Anyone who is a slave to sin should prepare himself
for true regeneration by means of faith. He must shake the yoke of sin
off his back and enter the joyful service of the Lord. He will be thought
worthy to inherit the kingdom.
Don't hesitate to declare yourselves sinners.
Thereby you will put your old humanity that was corrupt because it followed
the bait of error. And you will put on the new humanity, the humanity newly
clad in intimacy with its Creator.
The regeneration of which I am speaking is not
the rebirth of the body, but the second birth of the soul. Bodies are procreated
by the father and mother, but souls are recreated by means of faith, since
the Spirit blows where it will [John 3:8].
God is kind and he is kind to an immeasurable
Don't say: "I have been dishonest, an adulterer,
I have committed grave offences innumerable times. Will he forgive them?
Will he deign to forget them?" Listen rather to the Psalmist: "How great
is your love, O Lord" [cf. Psalm 31:9].
Your sins piled one above the other do not overtop
the greatness of God's love. Your wounds are not too great for the skill
of the Doctor.
There is only one course of treatment for you
to follow: rely on him in faith. Explain frankly what is wrong to the Doctor
and say with the Psalmist: "I acknowledge my sin to you, and I did not
hide my iniquity" [Psalm 32:5]. Then you will be able to go on with the
Psalmist to say: "Then did you forgive the guilt of my sin."
1,2ff. (PG33, 372)
was born in Jerusalem around 315 AD. He was ordained deacon, then presbyter,
and then bishop of Jerusalem around 349. During a time of great division
in the church, between the Council of Nicea in 325 and the Council of Constantinople
in 381, Cyril labored to reconcile the disputes between church leaders.
He was exiled from his bishopric three times, for a total of sixteen years,
for his bold proclamation of faith in Christ's full divinity during a time
when many bishops and emperors favored various forms of the Arian heresy.
In 381 he attended the Council of Constantinople and voted in favor of
the formula which completed the Creed often known as the Nicene Creed.
He died around 386.
Cyril is author of the Catecheses, or Catechetical Lectures
on the Christian Faith – a series of eighteen lectures delivered during
Lent to those about to be baptized at Easter, and then a series of five
lectures on the sacraments which were delivered after Easter to the newly
by Paul Drake. For more readings see Drinking from the Hidden Fountain:
A Patristic Breviary, by Thomas Spidlik, Cistercian Publications, 1994.]