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Spiritual Notes from the Diocese of Charleston

His Grace Bishop Thomas has long provided his flock with appropriate weekly teachings selected from his treasured collection of essays, articles, homilies and more, including many rare pieces from earlier decades of The Word. PDF versions of Notes posted after November 11, 2015 are available at the bottom of each entry.

Additional Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston


June 7, 2017 + Part II: Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature

From St. Basil the Great

Outline of Sections 3-4

III. Profane learning should ornament the mind, as foliage graces the fruit-bearing tree.

IV. In studying pagan lore one must discriminate between the helpful and the injurious, accepting the one, but closing one's ears to the siren song of the other.

Sections 3-4

III. If, then, there is any affinity between the two literatures, a knowledge of them should be useful to us in our search for truth; if not, the comparison, by emphasizing the contrast, will be of no small service in strengthening our regard for the better one. With what now may we compare these two kinds of education to obtain a simile? Just as it is the chief mission of the tree to bear its fruit in its season, |104 though at the same time it puts forth for ornament the leaves which quiver on its boughs, even so the real fruit of the soul is truth, yet it is not without advantage for it to embrace the pagan wisdom, as also leaves offer shelter to the fruit, and an appearance not untimely. That Moses, whose name is a synonym for wisdom, severely trained his mind in the learning of the Egyptians,7 and thus became able to appreciate their deity.8 Similarly, in later days, the wise Daniel is said to have studied the lore of the Chaldaeans while in Babylon,9 and after that to have taken up the sacred teachings.

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