Monday, June 8, 2009

Theodoret of Cyrus: Duties of Widows

If a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn their religious duty to their own household and make repayment to their forebears, this being acceptable in God's sight. The one who is really widowed and left on her own, on the other hand, has placed her hope in God and spends her time in prayer and supplication night and day (vv.4-5). Those with no source of comfort from any other quarter, he is saying, should enjoy the Church's attention; being freed from worries, they have one concern, devoting themselves constantly to the divine prayers. Those with children and grandchildren, however, should take an interest in them and make a return to them for the care they received from their own parents so as to discharge to them the debt owed to those parents, and receive in return care at their hands.

- Theodoret of Cyrus (around A.D. 393 to around A.D. 457), Commentary on 1 Timothy, Chapter 5, in Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Letters of St. Paul, Volume 2, p. 224 (2001), Robert C. Hill translator.