Maximus the Confessor: Fight the good fight until you reach the end

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But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:35

“You, who have become blessed and most genuine lovers of this divine and blessed way, fight the good fight until you reach the end, clinging fast to those qualities that will assure your passage to love’s goal. I mean: love of humankind, brotherly and sisterly love, hospitality, love of the poor, compassion, mercy, humility, meekness, gentleness, patience, freedom from anger, long-suffering, perseverance, kindness, forbearance, goodwill, peace towards all.”

Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662) Christian monk, theologian, and scholar in his letter “To John the Cubicularius.” A “Cubicularius” was a chamberlain of the imperial palace in the later Roman Empire and in the Byzantine Empire.

I chose this excerpt on the journey through church history looking at kindness and generosity because it is fitting for honoring my father, John (a.k.a. “Jack”) Hoag, today. It is his 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Dad!

Maximus wanted this influential man and his colleagues to finish well and wrote this letter to encourage him. Likewise, I pray this post encourages my father (and all readers) to finish well and fight the good fight until the end. It’s a good fight because sometimes we get to be kind to the ungrateful and wicked as today’s Scripture notes. Of course, I pray that my dad’s end does not come soon as I won’t get to observe this milestone with him for about a month, but I pray he presses on with all these qualities, including kindness.

Our ministry in Australia has been fruitful, teaching 8 days in 3 cities: Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth. Now, thanks for your prayers for a safe trip home. We have departed from Perth, will overnight in Sydney, then fly to San Francisco and, if the Lord wills, get home Sunday afternoon in Denver.