Monday, January 09, 2006

Motives

"This is true perfection: not to avoid a wicked life out of servile fear of punishment - like slaves - nor to do good because we hope for rewards, as if cashing in on the virtuous life in some business-like or contractual arrangement. Instead, disregarding all those things for which we hope and have been promised, the only thing we dread is to fall from God's friendship, and the only thing we consider worthy of honor and desire is to become God's friend. This, as I have said, is the perfection of life." - Gregory of Nyssa, about about 385 A.D.

(Source: Inheriting Wisdom: Readings for Today from Ancient Christian Writers by Everett Ferguson, p.50)