Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Theodoret of Cyrus: Devil as Means to Changed Attitude

Now, he handed them over to the devil, not as though to a teacher of good lessons, but to a harsh executioner - hence his saying, not for him to teach them not to blaspheme, but for them to learn not to blaspheme: cut off from the body of the Church and deprived of divine grace, they received harsh scourgings from the adversary, falling foul of diseases, severe sufferings, losses and other misfortunes. That creature likes to inflict these things on people, after all, being both foe and avenger, according to the inspired author. It is likely, however, that those men, when corrected, would change their attitude on seeing the harm stemming from the blasphemy.

- Theodoret of Cyrus (around A.D. 393 to around A.D. 457), Commentary on 1 Timothy, Chapter 1, in Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Volume 2, p. 213 (2001), Robert C. Hill translator.