Feast of Sts Menodora, Metrodora & Nymphodora the Martyrs
IT IS NECESSARY for us, always conscious of our unworthiness, to keep silence and confess our sins before God, but since all things are good in their season, and I see the Church, which God built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Christ His Son being the head cornerstone, battered as by the surging sea overwhelming it with wave upon wave, tossed about and troubled by the grievous assault of wicked spirits, and Christ’s tunic, woven from top to bottom, rent, which the children of the ungodly have arrogantly sought to divide, and His body cut to pieces, which is the people of God and the tradition of the Church that has held sway from the beginning, I do not believe it right to keep silence and bridle my tongue, paying attention to the threatening judgment that says: “if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10.38, citing Hab. 2.4 LXX), and “if you see the sword coming and do no warn your brother, his blood I shall require at your hand” (Ez. 33.6, 8). Compelled to speak by a fear that cannot be borne, I have come forward, not putting the majesty of kings before the truth, but hearing David, the divine ancestor, say, “I spoke before kings and was not ashamed” (Ps. 118.46), goaded more and more to speak.
—St John of Damascus, On the Divine Images