Fiunt non nascuntur Christiani. (Christians are not born, but made.)
- A very consoling (and challenging) thought, indeed!
[On the education of a young girl:] Cave [….] ne capillum inrufes et ei aliquid de gehennae ignibus auspiceris. (Take heed [….] [that you do] not dye her hair red and thereby presage for her the fires of hell.)
- I knew I was right about redheads all along!
[Discussing the exemplary Christian witness of some family members, which caused the conversion of hardened relatives:] Ego puto etiam ipsum Iovem, si habuisset talem cognationem, potuisse in Christo credere. (I, for my part, think that even Jove might well have believed in Christ if he had kinsfolk of this kind.)
- Behold St Jerome’s rhetorical genius at work! With a single stroke, he scores one against the pagans, by alluding to the moral want of their gods, and he impresses on his reader the absolute necessity to lead a holy life in the context of one’s family.
[Explaining how he had finished composing a beautiful letter of admonition on a single night, without even thinking of adorning it with rhetorical niceties, he concludes:] Quod idcirco dixi, ut, qui non ignoscit ingenio, ignoscat vel tempori. (I say this that those who make no excuses for lack of ability may make some for lack of time.)
- Ah, the delightfully undiluted crank! Here he scores one against his critics, who justified their own mediocrity by accusing him of spending too much time composing his letters and treatises according to the canons of Rhetoric.
So there you have it: your patristic awesomeness for the evening!