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July 08, 2010


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Brad Jersak

Dear Ron,

Thanks for this remarkable bit of history. You've brought the beauty of these precious saints out where we can see the life of their relationship in Christ in full bloom.

These soul friendships have fascinated me for some time: the connection between Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, or more recently, Hans Von Balthasar and Adrienne Von Speyr. The interdependence of a theologian and mystic or a churchman and prophet is a powerful witness across callings.

But by far my favourite is the relationship of three great siblings: Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, and their precious sister and teacher, Macrina. In 379, Basil had passed away and Gregory went to see his sister, who he also found on her deathbed. In this incredibly tender exchange, the reader is privileged to overhear Macrina's final thoughts, esp. on death and the afterlife, as she expounds them to Gregory, her younger brother and disciple. He came to be known as the Father of the Fathers, the Flower of Orthodoxy, and the defender of the Nicene Creed. One can listen in to them by reading their discussion (probably in 380 AD) at the following link:


Brian Zahnd

Thank you, Ron.

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