Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Basil the Great

According to historical records, Basil was born in approximately 329 into a Christian family in Caesarea of Cappadocia. Inspired by his sister Macrina, who founded a monastic order for women, Basil made a journey to Egypt to find out more about monks. In 358 he returned home and founded a monastery for men.

He was ordained priest in 364 and later elected Bishop. He died at age fifty in 379. His concern for the poor led him to leave enough money in his Will to build a complete new town in Caesarea. This was built on his estate with housing, a hospital and staff, a church for the poor, and a hospice for travelers.

Basil's famous treatise "On the Holy Spirit" written about 375, has influenced the church for centuries. Here is a paragraph from that treatise:

The Originator of all things is One. He creates through the Son and perfects through the Spirit. The Father's work is in no way imperfect, since He accomplishes all in all, nor is the Son's work deficient if it is not completed by the Spirit. The Father creates through His will alone and does not "need" the Son, yet chooses to work through the Son. Likewise the Son works as the Father's likeness, and needs no other cooperation, but He chooses to have His work completed through the Spirit. 'By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the Spirit of His mouth.'

We still find Basil's fingerprints on Christian theology.

In peace,

The Rev. Linda McCloud
Founding Pastor
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek

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