Friday, May 29, 2009

More from Origen: catechesis on martyrdom

"Then in the beginning when you were going to be instructed, it would have been rightly said to you, 'And if you be unwilling to worship the Lord, choose, this day whom you will worship, whether the gods your fathers worshiped in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites among whom you dwell on the land.' And the catechist might have said to you, 'But as for me and my house, we will worship the Lord because he is holy' (Josh. 24:15). He does not have any reason to say this to you now; for then you said ' And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods; For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt ... and preserved us in all the way wherein we went' (Josh. 24:16-17). Moreover, in the agreement about religion long ago you gave your catechist this answer, 'We also will worship the Lord, for He is our God' (Josh. 24:18). If, therefore, the one who breaks agreements with men is outside any truce and alien to safety, what must be said of those who by denying make null and void the agreements they made with God, and who run back to Stan, whom they renounced when they were baptized? Such a person must be told the words spoken by Eli to his sons, 'If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall entreat for him?' (I Sam. 2:25)"

Origen, An Exhortation to Martyrdom

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