Delivered from Evil


Indeed, whoever does not acknowledge Jesus Christ to have come in human flesh is Antichrist; whoever does not admit the testimony of the cross is sprung from the Devil; whoever wrests the Lord’s Gospel to suit [himself] denies both resurrection and judgment—such a one is the first-born of Satan. Therefore let us leave untouched the senseless speculations of false doctrines, and turn to the teaching delivered to us in the beginning; let us be temperate and ready for our prayers, persevere in fasting, and fervently implore the all-seeing God not to expose us to temptation, since the Lord has said: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.


Unceasingly, then, let us cling to our hope and the pledge of our justification, that is, Christ Jesus, who in his own Body took the weight of our sins up to the cross; who did no wrong; nor was treachery found on his lips. On the contrary, for our sakes—that we might live in him—he endured everything. Therefore let us become imitators of his patient endurance and glorify him whenever we suffer for the sake of his name. This is the example he has set us in his own Person, and this is what we have learned to believe.


I therefore exhort you all to carry out the lesson in holiness and practice patient endurance to the limit.


Saint Polycarp

Saint Polycarp († 156) was a disciple of Saint John the Apostle. / From Ancient Christian Writers: The Works of the Fathers in Translation, No. 6. Translated and annotated by James A. Kleist, s.j., Ph.D. © 1948 by Rev. Johannes Quasten and Rev. Joseph C. Plumpe. Published by The Newman Press, an imprint of Paulist Press, Inc., New York/Mahwah, NJ. www.paulistpress.com. Used with permission.



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