grain, beaten with the threshing instrument, is stript of its awn and chaff. So the olives, pressed in the oil-press, flow forth into the fatness of oil. So the bunches of grapes pounded with the heels, liquify into wine. Rejoice, therefore, good man, for that in this your scourge and this your advancement you see that you are loved by the Eternal Judge.

Furthermore, I beg that my daughter Gloriosa, your wife, be greeted in my name. Now may Almighty God keep you under heavenly protection, and comfort you both now with abundance of gifts and hereafter with the retribution of reward.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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