He fenced it [the church] in with a rampart, as it were of heavenly precepts and with the angels standing guard, for “the angel of the lord shall encamp round about them that fear him.” He placed in the church a tower, so to speak, of apostles, prophets and teachers, ready to defend the peace of the church. He dug around it, when he had freed it from the burden of earthly anxieties. For nothing burdens the mind more than exaggerated solicitude for the world and desire either for wealth or for power.1
BASIL THE GREAT:
Our soul is “dug around” when we lay aside the cares of the world that burden our hearts. Therefore, the one who has laid aside carnal love and the desire of possessions and has deemed desire for small glory of greatest contempt has been dug around and liberated from the vain burden of the spirit of the world.2
Just as clouds when they rumble and clash (so the physicists tell us) send forth darts of lightning, so the words of the prophets shone out as signs of truth. In fact you often find the prophets in the divine Scriptures compared with clouds; for example, “And I will command the clouds not to rain upon it.”3
- SIX DAYS OF CREATION 3.12.50. McKinion, S. A. (Ed.). (2004). Isaiah 1-39 (p. 39). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- HOMILIES ON THE HEXAEMERON 5.6. McKinion, S. A. (Ed.). (2004). Isaiah 1-39 (p. 39). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- EXPOSITION OF THE PSALMS 96.4. McKinion, S. A. (Ed.). (2004). Isaiah 1-39 (p. 40). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.