Romans 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Good Persecution

John 15:2

If suffering persecution was always praiseworthy, the Lord could have said, “Blessed are they which are persecuted,” without adding, “for righteousness’ sake.” In addition, if inflicting persecution was always blameworthy, Scripture wouldn’t say, “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I persecute.” Therefore, in some cases, the one who suffers persecution is wrong and the one who inflicts it is right.

The truth is, however, that the bad have always persecuted the good, and the good have persecuted the bad. The former harm by their unrighteousness, the latter seek to do good by administrating discipline. The former act with cruelty, the latter with peace. The former are compelled by lust, the latter by love. Those who aim to kill aren’t careful about how they inflict wounds, but those who aim to cure are cautions with their dagger. For one seeks to destroy what is healthy, but the other, that which is decaying.

The Jews scourged Christ; Christ also scourged the Jews. People handed the apostles over to national powers and the apostles handed people over to the power of Satan. In all these cases, one thing is important to observe: who was on the side of truth, and who on the side of iniquity? Who acted from a desire to hurt, and who from a desire to correct what was wrong?
—Augustine of Hippo

Readings taken from Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers


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