Early Church Fathers
To Barses, bishop of Edessa, in exile.
Fen the sake of the affection which I entertain for you, I long to be with you, to embrace you, my dear friend, in person, and to glorify the Lord Who is magnified in you, and has made your honourable old age renowned among all them that fear Him throughout the world. But severe sickness afflicts me, and to a greater degree than I can express in words, I am weighed down by the care of the Churches. I am not my own master, to go whither I will, and to visit whom I will. Therefore I am trying to satisfy the longing I have for the good gifts in you by writing to you, and I beseech your reverence to pray for me and for the Church, that the Lord may grant to me to pass the remaining days or hours of my sojourn here without offence. May He permit me to see the peace of His Churches. Of your fellow-ministers and fellow-athletes may I hear all that I pray for, and of yourself that you are granted such a lot as the people under you seek for by day and by night from the Lord of righteousness. I have not written often, not even so often as I ought, but I have written to your reverence. Possibly the brethren to whom I committed my greetings were not able to preserve them. But now that I have found some of my brethren travelling to your excellency, I have readily entrusted my letter to them, and I have sent some messages which I beg you to receive from my humility without disdain, and to bless me after the manner of the patriarch Isaac.2 I have been much occupied, and have had my mind drowned in a multiplicity of cares. So it may well be that I have omitted something which I ought to have said. If so, do not reckon it against me; and do not be grieved. Act in all things up to your own high character, that I, like every one else, may enjoy the fruit of your virtue. May you be granted to me and to the Church, in good health, rejoicing in the Lord, praying for me.