St. Aphrahat the Persian Sage

quotes from Aphrahat the Persian Sage:→

Aphrahat (c. 280–c. 345) known in Latin as Aphraates was a Syriac Christian author of the third century who lived in the Persian / Sasanian Empire and was thus cut off from the larger Christian traditions of the Roman Empire.  However, it is clear by the series of homilies that he wrote on Christian doctrine that the Syriac Christian tradition had maintained common doctrine with the Church of Rome.  Aphrahat himself was celibate and was the head of the Mar Mattai Monastery in modern day Iraq. He was a near contemporary of Ephrem the Syrian and was called the Persian Sage as he is a witness to the early church beyond the eastern boundaries of the Roman Empire.

Quotes & Excerpts:

“God forgives him who confesses his sins. For when David had sinned, the prophet Nathan came unto him and made known to him his sin and the punishment which he should receive. Then David confessed his sin and said: ‘I have sinned.’ The prophet Nathan then said to him: ‘The Lord hath put away thy sin because thou confessed’ (2 Sam. 12: 13). Be not foolish as Adam who was ashamed to confess his sin.” –Demonstration On Penitents 7:14-16 (Written 340 A.D.)

“For he who is wounded in battle is not ashamed to give himself into the hands of a skillful physician in order to heal from that which befell him in battle; and the king does not reject him who has been healed, but numbers and considers him with his army. So the man whom Satan has struck ought not to be ashamed to confess his sin, and depart from it, and entreat for himself the medicine of penitence.” – Demonstration On Penitents 7:3 (written 340 A.D.)

“From baptism we receive the Spirit of Christ. At that moment in which the priest invokes the Spirit, heaven opens, and He descends and rests upon the waters and those who are baptized are clothed in Him. The Spirit is absent from all those who are born of the flesh, until they come to the water of rebirth, and receive the Holy Spirit.” – Treatises 6:14:4 (Written in 340 A.D.)

“For Israel was baptized in the sea on Passover night. and on that night of His Passion and death, He showed them the Sacrament of Baptism, just as the Apostle said; ‘You have been buried with Him in Baptism’ (Col. 2:12).” -Treatises 12:10 (Written 340 A.D.)

“For those who choose for themselves virginity and holiness, young men and virgins and those wishing to become holy; it is fitting for presbyters to warn them and say: ‘He who sets his heart upon the state of matrimony, let him become united before baptism lest, perhaps, he fall in the conflict and be killed. . . For he who has not yet put on arms, is not blamed if he turns back; but everyone who has offered himself and put on arms is derided if he turns back from the conflict.’ . . . when they have delivered this message and warned all, they will bring to the waters of baptism those who
have been tried and chosen for the conflict.”
-Demonstration On Penitents 7:20-21 (Written 340 A.D.)

“Priests ought not deny a curative to those in need of healing. If anyone uncovers his wound before you, give him the remedy of repentance. And he that is ashamed to make known his weakness, encourage him so that he will not hide it from you. And when he has revealed it to you, do not make it public, lest because of it the innocent might be reckoned as guilty by our enemies and by those who hate us.” – Treatises 7.3 (Written in 340 A.D.)

“In regard to punishment, I say that not all men are equal. He that sinned much is much tormented. He that offended less, is less tormented. Some shall be cast into the fire according to their deserts, though that place is not as dark. Others shall be cast into another place. . . and their fire shall not be quenched. The Judge shall say, ‘I do not know you’ (Matt. 7:23).” – Treatises 22:22 (Written in 336 A.D.)

“Great is the gift which He has given us.  While not forcing us, and in spite of our sins, He wants us to be justified.  While he is in no way aided by our good works, he heals us that we may be pleasing in his sight… He calls out to all of us constantly; ‘Ask and receive, and when you seek, you shall find.’” – Treatises 23:48 (Written ca 336 A.D.)