Reference address : http://www.elpenor.org/gregory-nazianzen/church-nazianzus.asp

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Three Millennia of Greek Literature
ST GREGORY THEOLOGIAN HOME PAGE  

Gregory Nazianzen the Theologian To His Father, When He Had Entrusted to Him the Care of the Church of Nazianzus (Oration XII), Complete

Translated by Ch. Browne and J. Swallow.

Gregory Theologian Bilingual Anthology, Resources Online and in Print

ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT

Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

4 Pages


This Oration was delivered a.d. 372. Two years earlier Valens had divided Cappadocia into two provinces. Anthimus, Bishop of Tyana, asserting that the ecclesiastical provinces were regulated by those of the empire, claimed metropolitical rights over the churches of Cappadocia Secunda, in opposition to S. Basil, who had hitherto been metropolitan of the undivided province. S. Basil, with the intention of vindicating the permanence of his former rights, created a new see at Sasima, on the borders of the two provinces, and with great difficulty prevailed upon S. Gregory to receive consecration as its first Bishop. S. Gregory, who had "bent his neck, but not his will," [3027] was for a long time reluctant to enter upon his Episcopal duties, and at last was prevailed upon by S. Gregory of Nyssa, S. Basil's brother, to make an attempt to do so. When, however, he found that Anthimus was prepared to bar his entrance by force of arms, he returned home, definitely resigned his see, and once more betook himself to the life of solitude which he so dearly loved. Recalled hence, he consented, [3028] at his father's earnest entreaty, to undertake provisionally the duties of Bishop-coadjutor of Nazianzus: and pronounced this short discourse on the occasion of his installation.

1. I opened my mouth, and drew in the Spirit, [3029] and I give myself and my all to the Spirit, my action and speech, my inaction and silence, only let Him hold me and guide me, and move both hand and mind and tongue whither it is right, and He wills: and restrain them as it is right and expedient. I am an instrument of God, a rational instrument, an instrument tuned and struck by that skilful artist, the Spirit. Yesterday His work in me was silence. I mused on abstinence from speech. Does He strike upon my mind today? My speech shall be heard, and I will muse on utterance. I am neither so talkative, as to desire to speak, when He is bent on silence; nor so reserved and ignorant as to set a watch before my lips [3030] when it is the time to speak: but I open and close my door at the will of that Mind and Word and Spirit, Who is One kindred Deity.

[3027] Carmina Hist., xi., 487.

[3028] Ib., 492-525.

[3029] Ps. cxix. 131.

[3030] Ps. cxli. 3.

Next Page of Gregory Theologian - Church of Nazianzus (Oration XII)
St Gregory Theologian Home Page ||| More Church Fathers

Elpenor's Free Greek Lessons
Three Millennia of Greek Literature

 

Greek Literature - Ancient, Medieval, Modern

St Gregory Theologian Home Page   St Gregory Theologian in Print

Elpenor's Greek Forum : Post a question / Start a discussion

Promote Greek Learning
 

Learned Freeware

 

Reference address : http://www.elpenor.org/gregory-nazianzen/church-nazianzus.asp