What the world is in particular need of today is the credible witness of people enlightened in mind and heart by the word of the Lord, and capable of opening the hearts and minds of many to the desire for God and for true life, life without end.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Apostolic Letter, Porta fidei, October 2011
This writing, known as The Epistle to Diognetus, is a work of early Christian apologetics, likely from the 2nd century. It is rich in it's understanding of what it means to be a Christian: in life, in love, and in death. Christians should recognize the themes the author touches on because, passed down through the centuries, it is still as relevant today as when it was written; for we know a Christian is in the world, but not of the world. For a beautiful reflection on Christian Perfection, please enjoy below. Peace be with you! Author, Reason2bCatholic
From the Epistle to Diognetus
Christians are not distinguished from the rest of mankind by either country, speech, or customs; the fact is, they nowhere settle in cities of their own; they use no peculiar language; they cultivate no eccentric mode of life. This creed of theirs is no discovery due to some fancy or speculation…nor do they, as some do, champion a doctrine of human origins. Yet, while they conform to the customs of each country in dress, food, and mode of life in general, the whole tenor of their way of living stamps it as worthy of admiration, and admittedly extraordinary…. They spend their days on earth, but hold citizenship in heaven. They obey established laws, but in their private lives they rise above the laws. They love all men, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown, yet condemned; they are put to death, but it is life that they receive. They are poor, and enrich many (2 Cor 6:10), destitute of everything, they abound in everything. They are dishonored, and in their dishonor they find glory. They are calumniated, and are vindicated. They are reviled, and they bless (1 Cor 4:12); they are insulted and render honor. Doing good, they are penalized as evildoers; when penalized, they rejoice because they are quickened into life….
In a word: what the soul is to the body, Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all the members of the body, and Christians throughout the cities of the world…. Immortal, the soul is lodged in a mortal tenement; so, too, Christians, though residing as strangers among corruptible things, look forward to the incorruptibility that awaits them in heaven. The soul, when stinting itself in food and drink, fares the better for it; so, too, Christians, when penalized, show a daily increase of numbers on that account. Such is the important post to which God has assigned them, and they are not at liberty to desert it…. It was really the Lord of all, the Creator of all, the invisible God himself, who, of his own free will, from heaven, lodged among men the truth and the holy incomprehensible Word, and firmly established it in their hearts.
Credit: The Epistle to Diognetus is a work of early Christian apologetics, likely from the 2nd century. / From Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation, No. 6. Translated and annotated by James A. Kleist, s.j., Ph.D. © 1948 by Rev. Johannes Quasten and Rev. Joseph C. Plumpe. Published by The Newman Press, an imprint of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ. www.paulistpress.com. As published by MAGNIFICAT, Meditation of the Day, February 27, 2021; https://us.magnificat.net/. Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Christianity is not a system of ethics; it is a life. It is not good advice; it is divine adoption. Being a Christian does not consist in just being kind to the poor, going to church, singing hymns, or serving on parish committees, though it includes all of these. It is first and foremost a love relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen
When the desire for God touches men’s hearts the world will be made anew. For a man is called to be another Christ. What the world is in need of today is real manhood in the image and likeness of God Incarnate, Jesus Christ. Men: This is the challenge of our time. It is the challenge of our Age.”
Mary, seat of wisdom
Faith resembles a lamp. As a lamp lights the whole house, so the light of faith illumines the whole soul.”
Saint John Chrysostom
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.