Eucherius of Lyons: The Soul is the Image of God in Us, and the Precious Pledge of his Future Munificence Thursday, Aug 8 2013 

Fathers_of_the_ChurchMuch physical curiosity, much care and many strict observations are bestowed upon the body; much pain it undergoes in hope of health; and deserves the soul no medicine?

If it be but fit and necessary, that diverse helps and means of healing are sought for the body, for the recovering only of a temporal and transitory health, is it not unjust that the soul should be excluded, and be suffered to languish and putrify with deadly and spiritual diseases?

Shall the soul only be a stranger to those proper and precious remedies ordained for it by the Physician?

Yea, rather, if so many things are provided for the body, let the provision for the soul be far more abundant:

for if it was truly said by some, that this fleshy frame is the servant, and the soul the mistress, then will it be very undecent and injurious, that the better part should require the better attendance?

For with constant and intentive diligence should we look on that side where the greater dignity and our most precious treasure is laid up.

It is not agreeable to reason, and it takes from the honour of our employment, that we should subject it to the unworthier party.

The flesh being always inclined to viciousness draws us back to the Earth, as to its proper center and original: but the soul being descended from the Father of lights, is like the sparks of fire still flying upwards. The soul is the image of God in us, and the precious pledge of his future munificence.

Let us employ all our innate forces and all outwards auxiliaries for the preservation of this: if we manage and defend it faithfully, we take care for and protect the entrusted pledge and purchased possession of God.

What convenience can we have to build, unless we do first of all lay the foundation? But to him that designed a superstructure of true blessings, the fundamental must be salvation.

And if he hath not laid that foundation, upon what can the consequences he hopes for be builded? How shall he be filled with the increase of those remunerations and after-blessings, that wants the first-fruits, and denies the rewarder?

What portion can he have in joys of eternity that will be wanting to his own salvation? How can he live the life of the blessed, that will not rise from death?

Or what will it benefit him to heap up temporal provision, and the materials of this world, when he hath stored up nothing for the comfort of his soul?

Or as our Lord Jesus Christ hath said, “What is a man profited, if he gains the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

Eucherius of Lyons (c.380-c.449): Eucherius to his Kinsman Valarianus on Contempt of the World, translated by Henry Vaughan (1621-1695).

Eucherius of Lyons: By the Unspeakable Tenderness of God, the Good We Do to Our Souls is the Most Acceptable Sacrifice We Can Offer Him Thursday, Jul 18 2013 

Church FathersI shall therefore speak unto you, not the wisdom of this world, but that secret and hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.

[…] The first duty of man ordained and brought forth into this world for that end, — my most dear Valerian! — is to know his creator, and being known, to confess Him, and to resign or give up his life — which is the wonderful and peculiar gift of God, — to the service and worship of the Giver;

for what he received by God’s free donation, may be employed in true devotion, and what was conferred upon him in the state of wrath and unworthiness, may by an obedient resignation make him precious and beloved.

For of this saving opinion are we; that as it is most certain, that we came forth first from God, so should we believe it, and press on still towards Him: whereupon we shall conclude, that he only rightly and divinely apprehends the purpose of God in making man who understands it thus, that God Himself made us for Himself.

It is then our best course to bestow our greatest care upon the soul; so shall that which is the first and highest in dignity be not the lowest and last in consideration. Amongst us Christians, let that which is the first in order be the first cared for; let salvation, which is the chiefest profit, be our chiefest employment.

Let the safeguard and the defense of this take up all our forces; let it be not only our chiefest, but our sole delight. As it surpasseth all other things in excellency, so let it in our care and consideration.

Our supreme duty is that which we owe to God, and the next appertains to the soul. And yet these two are such loving correlates, that though every one of the is a duty of supreme consequence, and such as by no means we may presume to neglect or omit, yet cannot we possibly perform any one of them without the other.

So that whosoever will serve God doth at the same time provide for his own soul; and he that is careful for his own soul doth at the same time serve God.

So that the state of these two sovereign duties in man, is by a certain compendious dependency and co-intention rendered very easy, while the faithful performance of the one is a perfect consumation of both: for by the unspeakable tenderness and mercy of God, the good we do to our own souls is the most acceptable service and sacrifice that we can offer unto Him.

Eucherius of Lyons (c.380-c.449): Eucherius to his Kinsman Valarianus on Contempt of the World, translated by Henry Vaughan (1621-1695).