Monday, February 20, 2006

St Basil on Armed Conflict and the Christian

Metropolitan Anthony`s book "God and Man" comments upon a somewhat surprising (at least to many modern minds) canonical rule from St Basil, which is still valid though apparently not applied. If anyone knows a reference to this canon, I would love to be told, as there are sadly no references in the book.

The canon states that if there is armed conflict, a Christian is called to take part in it "because if he had been a Christian worthy of the name, he would have been able to convert those around him to mutual love , and there would have been no armed conflict.But as it is he who bears the responsibility for the bloodshed, he should take part in this conflict. However, all the time the conflict is going on, and for three years afterwards, he must be excommunicated"

Rather a sobering point of view with which we can also gauge our lives and dealings with those around us - if we are truly living Christian lives, we would turn those with whom we have contact to mutual love.

What price greed, anger, hostility, shouting, grumbling, and numerous other sins which I can sadly lay shame-faced claim to.

I shall be glad to go to confession this weekend, and begin the life-long process of metanoia once again.
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