Feast of the Holy & Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna
WHEN, BY THE grace of God, I learned of your piety’s command, whereby you sought from us a written profession of our holy faith, I hesitated at first as to my answer, sensible as I am of my own lowliness and weakness. But when I recalled the words of the Apostle, “supporting one another in charity” (Eph. 4.2), “For with the heart we believe unto justice; but with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10.10), I considered it a very hazardous act to deny your request and not to make that salutary profession. Moreover, I placed my confidence in God through Christ as it is written: “Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3.5), who rendered the men of apostolic days, and now us, at your instigation, sufficient to become ministers of the New Testament, “not in the letter but in the spirit” (2 Cor. 3.6). At any rate, you yourselves know that a faithful minister must preserve unadulterated and unalloyed whatever has been entrusted to him by his good master for dispensation to his fellow servants (Lk. 12.42). Consequently, I also am obliged in the common interest to place before you, in accordance with God’s good pleasure, what I have learned from the Holy Scriptures. For the Lord Himself, in whom the Father was well pleased (Mk 1.11; Lk. 3.22), “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2.3), said, having received from the Father all power and all judgment (Matt. 28.18; Jn. 5.22): “He gave me commandment what I should say and what I should speak” (Jn. 12.49). If, likewise, the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He hears from Him, these things He speaks (Jn. 16.13), how much more pious and safe it is for us to think and act thus in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
—St Basil the Great, Concerning Faith