Origen (185–254 AD)
from Against Celsus, Book VIII, Chap. 73
And as we — by our prayers —
vanquish all the demons that stir up war,
and lead to the violation of oaths,
and disturb the peace,
we in this service
are much more helpful to the kings
than those who go into the field
to fight for them.
And we do take our part in public affairs,
when along with righteous prayers,
we practice self-denying disciplines and meditations,
which teach us to despise pleasures,
and not to be lead astray by them.
And none fight better for the king
[and his role of preserving justice]
than we do.
We do not indeed fight under him,
although he demands it;
but we fight on his behalf,
forming a special army of piety
by offering our prayers to God.
From the Englewood Review of Books (May 1, 2009)
Quoted in Water, Faith and Wood: Stories of the Early Church’s Witness for Today, by Christopher Smith (Doulos Christou Press, 2003).
Dan Clendenin: firstname.lastname@example.org