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8 - I answered

from Part II - Shenoute as Pastor and Preacher

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2015

David Brakke
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Andrew Crislip
Affiliation:
Virginia Commonwealth University
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Summary

A short interpretation in the presence of Caesarius the count, his lawyers, his dignitaries, and the leaders of the city, when they said, while we were sitting in a house in the congregation, “We desire the works of God, but our weakness prevents us.” I answered, saying to them, “Your zeal is good, dear ones, and your desire for piety is acceptable. But since we are making excuses on account of our weakness, I will recount to you an example. He is a man who is building a place for his use. There were many rocks before him, some large and some small. He looked at many, which he was not able to lift. When he returned, not having touched one of them, he thought, ‘Look here, is the situation not madness? Why did I not lift the light ones?’” I further said to them:

There are three good burdens that are set down alongside one another, as the Lord said regarding it, “My burden is light.” These are each lesser than the next, as it is written in the Gospel. For he said, “One gave a hundred, another gave sixty, and another gave thirty.” Is it not shameful for us, if we should be unable to bear the first and the second, that we also neglect to bear the third?

These two parables are the same. No work of God is heavy among those who love him. But I say this: if we should be unable to be a virgin, let us observe marriage, which God has honored and purified. If we should be unable to bear our cross and follow the Lord, let us have mercy on the poor as far as we can. If we should be unable to pray without ceasing, let us pray according to our ability. If we should be unable to carry out all the judgments and commands and unable to complete every good, let us act according to our ability and let us gladden the Lord in his mercies by bearing fruit according to our ability so that he may be glad for us. And if we act in this way, we will not be far from the life, but we will be in the kingdom of Christ and all the saints and all the righteous of old who have achieved such great lives, being perfect and truly desiring God.

Type
Chapter
Information
Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
Community, Theology, and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt
, pp. 127 - 129
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2015

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  • I answered
  • Edited and translated by David Brakke, Ohio State University, Andrew Crislip, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Book: Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
  • Online publication: 05 December 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139136846.012
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  • I answered
  • Edited and translated by David Brakke, Ohio State University, Andrew Crislip, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Book: Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
  • Online publication: 05 December 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139136846.012
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • I answered
  • Edited and translated by David Brakke, Ohio State University, Andrew Crislip, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Book: Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great
  • Online publication: 05 December 2015
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139136846.012
Available formats
×