Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pray for the Persecutors Too

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you: “A servant is not greater than his master.”  If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.  If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.  (John 15:18-21)

O greatest, O Supreme Creator of things invisible!  O You who are Yourself unseen, and who are incomprehensible!  You are worthy, You art truly worthy—if only mortal tongue may speak of You—that all breathing and intelligent nature should never cease to feel and to return thanks; that it should throughout the whole of life fall on bended knee, and offer supplication with never-ceasing prayers.  For You are the first cause; in You created things exist, and You are the space in which rest the foundations of all things, whatever they be.  You are infinite, unbegotten, immortal, enduring forever, God alone, whom no bodily shape may represent, no outline delineate; of virtues inexpressible, of greatness indefinable; unrestricted as to locality, movement, and condition, concerning whom nothing can be clearly expressed by the significance of man’s words.  That You may be understood, we must be silent; and that erring conjecture may track You through the shady cloud, no word must be uttered.  Grant pardon, O King Supreme, to those who persecute Your servants; and in virtue of Your kind nature, forgive those who fly from the worship of Your name and the observance of Your religion.

Arnobius of Sicca, Against the Pagans I.31

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