TODAY is the feast of St Basil the Great (c. 329-379), bishop of Caesarea.
MY heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.
Psalm 44(45):1-2, KJV. The name Basil comes from the word for ‘king’.
For Saint Basil.
GRACE was poured out upon thy lips, holy father, and thou wast made a shepherd of Christ’s Church, teaching the sheep endowed with spiritual reason to believe in a Trinity consubstantial in one Godhead.
TODAY is also the feast of the Circumcision of Jesus.
WHEN the Saviour came down to be with the race of men, he accepted the garment of swaddling clothes; he who was but eight days old in regard to his mother, yet without beginning in regard to his Father, did not abhor circumcision of the flesh. Let us faithful ones cry out to him, Thou art our God, have mercy upon us.
WE are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Cor 3:12-18.
WITH thy intense longing for the love of wisdom, O father, thou didst circumcise the veil upon thy soul, and by thy wonders wast revealed unto the world like a sun; and thou didst brightly shine thy godly mind upon the minds of the faithful, O wise Basil, worshipper of the Trinity, and knowing the mysteries of the Theotokos.