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St. Gregory of Nyssa.jpg“IT IS AFTER the dignity of adoption [Baptism] that the devil plots more vehemently against us, pining away with envious glance, when he beholds the beauty of the new-born man, earnestly tending towards that heavenly city from which he fell; and he raises up against us fiery temptations, seeking earnestly to despoil us of that second adornment, as he did of our former array. But when we are aware of his attacks, we ought to repeat to ourselves the Apostolic words, As many of us as were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death (Rom. 6:3). Now if we have been conformed to His death, sin henceforth in us is surely a corpse, pierced through by the javelin of Baptism, as that fornicator was thrust through by the zealous Phineas (see Num. 25:7-8). Flee therefore from us, ill-omened one! for it is a corpse thou seekest to despoil, one long ago joined to thee, one who long since lost his senses for pleasures. A corpse is not enamoured of bodies, a corpse is not captivated by wealth, a corpse slanders not, a corpse lies not, snatches not at what is not its own, reviles not those who encounter it. My way of life is regulated for another life. I have learnt to despise the things that are in the world, to pass by the things of earth, to hasten to the things of Heaven, even as Paul expressly testifies, that the world is crucified to him, and he to the world (Gal 6:14). These are the words of a soul truly regenerated; these are the utterances of the newly-baptized man, who remembers his own profession, which he made to God when the mysterion was administered to him, promising that he would despise, for the sake of love towards Him, all torment and all pleasure alike.”

Saint Gregory of Nyssa, + c. 395 A.D.

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