, ,

St. Gregory the Theologian, Oration 38, Section 6:

But let us leave these things to the Greeks and to Greek pomps and festivals. They name as gods those who enjoy the steam rising form the fat of sacrificed animals and correspondingly serve the divine with their stomachs, and they become evil fashioners and initiators and initiates of evil demons. But if we, for whom the Word is an object of worship, must somehow have luxury, let us have as our luxury the word and the divine law and narratives, especially those that form the basis of the present feast, that our luxury may be akin and not foreign to the one who has called us.

Would you like me ā€” for I am your host today ā€” to set before you, my good guests, a discourse as abundant and lavish as possible, that you may know a stranger can feed the local inhabitants, and one poor and homeless those brilliant in wealth? I will begin from this point; and purify for me your mind and hearing and thoughts, you who enjoy luxuries of this kind, since the discourse is about God and divine things, that you may depart having truly received the luxuries that are not empty. This discourse will be at the same time very full and very concise, so as neither to sadden you by its poverty nor cause distaste through satiety.